Thursday, February 21, 2013

Where's the outrage: Watermelon in Montana?

This is what passes for humor in the Montana GOP:

Hardee har har.

Now, Jennifer Olsen didn't make this up this hilarity.  She just shared something on Facebook made up by some true comic talent (yes, sarcasm) named Rich Diamond.  But no one is talking about good old Rich.  You see, Jennifer Olsen is a Tea Party person in Montana.  O.K., you might expect the above from a Tea Party person anywhere in the United States.

But that's not the big problem here:  She's also the county GOP chairperson in Yellowstone County, Montana.  That's right; she's an official representative of the Republican party in addition to being a Tea Party person.

Meteor Blades at the Daily Kos captures the story of the above Facebook post beautifully:
It speaks volumes that the head honcho of the GOP in Montana's most populous county and home of its largest city would think the Obama-trap photo is a big ha-ha. But then as has become obvious over the past four years, it's not just in Big Sky country that modern Republicans, and not all of them tea partiers, have chosen to treat the president like some uppity darkie who has no business entering the White House other than through the deliveries door.

The story at the Montanafesto about Racism and Republicans in Montana in general and Jennifer Olsen and her family in particular, makes this point:
Thanks to the first amendment, Americans are able to think whatever they would like as well as express those thoughts, but such expression does (have) consequences.  I discourage Yellowstone County Republican precinct chairs and legislators from turning a blind eye to this blatantly racist post.  If Ms Olsen is not held responsible for her actions, we send a message that this behavior is acceptable and perhaps these views are even condoned by the GOP.  The Republican Party was founded on abolishing slavery.  Why do we now tolerate our leaders advocating bigotry in a public forum? Bigotry is rooted in ignorance and the Republican Party should purge this cancer from the party.  Shame on you, Jennifer Olsen.  You are a disgrace to your party, to the central committee you chair,  to Montana, and to America.
Well, yeah, writer at the Montanafesto:  Of course you are correct.  The problem is that this behavior probably IS acceptable and these views probably ARE condoned by the current GOP. 

"This is what passes for humor in the Montana GOP."

And yet people out there claim that "Both Parties Are the Same" and the differences between them are spurious.  But really.. When is the last time a Democrat put out some kind of racist "fun" thing like this?  Of course Democrats take jabs at Republicans.. but blatant racism?  Find me some examples of Democrats mocking black public officials by talking about watermelons or making other racist slurs!

Most important:  When have we heard any Republican elected officials at either the state or local levels condemn the racists who do this kind of stuff?  

And then, people who proclaim that "Both Parties Are The Same", try to tell me that it doesn't matter that the racists find a home in the GOP whereas racists do not find that kind of home among the Democrats.  Tell me that racism and tolerance of racism is just not important.

A Republican Party With a Heart and a Brain

Meteor Blades at the Daily Kos sums this up better than I can:

A Republican Party with a heart and a brain and a sense of honor would have immediately booted Olsen out of her county post and offered Montanans and the President an apology. But then a Republican Party with a heart and a brain and a sense of honor wouldn't be the Republican Party.

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