I'm going to rant a little bit. I made a determination early on that I wasn't going to use this forum to complain or belly ache about perceived injustices in the world. Instead, my goal is to inform and offer what I hope to be a unique perspective on things. Today, however, I'm going to break my own rule.
I am absolutely stunned and disgusted by the lack of outrage surrounding "the slap heard round the world". For those who are unaware what I am talking about, last Saturday in a debate between Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-fixin' to lose) and Republican challenger Ryan Frazier, Perlmutter slapped Frazier's hand away while Frazier was making a point. In fairness, Perlmutter immediately apologized. He should have, his action was immature and uncalled for. That apology isn't enough for me.
This might be uncomfortable for some people, but if the situation had been reversed and Frazier had slapped Perlmutter there would be weeping and gnashing of teeth throughout the media and blogosphere. Why? Because Frazier is black, and he would be held to a different standard. Now, for those of you who think I'm being overly racially sensitive, know that I am speaking from experience.
As the son of a black father and a white mother - and as someone who has run for office - I know of what I speak. What is seen as confidence and intelligence in white candidates is seen as arrogance in black candidates. What is seen as righteous indignation in white candidates is seen as "traits" of the angry black man in black candidates. The point is black candidates are held to a different standard and they know it. Add in the fact that Frazier is a Republican, and all hell would have broken lose if the shoe was on the other foot - which brings me to my next point.
If Perlmutter was a Republican slapping away the hand of a Black Democrat - the media swoon would have been felt from Wasilla to Wabash. I can just see Geraldo Rivera holding a candlelight vigil in front of the home of the perceived victim. Keith Olbermann would name Perlmutter his "Worst Person in the World" and Joy Behar and Whoopie Goldberg would have been near tears on The View as they discussed the mistreatment of this brave, unassuming, Black man. Alas, Frazier is a Republican so he gets none of the benefits of mainstream media victim hood.
So that's my rant. I don't expect it to change a thing, but let's not kid ourselves that a double standard doesn't exist. Republicans are quick to point out the double standard that exists Republicans are treated unfairly in the media. Another double standard exists, however, and it's a little more comfortable to remain silent on this one and pretend it doesn't exist.