Sunday, April 27, 2008

Second OOT award this week

Rep. Davis: A spade is not just a spade

I'm so enraged, my 55-year-old butt spent time in my chair blogging instead of still curled on the couch drinking coffee and smoking my fifth morning cigarette.

This morning, on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Barack Obama chief supporters Rep. Artur Davis (D-Ala) and Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD) were facing off against Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind) and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, (D-TX), Hillary Clinton chief supporters.

Davis, allegedly and by all indications black, said we should all "call a spade a spade."

Yes, he most likely meant we should accept the obvious. It's what the phrase means. At least to dyed in the wool racists.

Ironically, Davis was discussing racism in the party. He touted the Clintons as "pioneers in the American South" on civil rights but said with their [in my mind misconstrued] racial attacks were "eroding their own legacy. " And his legacy and understanding of his racial history? It's where?

Hmm. Does Davis refer to his constituents by the N word? Or spooks? Do those words and their hateful implications register? Yeah, I know those words like I know bitch and cunt. And wish I didn't.

It's not an obscure phrase, as many racist idioms go. If nothing else, said dear husband, doesn't he remember the scene in 1968s Bye, Bye Blackbird , a George Segal-starring spoof of The Maltese Falcon? Segal sitting in a room of men, his name [Spade] called and all the black guys stand up.

Guess the Obama campaign is as out of touch with the black community as it is with working class whites. As an aside, that's from our OOT media hype. There are truly anti-racist whites and working class blacks.

If the words had come from Hillary or Bill's mouth -- don't think so-- or one of her chief supporters, she'd be vilified, possibly stoned. And, even an ardent Hillary supporter as I am, I'd have thrown like Bob Gibson on a streak.

The present out-of-touch award goes to Davis. Sorry Williams. Infamy is fleeting.

Shame, shame, shame Davis.

For those of you who want to get into the etymological argument of the meaning of the phrase back 700 years, the contemporary usage of it at least for most of the last century has been as an ethnic slur. You might want to pick up a copy of Wolfgang Mieder's Call a Spade a Spade: From Classical Phrase to Racial Slur : A Case Study.