The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Advertisement
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
Advertisement
Texas A&M starting pitcher/relief pitcher Emiley Kennedy (11) hands the ball to starting pitcher/relief pitcher Brooke Vestal (19) during Texas A&M’s game against Texas at the Austin Super Regional at Red and Charline McCombs Field in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, May 25, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Aggies’ comeback falls short in 9-8 loss to Longhorns
Luke White, Sports Editor • May 25, 2024

As the fifth inning drew to a close in Texas A&M softball’s Super Regional matchup with No. 1 Texas on Saturday, the Aggies found themselves...

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Southern slugfest
May 23, 2024
Advertisement
Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
Advertisement
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The Battalion May 4, 2024

PC racism

 
 

Since Condoleezza Rice was nominated to replace Colin Powell as Secretary of State earlier this month, she has come under a lot of criticism. While one would expect that candidates of such a high-level position would be subject to a significant amount of scrutiny, some of the focus has not been on her qualifications or statements, but on the color of her skin.
In publications including The New York Times and The Washington Post, editorial cartoons have depicted National Security Adviser Rice in ways that can only be described as racist. Popular as the artists may be, it is never acceptable to employ racism to attack someone, even if he holds different political convictions.
Rice should be admired for her service to her country, not parodied for the color of her skin.
In a cartoon by Pat Oliphant, Rice is portrayed as a bucktoothed parrot with excessively large lips, squawking: “Anything you say, Chief!” Oliphant is not making light of Rice’s opinions or a slip of the tongue on her part. He is attempting to degrade her on the basis of her race.
Cartoonist Jeff Danziger tried to do the same thing in his cartoon by making Rice resemble a character in the film Gone With the Wind. Danziger’s representation of Rice as a uneducated slave is not humorous at all. Not surprisingly, the cartoon has been removed from the archive section of Danziger’s Web site.
In July, cartoonist Ted Rall had Rice refer to herself as President Bush’s “house nigga.” Regardless of what feeble-minded point Rall was trying to make, using that term to describe someone is inexcusable. One can be humorous and even edgy without being racist.
Most recently, John Sylvester called Rice “Aunt Jemima” on his Wisconsin radio show. Sylvester seems to be unremorseful as he continued to refer to her in that way in his subsequent apology.
No one deserves to be mocked for racial reasons. Rice is a well-educated, intelligent woman who overcame adversity to achieve her present position. She earned a doctorate in political science, is a tenured professor at Stanford University and is the first woman to attain the position of National Security Adviser.
Unfortunately, comments like these are not new, nor are they reserved just for Rice. In 2002, Powell was referred to as a “house slave, content to do the bidding of his master”- Bush. Perhaps the most appalling fact is that this comment came from the singer and African American activist Harry Belafonte.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has endured racist remarks for years. Like Powell, he has been called “Uncle Tom” on numerous occasions, including once by members of the ACLU. The label “Uncle Tom” is derogatory and meant to demean someone as overly subservient or seeking the approval of whites, according to the Merriam- Webster Dictionary.
The unifying theme of these individuals is that they are minority within a minority. They have developed their own political ideas, which, at times, has pitted them against the established leadership of the black community. But that should not make them acceptable targets of racism.
One would think that the advances of the civil rights movement would make people in leadership positions such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, sensitive to the potential for minorities, to be mistreated by the majority.
But the self-appointed leaders of the black community have been eerily silent on the atrocious treatment of certain public figures. There has been precious little – if any – condemnation for the racist cartoons and comments. In circles that celebrate diversity, this portrays that there is far too little tolerance of those who hold different perspectives.
Project 21, a nonpartisan and nonprofit organization in the African-American community, has called upon civil rights leaders to denounce the racist comments. In a press release, the group stated that the refusal to do so grants “tacit permission and acceptance of such language and tactics.”
Rice, Powell and Thomas are among those who have struggled and succeeded. They should be respected for their achievements, regardless of their political stance. Racism is wrong, and it should be condemned even when one doesn’t like the victim.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *