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Thread: California mayor sends e-mail with watermelons on White House lawn

  1. #31
    Elite Member Mel1973's Avatar
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    Ok, for all those (or maybe it was just me - because I have wondered about this one):
    Since the earliest days of plantation slavery, the caricature of the dark-skinned black child, his too-red lips stretched to grotesque extremes as they opened to chomp down on watermelon, was a staple of racism's diet. Over time, the watermelon became a symbol of the broader denigration of black people. It became part of the image perpetuated by a white culture bent upon bolstering the myth of superiority by depicting the inferior race as lazy, simple-minded pickaninnies interested only in such mindless pleasures as a slice of sweet watermelon.
    Like all racial and ethnic stereotypes, this one's destructive properties have, through the decades, stretched far beyond mere insult. It has helped poison self-esteem, pushing some people to avoid doing anything that seemed too "black," lest they be lumped into the company of Uncle Remus, Aunt Jemima, or some other relative of racism.

    that's from an article at Poynter Online - Diversity at Work

    I actually found an article where watermelons were referred to as "N-Word Apples" and that one really pissed me off.
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  2. #32
    Silver Member albatross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by McJag View Post
    This puzzles me: why is this insulting and how did it get started anyway? As far as I know,watermelons are delicious,easy to grow and all southerners I know love them equally well -black,white or whatever. We just love them. Nothing tastes better in hot sultry weather. What irks me is,if I was black & wanted to order water melon,I might actually be self conscious about it and pass. This is unfair and intimidating to the extreme. In the south people are not so thin skinned over it-we all get them,have lengthy conversations about our preferences-red,yellow,sweetest grown where & who has the best this year. Then there is the salt-no salt discussion. I have NEVER heard anyone say"I can't have one-that is too Black" or anything near! No one stops talking suddenly if a black person walks up-they join in the conversation. I personally have witnessed on numerous occasions our office staff-black,white,hispanic AND asian arguing the merits of seedless vs. seeded at great length,and no one even hinted one race had superior knowledge. Nope. Everyone was quite sure THEY knew best. Go get your own watermelons,but leave race outta this!
    We don't have a southerner in the White House. We have a black man in the White House. So, the connections made in the picture are not to a delicious southern treat, but to the racial stereotypes created over the years.
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  3. #33
    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    UM, pretty sure it was the use of said watermelon to reinforce racist stereotypes through racist advertising and articles....
    My question was-as Mel actually grasped-quite different from your frozen Canadian noggin interpetation. By the way-those pictures you posted with your astounding 2 minute search-have to be from the 1930's or 40's. I believe right around the same time they thought Aliens landed from a radio broadcast,women were only homemakers or teachers and gays were completly unheard of,except for Oscar Wilde maybe. We are somewhat more enlightened now.
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  4. #34
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    *looks at the e-mail*

    apparently not.
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  5. #35
    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by albatross View Post
    We don't have a southerner in the White House. We have a black man in the White House. So, the connections made in the picture are not to a delicious southern treat, but to the racial stereotypes created over the years.
    Well,knock me over with a feather. My point was-as a Southerner, the ones most accused of racism on a daily basis,that was MY take on the Geat Watermelon Controversy as I see it personally. It was,in fact a COMPLAINT. Not a scientific survey nor are the views expressed those of the mangement.

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  6. #36
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    I think it's interesting that's it's mostly southerners who never seem to see what the big deal is
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  7. #37
    Elite Member Sweetie's Avatar
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    Maybe that's because we don't let dumb shit get us bent out of shape.

  8. #38
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    yeahhhhhhhh I'm more likely to think, that since it's usually WHITE SOUTHERNERS who never seem to see what the big deal is, that it's a case of either blindness or cultural entrenchment of latent racism

    But that's just me, a white guy living in the frozen north in one of the worlds most multicultural cities.... I mean, what do I know

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  9. #39
    Elite Member Sweetie's Avatar
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    So now all white southerners are either blind or racist? That's great to know.

  10. #40
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Yes. Usually means ALL. Very well done. That's exactly what I said.
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  11. #41
    Elite Member Sweetie's Avatar
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    "that it's a case of either blindness or cultural entrenchment of latent racism"

    Do you see usually anywhere in that statement? NO! Looks like little multicultural boy is blind too.

  12. #42
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    try reading the whole sentence, it helps.

    "yeahhhhhhhh I'm more likely to think, that since it's usually WHITE SOUTHERNERS who never seem to see what the big deal is, that it's a case of either blindness or cultural entrenchment of latent racism"
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  13. #43
    Elite Member Sweetie's Avatar
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    Oh and it's interesting how it's cool to pick on your friend's, but when this man did it he was racist.

    People should be able to laugh at jokes about different races, says Clint Eastwood

    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    try reading the whole sentence, it helps.

    "yeahhhhhhhh I'm more likely to think, that since it's usually WHITE SOUTHERNERS who never seem to see what the big deal is, that it's a case of either blindness or cultural entrenchment of latent racism"

    Really smartass? I wouldn't have figured that out.

    What I did notice was USUALLY was speaking of the type of people you were talking about, and not the traits you were laying upon us.
    Last edited by Tati; February 26th, 2009 at 01:58 PM.

  14. #44
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    ... again, it's usually WHITE SOUTHERNERS who usually seem to be bereft or wilfully ignorant of the concept of context, usually.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sweetie View Post
    Really smartass? I wouldn't have figured that out.

    What I did notice was USUALLY was speaking of the type of people you were talking about, and not the traits you were laying upon us.
    Did everybody fail english in school or something? Usually applies to the USUAL suspects and all the descriptors or traits that are applied to them after.

    They are USUALLY the ones who demonstrate A, B, or C.
    Last edited by Tati; February 26th, 2009 at 01:58 PM.
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  15. #45
    Elite Member Sweetie's Avatar
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    Backtracking with put-downs now. Love it.

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