Is this racist?

Remember that Obama impersonator I told you about a few days ago, who the folks at FOX News paid to fake debate Republican presidential candidate Gary Johnson? Well, he’s back. This same impersonator – a guy by the name of Reggie Brown – appeared this weekend in New Orleans, at the Republican Leadership Conference. Here he is on stage, just prior to a keynote delivered by RNC Chair Reince Preibus.

Watch it, and then tell me whether or not you think I’m being overly sensitive when I say that it’s racist… As much as I love Sanford and Son, I can’t help but think that comparing Michelle Obama to Aunt Esther isn’t such a good thing in the eyes of most white Americans.

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  1. Screach
    Posted June 19, 2011 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    Have you seen the rest of the video where they cut Brown’s mic and escort him off stage when he starts needling Republican candidates?

  2. Will
    Posted June 19, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    That was hilarious. The problem is that when he cracked jokes about Gingrich and Pawlenty, they turned off his mike.

  3. Posted June 19, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    No, because Republicans can’t be racist. It is an impossibility.

  4. Posted June 20, 2011 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    I hadn’t heard that they pulled the plug on him. Thanks for the link. I guess that makes me feel a little better about his act, if not the GOP… I would have thought, however, that the Republicans planning the event would have gone over his material beforehand, especially as they had the images that he’d be projecting in their possession. Apparently I give them too much credit.

  5. Glen S.
    Posted June 20, 2011 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    To be clear, the audience seemed to have no problem with the parts of this routine that focused on Obama — including the part where he compared Barack & Michelle Obama to Fred Sanford and “Aunt Esther.”

    It was only when the speaker turned his attention to poking fun at leading Republican presidential contenders, including Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachman, that his mic got cut, and he was given the bums-rush off the stage.

  6. EOS
    Posted June 20, 2011 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Republicans can’t be racist. They don’t require their black candidates to be half white.

  7. Dirtgrain
    Posted June 20, 2011 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    I don’t have a problem with comedians using race and ethnicity in their humor, so long as the jokes aren’t using dehumanizing stereotypes that malign the whole.

    Context is a factor. If it were a Democrat convention, would it be racist? A roast of Obama? A neo-nazi convention?

    Considering intent, I don’t think it was the comedian’s goal to use jokes about Obama’s multi-racial family to be hurtful toward Obama or others of multiple-race families (but really, aren’t we all multi-racial?).

    If I have to analyze a joke like this determine if it’s racist, then maybe I’ve gone too far.

  8. Mr. X
    Posted June 20, 2011 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    I agree that it’s context. I’d also agree, although no one has said as much yet, that EOS is an asshole for suggesting that the GOP is less racist because their black candidates are “all black”.

    As for context, all I can say is that I didn’t like the uproarious laughter that erupted as the photo of Fred and Esther came up on the screen. If it were a meeting of black Republicans, I may not have felt that same sense of awkwardness. Unfortunately, though, I didn’t see on non-white face in the crowd.

    Given what the Republicans are capable of, though, it could have been a lot worse.

    Speaking of which…….

  9. Dirtgrain
    Posted June 20, 2011 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    And if this guy were there, well, that would add some context.

  10. Walt
    Posted June 20, 2011 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Sometimes this blog has a giant stick up its ass. EOS tried to make a joke. It was even a little bit funny.

    Is it any wonder the only posts worth reading anymore are about women peeing in Ypsilanti?

  11. Mr. X
    Posted June 20, 2011 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    I’d agree with you, Walt, if EOS were joking.

    And it’s not a stick up my ass, it’s your mother’s tongue.

  12. Posted June 20, 2011 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Saying that racists don’t gravitate toward the Republican party because there are black Republicans is like saying that the National Socialists weren’t anti-Semites because they let Jews run their concentration camps.

    That’s an extreme example, I admit.

    Are all Republicans racists? No. George W. Bush, idiot as he may be, was certainly no racist.

    Does the Republican party give racists in their ranks a free pass? Yes. This video and the encouragement of this idiot by the audience pretty much proves it.

  13. Walt
    Posted June 20, 2011 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    My mother is half-Honduran and half-Cherokee you racist asshole.

  14. Mr. X
    Posted June 20, 2011 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    I think I’m beginning to like you, Walt.

    And I apologize about your mom. If I’d known of her heritage, I never would have shared that with you. In my defense, though, I couldn’t see much of her from where I was standing.

    While we’re on the subject, this is my favorite comment (from Reddit) about Brown’s performance, and how it became increasingly uncomfortable as he started turning his attention toward the spineless and corrupt Republicans.

    I was watching this on C-SPAN as it unfolded. It was amazing watching the smiles turn to frowns. You could even hear the sound of monocles popping out into champagne glasses.

  15. EOS
    Posted June 20, 2011 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Thanks Walt. It was a joke, but not mine. I heard it on the radio a few days ago. These ideologues aren’t joking though. Anyone not 100% in support of Obama is called a racist and they think the name slinging will make all the opposition stay silent in fear of being labeled.

  16. Posted June 20, 2011 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    I’m not 100% in support of Obama. In fact, I have many issues with him and his administration.

    I don’t think Mark is either. Nor anyone on this blog.

    Are we racists?

  17. Glen S.
    Posted June 20, 2011 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Unlike some liberals, I’m not somebody who necessarily believes that any criticism of Obama automatically = racism. I think, for the most part, the President is “fair game,” and worthy of both legitimate criticism and satire, like all former presidents.

    But comparing Barack and Michelle Obama to “Fred Sanford” and “Aunt Esther?” How can that possibly NOT be racist?

  18. Walt
    Posted June 20, 2011 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Bill Maher had this to say about Obama during a commencement address to Hampton College a few weeks ago:

    “I know I’m being a little nit-picky, but how exactly does President Sanford and Son think he got elected–by CB radio?”


  19. Dirtgrain
    Posted June 20, 2011 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    “Anyone not 100% in support of Obama is called a racist and they think the name slinging will make all the opposition stay silent in fear of being labeled.”

    Hey, maybe absolutes and hyperbole will win the argument.

    I don’t think the Fred Sanford and Aunt Esther comparison was racist. I didn’t think pictures weaving George W. Bush’s face with Alfred E. Neuman to be racist, either.

  20. Maria
    Posted June 20, 2011 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Wasn’t that his mother’s face? (George Bush’s)
    Was it racist? It was mean, meant to bring Obama down, but completely racist, no. The act seemed mildly anti mixed race people who achieve.

  21. Dirtgrain
    Posted June 20, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    I was thinking of this (not in the video). It’s a comparison of a politician to a caricature.

  22. TaterSalad
    Posted June 20, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Happy Father’s Day from the never ending campaigner-in-chief

    A little holiday cheer!

  23. josh
    Posted June 20, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    no post about this epic headline at “Ypsilanti Downtown Development Authority fails to gather a quorum prior to discussion on absenteeism”

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