Thomas McKenzie
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Racism in My Backyard


Seems a couple of guys from my beloved Franklin, TN have sparked a controversy by selling a racist anti-Obama product at the "Values Voters Summit." This is a convention mainly for evangelical voters. They created a box of "waffle mix" that featured Obama's face and sold for $10 a box. It seems a good number of "values voters" thought that this was a good buy, at least before organizers caught wind of the things and shut the booth down.

Saying that a candidate "waffles" on issues and making a waffle mix is kind of funny (even though every politician waffles on issues, so I've never understand why this is a big deal). But taking a look at the box, the racist caricature of Mr. Obama sticks out. Aunt Jemima, anyone? Does Obama really have huge teeth, or isn't that just one way whites have often mocked black people? It is utterly heinous. Add to that some other mean-spirited attacks (implying Obama is a Muslim by showing him in a turban, etc.) printed on the box, and you've got yourself quite a mess.

The organizers of the Summit condemned the product, saying (in part): "We strongly condemn the tone and content of materials that were exhibited by one of the vendors at this weekend's Values Voter Summit. The materials represent an attempt at parody that crosses the line into coarseness and bias."

I encourage you to read a couple of reports here and here.

This is disturbing to me because it shows, once again, that Christians sometimes think it is OK to abandon a central tenet of their faith (love your neighbor as yourself) in order to make political points. No matter what you think of a political candidate, attacking him like this is never Christian.

I also find it disturbing that these guys live in Franklin, and I bet we know some of the same people (it's a small town). If one of the people who made this box is reading this, please hear this: repent. Seriously, man. Don't get all defensive. Just repent and take the financial loss. Don't lose more of your soul just to make a point in some political election.

Finally, this box is racist. It showcases old-style, racist stereotypes. It is more than coarse or biased, as the event organizers said. It is hateful, and I condemn it.


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