Shut Your Racist Mouth, Fox News, Cory Booker Isn't 'Lazy'
Cory Booker dropped out of the presidential race today, which is a bummer. What's worse is that Fox News had something to say about it. There are many legitimate theories as to why Booker's campaign never caught fire. I personally thought he ran a reprise of Barack Obama's 2008 "hope and change" that was fundamentally unsuited for this current moment. Donald Trump is president. The country is inching toward war. It's tempting to look for a sweet, charming bald guy to unite the country with dad jokes, but it ignores the racial and cultural resentment that put Trump in the White House. Voters want actual substantial change, even if those in power prefer we don't. People want a living wage, affordable health care, and a planet that won't explode. Their top priority isn't whether the conservative and liberal members of an otherwise well-off family can discuss politics politely again.
That's just one opinion. I guess we could consider other, more racist ones. Fox's Melissa Francis suggested Booker's problem was that he was lazy, shiftless even.
Referring to black people as "lazy" is an incredibly racist trope, and it's wise to avoid it unless the black person you're describing literally falls asleep in front of you while on the job. Francis doesn't name the Democrats who willingly appeared on Fox News and slimed another Democrat. Another panel member responded that she wouldn't "call Booker lazy" but it's clear he "didn't find his footing," which has nothing to do with how much sweat equity he put into a campaign. Booker wasted time he'll never get back talking to Meghan McCain on "The View." The brother worked hard.
Booker graduated from Stanford, where he also earned a master's in sociology. He played college football and was elected senior class president. He was awarded a Rhodes scholarship to study at Oxford. He got a law degree from Yale, where he operated free legal clinics for poor people. Booker was a member of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, and no one does that if they're lazy because children are exhausting. Booker was twice elected mayor of Newark, New Jersey, and he saved a woman from a house fire. Lazy people can barely leave their own houses when they're on fire. This is not even his full resume, and he's only 50.
Mayor Cory Booker's 'superhero' moment www.youtube.com
No, Cory Booker isn't lazy. He might not clock in four hour weeks spouting racist drivel on Fox News, but he makes a solid effort as an actual US senator. There are lazy black people out there. I've met them, but they don't become one of three black Senate members. There is something to the argument that black people have to work twice as hard to get half as far as the average white person. That doesn't mean Booker is twice as lazy as the laziest white senator. That's not how this works.
Booker did everything and then some that black kids are told to do so white people will respect us, and some no talent Fox hack still calls him "lazy." It's a shame. It's infuriating. But it's not a shock.
Now we're good and mad it's your OPEN THREAD.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle.