Thursday, January 17, 2008

Racist Obama Joke Falls Flat In Denver

Sometimes it is heartening to hear of people’s reactions when they are exposed to blatant racism. At the National Western Stock Show's annual Citizen of the West banquet in Denver, businessman William R. Farr was pretending to read congratulatory telegrams to this year’s winner.

He pulled out a telegram supposedly from the White House, then paused and said, "I have a telegram from the White House." Then he added, "They're going to have to change the name of that building if Obama's elected."

People attending the event said there were audible gasps from the audience which included city and state officials. That gasp shows hope to me. I have attended events where similar insensitive and racist or homophobic jokes are made from the microphone and most of the time they go with an uncomfortable chuckle. The fact they people were appalled by his remark tells me that we have matured a lot as a country.

Years ago, racist jokes were the norm but today they just don’t play, unless you are speaking in front of an audience of KKK members. What that says is our country just might be ready for an African American president, and it'’ about time.

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