Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Republican Racism Example #24: "Obama Taxes Aspirin Because It's White And Works"



The scene of GOP political consultant Mike Green's arrest in November 2009.  (Photo from the FITSNEWS.com website at http://www.fitsnews.com/2009/11/17/sc-political-consultant-arrested-in-myrtle-beach/)



In June 2009, a Republican activist and political consultant in South Carolina, Mike Green, became yet another GOPer who thought that no one with a conscience would notice a racist joke about Obama posted on the internet.  Green tweeted the following punch line on his personal account:

“JUST HEARD OBAMA IS GOING TO IMPOSE A 40% TAX ON ASPIRIN BECAUSE IT'S WHITE AND IT WORKS.”

Hilarious, huh?  Only white people work hard, right Mr. Green? 

Green works for Starboard Communications, a company that consulted for GOP Rep. Gresham Barrett’s gubernatorial campaign.  For reasons unknown, Green scrubbed the post.  Unfortunately for him, a liberal blog in South Carolina, Indigo Journal, already made a screen capture of the offensive tweet and posted about it. 

Called by Talking Points Memo Green lied at first, claiming he was unfamiliar with the joke.  Asked if he had posted it he said, “I don’t know.”  Asked by TPM if anyone else uses his Twitter account, Green wouldn’t answer directly and just said he would “have to call back.”  TPM reports that Green never made the followup call.

After saying he didn’t know about the tweet, he later said he was sorry for posting it.  To his credit, Green did not make the standard non-apology apology.  He actually admitted his racist words were inappropriate, an act that has become rare in the GOP.  He eventually wrote this:

“I realize that my comments were hurtful, wrong and have no place in civil discourse.”

Green was later arrested in November 2009 when he trespassed on a private party being held by former Myrtle Beach mayor Mark McBride.  McBride was running against of Green’s clients, John Rhodes, who was the incumbent mayor at the time of the arrest.

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Michael Phillips has authored the following:

White Metropolis: Race, Ethnicity and Religion in Dallas, Texas, 1841-2001 (Austin:  University of Texas Press, 2006)

(with Patrick L. Cox) The House Will Come to Order: How the Texas Speaker Became a Power in State and National Politics. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2010)

“Why Is Big Tex Still a White Cowboy? Race, Gender, and the ‘Other Texans’” in Walter Buenger and Arnoldo de León, eds., Beyond Texas Through Time: Breaking Away From Past Interpretations (College Station: Texas A&M Press, 2011)

“The Current is Stronger’: Images of Racial Oppression and Resistance in North Texas Black Art During the 1920s and 1930s ”  in Bruce A. Glasrud and Cary D. Wintz, eds., The Harlem Renaissance in the West: The New Negroes’ Western Experience (New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2011)

“Dallas, 1989-2011,” in Richardson Dilworth, ed. Cities in American Political History (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2011)

(With John Anthony Moretta, Keith J. Volonto, Austin Allen, Doug Cantrell and Norwood Andrews), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips. eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume I.   (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Keith J. Volanto), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips, eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume II. (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Carl J. Luna), Imperial Presidents: The Rise of Executive Power from Roosevelt to Obama  (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2013). 

“Texan by Color: The Racialization of the Lone Star State,” in David Cullen and Kyle Wilkison, eds., The Radical Origins of the Texas Right (College Station: University of Texas Press, 2013).

He is currently collaborating, with longtime journalist Betsy Friauf, on a history of African American culture, politics and black intellectuals in the Lone Star State called God Carved in Night: Black Intellectuals in Texas and the World They Made.

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