Thursday, February 26, 2009

Watermelons on the White House Lawn

Photo: Keyanus Price

Wouldn't it be funny to send out an email of the White House with watermelons on the lawn? Orange, California mayor Dean Grose thought so. It was an adolescent attempt at humor that he thought he'd share with a few friends. Not everyone thought it was funny. I know there's absolutely nothing wrong with watermelons growing on the White House lawn but now that Barack Obama is President, it has special significance.

Now I know Mayor Grose didn't mean anything by this email and is surprised that anyone would be offended by it. It's only watermelons, what's the big deal? From Tim Rice, a prominent anti-racist commentator, comes the best observation:
White Denial once this guy says, "Oh sorry, I didn't know watermelons had a racial connotation..."
I guess the next thing we're going to see is cotton in the Rose Garden or Michelle Obama as Aunt Jemima. But of course, nothing wrong with that since Aunt Jemima is on the shelf of every supermarket and grocery store. Aunt Jemima is an American icon and cotton is a natural fiber. Next up, 40s, nooses and black Sambo dolls.