Goys will be goys

There is a saying that negroes like watermelon because…

No, that doesn’t quite capture it, does it? By comparison, it’s pretty innocuous. After all, you could end the sentence, “everyone does.” What’s the harm in liking watermelon? Rather insensitive, not the sort of thing you’d go around saying if you had half a brain and cared anything about other people’s feelings, but it’s not in the same league with Edwin O. Merwin Jr. and James S. Ulmer Jr. invoking the myth of the rich, avaricious Jew, a stereotype that helped feed the resentments that led to the Holocaust.

No, for an analogy, you’d have to reach to something that actually resulted in the murders of black people, something like, “There is a saying that black men lust after white women because…”

Where did the GOP find these guys? In case you missed it, these two geniuses Merwin and Ulmer — Republican Party chairmen in Bamberg and Orangeburg counties, respectively — wrote the following in an opinion piece published in The (Orangeburg) Times and Democrat:

There is a saying that the Jews who are wealthy got that way not by watching dollars, but instead by taking care of the pennies and the dollars taking care of themselves. By not using earmarks to fund projects for South Carolina and instead using actual bills, DeMint is watching our nation’s pennies and trying to preserve our country’s wealth and our economy’s viability to give all an opportunity to succeed.

I find myself wondering, What saying? Who says it?

These guys actually could make a guy sympathetic toward earmarks, which one assumes was not their aim.

Karen Floyd says they’ve apologized, and that’s that. What do y’all think?

11 thoughts on “Goys will be goys

  1. Santee

    Sooner or later South Carolina’s politicans will surely run out of ways to embarrass us. I hope. Someday. Not today, though.

  2. KP

    From a Washington Post piece on divisions between the races in South Carolina:

    “I’ve worked with the blacks all my life,” Bolen said. “I’m not a racist. When I go to the grocery store, I talk to the blacks. When I was at the Wal-Mart the other day at 6 in the morning, I saw a black I knew and hugged him.”

    “The blacks.” “The Jews.” My God, how offensive. How can you not be racist when you define entire segments of the population as different from yourself?

  3. Randy E

    I don’t see any prominent forward thinking big picture leaders in SC. The health care debate has been a sad example of this.

    DeMint represents the state that likely has the worst health insurance situation in the country but cares more about Obama’s Waterloo. Wilson is so concerned that some Hispanic illegals will get some treatment for the flu that he ignores the thousands of legal residents in his state who are lacking coverage. Graham rails against government health care (apparently ignoring medicare and the VA system).

    SC has the highest rate of uninsured at 20% while having one of the highest teen pregnancy rates and premature birth rates. I would think the leaders in SC would make the health care issue a top priority, not for political posturing but for public service to their constituents.

  4. Randy E

    In TheState.com comment section for the report on their apology, Franken’s anti-rape bill is cited repeatedly. That deserves a thread of its own.

    All of this is an extreme example of how disconnected a group of Protestant white males can be. Stereotypes about Jews and Hispanics (see Senator Sessions in Sotomayor hearings), jokes about African-Americans being gorillas or Obama being “half-rican American” (see Big Fat Idiot Limbaugh), and the patriarchal dismissiveness about rape leaves the GOP increasingly isolated.

  5. Karen McLeod

    KP, re: Bolen et. al. The old saying used to be, “That’s right white of him.” It’s unfortunate, but I think in this case that expression is all too appropriate.

  6. kbfenner

    Randy E–
    You forgot the aspirin one.

    I occasionally read the comments sections on WIS and The State, but so often they make me want to give up and move to Vermont.

    Thing that gets me, is that the people I know here are actually some of the warmest, kindest people in the world-or at least compared to the other places I’ve lived—New England, Chicago and England. What gives? Is it that there are two factions or two sides to the same people?

  7. KP

    kb, living in the Pee Dee, I have the rawest view of racism I’ve ever encountered. What I’ve found is that most of the racists who live here don’t see their views as cold or unkind — just as an established way of life, the way God intended. People here don’t hate “the blacks,” but they also don’t have African-Americans in their homes, become depressed if they date their daughters, and don’t really care if the school system fails to educate them, as long as the kids who matter are doing ok.

    Racism is not merely accepted, it’s expected. People will say the damnedest things right to your face, as if it were socially acceptable (as when, during the presidential election, an acquaintance said this: “Pretty soon, they’ll think they need to be in the big house, and we need to be in the fields,” and I am not kidding), unless you make it clear that you won’t have it. Then they’ll hold their tongues out of respect for your right to be misguided.

    It’s not fear, just like it’s not hate — I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s just never having experienced life without it.

  8. kbfenner

    Oh dear. I want to believe the people here in Columbia, and the ones I grew up with in Aiken aren’t like that. Of course, some are and I just don’t know them or they don’t dare say it around me. I guess that they don’t dare say it, is a good thing. It just makes me so sad to think that such people still exist.

    I also wonder how many sexists there are who I don’t know about. Ignorance isn’t necessarily bliss.

  9. kbfenner

    My head hurts. Someone wrote in to the paper to ask to be explained exactly why it was offensive.

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