What do you suppose would happen to a white Republican mayor, running against an incumbent black mayor, said his city needed a “white mayor?” The Democrats would go on full war footing. Every Republican on earth would disavow his statement. The NAACP, as an affiliate of the Democratic Party, would be screaming racism. The media would excoriate him until he resigned from office.
Of course, that never happened – at least not to a Republican mayor. But, it did happen to one of the most prominent Democrat mayors in America – Chicago’s own Richard M. Daley.
Young Daley, as we refer to him in Chicago, is the son of the one of the most famous, or infamous – depending on your point of view – mayors in American History. The old man’s political operation was known hither and yon simply as “the Daley Machine.” It was also widely known as the most racist urban administration in America – and that is quite an accomplishment when you look at the competition from such cities as New York, Los Angeles, Baltimore, etc., etc., etc.
When speaking to a group of Polish Democrats, young Daley was captured on tape saying that Chicago needed a “white mayor” – not the incumbent black mayor, Eugene Sawyer, who had ascended to the office upon the death of Chicago’s first black mayor, Harold Washington.
The recording was not of good quality, so there was some controversy over that word. After all, he could have said Chicago need a “wet mayor.” Yeah! That was it. A wet mayor.
That possibility did not stop at least one reporter, NBC’s local political director Dick Kay, from airing the tape. One can only imagine the explosion of news coverage that revelation created. If you are imagining anything more than “virtually none,” you would be wrong. That’s right. Those sanctimonious scribes of the Fourth Estate put that on their list of news not to be reported.
Now let’s turn to the use of the n-word.
There are accusations that President Trump used the n-word sometime in the past—and there is alleged to be a recording to prove it. The accusation was made by ingrate former White House staffer, Omarose Onee Manigault-Newman, better known as Omarosa. She provided no evidence, no tape, and her own credibility floats somewhere between Harvey Weinstein and Baron von Munchausen. (In the event you are not up on German mythical figures, the good Baron was a character known for his whopper-level lies.)
On the dubious Omarosa claim alone, the anti-Trump press is in a full feeding frenzy. If Trump had uttered the now most unacceptable word in the English Language – and even in translations, I assume — it would be deemed by the #NeverTrump people to be an offense against humanity sufficient to demand his immediate impeachment if not capital punishment. The story dominates the breaking news … ah … I mean the left-rotation spin on the news.
(Time for a disclaimer. I cannot recall a time in my life that I ever used the n-word in a pejorative manner – and I have often criticized or condemned those who used it in my presence, wrongly assuming that I was into that. I can also say that in all my years in the company of fellow conservatives, I have never heard the n-word used pejoratively. Over that same 50-year span, I have been in the company of many Chicago Democrats on innumerable occasions and have heard the n-word used derisively as a matter of common practice. So much for the disclaimer – with a bit of perspective.)
In researching my hopefully upcoming book on racism in America, I discovered that President Johnson considered “Negro” as a euphemism for the n-word. He even commonly referred to the 1964 Civil Rights Act as the “n****r bill.”
When discussing pouring money into the inner cities – for all the good that did – Johnson assured his Democrat colleagues that he would “have those n****rs voting Democratic for the next 200 years.”
When appointing black civil rights activist, Thurgood Marshall, to the Supreme Court, Johnson explained his decision by saying, “Son, when I appoint a n****r to the court, I want everyone to know he’s a n****r.”
In his memoir, Capitol Hill in Black and White, long time Johnson chauffer, Robert Parker, recalled Johnson asking if he would prefer to be addressed by “Robert” rather than “boy” or “n****r.” When Parker said he would prefer “Robert,” Johnson shot back:
“As long as you are black, and you’re gonna be black till the day you die, no one’s gonna call you by your goddamn name. So, no matter what you are called, n****r, you just let it roll off your back like water, and you’ll make it. Just pretend you’re a goddamn piece of furniture.”
Johnson’s use of the n-word was soooooo common that Adam Serwer, writing for MSNBC online, said that “Johnson was practically a connoisseur of the n-word.”
Then there is the h-word.
What, you pray tell, is the h-word? For the sole purpose of education, I shall reluctantly put the entire word in print. It is “honkie.” Yes, that pejorative terms that many blacks use to insult white folks.
During heated public meetings in my days as a Chicago civic leader, I have been called by the “h-word” merely for giving speeches in the inner city – even though my entire subject matter was in support of those poor folks trapped in the slums by the Democrat machine. Did not matter. I was white. “Get out of here, you honkie!” was the way a few haters reacted even before I said a word.
Fortunately, in my many appearances in the black community, both me and my message were warmly welcomed. But there are always a couple of those looking only for confrontation – and they loooove that h-word. In those many church speeches, however, I met some of the nicest people on earth. Black people really know how to do church.
It is worth pondering why the n-word is more offensive to public sensibilities than the h-word, or the f-word, or the compound mf-word, or the b-word, or the c-word – although in these times of identity politics and political correctness, the c-word comes close. (if you are unaware of the words to which I refer with those hyphenated euphemisms, I compliment you on your constant association with good people.)
Of course, the most common pejorative in general use by the left today is “old white male” – to which I take personal umbrage. In terms of broad-brush (no pun intended) slander, it exceeds the insult value for the left of “Republican,” “conservative,” “Trump supporter” “Christian fundamentalist” or even “American patriot.” Gads! I am five out of six of those demeaned categories. I guess I should go to church more often.
I also notice that blacks can use the n-word with temerity. Black comedians have made their reputation on doing just that. On my Facebook, a number of my black friends use the word – or the “n***a” variation — to put down other blacks – most often the bad dudes in the ‘hood. They refer to the criminals, gangbangers and drug dealers – and even some black Democrat politicians – as “n**as.”.
I was first exposed to that intraracial reference when my black political pal and I were picking up a couple of black guys at Washington National Airport. They were recently appointed to posts in the Nixon administration – and yes, Republicans do appoint blacks. My friend told us of a great soul food restaurant. When we pulled up in front of the place, one of the new arrivals looked around and said in faux black vernacular, “I ain’t gittin’ outta this car in this n****r neighborhood.”
When he saw the shock on my face, he turned to me and said, “Hey Larry, there are black folk and there are n****rs, and n****rs carry knives.” Upon his advice, we moved on to a different restaurant. What struck me about the entire episode was that I was more comfortable going into the restaurant than he was. Go figure.
But, what are we going to do about that h-word. Shouldn’t we dig into the past to see if Al Sharpton or Jessie Jackson ever used the h-word? We could also check out Congresswoman Maxine Waters, but in her case, it is safe to assume.
If you are not inclined to use my commentaries to line the bottom of the bird cage – after printing them out, of course – you can file this one under the complexities and hypocrisies of racism. We truly need that oft referenced dialogue on race.