I'd say the racist dog whistles are already blowing after Joe Biden announced his VP pick, but dog-whistle seems far too subtle a sound for what Barry Presgraves, the mayor of Luray, Virginia was doing in regards to Kamala Harris. According to NBC News, Presgraves made a Facebook post in which he said that Joe Biden "just announced Aunt Jemima" as his running mate. He has since "apologized" by releasing this tweet:
And also this statement:
"I also want to make a direct apology to all people of color and women. Passing off demeaning and worn out racial stereotypes as humor isn't funny. I now fully understand how hurtful it is and I can and will do better and we can all do better. We must."
What the hell was that part at the end? "We can all do better. We must?" I mean yeah, we can all do better, but it's pretty weird to be getting a rah-rah speech about what everyone else needs to work on from a guy who just publicly compared a Vice Presidential nominee to a caricature of a racial stereotype. Of course, it should come as no surprise that Presgraves refuses to resign, but you probably could have already guessed that when he ended his tweet with "I took it to be humorous. SORRY!!!" like a high-school girl throwing shade on her frenemy for dating her ex-boyfriend.
But this is just a drop in the proverbial piss-bucket of racism and sexism that Harris will have to face in the coming months and will be especially pronounced in the coming days. Here are just a few examples:
Again, there is nothing covert about this. This isn't the "did you know the 'okay-sign' sometimes means white power?" A Black woman was picked to be Vice-president, and people are attacking her, not based on policy, but because she's Black and a woman. The next time someone tells you that racism is dead or relegated merely to imperceptible microaggressions, ask them to explain this. Oh, and birtherism is making a comeback too:
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Top Image: Town of Luray /Gage Skidmore