March 9, 2010

Sometimes a watermelon is just a watermelon.

Poor Dan Rather. Don't you feel sorry for him? Look at the ridicule:
"[H]e couldn't sell watermelons to" who?  A state trooper?  He couldn't sell watermelons on a highway?  Yeah, the rest of it is "if a state trooper is flagging down the traffic on a highway, Obama couldn't sell watermelons," and Chris Matthews says, "Well, whoa! (muttering) I didn't think you meant that."  I'll tell you (laughing) from Massa describing Rahm Emanuel walking in a House shower with no curtains stark naked poking him in the chest and yelling at him about health care, to Dan Rather saying Obama "couldn't sell watermelons on a highway with a state trooper flagging down traffic," (laughing) I'm telling you, folks, they are falling apart. (interruption) No, it's no longer Black History Month.  If this had happened Black History Month, Oh.  Well, I don't know the menu was still up there or not, but this is hilarious.  Dan Rather! (laughing) "He couldn't sell watermelons..."  (laughing)...
... [Y]eah, some of you have written me notes.  "Don't you understand that Rather is saying this is what Republicans would say?" Of course he said Republicans are going to say this.  It doesn't matter.  Republicans have not said it.  Dan Rather did.
Now, you know darned well that if the racial slur conventionally perceived in "watermelons" had flashed through Dan Rather's still-flickering brain, he wouldn't have indulged in that particular Southernism. Rather has been dribbling Southernisms for decades and his enablers have petted him affectionately for being so darned sweet and cute and down-home. I'm sure this one was just a way of expressing the notion of incompetence — quite apart from race. It's meant to conjure up an image of someone unable to sell something that people really love even under really favorable selling conditions. The state troopers are there because you're supposed to picture the roadside stand, where the popular product alone is normally enough to lure drivers to stop. The troopers are providing even more help. They're flagging people down. That's all Rather meant. People are going to say Obama can't get anything done. That's it. If he'd have thought about race, he'd have censored "watermelons."

So I'll give Dan Rather a pass. But if we give Dan Rather a pass for the accidental appearance of racism, will anyone who isn't liberal be given a pass? I know they won't. That's the way it is.

123 comments:

Maguro said...

Courage!

Hoosier Daddy said...

Racist but accurate.

...will anyone who isn't liberal be given a pass? I know they won't. That's the way it is.

Because modern liberalism is nothing but hypocrisy.

ricpic said...

I think Kenneth finally got Dan's number. Or Dan got Kenneth's number. Or something. Get that man to Bellevue. Quick.

garage mahal said...

*sniff*

Poor conservatives!

lucid said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Henry said...

"He couldn't sell forgeries to CBS."

That one's safe. Funny Rather didn't think of it.

Pogo said...

No pass, Dan.

You are officially part of the racist white hegemony. You must be purged.

You're not of the Party! You're not! You're not of the Party!!

lucid said...

It's time for people to get over this stuff and to stop paying any attention to it. It's just boring and the issue itself, rather than the "perpertrator," elicits derision and rolling of the eyes. It all just a part of the moral-entitlement-thuggery industry (see Al Sharpton)that has corrupted our culture in regard to race. It is part of what keeps the hateful affirmative-action entitlements churning. Enough already.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I bet just like Ferraro he's wondering what the fuss is about.

Triangle Man said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hoosier Daddy said...

It's time for people to get over this stuff and to stop paying any attention to it.

Well I think its always good to point out the double standards of liberals, especially when it comes to the one issue that has always been their bailiwick.

ricpic said...

Where the hell's the Kingfish to rule on Dan's fate? Tar and feathers or throw him in the briar patch. Dat be duh kesthun.

Big Mike said...

So I'll give Dan Rather a pass. But if we give Dan Rather a pass for the accidental appearance of racism, will anyone who isn't liberal be given a pass? I know they won't. That's the way it is.

And since no one I care about gets a pass, then IMAO Dan Rather doesn't either.

Not to put too fine a point on it, how many African-Americans did Dan Rather hire and promote back when he still had a job? For that matter, how many have AlphaLiberal, former law student, and Ritmo hired and promoted?

Expat(ish) said...

As a southern white man, there are certain words that are filtered when I'm around black people: watermelon, fried chicken, boy, son, and a host of other less savory things I grew up hearing.

Not that I won't offer a black friend a piece of BoJangles chicken, but I always hesitate.

Dan Rather proves once again that he lacks the social graces of a yahoo.

-XC

NewHam said...

Look Ann, are you being deliberately obtuse, or are you obtuse merely because you're a naive egalitarian from Madison, Wisconsin?

"Barack Obama couldn't sell watermelons" is a horrid racial slur. I'm from the Deep South and I know whereof I speak.

In the South only black people sell watermelons on the side of the road out of the back of their beater pick-up trucks (because it was the only way they could make money since no white people would hire them).

It is as if Rather is saying Barack Obama couldn't sell Jeri Curl. Or Afro Sheen. Or the same as saying "Barack Obama couldn't sell friend chicken at a black church picnic."

Dan Rather is a horrible racist.

Why are you defending this?

I need to wash my eyeballs after reading this tripe you've written.

Shanna said...

Obama "couldn't sell watermelons on a highway with a state trooper flagging down traffic,"

"that particular Southernism"

I don’t think you can blame this one on the south. I have never heard anyone say that, or anything close to it, in my life. What a bizarre thing to say!

I have, however, bought Watermelons out of a truck on the side of the road. Watermelons are the food of the gods and if anyone says you like watermelons it just means you have damn good taste. Why do people have to drag such awesome food into their weird racist thoughts?

NewHam said...

And let's cut to the chase.

What Dan Rather is really saying is that the only reason health care reform isn't getting done is because a stupid negro is running the country.

He's a white New Yorker blaming the only black guy in the room.

He's a typical racist cracker.

ricpic said...

It's only racist if there's hate in his heart, and there's none in Dan's heart because...well, because he's on the side of the angels, that's why!

MadisonMan said...

On the subject of sales and promotion -- marginally off-topic -- I agree with the underlying premise: Obama has done a wretched job of selling the reasons Americans all need Health Care Insurance.

In this, he is just like Bush doing a horrible job of selling why the Iraq War was necessary.

This comment thread needs an Obama is like Bush tag.

Roger J. said...

What a bunch of shit--like Shanna, I grew up in the south and am proud of my cracker roots--and I have NEVER EVER heard this "southernism."

Must be one of these fucking dog whistle words that liberals think are racist. The only watermelon reference I have seen in the last couple of years was that egregious Oliphant cartoon about Sec State Rice--Its the fucking liberals who are homophobic and racist assholes stuck in their stereotypical thinking.

In Florida where I grew up you could buy watermelons from anyone, black or white, who sold them by the roadside for 25 cents apiece after they had sold most of their crop to markets earlier in the season.

bagoh20 said...

It's double insulting: Obama's black half by the watermelon and his white half by the incompetence. That's racist too. Isn't calling someone a racist a racist act in itself since you have to assume it is somewhat due to their race, and would be impossible if their race was reversed.

Stupid concept that has long ago jumped the watermelon.

Shanna said...

In the South only black people sell watermelons on the side of the road out of the back of their beater pick-up trucks (because it was the only way they could make money since no white people would hire them).

Not sure if this was true a long time ago, but it’s certainly not the case today.

Hoosier Daddy said...

As a southern white man, there are certain words that are filtered when I'm around black people:

Understandable. When I'm around Southern folk I tend to avoid saying things like: Real bitch ya'll shot Jackson like that; or Had Lee not had a bad case of the shits ya'll might have won Gettysburg.

Then the "hey ya'll watch this!" always tends to end badly too :-)

SteveR said...

By itself I might could give him him a pass but he's got a history of poorly stated ideas which combined with a intellectually dishonest pretense of objectivity/moderation points to a bad case of hypocrisy.

Go away Dan, please. No one watches your ego maniacal network. Get a boat and sail around the Hamptons.

Barry Dauphin said...

No, Dan is just upset that Obama can't pass Cap and Trade climate legislation (watermelons are green on the outside, red on the inside).

NewHam said...

Dan Rather is a Democrat whose scion of the Senate, Robert Byrd, was a card-carrying member of the Ku Klux Klan, who once said this:

"I shall never fight in the armed forces with a Negro by my side... Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds."

Someone who has that kind of hatred in their heart never gives it up. They cover it up to get by and get ahead, like Byrd did, but they never give it up.

Dan Rather is of a piece. He's covered his tracks nicely through the years. But in his old age he's slippin'.

And Dan Rather is a Democrat racist through-and-through. What you're seeing is the real man under the mask that accidentally slipped out for a moment.

The real racist underneath the sheet.

AJ Lynch said...

Rather is a liberal? Would he admit that? Would our own Garage Mahal admit Rather is a liberal?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

In the South only black people sell watermelons on the side of the road out of the back of their beater pick-up trucks (because it was the only way they could make money since no white people would hire them).


In California, we have Mexicans selling sacks of oranges from the back of pickup trucks. Rather nice pick up trucks too.

Also Vietnamese (I think) selling strawberries in roadside stands and at tables set in front of their compact cars and pick up trucks. Sometimes they also have cherries and cut flowers. The strawberries are AWESOME. Ripe, juicy, delicious and not much less than the cardboard strawberries you get at Safeway.

So what?

In fact, they are probably making a ton of money because it is a 100% cash transaction.....and mobile. Entrepreneurship is alive and well in the black market. Get used to it, since as our economy continues to be squashed by the Democrats, you will see more and more people selling things on the side of the road.

former law student said...

I used to buy watermelons from the back of a semi on 87th Street, in Evergreen Park, Illinois. I forget the driver's race.

I once bought fresh gulf shrimp from the back of a Vega wagon in Chicago's Chinatown -- the vendor had made the drive up from Biloxi that morning. He was Chinese. So maybe the phrase of hopelessness should be "He couldn't sell shrimp from the back of a van in Chinatown."

Blue@9 said...

I love the defense of arms-length ironic racism by the left:

You see, if I were a racist conservative Republican, I would joke that Obama couldn't... .

and then the follow-up by snivelling sheep:

He's just pointing out what all conservatives are thinking!

Disgusting.

NewHam said...

If you're from the South, you'll recognize this picture of a man selling watermelons out of the back of a beater pickup truck by the side of the road.

This is the quintessential Southernism Dan Rather is referring to.

He's saying Barack Obama - a black man - couldn't even sell watermelons out of a pickup.

It's a horribly racist thing to say. Almost as racist as this General Electric ad for electric ranges. Or GE's racist advertisement for a kitchen sink.

It's a horribly racist thing to say.

edutcher said...

Over the years, Dan Blather has been using more and more of these down home funkyisms to make people think he is an actual human being. He might have gotten a pass if he still was with Black Rock, but he's expendable these days.

garage mahal said...

*sniff*

Poor conservatives!


He's your guy, not ours.

NewHam said...

Look Ann, are you being deliberately obtuse, or are you obtuse merely because you're a naive egalitarian from Madison, Wisconsin?

"Barack Obama couldn't sell watermelons" is a horrid racial slur. I'm from the Deep South and I know whereof I speak.


I'm from southeastern Pennsylvania and it's a horrid racial slur there, too. It's also one in NE OH, where I now reside. Linking black people and watermelon in any way is a shot anywhere in this country and Kenneth's BFF knows it.

rcocean said...

1-Rather isn't a Southerner - he grew up in Texas.
2-he left Texas 45 years ago, to live in NYC and DC.
3-someone probably wrote it for him.
4-And finally, would Dan Rather please retire or die? Why should I care about this senile bubble-head, who was foisted on America by some suits in Manhattan.

Jenny said...

Honestly, I've never understood the whole watermelon and fried chicken thing as a racial slur. I am a native Southerner and have come to understand that these things are considered racial. But really, watermelon and fried chicken is what we all eat around here.

traditionalguy said...

Rather's Texas attitude is not so much rascist so much as it is "We are the smarter than other ones" in the rural Texas towns.It is a put down based upon practical intelligence...Is that rascist?

Roger J. said...

rcocean cuts to the chase--well done.

raf said...

It's time for people to get over this stuff

And that will only happen when the "cultural elite" find themselves being hoist by this particular petard. So ridicule on, until the libs start explaining why this kind of pejorative is mistaken, like Ann sorta did, just now.

Video said...

The notion of Obama selling watermelons is preposterous. He has never done a day's work in his life, nor has he ever gotten his hands dirty. Further, he would be incapable of determining what price to charge or what the difference was between the gross and the net. Dan Rather gets a pass because he is mentally ill. It's long past time he was institutionalized.

junyo said...

Whether Dan Rather's statement was racist is a question of what's in Dan Rather's head, which we're only privy to by virtue of his words and actions. The big question is why should/shouldn't he (or any particular person) get/be denied the benefit of the doubt? PC would argue that no one should and conservatives (rightly) hammer progressives on this point. Common sense dictates that context matters, and conservatives are (wrongly) pretty much tone deaf on this point. In this case rather deserves a knock on the head, not because the statement is inherently racist (my personal WAG is that 99.95% of the people in the South, regardless of race, love watermelon, fried chicken, and boiled peanuts), but because it can so easily be perceived as racist. As a person who communicates for a living, and being from the South, he should've been aware of the possible connotations and avoided them so that they didn't obscure his point. Not necessarily racist, but most definitely stupid.

garage mahal said...

Rusty said he'd leave the country if health care reform passed. Here's hoping!

Blue@9 said...

Heh, growing up Korean in Colorado, I thought fried chicken and watermelons were a Korean thing. Ever seen a gathering of Koreans at a summer picnic? Fried chicken (with a side of kimchee) and watermelon, baby.

Pogo said...

Rather is racist until he is cleansed by the ritual admission of his sins and pleas for forgiveness.

Pogo said...

he'll still be racist, of course, but the Diversity god will take pity on him.

former law student said...

1-Rather isn't a Southerner - he grew up in Texas.

Huh?

Texas was one of the original seven secession states. Texas, which needed slaves to work its cotton plantations, was admitted as s slave state a dozen years previously. Three-quarters of the ante-bellum population of Rather's native Wharton County were slaves, working cotton as well as sugar plantations. The Houston area had tens of thousands of slaves before the Civil War.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: What's your name, scumbag?

Private Snowball: Sir, Private Brown, sir!

Gunnery Sergeant Hartman:

Bullshit! From now on you're Private Snowball. Do you like that name?

Private Snowball: Sir, yes, sir!

Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: Well there's one thing that you won't like, Private Snowball: they don't serve fried chicken and watermelon on a daily basis in my mess hall.

Private Snowball: Sir, yes, sir!

Full Metal Jacket 1987

A.W. said...

I don't know. there are alot of metaphors Dan Rather could have gone to, that would made alot more sense.

Like, "he couldn't sell furnaces to Eskimos."

Or, "he couldn't sell Ice Cream in the Sarah."

Instead he pictured the president selling watermellons. I don't think that was a conscious connection, but its curious.

I would say it is strike one. The fact is that Dan Rather might have not been thinking about Obama's race at all--not even enough to avoid the unfortunate reference. I find that dubious as a defense, but i can give him a mulligan for it.

The fact is that some of us really, really, don't care about race. We only notice race to the extent that it is necessary to address racism. People like that will make mistakes like Rather's all the time, because they simply don't care enough about race to know not to do it, or to remember that this is a racially-based rule at the relevant times.

is that why Rather made that mistake? i doubt it, but he still gets the benefit of that doubt.

Shanna said...

Honestly, I've never understood the whole watermelon and fried chicken thing as a racial slur. I am a native Southerner and have come to understand that these things are considered racial. But really, watermelon and fried chicken is what we all eat around here.

I think that it has something to do with black people who lived in the south leaving and going up north and bringing southern stuff with them. And then people in the north were like “all black people eat chicken, all black people eat watermelon”. I’m not sure if that’s true or not, but that’s kind of how it looks to me.

If you're from the South, you'll recognize this picture of a man selling watermelons out of the back of a beater pickup truck by the side of the road.

Dude, if it were summer I could take about 5 different pictures of people selling stuff out of backs of trucks and they would be a variety of races. It is not a quintessential southernism! I am so irritated at these jerks who go around trying to paint southerners as racists because we, I don’t know, buy fruit off of trucks? Gah.

I will say the best watermelons at the farmers market come from a family that happens to be black, but they sell them at all the stand, except the asian one, actually. They only sell lettuce and bok choy.

It's a horribly racist thing to say.

It’s mostly a stupid thing to say. Nobody says that, let me repeat. It is not an expression.

NewHam said...

"... will anyone who isn't liberal be given a pass? I know they won't. That's the way it is."

Why do you want anyone to get a pass, Ann? Is this revealing a latent racism on your part?

Why are you in such a hurry to give free passes when racism rears its ugly head? Why should anyone get one? And who appointed you to hand them out?

Robert Byrd's Free Racism Pass: <em>"There are white n*ggers. I've seen a lot of white n*ggers in my time."</em>

Joe Biden's Free Racism Pass: "I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American [in Barack Obama] who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a storybook, man."

Bill Clinton's Free Racism Pass: “A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee.”

Rod Blagoyevich's Free Racism Pass: "I'm blacker than Barack Obama."

Geraldine Ferraro's Free Racism Pass: "If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position."

Joe Biden's Free Racism Pass: "You cannot go to a 7-11 or Dunkin Donuts unless you have a slight Indian Accent."

Harry Reid's Free Racism Pass: "He was wowed by Obama's oratorical gifts and believed that the country was ready to embrace a black presidential candidate, especially one such as Obama -- a 'light-skinned' African American 'with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one,' as he said privately."

Of course, these racisms are always said privately because if they slip out in public then people will know the real man under the sheet.

Robert Byrd's Free Racism Pass: "I shall never fight in the armed forces with a Negro by my side... Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds."

Dan Rather's Free Racism Pass: "Obama couldn't sell watermelons."

I could go on, and on and on, providing video link after video link after video link of prominent Democrats making blatantly racist comments. Of course, every time the mask slips an apology is forthcoming and the Democrat free passes are handed out by folks like Ann Althouse to excuse Democrat racism.

Lots of free racism passes being handed out by the elite Progressives to the elite Progressives is what I see. Hey, I have an idea: Since racism is so abhorrent, how about nobody gets a free pass?

Stop enabling racism, Ann, by giving out free passes to these horrible people.

A.W. said...

FLS

> [quoting someone else] 1-Rather isn't a Southerner - he grew up in Texas.

> [fls] Huh?

> [fls] Texas was one of the original seven secession states. Texas, which needed slaves to work its cotton plantations, was admitted as s slave state a dozen years previously. Three-quarters of the ante-bellum population of Rather's native Wharton County were slaves, working cotton as well as sugar plantations. The Houston area had tens of thousands of slaves before the Civil War.

Actually that is pretty valid. I have lived in many states and Texas is only partially southern in self-perception. Like in East Texas, when I took my LSAT, the whole campus had streets named for confederate figures. But on the other hand, in the metroplex, Austin, San Antonio and pretty much everywhere else I went, I immediately noticed something: there was very little in the way of confederate pride. I literally saw more confederate flags in new haven, Connecticut, than in Denton, Texas. My joke is that Texans are so proud of themselves for being Texans, that they have no room in their heart for the Confederacy. And bluntly of all the places in have lived in the former slaveholding states, racial relations were the calmest without any sacrifice of equality.

That being said, Texas was Southern in the sense it did rebel. And more pertinent to the discussion of Rather’s mentality, racism and jim crow was prominent throughout the 20th century. But name any part of the country where that wasn’t the case? there was as much racism in Newark, NJ, as there is in Little Rock, Arkansas, and the neighborhoods were every bit as segregated.

So the modern Texas really has a pretty strong identity of its own and its certainly got southern elements in the culture, but its also correct in many Texans’ minds that they aren’t southern, they’re Texan. And rather than correcting them, I say accept it and consider it a good thing.

We have a similar phenomenon in Virginia, where sure, there are tons of references to confederates, but Virginians are so proud of their ties to the 1776 revolution, that it crowds out a lot of southern pride, though not as acutely as they do in Texas.

AllenS said...

Seriously, who would buy a watermelon from Obama?

former law student said...

NewHam: there's a big difference between acknowledging the existence of racism as an obstacle to be overcome, and uncritically expressing racist attitudes oneself. Perhaps this analogy will make the point: Acknowledging that women face obstacles makes one a feminist, not a sexist.

Joe said...

And sometimes “Maccacca” is just a dumb made up word… …Oh wait, NO those things DON’T get a pass or complained about. So, yeah I guess there IS a double standard, isn’t there?

former law student said...

I found a map of where slavery existed in Texas. It was east, along the gulf and near the Arkansas border. Dan Rather's home county was largely settled by Alabamans.

Apparently slavery never made it as far west as Austin or San Antonio.

http://www.texasslaveryproject.org/maps/hb/

JBlog said...

No, see, once again you guys are missing it.

It's okay to say something racist as long as your not really a racist.

Oh, and it's Bush's fault.

Scott M said...

Acknowledging that women face obstacles makes one a feminist.

Whole-hardheartedly disagree. It makes one able to acknowledge that women face special obstacles and doesn't require one iota of all the of the baggage "feminist" carries.

A counter example, if you will. Men face significant obstacles in family civil law (child support, visitation, etc). Acknowledging that makes you...?
Men face obstacles, increasingly, in college graduation. Acknowledging that makes you a...? Men face severe obstacles in reporting sexual harassment in the work place. Acknowledging that makes you...?

Hoosier Daddy said...

And sometimes “Maccacca” is just a dumb made up word…

Now if Allen would have just told the guy to go back to running his 7-11 nothing would have been said about the incident.

former law student said...

Scott M: acknowledging those male obstacles makes one a Men's Rights Advocate.

Scott M said...

Scott M: acknowledging those male obstacles makes one a Men's Rights Advocate.

No...it doesn't. In order to be an advocate, you have to agree with the problem and set out to solve it. Just acknowledging it means you have accepted that there's something to it. Nothing more. Advocacy requires, well, advocating.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Perhaps this analogy will make the point: Acknowledging that women face obstacles makes one a feminist, not a sexist.

Bad analogy since those quotes above really aren't about describing obstacles.

traditionalguy said...

Harvard's Skip Gates couldn't sell watermelons either. Both Gates and his friend Barak can only sell narratives to eager media customers. The out of practice Dan Rather has mixed his narratives up here.Barak's real problem is that the melons he offering to sell are poison to the US economy like the poison apple sold to Snow White...oops, that sounds rascist too.

Fred4Pres said...

I am starting to think Dan Rather really is mentally handicapped.

I get what he is saying, but it is so damn awkward and bizare that you wonder how he ever got as high as he got (the reasons for his downfall are pretty clear however).

Hoosier Daddy said...

I still have a hard time decided if Popeye's is better than Church's fried chicken.

The Colonel doesn't even hold a candle to them.

Peter V. Bella said...

Why was Dan Rather even interviewed? About anything, let alone politics? He was disgraced and toss overboard. Now he is just another irrelevant figure on the trash heap of history. Or is this a rehabilitation tour?

Rather was always a blithering idiot. I remember reading about his time in Viet Nam as a reporter. He was a walking, talking joke.

Alex said...

sniff*

Poor conservatives!


Yes, poor racist conservatives. Everyone is calling them out on their REAL racist beliefs right garage?

John Stodder said...

Look folks, Dan Rather destroyed his career in an attempt to save the nation from four more years of Bush. He took one for the team, big time. He gets a lifetime pass on racism, homophobia, misogyny and feeding plastic to whales.

rocketeer67 said...

I still have a hard time decided if Popeye's is better than Church's fried chicken.

The Colonel doesn't even hold a candle to them.


Oh, please. It's not even debatable. The order is:

Lee's
Church's
Kentucky Fried Chicken
Popeye's

Although, if you can find one that sells them (they are sadly few and far between) KFC's fried chicken livers beat them all hands down.

A.W. said...

FLS

Talk about missing the point.

Btw, if you wanted to show a map of where all slavery existed, you would have to include just about every state that was a state circa 1860. Certainly all of the thirteen colonies. so the question is not just "did they have slavery or not?"

For a former student, you don't seem to have alot of real world experience. Go down to the real south, places like georgia. live there a few years. then go to texas. if you don't see a significant deemphasis of the confederacy, you are blind.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Just to add to the chorus:

I live in Tennessee. Lots of people, of lots of races, sell lots of kinds of fruit on the side of the road. It's usually really good.

"So and so can't sell watermelon on the side of the road" is NOT an expression. I've never heard it in my life.

That said, I've tried to use a similar expression (X could/couldn't sell Y to Z) several times (in particular about a manager I used to have who was an excellent saleswomen), and never been able to figure out what Y and Z should be, so there's a construction there, but not a common one. (She could sell ice to an eskimo! Damn, now I think of one!)

Fried chicken and watermelon are good foods, enjoyed by lots of people of all races.

Dan Rather was an idiot before this, and remains one today, regardless of your interpretation of this incident.

Shanna said...

Kentucky Fried Chicken
Popeye's


Insanity!

lucid said...

God, do I hate self-righteous, sanctimonious pr*cks like NewHam.

Cosmo said...

Sad thing is, Rather is no Southerner who "was raised that way."

Unless you think "South" Dakota is in "the South."

rocketeer67 said...

BOO to Popeye's chicken!

Their sides will do, though.

garage mahal said...

Church's Chicken. That is all.

mrs whatsit said...

This reminds me of those ubiquitous Tricky Dick posters during the Nixon administration -- as edited by Dan Rather:

"Would you buy a used watermelon from this man?"

holdfast said...

It doesn't matter. Republicans have not said it. Dan Rather did.

I hate to say it, but Chrissy nailed in with that line. Even he won't push this off onto Repubs for something that liberals think that might do sometime in the future. It doesn't hurt that Rather has made himself into such a buffoon that even libs cannot help themselves.

Beldar said...

I'm headed to lunch at my favorite southwest Houston Chinese buffet, the New Yank Sing on Hilcroft just north of the Southwest Freeway. One of the reasons I like it is that it always has sliced bananas, cantaloupe, honeydew, and -- yes -- watermelon. They manage to find seedless watermelons (which actually means they only have the little soft white seeds, instead of the big black hard seeds) pretty much year-round.

It's a very ethnically mixed and working class neighborhood, and the New Yank Sing attracts roughly equal proportions of Anglos, Hispanics, Asians, and African-Americans (a/k/a whites, browns, yellows, and blacks).

Just about everyone eats the watermelon. Just about everyone eats the soft-serve vanilla ice cream, too.

Although I grew up in the South as official segregation was ending, the only people I've ever heard making jokes, or references of any sort, to black people eating watermelons have been Yankees.

If Dan Rather didn't eat watermelon while he was growing up in Texas, that might explain a lot. (Like, maybe, that he was actually whelped from a vat and raised under sterile conditions as part of a government experiment gone horribly wrong.)

JackOfClubs said...

"I'm sure this one was just a way of expressing the notion of incompetence — quite apart from race."
No one thinks about watermelons in the winter. He was trying to conjure an image of racist Republicans and it backfired. I would normally be inclined to give this sort of comment a pass but not while he is in the midst of slandering me. "The mercy that was quick in us but late,
By [his] own counsel is suppress'd and kill'd."

Montagne Montaigne said...

How are conservatives "not given a pass" for racism, and liberals are? Rush Limbaugh still has a freakin' job, doesn't he?

VICTIMIZATION COMPLEX MUCH?

Scott M said...

MM - you're being selective to the point of propaganda. Imus lost his, Bennett almost lost his, and Rush was prevented from buying into an NFL franchise because of it.

Bad example.

Joe said...

Monty declaims:
How are conservatives "not given a pass" for racism, and liberals are? Rush Limbaugh still has a freakin' job, doesn't he?


Please go ahead and bring out those racist "quotes" from Limbaugh that "Ought" to have gotten him fired...

But you can't use the ones that kept him from NFL ownership, because they turned out to be untrue.

And of course, "The Magic Negro" was a HOLLYWOOD term, used by a BLACK LA Times columnist to attack Obama, so that can't really be used either can it?

But I'll wait whilst you dredge up those racist Limbaugh quotes....

RR Ryan said...

This is one of those things that makes me even crazier than I already am. Yes, in the south we all eat fried chicken and watermelon. And boiled peanuts. But we had the good sense to know how our friends felt about such references. It's not being PC, it's being polite. The reason references such as Rather's annoy me isn't so much that he said it; it's that the other ten people in the room were afraid to tell him that it was tasteless. I live in West Hollywood, and as a gay Republican you wouldn't(or maybe you would) believe the nonsensical assumptions my boyfriend and I have chosen to politely endure for the last twenty years.

NewHam said...

"Church's Chicken. That is all."

I knew there would be some common ground between myself and Garage Mahal at some point. This is it.

Church's Chicken is all you ever need to know (fast food-wise).

If you want real Southern fried chicken outside of Shreveport, Louisiana, however, there is only one place in the world that you can get it and that is in Kansas City, Missouri at a restaurant called Strouds.

It is fittingly pan-fried by fat black women wearing dirty aprons and big smiles. They make absolutely the best chicken gravy that you will ever clog your arteries with. You will die a happy, well-fed person.

If you go to Strouds, do not order anything else on the menu, because everything else is just food. The fried chicken is Heaven itself.

For desert, I highly recommend the watermelon pie delivered to your table by Dan Rather himself.

NewHam said...

Lucid wrote: "God, do I hate self-righteous, sanctimonious pr*cks like NewHam."

Lots of skinheads hate me.

I take note that your name Lucid and Lucifer's name start with the same letters. Kindred spirits?

Hate is an evil emotion produced by the devil. Why are you such a hater?

Cedarford said...

In the Hollywood-adored "Precious", the Oscar-winning black screenwriter faithfully following the black, Oprah-endorsed writer of the book - has his very obese black female protagonist (played by the hugely popular Gabby) steal a HUGE BUCKET OF FRIED CHICKEN and go on a hysterically funny "getaway run". (to help please her petty, bossy black Monster-Mother - played by Oscar-winner Mo'Nique)

Who made things like watermelons and fried chicken racist?

Why aren't depictions of Chinese chowing down on dim sum or a non-Chinese mentioning god-knows-what mystery meat in such Chinese fare branded racist???

And yes, we all know that if John Yoo had said "Obama couldn't sell watermelons on a hot sunny day in Texas if a state trooper forced cars to stop at his stand" - Hollywood would want his head. If Korean-ethnicity Yoo dissed the Chinese with a dim sum joke, Hollywood and progressive Jews in the media would go all Alinskyite on his ass, moaning about victimized Chinese that need sensitive liberal white champions to stand up for them.

And if Yoo had told a legal case to Berkeley students involving the law and a fat black girl being chased after stealing a massive bucket of fried chicken.....well...his law school offices in Berkeley would be burning, Al Sharpton and Jesse would be jetting in demanding a lynching after an apology...and Hollywood would be - just aghast!!

We all know how the game is played.....

Blacks I know love watermelon. Almost as much as me. They like BBQ, too. Almost as much as me. Or the Vietnamese down the road, who do an amazing Asian-style country rib recipe.

$9,000,000,000 Write Off said...

So I'll give Dan Rather a pass. But if we give Dan Rather a pass

Whoa, how'd we get from person singular to first person plural? Or is that the royal plural?

NewHam said...

"Who made things like watermelons and fried chicken racist?"

Democrats did, that's who.

It was Robert Byrd who coined the phrase "white n*igger" on national television. He's the scion of the United States Senate today. He is lauded by the Democrat Party as the quintissential Democrat.

Only Democrats even see things in terms of color.

It was Chris Matthews who said of Barack Obama: <i>"You know, I forgot he was black tonight for an hour."</i> It is only liberal Democrats who see Barack Obama as a black man first and President second.

Notably, when Dan Rather said that Barack Obama was too incompetent to even sell roadside watermelons ... he said it on Chris Matthews' show.

They're a den of closeted racists and every once in a while, the sheet slips and we see underneath their hoods.

Nobody even called Dan Rather on the carpet for his racist comment. Certainly not Matthews. Andrea Mitchell was sitting right next to Dan Rather as he spewed forth his racism and she said not one word in protest. And still hasn't, even today, condemned Dan Rather's remarks.

A den of racists.

former law student said...

Talk about missing the point.

The point was that the octogenarian Rather grew up in the South.

Penny said...

"Sometimes a watermelon is just a watermelon."

YES! Now can we talk about how Dan Rather seems to agree with the vast majority commenting here?

To date, Obama has been an ineffective President.

Cripes, most of you are still arguing with the "opposition" when they agree with you!

Scott M said...

The point was that the octogenarian Rather grew up in the South.

I believe the point was that people in Texas don't think of themselves as Southerners, but rather (no pun intended) as Texans. I did radio for two years in Georgia and was stationed in the panhandle of Florida (otherwise known as southern Alabama). My brother was stationed at the same time at Ft Hood Texas. Over the years we traveled all over both regions and I can tell you there are worlds of difference between "The South" and Texas.

If you acknowledge that there are obstacles to Arkansas citizens reading better, does that make you a feminist?

Penny said...

Sorry, that looked like I was yelling at everyone. I wasn't. It was me being incredulous.

lucid said...

@NewHam

Yes, Lucifer is a kind of hero. He refused to bow down to sanctimony and power. Perhaps I should call myself Lucidifer.

NewHam said...

I can tell you there are worlds of difference between "The South" and Texas.

James Byrd was drug to his death in Jasper, Texas.

Racism doesn't care about state lines or cultural ones.

Plenty of racists in New York. 30 Rock is thick with 'em.

A.W. said...

fls

and my point based on, you know, experience, is that by most tests, most of Texas is not considered a southern state.

i mean you wouldn't call arizona a southern state, right? so what is the criteria? a certain accent? Texan is more western than southern in that category. A certain number of confederate flag bumper stickers? Texas has less of them than Connecticut. Secession? Well, what about West Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky? Does West Virginia count given that it was part of virginia when it seceded, but then it seceded from secession? And does the secession have to be voluntary? Because there was some question of that in a few states.

But in the end it is about how they see themselves. Most texans see themselves as western, not southern, and above even that, Texan. I can't tell you how often I would get mocked for pronouncing voir dire correctly "like an easterner" when living there.

NewHam said...

"... most of Texas is not considered a southern state."

Texas isn't even a U.S. state.

It's a Mexican state.

Just ask La Raza.

Scott M said...

@Lucid

Yes, Lucifer is a kind of hero. He refused to bow down to sanctimony and power.

I assume that you're referring to the whole "cast out of heaven" thing. Well, if you accept that it happened, even rhetorically, you accept that he mounted a rebellion against God. In that case, there was nothing sanctimonious about it. It was God. How is that false piety or hypocritical devoutness?

Bad example.

former law student said...

Secession? Well, what about West Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky?

Houston alone has seven chapters of the United Daughters of the Confederacy -- the entire state of Maryland only has eight.

The part of Texas that Rather grew up in was very much Southern even if the past decades of Yankee invasion have left their own mark. h.

If A.W. had been a boy in Wharton County back in the thirties his assertions would carry more weight.

NewHam said...

"... if you think those vile men who murdered byrd are at all representative of the state... sigh."

Those vile men are representative of the fact that racism is not a "Southern" quality.

Racism occurs everywhere and to suggest, in a discussion of racism, that Texas is somehow different/better/above "the South" is to ignore the plain fact that horrible racism exists in Texas

Just as it exists at 30 Rockefeller Center in New York City and on the set of Chris Matthews' show with silent guest Andrea Mitchell.

A.W. said...

> Just ask La Raza.

lol

Or the Republic of Texas militia. I don't know if they are still around, but we had a good laugh on those idiots. Basically they claim that Texas never properly joined the union, so that texas was legally its own country.

I remember when their "ambassador" got into trouble. we were making fun in class, going, "yeah, why don't he just call himself the queen of texas while he was at it."

Joe said...

No Scott M. Lucifer "Spoke Truth To Power" man...he's teh kewl for that.

Cedarford said...

Joke told by a black co-worker at a party at his house about his & his wifes BBQ ribs, that were getting rave reviews.

"They're good, glad you like them, but they are not truly authentic black ribs."

A fish at the gathering rising to the bait:

"Why not, James?"

"They weren't bought with food stamps".

Scott M said...

No Scott M. Lucifer "Spoke Truth To Power" man...he's teh kewl for that.

Doesn't matter. It's entirely impossible for a deity to be sanctimonious. By definition.

A.W. said...

new ham,

well, the clarity is appreciated. i think i misunderstood you, then.

former

Have you ever even set foot in texas?

And if so, have you ever stayed at least 6 months in texas in one stretch?

Your view of Texas is about as accurate as the movie Crockadile Dundee is about the lives and culture of Australia (hint: not very). You are probably one of those typical outsiders who thinks all of Texas is desert, that everyone goes around in cowboy hats and boots all the time, driving convertable with longhorns as a hood ornament. Here's a hint. Life in Dallas has never been like the show Dallas. But in its exaggerated way, i would say it was very similar to King of the Hill (i say it is to Texas what Sienfeld is to New York city). You need to seriously let go of your regional stereotypes and see what is actually there. You are so steeped in your bigotry that they have become "invisible" to you, in the Ellisonian sense. Which is what is sticking to my craw here.

You know what is more relevant than the fact that rather was in texas? the fact he is old. his attitudes have alot more to do with his age, than his region. there is typically more difference between 60 year old man and a 30 year old man on topics of race, than two 30 year old men from different parts of the country. Not to generalize too much about the elderly, but still... If you saw the world as it actually is, rather than by your expectations, you would understand that.

But who am i talking to? this is the same guy who showed bigotry toward disabled people.

Scott M said...

If you acknowledge that there are obstacles between a 60 year old and 30 year old seeing eye to eye on race, you're a feminist.

NewHam said...

By the way, I forgot to ask:

How do you guys like my blog?

Sheesh, I write more here than Althouse does.

From Inwood said...

C4 commenting on racial slurs.

Oy veh!

English words & analogies fail.

From Inwood said...

J of C

The mercy that was quick in us but late,
By [his] own counsel is suppress'd and kill'd."


That will be in my next answer to those who say to me about these things

It's time for people to get over this stuff & stop paying attention to it. This is just insignificant crap. Fuhgedaboudit!

former law student said...

Oh "A.W." is aaron.

Now I understand.

A.W. said...

now you understand?

i only told you like 20 threads ago. Sheesh. yer slow.

Shanna said...

No one thinks about watermelons in the winter.

In the south, it is no longer winter, btw. 70 degree yesterday! Gorgeous.

Church's Chicken is all you ever need to know (fast food-wise).

I like Church’s, but I don’t like where you have to drive to get it. (they closed the one close to work). Popeye’s is pretty good, though.

If you acknowledge that there are obstacles to Arkansas citizens reading better, does that make you a feminist?

Why’d you have to drag Arkansas into it : )

rocketeer67 said...

Secession? Well, what about West Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky?

Kentucky is the southernmost northern state. Or the northernmost southern state. Or in the midwest.

It depends on our mood.

Big Mike said...

Sheesh, I write more here than Althouse does.

I'm trying to resist. I'm trying...

Must. Resist.

Must!

Oh, heck.

There's an easy way to fix that!

Dang, my sense of humor is going to get me killed someday.

lucid said...

@Scott M

RE: your asserting that the term "sanctimony" can't apply to a deity--don't you find the God of Geneisis a bit holier than thou? Or the God of Job to be a bit hypocritical?


wv: liones--our hostess's nickname.

Scott M said...

We're not talking about Zeus or Odin, here, or any of the other pantheons of gods with human foibles. In the Christian understanding of capital-G God, how can he be "holier than thou" or hypocritical when He's everything, everywhere, omnipotent, omniscient, alpha and omega, etc? Within this pantheon, to which you referenced your namesake, God is perfect and holy.

Cedarford said...

From Inwood said...
C4 commenting on racial slurs.

Oy veh!

English words & analogies fail.
*************
The days of Jews as masters of the media pretending they have the moral authority as "Greatest Victims, ever" to define what is or is not a slur by other groups - is over.

Don't you have some Palestinian land you covet??? Work on that, vs. butting in and sticking your nose into goy or black or Asian business.

NewHam said...

"There's an easy way to fix that!"

Yes, there is. Althouse could give up Bloggingheads.

Nobody watches that crap anyway.

Then, she'd have more time to write.

traditionalguy said...

NewHam...If you permit other opinions on your blog, let me point out that the Texans' attitude toward descendants of former slaves from Houston up to Longview is very racist. West of the line half way to Dallas from piney woods Texas' border with Louisiana, that same racism needs no black citizens to victimise since they have a great Mexican-American population to play the role for them. I agree with you that Rather has never lost his vision of poor blacks as useless from his childhood.

From Inwood said...

C4 asks:

Don't [I] have some Palestinian land [I] covet???

Ah, the best defense is a strong offensive says the offensive C4. Playing the super-smart analyst that causes so many to overlook his obvious anti-Semitism, he covets a biblical word. Lipstick on a pig, dept. Still a bigot.

“Covet” indeed. This irredentism is confusing. As someone has noted here, La Raza thinks Texas through California is Northern Mexico.

Jake Javits was our Congressman in Inwood when I was a child & he would, each session of Congress, introduce HR 1 "promising" Jerusalem to Israel, the separated Six Counties of Ulster to Ireland, & Trieste to Italy (referred to by Inwood wiseguys as the three “I” legislation, after a then, minor-league, baseball league).

Anyway it was bon jour Trieste Zone B, the Six Counties are still not united to Ireland, but Israel has Jerusalem.

My folks wanted (they felt that this was not coveting since it was originally part of the Ould Sod), unification with the six Counties, in what Pete Hamill mocks as their “shamrocks & shillelaghs" outlook.

But, as American, rather than pure Irish, they fought on the side of Britain in WWs I & II. I was on the same side in the Cold War. In any event, next week, I shall celebrate St Paddy’s Day in some shebeen & raise a glass to dear old Ireland & for irredentism. I don’t think I’ll use that word, tho, lest someone think I’m trying, like you, to be the smartest guy in the place.

And, I don't think that Obama should aggravate Britain for the sake of what he sees as a bid to make the rest of the world love us. Unless he gets it to give up the Six Counties, that is ☺

As for Israel, they don’t seem to covet any part of Palestine. Nor, in reality, FYI, do any of the rest of Palestine’s neighbors.

From Inwood said...

C4

Re "coveting", Palestine: there's no there there.

Re your analytical process....

From Inwood said...

Shanna

70 degrees yesterday!

I blame AGW, OOPS, Climate Change.

And I blame Bush, Cheney, & Rove.

And the JOOS.

lucid said...

Scott M wrote:

"God is perfect and holy."

Yes, so he says. Hard to tell that from his creatures' lives.

bagoh20 said...

Of all the examples of racism quoted in this thread by various speakers, the only two that I find racist are:

1) Byrd's disgusting one about not serving next to a black in the service. It's obviously purely hateful and irrational about a person's race making them an unworthy person.

2) Mathew's one about forgetting Obama was black. Implying that a black man could not perform that well, and is therefore surprised by it. That might have been a reasonable impression 150 years ago, maybe. Was that really the first black man he ever saw equal to a white in speaking ability. Very offensive.

The rest of the quotes, to me, are either factual or reasonable assumptions or insights. We just assume talk about race to be racist, no matter what it is, or how true it is. That's anti-intellectual and lazy group think by our whole culture.

We need to grow up and talk to each other like equals. If I have to be more careful about telling one person the truth than another because of their race, then the one I being careful with is being treated like a child. That is real racism.

Blacks should be pissed about political correctness - it's racism that implies that they are incapable of hearing certain words or ideas. I would never accept that.

Mick said...

Well, he could've said that Obama couldn't sell blowjobs in prison.

Scott M said...

Yes, so he says. Hard to tell that from his creatures' lives.

You're missing the point and trying to change the subject. Have fun.