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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

McCain Calls Obama "That One"




For those who watched the second Presidential Debate, did you catch the part where McCain referred to Obama not as the senator but as “that one”?

The reason I ask is that there has been a lot of talk lately on blogs, news, talk radio about McCain not showing respect to Obama in the debates and in a sense using some racial undertones in his actions towards Obama. If you don’t know, in early 2000 McCain referred to Vietnamese as gooks, a racial term when he was referring to his prison guards (http://minnesota.publicradio.org/collections/special/columns/news_cut/archive/difficult_issues_to_talk_about/)

Even though he eventually apologized for it, (it still doesn’t make it ok!) it lead to many responses from the Vietnamese and the APA (Asian Pacific-Americans) communities in the United States (read a great reaction piece by Michelle Myers feat. poetry by Bao Phi http://www.yellowrage.com/blog/2008/09/revisiting-dear-senator-mccain.html)

But yesterday, the republican presidential nominee stated ‘Discussing a 2005 Senate vote, McCain said, "There was an energy bill on the floor of the Senate loaded down with goodies, billions for the oil companies, and it was sponsored by Bush and Cheney. You know who voted for it? You might never know. That one," he said, motioning toward Obama. "You know who voted against it? Me."’ (http://news.yahoo.com/s/thenation/20081008/cm_thenation/45369738)

That one? Are you for real? THAT ONE? There wasn’t any other term you could have used? At least I can say that was a poor choice of words, because in my social life and cultural experience the phrase “that one” has never been used in a friendly context or environment. In fact, it has mostly leaded to heated arguments and in some cases fights. Because its history is filled with discrimination and racial connotations, because the person who’s always said that phrase has been in power or trying to exert power over someone and when I heard that coming out of McCain’s mouth a “ that motherf***er!” came out of mine, now am I over reacting or am I on to something?

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