Earlier this week, one of the mayor’s in Orange County was busted for sending this photo to a list of people in his email contacts, with the following caption:
Since Mr. Grose appears to be in need of some guidance on how to conduct himself, I offer my handy list of tips for what to do when you get caught sending a racially insensitive email:
1. Stop sending racially offensive emails. No matter how funny they are, the little chuckle you get at the cost of denegrating another race is not worth it.
2. Don’t defend yourself by saying how many black friends you have, and that you all joke around all the time.
3. Don’t point out that if a black person sent this, no one would mind. First of all, yes, people would still mind. Second of all, in the words of my mother, “two wrongs don’t make a right”.
And most importantly:
4. Don’t pretend like you had no idea that the photo had racial overtones, and that you had never heard of the watermelon stereotype. It makes you sound like a moron who has been living under a rock. Or a liar. Everyone has made some racially-insensitive mistakes. It doesn’t make you a cross-burning racist to own that, and to set an example of someone willing to admit their own racial bias. The only thing worse than being a jackass is not taking responsibility for being a jackass. In the words of Avenue Q: everyone’s a little bit racist. You can’t change it until you acknowledge it. And Mayor Grose, clearly it’s time for you to change.
Oh, and Mr. Grose, remind me to send you this joke I heard about a Mexican and a Jew who walk into a bar. It’s HILARIOUS! Not that I understand the racist overtones or anything . . . and neither will you. If it offends someone, we are completely innocent of any wrongdoing. But you can forward it to all your friends!!!