Blogging mostly about mundane stuff like, immigration, Workers' Compensation and other immigrant related activities.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Is it Racist to Market Obama Waffles?

So, these two enterprising business guys and since this post is about race, I'll mention that it's two Caucasian guys from Franklin, Tennessee.  The guys, Mark Whitlock and Bob DeMoss decide to sell boxes of waffle mix which featured caricatures of Obama.  The caricature is reminiscent of stereotypical racist cartoons.  

The men claim that their product was merely intended as political satire and that it should not be viewed as promoting racism in any.  The box also has caricatures of Michele Obama, the Pastor Jeremiah Wright and Senator John Kerry.  

On the back of the box, Obama is depicted in stereotypical Mexican dress, including a sombrero, the box contains a recipe for "Open Border Fiesta Waffles" which can serve "4 or more illegal aliens".

Last weekend they sold their "Obama Waffles" at a booth at the Values Voter Summit in D.C. for $10.00 per box.  They also operate a website to sell their product.   The story on the "Obama Waffles" blew up over the weekend and once again brought the issue of race front and center in these Presidential Elections.  Once again the issue of race keeps rearing it's ugly head.

So, are the "Obama Waffles" racist or are they political satire?  

Let's say they don't rise to the level of racist caricatures and that they are indeed political satire.  Does this type of political satire help or hinder McCain supporters?  The creators of this product are clearly McCain/Palin supporters, so, does a product that injects or stirs up accusations of racism from the opponent or it's supporters something the McCain camp should publicly defend or reject?  

Unfortunately, both sides of the aisle will be busy trading barbs at each other and not much meaningful discourse will result from such an important discussion on race and it's impact on this Presidential Election.  

It's sad realization about how much race will factor into this Presidential Election.  If in 2004 we were divided, essentially split into what pundits deemed a "haves and have-nots" divide.  

The "Obama Waffles" incident is a sad commentary on how much further our nation may be split during this election.  It goes deeper than agreeing on whether or not a caricature of Obama rises to the level of stereotypical characterizations.  We've yet to arrive at a place where we can find common ground on what constitutes or rises to the level of racism and this Presidential Election threatens to deepen that divide rather than close it.  

1 comment:

Adriana said...

I don't get how these guys who created the waffles can go on to mention Emerile's or Paul Newman's products as a comparison when they are making the $ off of this product.

I wouldn't eat these waffles, but then again, I don't eat Taco Bell either. :)