I am not sure what GOP Congressional Candidate Corey Poitier was thinking with his reference to President Barack Obama as Buckwheat, but I wasn’t happy when I heard it. At the same time, Poitier’s comment made me think about race in America, and the efforts of some African Americans to tap dance their way into political office.
Poitier’s remarks were off-script in a speech he was giving to earn added respect from his fellow Republicans. He was joining the chorus of tea baggers and racists who have continuously worked to undermine the president, making Barack Obama public enemy number one for passing health care reform. Not since the OJ Simpson trial have Americans been so angry at a black public figure, and Obama would be hated less for having been involved in dog fighting. Brother Poitier, by making his comments about Obama, has not only proven that he’s an especially opportunistic black Republican, but an unintelligent one as well. He would surely fit right in with Sarah Palin. Even Juan Williams would not compare Obama to Buckwheat, and he’s as ridiculous as they come.
GALLERY: President Obama
Corey Poitier’s comment reminds us of one important fact that we sometimes forget in our “post-racial” world: Black people can be incredibly racist too, sometimes more so than whites. The kind of self-hatred that Poitier displays with his comments would never be replicated by someone like Colin Powell, who is also a Republican. The idea that Poitier is an especially unskilled politician is further represented by the fact that he has raised an earth-shattering $1,500 dollars in campaign contributions, barely enough money to buy a used moped to ride himself to Washington. I am sure that his willingness to further fuel the racial hatred being thrust onto the president will cause his donations to skyrocket.
Poitier, being the opportunist that many politicians can be, found that comparing Obama to Buckwheat would be both comical and degrading enough to thoroughly remind his white supporters that he has no commitment whatsoever to respecting African American men. In his remarks to CNN, the politician even went out of his way to state that he meant no disrespect to Obama by comparing him to Buckwheat and that everyone loves the Little Rascals’ most famous black character. Oh, so I guess a black Republican giving a speech about the flaws of Obama’s health care plan really meant to compliment the president by comparing him to Buckwheat. That makes sense (o-tay!).
The Republicans never cease to amaze me, but then again, the Democrats aren’t angels either. But one good thing about the actions and remarks of the Republican party is that they are reminding us every single day that America is certainly not post-racial. Even Buckwheat could figure that out.
Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition and the author of the book, “Black American Money.” To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.