I’m not sure what’s more exhausting: The invocation of primates when discussing Black people, much less the first Black man to be elected president of the United States, or the people who pretend not to know the racist implications behind the comparison.
RELATED: Belgium Newspaper Apologizes For Depicting POTUS, First Lady As Apes
It’s a new week, and thus, yet another installment of “Say Something Stupid and Then Backpedal.” As NewsOne reported, Belgian newspaper De Morgen has already issued a public apology for depicting President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama as apes on the publication’s cover.
Yes, the paper professes to “plead guilty for bad taste” and goes on to note that “wrongly assumed racism is no longer accepted.” Any assumption like that suggests that one doesn’t directly interact with many people of color to begin with, but hey, it was a detailed apology all the same.
Now begs the question whether former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld will follow suit.
In an interview with FOX News’ Greta Van Susteren on Monday, Rumsfeld offered a harsh critique of President Obama’s diplomatic dealings with Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Rumsfeld went as far as to say he doesn’t fault the Afghans for supporting Vladimir Putin.
By golly they have trashed Karzai publicly over and over and over. I really think it’s understandable given the terrible, terrible diplomacy that the United States has conducted with Afghanistan over the past several years.”
Then came the unfortunate inclusion of ape talk:
A trained ape could get a status of forces agreement. It doesn’t take a genius.
Rumsfeld is referring to the extension of a 2003 agreement that recognizes the American military presence.
As of now, Donald Rumsfeld has yet to apologize to President Obama for comparing him to an ape. I’m not sure that walking, blabbering example of curmudgeonliness will say he’s sorry, though he certainly should.
Afterward, then he can apologize for a few other things: How about having the nerve to criticize anyone’s handling of foreign affairs given he played a pivotal role in one of the worst American foreign policy blunders in the Iraqi invasion.
When asked about the chaos that followed the invasion, Rumsfeld said, “Stuff happens.”
Fitting how that oversimplified response is excuse enough to defend the Bush administration’s failures, but President Obama is dumber than an ape because he can’t get a man long known for corruption to cooperate.
Mind you, Karzai is expected to “cooperate” at a time when many suspect he’s blatantly trying to place distance between himself and the United States in order to strengthen regional ties as western interest – including money – is fading.
Whatever the case, while De Morgen can feign ignorance about historically racist comparisons between Blacks and primates, Rumsfeld cannot.
More, as a person who has served in an administration, Rumsfeld of all people ought to know how far criticism of a commander-in-chief should go. President Obama is nobody’s ape, and for the billionth time, if Republicans don’t want to be branded as the party of the white hood and their white collar friends with shared values, then they need to stop behaving like it.
And if Donald Rumsfeld wants to continue serving his nation, he can either a) stop talking about foreign policy forever unless it begins and ends with “we f**ked up!”), or b), go over to Iraq and help with the clean-up and see how good that “stuff happens” excuse works with the folks over there.
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Michael Arceneaux blogs at thecynicalones.com, tweets at @youngsinick, and praises Beyoncé’s name everywhere he goes.
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