Thursday, April 30, 2009

Bill Cunningham, Vomit Inducing Racist

"Sean, what we have here is this little boy who grew up in Jakarta, Indonesia, at the age of 6 to 10, rejected by his own father, rejected by his own mother, rejected by his stepfather, raised by his grandparents, bowing before the King of Saudi Arabia, kissing the behind of every European socialist, saying okay to people like Ahmenijad -- we have the most dishonest, the most disreputable 100 days in American history, and this guy actually believes it's good!" - Bill Cunningham

I have worked at various luxury retailers as a manager and as a salesman. While I encountered many different lovely and engaging people throughout my career, there were those who occasionally would remind of my "place" in America. So, when Barack Obama was elected President I felt compelled to share specific stories and experiences that refuted the claim his win "evened the playing field." Here is one of them.

In the summer of 2005 I was working on the sales floor of an established retailer in the men’s tailored clothing department. Those who shopped in the area were particularly Capital Hill types; however we did get the lawyers and successful businessmen (we did get the occasional visit from the former Vice President). Needless to say those who seriously bought from our department were rather respectable and honorable gentlemen.

It was midday when I approached a taller gentleman who was eyeing a seersucker sport coat. I had noticed that we did not carry his size off the rack, but inquired about his interest in the sport coat. He replied in a thick southern accent that he liked the sport coat and that he wanted to try it on in a 50 XL. I knew the likelihood of the sport coat being made in 50 XL was slim to none, but I did look up the sport coat in the system to verify my assumption. I offered to show him other items that we had in his size off the rack. He wanted nothing of it. “Is there anyway I can get that sport coat in my size?” he asked.

I suggested perhaps contacting the buyers who I knew and see if the fabric was available or if possible a similar fabric to be done made to measure. “I don’t want made to measure,” was his reply. I kindly said to him that I would look into it and then he stated the following.

“Well, how bout you do look into that for me, Boy.”

The man then gave me his card and flipped me a quarter.

I write this and still am shaken by the audacity of his statement and actions. When I saw this video it invoked the same emotion I had at that very moment. The reference to any person of any background as a “boy” let alone a person of color is racist. It is purposely degrading to the other person in an attempt to make them feel less than a man in their self-aggrandized society. The term was used commonly in breaths with the “n word" for hundreds of years, suffice to say, there is an unbridled disdain in this type of rhetoric. It is hate speech and nothing less and perhaps speaks much more about white male "conservatives" and their racial superiority complex.

The idea that Fox News would not repudiate such a remark immediately is telling of where they truly stand. It’s irresponsible to play it off as simply a view of the opposition. You could perhaps chalk it up to being a good ole boy, a slip of the tongue or a racist bigot pissed off that a black man is more eloquent, respected and intelligent than he. It is sad that Cunningham has an audience. Sad that this is considered commentary. And sad a man can flip you a quarter, call you “boy” and expect you not to put your gum in his card, fold it up and throw it away in the trash.

"He is very divisive! For normal Americans, he's very divisive! I'm a normal American! He's normal! [points to Hannity] I'm not so sure you guys are normal,
" Cunningham.

I guess I am not normal.

I am Frank Chow and I approved this message.


Anonymous said...

That is absolutely disgusting, and I'm sorry it happened to you. That's all I can think to say right now.

Paddy K said...

This is your best Frank Chow post ever. While I know this is a comedy blog, more of this type of thing would NOT hurt your brand. Good work.