I’ve been deluged with emails from people asking me my thought on a quote from a columnist from the Washington Post
Today’s GOP is not racist, as Harry Belafonte alleged about the tea party, but it is deeply troubled — about the expansion of government, about immigration, about secularism, about the mainstreaming of what used to be the avant-garde. People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children. (Should I mention that Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, used to be a lesbian?) This family represents the cultural changes that have enveloped parts — but not all — of America. To cultural conservatives, this doesn’t look like their country at all.
At first blush, it looks like the writer of this piece, Richard Cohen, is saying that he needs a barf bag every time he sees the DeBlasio family. This is where context matters. He’s not necessarily saying that he’s disgusted, but informs the reader that there will be those in America (in particular, people who identify with the Tea Party) who will be. Let’s face it. Not everyone in America is ready to see powerful white men married to black women and having biracial children. To point this out is not evil. However, the people who are “disgusted” by interracial marriage are indeed on the wrong side of history. These are the same people who opposed slavery, women’s liberation, civil rights for minorities, desegregation in the schools, I could go on and on. Those people still exist, although are increasingly pushed on to the fringes. These people will eventually die off, but thanks to that negro in the Oval Office, they’ll probably have good medical care so they can stick around a bit longer, being a pain in all our asses.
But here’s where the author does go off the rails: he says, “conventional people must repress a gag reflex,” which is where he’s drawing the ire of my colleagues. “Conventional” is often interchanged with “normal,” and Richard Cohen, YOU SUCK for implying that people in interracial marriages aren’t. I’d say we’re PLENTY conventional. My husband wears Jockey underwear, and puts his pants on one leg at a time. I volunteer for the PTA. I’m a room mom. My kids play soccer. My youngest wants to be a fairy when she grows up. We own a home and pay taxes. Neither one of us has tattoos, so what’s so abnormal about us, Mr. Cohen?