With all that’s been happening in Ferguson, Missouri these last few weeks, you wonder what people are thinking about, in terms of race, and police authority and politics.
Will people learn from this … grow from this … move on from this?
Hard to say if they are anything like Poplar Bluff, Missouri Councilman Peter Tinsley who was called out during a city council meeting earlier this week for the racist photos of President Obama he posted on his Facebook page.
One was a photoshopped image of Obama on an Obamacare poster dressed as an African witch doctor; oh, the hilarity of it all! Another picture that Tinsley posted was of a car with a message in the back window:
The L.A. Zoo has an African lion and the White House has a Lyin' African.
Oh, it’s too funny, because, you know, racism is fun, as long as it isn’t directed at your own race, right?
Now, these were not recently posted photos — they’d been up for a while — but after the events in Ferguson, many in the community felt that now was the time to speak up about Tinsley’s images and his sentiments.
The Reverend Tommy Robison brought up the subject:
“To come from the city council, a city government official, this is highly unthought of, even in Poplar Bluff Missouri. I'm highly upset over this, along with the residents of our ward."
And, to be fair, Councilman Tinsley immediately apologized for the photos "from the bottom of my heart" and then said this, as if it makes everything all better:
"At one time, I was a very active Republican, very opposed to Obama."
Sweetheart, you can be a Republican and be opposed to Obama and speak out against Obamacare without resorting to racism. Or, didn’t they teach you that in GOP school?
It’s no surprise that Tinsley’s ridiculous apology, and even more ridiculous excuse pissed people off even more. Butler County Republican Chairman, Eddy Justice:
“It even got more intense when he proceeded to blame the Republican Party for him thinking like that. Republicans believe everyone should be judged on their qualifications, on their ability."
So, naturally, after a few days of people telling Councilman Tinsley what an idiot he is, and how stupid it is to blame his racism on his membership in a particular political party, he set about on Apology 2.0:
“I want people to know that I am very remorseful for it. It was inappropriate. I believe I got caught up in an emotional moment of sharing jokes. It seemed funny at the time but today it's very serious and it's not funny at all. Anything that I have said, that I referred to the activity because I was a Republican, that is not true. It's not an excuse."
And some folks accepted this apology because it sounded sincere. And maybe it is, but when are we, the constituents and those who represent us, going to realize that we can disagree with a particular party or particular politicians without resorting to racism?
I mean, until we realize that these jokes are not funny — if they ever were considered funny — how can we ever expect things like what happened in Ferguson to stop?