“I lost. The nigger won.”
—Soon to be ex-mayor of Midland, Alabama, Patsy Capshaw Skipper, in a Facebook response to a friend who asked about the recent election.
Mayor Skipper was defeated by Jo Ann Bennett Grimsley, former assistant city clerk and an employee of the Dale County government for 27 years. She also happens to be black, which is apparently what Skipper thinks is most important about her.
A few observations:
1. What an idiot! I wonder how long Facebook and Twitter will be around before people learn that you can’t post anything “secretly”?
2. Such a disgusting statement being made by an elected official on a public forum does incalculable harm to societal bonds of trust and race relations. It appears to validate the worst suspicions and fears of African Americans, not just in Midland, not just in Alabama, but everywhere. It also is ammunition for those who derive power and influence from promoting racial discord–Black Lives Matter, race hustlers like Al Sharpton, Democrats.
3. Skipper became mayor when her husband, who was the previous mayor, retired in poor health [Notice of correction: the original post erroneously stated that he had died. My mistake, and I apologize for the error.] and the good, lazy, irresponsible people of Midland decided that simply having the same last name as the previous mayor was qualification enough to run the town. It is just mind-blowing how often this happens, and there is no justification for it. Let’s see: Sonny Bono’s wife Mary, with no relevant experience at all, was elected to replace him in Congress after he died in a skiing accident. Lurleen Wallace took over for her husband George as Governor of Alabama when he couldn’t serve another term [Notice of ANOTHER correction: the original post erroneously stated that Wallace’s shooting prompted Lurleen’s ascension to power. Again, I missed it by careless reading. Thanks and gratitude to the Wallace-literate reader who informed me of the mistake.] had died. My mistake, and I apologize for the error.] . Jean Carnihan took over for her husband as junior U.S. Senator of Missouri after he died.
And then there’s Hillary, of course.
4. What should be done about Skipper, at this point? She is an avowed racist, condemned by her own mouth. Any apology would be a sham, necessarily of the Pazuzu variety, as in “I don’t know why I wrote that; it isn’t who I am.” The town should shun her and shame her, but you know it won’t. It won’t because everyone probably knew she was a racist all along, and there are enough racists among the citizens that her statement on Facebook was neither shocking nor surprising to most of them.
5. The problem is not that she used the word “nigger.” It’s just a word. The problem is what her use of the word in that context signified: contempt and disrespect for a woman based on her race alone.
6. The progressive site Raw Story, reporting on the incident, goes on to note that Skipper’s 2015 Facebook feed included damning praise for God and Republicans:
“She posted various pro-Christian and pro-Republican memes, including an image of the White House that reads “I want a White House that honors God. Share if you agree!” and another with a quote by Republican former Pres. Ronald Reagan that reads, “We are never defeated unless we give up on God. Share if you agree!”
This is relevant, you see, because it is further proof that Republicans and Christians are racists.
Raw Story’s editors are just as bigoted as Patsy, just against different kind of people.
7. Many on the progressive end of the spectrum would like to make a post like Mayor Skipper’s illegal, as “hate speech.” On the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s political panel show “Q&A,” editor Brendan O’Neill, editor of Spiked, attacked Section 18C of Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act, which prohibits speech “reasonably likely… to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people’ because of their ‘race, colour or national or ethnic origin.” O’Neill said…
“I love hearing hate speech because it reminds me I live in a free society…The real problem with Section 18C is it actually disempowers anti-racists by denying us the right to see racism, to know it, to understand it and to confront it in public. Instead it entrusts the authorities to hide it away on our behalf so we never have a reckoning with it.”
Exactly. Thanks to the freedom U.S. racists and fools have to let us know exactly how vile they are, we have opportunities to counter their cultural poison, and, unless you’re from Midland, keep them from having more power and influence than bigots can be trusted with, which is to say, any.
Pointer: Amy Alcorn