UPDATE: The creator of this product will be on the show to explain at 3pm.
The Everett Herald reports today on a novelty item that was briefly sold at the Snohomish County Republican fair booth. The offensive item is from a company called "Slick Times", a self-described political lampoon and novelty sales site. The item was NOT approved by the Snohomish County Board and was removed when they found out a volunteer had displayed it in their booth. The item is pictured below (all images from Slick.com):
I find the bill both offensive and counterproductive. The headdress fits in with the "Prince of Platitudes" title they've given Obama (I think it's supposed to represent the "Prince of Egypt", leading into the promised land.) It probably also refers to suspicions regarding Obama and the Muslim faith. I find the Muslim suspicions stupid. Obama clearly does not regard himself as Muslim. It's meant to highlight what the Hillary campaign referred to as Obama's "otherness". I find that ugly, and it's not because I am afraid of being politically incorrect, clearly I am not. But experiencing other countries and cultures is not un-American. Obama's problems do not come from his ethnic heritage or his overseas experiences, they come from his bad ideas. To imply it is his heritage or his overseas time as a child is unfair and just plain ugly. If they were seeking to lampoon him as a modern day Moses, it would have been better to give him a staff and place him between parted waters. A princely crown would have worked too.
The more offensive portion of the item is the "IBD14UOK" serial number which is meant to read "I be de one for you, ok?" I should note here that the site did the same thing with the Hillary bill:
Note the "00ABAD14DUSA" serial in green lettering ("A bad one for da USA"). So perhaps they were oblivious to how racist it sounds to attach minstrel-style English to an African American. But the fact that their website has this picture:
With this accompanying language: "Hi I'm Barry! All ya gotta do is pull up on the rack and I'll drain that nasty old conservative sludge! Then we'll pop the hood, give you a new reality filter plus five quarts of the finest 30 weight Liberaline and you'll be on your way."
suggests to me that they REALLY need to consider the history of the African American experience when deciding on their satire, or they have considered it and choose to be cruel. They also reference Obama as looking like he is "in heat"--another racial stereotype. What is it about the way Obama loves his family that would make them say that? When did Obama EVER appear as a womanizer? The answer is he didn't, and therefore the joke not only doesn't work, it's racist.
INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS, vital to conservative thought, were denied to black Americans until recent history. An excellent overview of the challenges and failures of the conservative movement in this era is published here. Keeping this in mind is not "politically correct", it's simply the right thing to do.
Satire frequently offends. South Park, for example, offends. Some people love it. I think it offends too often and unnecessarily, so I don't (I always feel like my brain was dunked in sewage after I've seen it, so the 5 minutes of laughs for every 30 minutes of program just isn't worth it to me.) Some satire works, some doesn't, and some is just plain wrong and offensive. Slick.com's inability to consider historical context before deciding on the content of their satire, makes their entire site toxic.
The Snohomish County Republican Chairwoman was right to remove the item as soon as she heard about it.