Monday, November 12, 2007

Racial Epithet- Media Doesn't Include Party

It's time for another edition of Name That Party! According to New Orleans WDSU Channel 6, a candidate for state representative, one Carla Blanchard Dartez, used a racial insult when speaking with the local NAACP president. But somehow the sotry on WDSU's website completely managed to avoid mentioning Dartez's party affiliation. Hint- she's not a Republican.

According to the story posted by WDSU,
A state representative in a runoff election infuriated civil rights leaders after she ended a conversation with the mother of the NAACP's local president by saying, "Talk to you later, Buckwheat."

State Rep. Carla Blanchard Dartez, of Morgan City, acknowledged she made the remark during a Thursday night telephone conversation with Hazel Boykin to thank her for driving voters to the polls.

Buckwheat, a black child character in the "Little Rascals" comedies of the 1930s and '40s, is viewed as a racial stereotype demeaning to black people.


This would seem to be a fairly serious incident, as the media is hyper-sensitive to racial epithets when uttered by Republicans. One has only to look back to 2006 when a reference to the word 'macaca' by Republican Senator George Allen of Virginia sparked a nationwide media furor, and contributed to Senator Allen's defeat in the 2006 election. A representative story on Allen can be found at the Washington Post. As far as I recall, Senator Allen's party affiliation was prominently featured in every story on the subject, as it was in the Post's.

Calling someone 'Buckwheat', an obvious reference to a black character who s deemed to be an offensive stereotype, would seem to be a much more obvious racial epithet than the 'macaca' comment, which is defined by Webster's Dictionary as being "a genus of Old World monkeys including the rhesus monkey (M. mulatta) and other macaques."

Yet nowhere in the article on Dartez can her party affiliation be found, although her husband, one Lenny Dartez, who the story does appear to identify as a Democrat, writing,
But the "Buckwheat" remark is the latest bit of trouble for Dartez and her husband, Lenny, who is a member of the Democratic Party's State Central Committee.


I did a Google search on Mrs Dartez, and quickly discovered her official page at Louisiana's House of Representatives website. She is clearly identified as a Democrat. It took me roughly ten seconds to perform this Google search. Seems to me that WDSU could have done the same quite easily. I wonder if there could be some ideological reason why they wouldn't do that? Oh, no, not the professional media! They wouldn't do that, would they? I leave you to supply the probably answer. Hat tip to NewsBusters reader Duane Peyrot. Cross-posted on NewsBusters.

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