Audra Shay and the Rituals of Elephants and Donkeys
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I am never amazed by the Republicans or the Democrats, their mundane and consistent descent into a sort of ritualistic behavior reminds one of visiting the zoo and seeing the zoo animals go about their daily routine without nary a change. You might say, ‘What did you expect, their symbols are the Elephant and the Donkey?’ Well let’s just say I am tired of them.
First ritualistic behavior: It occurred when Audra Shay who at the time was running to be the Chairman of the Young Republicans responded to one of her friends bigoted and racist remarks on her Facebook page by acknowledging and supporting it. Her friend, Eric S. Piker wrote at 1:54 pm (grammatical mistakes his),
“Osama bin Lauden is the new terrorist….muslim is on there side …..need to take back this country from all these mad coons………and illegals,” eight minutes later at 2:02 Shay responded with “You tell em Eric! lol”
Some young Republicans on her page took exception to her response to the bigotry and racism. When Shay realized her mistake and that it might hurt her chances for the Chairmanship she released a statement,
I immediately deleted the derogatory and outright disgusting comments and subsequently posted a statement on my Facebook Status stating that in no way, shape or form are the comments posted by other individuals a reflection of me or my beliefs as an American, a Veteran, a Mother or a Candidate. I do not, nor would I ever, condone that type of language or behavior.
Did she also delete her comments in immediate response to Eric? She claims that she was unaware of the racial comments until later and that she was replying to her friend’s other comment. This doesn’t make much sense considering she had at least eight minutes to see and read her friend’s comments and what she was replying to. Even if this were the case it is highly suspicious considering that she has made equally ugly remarks in the past.
The Daily Beast noted, after an effigy of Sarah Palin was hung, she said,
What no ‘Obama in a noose? … I am wondering if the guys with the Palin noose would care if we had a bunch of homosexuals in a noose.” She’s also written that President Obama “attacks white people” and posted a video claiming Obama believes he has to help African-Americans over whites to “ensure his own salvation.”
The ritualistic aspects in this is another Republican caught saying or supporting racist and demeaning things about minorities. Also the knee jerk response when feeling the heat to apologize and distance themselves from views that they have a track record of holding.
Second ritualistic behavior: The Democrats in their usual reactionary manner jumped all over this to score political points. In reality, they have a right to jump on this and mock the Republicans but what they fail to do because either they don’t see it as a problem, or they see that they can’t score any political points off of it, is condemn not just the racist reference to remove “coons” and “illegals” but also the implication that all Muslims are with “Osama bin Laden.” No one, not the Huffington Post or any other liberal commentator even brought that up.
It continues the passive and narrow reactionary behavior of the Democrats — to feed off of the present sentimental feelings in culture while not being consistent on their principles by condemning bigotry in all its form and not be selective. We saw this during the Democratic primary in which accusations were leveled at Barack Obama that he was a Muslim. Instead of responding to these charges properly like Colin Powell did when he said, “the proper answer is he isn’t Muslim, but even if he was it shouldn’t matter” the Democrats reacted by in effect saying it was a “smear” to be a Muslim and called on supporters to “combat this smear.”
The lesson is that not much has changed with Republicans or Democrats and their perpetuation, enabling and disregard for anti-Muslimism and Islamophobia needs to be brought to their attention. Most importantly it highlights the fact that Islamophobia is not disconnected from other forms of prejudice. Many times, and this seems to be the rule, when you see an Islamophobe he is also a racist and vice-versa.