I remember the time a homeless man said to me, “Just because someone only answers to the name Bob Marley, and just because that person starts speaking in a Jamaican accent, mon, and just because that person will only respond using lyrics from Bob Marley’s songs, doesn’t mean, mon, that the person thinks he is Bob Marley.”
“Yes,” I replied, “but you can see how people might get confused.”
Here is an image from a black face minstrel show.
And, here is the float from the Norfolk parade.
Now, just because a town has a history of xenophobia and racism and uses an image that comes from a historical tradition of racism, and they cheer wildly when they see an image that is associated with historical racism doesn’t mean that they are racist…but you can see how people might get confused.
Having lived in Alabama and Mississippi, I can tell you that people there would immediately recognize the image as racist. It is maddening that people do this and then turn around and hide behind the "Nebraska Nice" image. From those who insist the float is a political statement, I have yet to hear what political view it is meant to symbolize.
Well said, Brigid!
Hmmm. Broke Republican. Interesting!