White like me

In an effort to show that Rush “Hillbilly Hophead” Limbaugh isn’t a racist, Jennifer Graham describes the time that she and her husband saw a black family in restaurant and marveled at the sight:

A couple of years ago, the husband and I were eating out — something you don’t do often with four kids under 10 — when he lowered his voice and gestured for me to look at the next table.

I did so, expecting to find something peculiar, such as Karl Rove conspiring with Elvis.

What I saw: A young family of five — father, mother, three young children, well-dressed, well-behaved, enjoying their night out, too. Except for the well-behaved children — mythical creatures with which we have no personal experience with — the family was unremarkable.

But they were black. And my husband whispered that in a nation where 70 percent of black children are born into homes without fathers, it was great to see a picture-perfect black family dining together. “I almost want to go give the guy a high five,” he said, somewhat sheepishly.

He didn’t, of course. When we left, we nodded, smiled at the children and promptly forgot the exchange…in which both of us unconsciously revealed that — horrors! — we are very desirous that black Americans do well.

I don’t know. Isn’t this a whole passage just a bit condescending? While it’s not the overt racism of a Limbaughian “Take the bone out of your nose…”, it carries a faint whiff of genteel, just beneath the surface suburban racism. The peek-sneaking, the whispered shock, the desire to show approval for defying expectations.

Before absolving Limbaugh of racism, Jennifer Graham might want to take a glimpse in the mirror…



Yeah. Like I would tell you....