From The Atlanta Journal Constitution:
Marietta tavern owner Mike Norman says the T-shirts he’s peddling, featuring cartoon chimp Curious George peeling a banana, with “Obama in ’08” scrolled underneath, are “cute.” But to a coalition of critics, the shirts are an insulting exploitation of racial stereotypes from generations past.
“It’s time to put an end to this,” said Rich Pellegrino, a Mableton resident and director of the Cobb-Cherokee Immigrant Alliance. He was among about 15 people who protested outside Mulligan’s Bar and Grill Tuesday afternoon against the sale of the “racist and highly offensive” shirts.
(via Balloon Juice)
You may not want to use a gun as a back scratcher.
A Fort Worth man trying to scratch an itch on his back used a revolver and accidentally shot himself.
Jorge Espinal, 44, was drinking beer and playing poker around 3 a.m. Sunday in his home in the 3500 block of Montague Street, when he got up from the table and walked into another room, said Fort Worth police Lt. Kenneth Dean.
â€œHe told officers he had an itch on his back and grabbed the first thing he could get a hold of, which was a revolver,â€ Lt. Dean said. â€œThe gun went off.”
Mr. Espinal went back and told his buddies that he shot himself. â€œThey didnâ€™t believe him until they saw the blood coming down his back,â€ Lt. Dean said.
From the Washington Post:
In Muncie, a factory town in the east-central part of Indiana, Ross and her cohorts were soliciting support for Obama at malls, on street corners and in a Wal-Mart parking lot, and they ran into “a horrible response,” as Ross put it, a level of anti-black sentiment that none of them had anticipated.
“The first person I encountered was like, ‘I’ll never vote for a black person,’ ” recalled Ross, who is white and just turned 20. “People just weren’t receptive.”
For all the hope and excitement Obama’s candidacy is generating, some of his field workers, phone-bank volunteers and campaign surrogates are encountering a raw racism and hostility that have gone largely unnoticed — and unreported — this election season. Doors have been slammed in their faces. They’ve been called racially derogatory names (including the white volunteers). And they’ve endured malicious rants and ugly stereotyping from people who can’t fathom that the senator from Illinois could become the first African American president.
The contrast between the large, adoring crowds Obama draws at public events and the gritty street-level work to win votes is stark. The candidate is largely insulated from the mean-spiritedness that some of his foot soldiers deal with away from the media spotlight.
Victoria Switzer, a retired social studies teacher, was on phone-bank duty one night during the Pennsylvania primary campaign. One night was all she could take: “It wasn’t pretty.” She made 60 calls to prospective voters in Susquehanna County, her home county, which is 98 percent white. The responses were dispiriting. One caller, Switzer remembers, said he couldn’t possibly vote for Obama and concluded: “Hang that darky from a tree!”