*Although the dictionary lists “mongrel” as an adjective indicating “of mixed breed, nature, or origin,” President Obama’s use of the word to describe the multi-cultural roots of African Americans – as well as all Americans – has become one of today’s hottest headlines in the blogosphere.
During a discussion on “The View” about his cultural background, which includes a black father and white mother, Obama said of African-Americans: “We are sort of a mongrel people.”
“I mean we’re all kinds of mixed up,” Obama said. “That’s actually true of white people as well, but we just know more about it.”
Below the clip is a sampling of what bloggers had to say – both for and against the president’s use of “mongrel”…
Robert Laurie of The Daily Caller
Seriously. He really said that. Someone should ask him if he was purposely quoting eugenics guru and racist, Margaret Sanger. After all, the Planned Parenthood founder basically created her organization as an extension of her belief that the world needed to deal with what she called its “mongrel peoples.” Her ultimate goal was to reward those minority members who chose to be sterilized, license parents, and limit the size of black families, all in an attempt to “create a race of thoroughbreds.” Perhaps Obama realized he’d veered into Biden gaffe territory, since he tried to undo his statement by offering a clarification. “I mean, we’re all kinds of mixed up,” he said. “That’s actually true of white people as well, but we just know more about it.” Apparently, regardless of race, we’re all just one big jolly bunch of “mongrels.” Super. The ladies of the view nodded and lapped it all up, but I was left wondering. What if Newt Gingrich had gone out there and referred to blacks as mongrels? What if Limbaugh, Hannity, or Beck had said this?
Sandra Rose of SandraRose.com
For those who aren’t familiar with the term: a mongrel is a type of dog that is considered undesirable among breeders because its breed can not easily be determined. It is highly insulting to refer to human beings as mongrels.
Tommy Christopher of Mediate.com
(Click on the links below to view more blog responses.)
The remark has sparked varying degrees of outrage among conservatives, who seem most perplexed by the fact that Obama can get away with it, but a hypothetical Republican could not. That, and the relative merits of the words “mutt” and “mongrel.” At least Rush Limbaugh seems to know they’re the same thing, but still manages to be outraged. This is silly on its face, since not only has President Obama used this self-deprecating imagery before, so have many of the working-class white people I grew up with. It is born of a sense that lacking a pedigree is not only not a negative, but a point of pride. Just below the surface, though, is the fact that Obama was actually being nice about it. He said “that’s actually true for white America as well, but we just know more about it.” What he didn’t have to say is that the deficit of pedigree among black people in America is the result of all of that abducting into slavery, raping, lynching, and epidemic incarceration at the hands of a racist criminal justice system. He was trying to be nice about it. The reason he “gets away with it” is his point of view. It’s the same reason you can “get away with” calling your girlfriend “Sweetie,” but some dude at a bar can’t. And given the way this has overshadowed his larger message, he didn’t, in fact, “get away with it.” Still, opponents of the President, as bewhiskered Daily Show host Jon Stewart points out, are duty-bound to focus on this crap. Shame on the mainstream media for focusing on this remark, out of context, Breitbart-style.