When writing here I will try my best to resist the urge to speak about folks who disagree with me in a demeaning way. My mother always told me that if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all. Well in this instance I’m going to ignore mom’s advice, sort of. It’s not that I want to be mean or call names. In fact, I don’t think I’m doing that. I’m just bothered by a nagging question. I really can’t resist the urge to ask it.
Is Amy Holmes just straight stupid or is it just an act?
Apparently I’m not the only one with this question. If you go to Rick Sanchez’s blog on CNN many of the commentors question whether Amy is dumb, clueless (different than dumb) or just putting on a show. How could Amy not have seen the now imfamous cartoon in The New York Post as racist? And even if she didn’t, how could she have, with a straight face, come up with that cock-eyed defense of the cartoon. But let me not get ahead of myself.
I didn’t know much about Amy except what I’d gathered from Real Time with Bill Maher and her appearances on various cable news shows. I did a little more digging. From her profile on the CNN site, she’s a registered independent, a Princeton graduate and has been on People magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People” list.
In a series of YouTube videos she explained a little of her background. Amy was born in Africa in the country of Zambia to a Caucasian mother and an African father. Her mother divorced her father when she was 3 years old. After that, she and her mom moved back to Seattle where her mother grew up. Amy was then brought up on Rob Lowe movies, idolized Brooke Shields and now prefers to date only middle aged Jewish men.
Whenever Amy appears on Real Time my instant thoughts are, “Man, she’s good lookin’.” She possesses a middle brown cuteness with a half-fro. Amy’s attractiveness is clearly a factor in her popularity. I mean, have you ever noticed that most of these news anchors, men and women, are some pretty handsome people? But even with Amy’s cuteness, the nanosecond she opens her mouth I think to myself, “This chick is so messed up.”
And trust that it isn’t that’s she a conservative. I would classify myself as a moderate with conservative leanings having voted for Democrats and Republicans. It is more that she consistently suspends logic and common sense when offering her opinion. I mean, if it truly is her opinion and not some script she’s reading from. Mostly I think it’s just something she regurgitated after reading, perhaps just skimming, the latest National Review in her local Starbucks. The opinion she gives today, undermines the opinion she gave the previous day. When I see her I shake my head with a little smirk on my face thinking… “Amy, Amy, Amy. You are so mixed up.” But that was pretty much the extent of it.
It made me giggle to myself when she would vehemently defend Sarah Palin’s intellect and her candidacy for VP but on the other hand question Barack Obama’s capacity for the office of the Presidency. It amused me when she said Hillary Clinton would destroy Washington with partisan politics (even though she voted for Bill) but supported Sarah’s rally of cry of “Barack pals around with terrorists”. Or saying Barack has a “Moses Complex”, wrongly quoting one of his speeches. She didn’t even take the time to check. I actually found it hilarious, in the Amy-you’re-so-mixed-up kind of way when she referred to Republican candidates for president campaigning to African-American groups as “spade work”. I thought it interesting that she criticized Barack’s speech on race as being boring and chastised him for “outing” his grandmother for her racial biases. But she cries foul when someone calls her on not seeing the racist undercurrent emanated by the “cartoon” in The New York Post. [Incidentally, Amy Holmes is a former classmate at Princeton with Rupert Murdoch’s, the owner of The New York Post, son Lachlan.]
Now before I go on let me say that when I saw the cartoon originally on African American Dad’s site, my immediate reaction was that the cartoonist’s intent was to depict Barack as the chimp. But instead of reacting immediately I said, let me sit on this for a couple of days and try to figure out what else this could have meant. After all, I want to live my life in a certain way. I want to promote racial harmony in this post Obama era. So the last thing I want to do is jump to a conclusion. So I thought. I came up with nothing. Even if there was no intent to be racist doesn’t change the fact that the cartoon is racist.
Amy Holmes’ defense of this cartoon only confirmed for me how racist it was.
Last week she appeared on Rick Sanchez’ CNN broadcast with UCLA Professor Mark Sawyer, who is the director for Race, Ethnicity and Politics. Instead of putting the whole exchange in this post, here’s the link to the transcript of that show. [Scroll about two-thirds of the way down.] But I’ll give you part of it:
SANCHEZ: Amy, do you think that was the intent [to be racist] of this cartoonist? And do you think it’s proper for the Reverend Sharpton to be protesting “The New York Post”?
HOLMES: Well, you would be assuming this was a depiction of Barack Obama and I don’t think that it was. I think that everyone knows that this legislation was written by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, and that it was along almost entirely partisan lines. So, when I looked at that cartoon, I thought the cartoonist was referring to politicians in the Democratic Party, here in Washington, D.C. who passed a $787-billion stimulus package, primarily behind closed doors.
Nancy Pelosi? Are you serious? I would bet the typical New York Post reader doesn’t even know who Nancy Pelosi is or what the breakdown of the vote on the bill was. They are not calling it the “Pelosi Stimulus Bill” or the “Democrat Congress Stimulus Bill”. They’re calling it the “Obama Stimulus Bill”. In fact I saw a much better cartoon on the cover of the February 14th edition of The Economist. Notice what they’re calling it? One could argue that both the corresponding article and the cartoon itself are critical of the President and Congress. But neither are racist. It’s not racist to be critcal of our President. But you must call The New York Post‘s cartoon what it is. Also notice the conspicuous absence of Nancy Pelosi’s caricature in The Economist‘s cartoon. Amy give me a break.
SANCHEZ: But the question that is being raised here is should this guy have known better? You’re talking about the very first African-American president of the United States and whether you’re referring to him or not –
HOLMES: But that’s the question. Are we talking -but that’s the question. Does this cartoon talk about Barack Obama or is it talking about the Democratic Party and the legislative process? I looked at that cartoon and thought it was talking about the latter… We also know there was this hugely disturbing, shocking story in Connecticut about this chimpanzee that mauled the neighbor. Those were the connections I was making, not the racist ones.
SANCHEZ: How about it, Professor?
SAWYER: There is not connection between a chimpanzee and the stimulus bill. [Thank you professor!] Everyone knows the stimulus bill is most associated with the president. And look, I mean, Amy is very interesting. But when you try and defend the indefensible it just sounds foolish. There’s just no connection between these two stories.
Amy, there are one of two things going on. One, you’re just straight stupid. And not because of this one incident. It’s the culmination of stupid stuff you’ve said. This is just the proverbial straw. In fact you could have said the cartoonist’s intent was not racist. I could have accepted that. But again the cartoon is racist. If you’re a jerk to everyone you meet but you intend to be nice, it doesn’t make you not a jerk. It just makes you a clueless jerk.
Or, the other possibility is that you’re putting on an act just to get on TV. I’m not against profiteering. Clearly you’re on a lot because you present a rare combination of looks, ethnicity and political opinion. Go for yours. I mean it could be that I’ve become a victim of your master plan. Maybe you want folks talking about you in any way, no matter what you have to say to make it happen. Could be I’ve been hoodwinked. C’est la vie.
But, I implore you Amy, whether it is that you’re just not that quick on the uptake or you’re just executing a big con, when offering your opinion, draw the line when it comes to issues that either take some common sense or some conscious. I’m not sure you possess either.