Crazy Talk: First Monkey President
With as much racist animosity as people have toward President Obama, you'd think they'd have enough inspiration to come up with some new insults and slurs. No such luck. Today we have a resurgence of the monkey-themed attacks on the president that have been around since 2008, this time from radio personality Barbara Espinosa, the host of Arizona's Hair on Fire.
In response to a listener who referred to the president as Mr. Rabbit Ears and demanded to know who voted for "the idiot," Espinosa piped in with, "Well, I don't call him 'rabbit ears.' I call him a monkey." In case you didn't catch that zinger, she continued: "I don't believe in calling him the first black president; I call him the first monkey president. I voted for the white guy myself. I call him a monkey."
The attack is obviously kind of old hat, so what really makes this outrageous is the enthusiasm with which Espinosa delivers it, like she really and truly thinks she's come up with a brand-new idea. (Next, maybe she'll break the story that some people still refuse to believe that Obama was born in the United States.) You have to hear it for yourself.
A caller named Joe weighed in with the voice of reason. Here's the transcript from News One:
This show just took a very interesting turn. I'll be honest with you; it's amazing that people who supposedly care about freedom are unwilling to be tolerant of any other idea other than their own. You know, I'm not saying their ideas are right, but how about citing them intellectually instead of calling names. I have to say to you, the few things I just heard, they're insulting. I mean, straight up insulting, and I think anyone listening would feel the same way. I think that if all you're trying to do is get a little bit of notoriety by what you said and maybe that will bring some attention to your show, well you know, that's your choice, but you know what, that was wrong.
In response to the backlash against her commentary, Espinosa posted on her blog: "I did use the word monkey and Obama in the same sentence. Yes I did say I voted for the white guy. Unless there has been a takeover of America and free speech is no longer allowed and I can be put to death for making a remark, I refuse to take the fifth."
Oh, simmer down, Barbara -- no one threatened to put you to death. But just as you're free to make played-out monkey jokes about the president, the rest of us are free to talk about you how silly you sound.