I was reading the newspapers and Buckwheat was watching Meet The Press at the Home for Retired Racial Stereotypes yesterday. Suddenly the famous Our Gang star emitted a high-pitched yelp, followed by uncontrollable giggles.
“What’s come over you?” I inquired, putting down my newspaper.
“Oh my, I think I jus’ heard Michael Steele say Sen. Harry Reid needs ta quit ‘cuz he done made a racially insensitive statement ‘bout Prezadent Obama, and I cain’t stop laffing,” Buckwheat managed to squeak before collapsing unto the floor in another bout of uncontrollable tittering.
“Well, I certainly hope you calm down,” I interjected. “I don’t see anything funny about Reid’s saying that Obama was able to appeal to white voters because he is light-skinned and does not speak in a Negro dialect. That’s the kind of stereotypical comment we’ve come to expect from Republicans. Surely someone like you, who’s been ridiculed for his appearance and for speaking Ebonics can understand why some find Reid’s comments equally insulting when they come from an important Democrat.”
“Oh, I does, I does,” Buckwheat replied, struggling to get his breath and wiping mirth tears from his cheek. “I’se just as offended by Reid’s remarks as I wuz when Joe Biden said Obama was clean and articulate. It’s stereotypin’, no doubt about it! Reid was right to apologize.”
“Then why are you laughing your fool ass off about such a serious matter?” I inquired.
“Don’t you get it, Jack?”” Buckwheat declared, as he lapsed into another fit of hysterical laughter. “It ain’t jes what’s bein’ said, it’s who’s sayin’ it! And de one sayin’ it is MICHAEL STEELE!!!!!!”
“So?” I interjected. “As chairman of the Republican Party, he has a right to speak out.”
“No doubt, but dis is de same MICHAEL STEELE who said blacks should join the Republican Party cuz he was putting out the fried chicken and tater salad!!!!” squeaked Buckwheat.
“De same Micheal Steele who promised jes last week dey wud keep dere promises, HONEST INJUN!!!!!“
“My goodness,” I said.
“Steele ain’t apologized yet,” added Buckwheat, as giggling overcame him again. “He’s definitely an unrepentant Republican.”
“Dat’s why I’se Iaffin’ so hard,” Buckwheat said, between chortles. “Laffin’ to keep from cryin.”
“I understand how you feel,” I said, and started giggling, too.
is a former columnist for TIME magazine and a regular contributor to The Root.