As many of us politicos have come to know, the Grand Old Party is overflowing with stupid white men. In this campaign season, though, Donald J. Trump has been sucking up so much of the election coverage, the rest of those of that dumb-dumb-diddy demo have been overlooked.
That’s why I am so grateful to Jon Girodes, the Republican candidate for New York’s 30th Senatorial District, who's doing his part to make sure we all remember there are many other racist buffoons worthy of our ridicule and condemnation.
As NBC 4 New York reports, Girodes planned for an event in Harlem, which, I’m sure in his mind, was some sort of attempt at black outreach. However, if you took a random poll of black folks, most would hear this plan and say something to the effect of, “Bitch, you got us f—ked up.” And he does.
What’s the plan? Well, per an email Girodes sent out to NBC 4: “I'm hosting an event in Harlem which will be in front of the state building in a few weeks. We will [donate] Kool Aid, KFC and watermelons to the public on 125th street in Harlem. Please join us to help the community.”
Of course, the image for this proposed event features Martin Luther King Jr., this type's personal get-out-of-“That’s racist!” card. Bless his ignorant, clueless heart.
As someone who walks past that building just about every single day, I’m trying to envision what it might look like to see some Republican stroll up to the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building and more or less offer a trio of stereotypes to black people.
“What I think is anyone who gives free food to people is doing them a favor,” Girodes explained to NBC 4. “Get a bunch of people who say it’s offensive and let me go into their neighborhood and give it out for free and see if they take it.”
Fine, I’ll admit that if I just so randomly stumbled onto someone handing out chicken wings and fried fish sandwiches, it might initially pique my interest. No one will shame me for a love of either thing. That said, who goes to Harlem and offers KFC? There is a Popeyes on 116th, 125th and 145th streets. How are you shimmying into Harlem with KFC? No one wants that, you silly, likely no-seasoning-using man.
If you’re going to stereotype us, at least do so more productively.
Then again, fried chicken is beloved by all, so to couple that with watermelon and Kool-Aid is pretty damn offensive. You want black votes, so you give black voters high cholesterol and “the sugar”? For the love of God, it is National Diabetes Month.
Interestingly enough, on several days throughout the week, there is a black woman who owns a solar-powered truck that serves delicious oyster po’boys, shrimp and grits, and fried fish right outside that very building in front of which Girodes wants to troll black people. I’ve talked to her before, and she’s repeatedly explained to patrons that she’s not using the truck as a means to one day get a restaurant. She’s from Harlem and she’s seen the rents go up over the years. For her, the truck is a way to do something she loves in a cost-effective and forward-leaning way.
Considering that Republicans pretend to care so much about small-business people, a more sincere politician might have reached out to someone like her to try to sell his little shtick about lower taxes and other tenets of conservative ideology. Speaking of higher rent, Girodes is a real estate agent and, per the NBC 4 article about this whole ridiculous idea, possibly a shady one. One woman told the station that she had paid a refundable $750 deposit to rent his luxury apartment on 42nd Street. However, she said that when she backed out of the deal, he kept her money.
Whether or not he’s a crafty queen is up for readers to decide, but a few things are certain. One, he’s not really ’bout that life in terms of black outreach. Two, he’s your garden-variety silly, repugnant Republican. This is Girodes' second time running for this office, and ideally, he’ll lose even worse than he did before.
I’ll be sure to sport a Kool-Aid smile if he does.
Michael Arceneaux hails from Houston, lives in Harlem and praises Beyoncé’s name wherever he goes. Follow him on Twitter.