Remember in June when Quaker Oats announced that it would be removing the Aunt Jemima brand from its product line and white people—including one very sad Karen of the Becky variety—had a whole meltdown about it and adamantly denied the racist origins of the caricature? Well, it took less than two months for a white Virginia mayor to remind us that white people know damn well the connection to racist stereotyping that image carries.
The Telegraph reports that Luray, Va., Mayor Barry Presgraves has come under fire for posting to his Facebook page, “Joe Biden has just announced Aunt Jemima as his VP pick.”
Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden is expected to announce his choice for a running mate very soon. It’s been widely speculated that Biden will choose a woman (mostly because he’s said as much repeatedly) and plenty of people have suggested that the woman be Black. In fact, a lot of people are putting their money on California Sen. Kamala Harris since Biden was recently photographed holding notes with talking points that suggested Harris may be at the top of his list of potential running mates.
Unless Presgraves has been living under a rock that also lives under a rock, it’s a safe bet that he’s aware of all of this. That didn’t stop him from lying his racist white ass off about what he meant by his post after a Luray city council member called for him to step down.
“This was about a prominent woman who made pancake batter and the company was forced to take it off, which was wrong,” Presgraves told Page Valley News. “This was no more racist than the names I’ve been called.”
Presgraves continued by invoking a common wypipo proverb: “I don’t have a racist bone in my body.”
Side note: I think I’ve finally figured it out. *puts on Hotep hat*
You see...love for chicken is a Black stereotype. The Devil most certainly invented boneless chicken wings. White people are often called devils. Therefore, white people invented boneless chicken wings to ensure that other white people don’t unknowingly put racist bones in their bodies. I’m just going to sit here and wait on my Pulitzer.
Anyway, white people like Presgraves can deny the racist connotation all they want, but I know a few Black people who have been called Aunt Jemima or Buckwheat by white people who would also swear to Lily-White Jesus that they too lack the particular bone required to do the racisms.
I’d have far more respect for people like Presgraves—who told Page Valley News, “Hell no, I’m not resigning”—if they would just stand by their bigotry.
At least when Black people call white people whatever “racist” names Presgtaves says he’s been called, we hold tight to our own proverb:
“I said what the fuck I said.”