Thursday, February 5, 2009
Targeting Obama: White Nationalism Lives!!!! Ted Kefalinos
For various reasons the blog has not been very active of late. The blog will remain to both recognize what will be the transformative the presidency of Barack Obama and provide progressive perspectives on how that transformation is taking place. Elections have consequences. That reality has been exhibited from Day One. Not only has Obama gotten overwhelming praise for the most part of his appointments, his actions are returning our government to its Constitutional principles and governance based on knowledge and integrity.
The lack of activity on the blog has been for several reasons. There were the holidays. Then my wife had serious surgery. Then there was the inauguration. In recuperation my wife has had set backs. Over last few days, however, she is getting the feeling of what it means to be normal.
Having said all of that, one of the concerns among African American and progressives has been that Obama's election would be portrayed as though America had achieved some sort of "post-racial" society and claims of racism would delegitimized. While Obama's election with 45% of America's whites voting for him does not attest to racism being a thing of the past, his election was the result of a NEW MAJORITY in America. He won by a landslide!! The majority of the American electorate rejected the meanness and racism of the Reagan Revolution.
Even so, that white nationalism has ruled America from its inception, it will not die easy. We can see it in the obstructionism of the Republicans. They can only think in their conservative mantras. It was their "let the markets rule" that got us in the mess. Their ideas are bankrupt. Yet, they still think they are in the majority. The ignorance of Rush Limbaugh will take them all down. Obama pledged to reach across the aisle. A part of this problem with the Republicans and Rush Limbaugh is that deeply rooted white nationalism does not die easy or at one election.
That white nationalism does not die easily is evidenced by the deep resentment of many whites that Obama is president. We do know that there is a history of passions around racism and the the white nationalist who espouse such positions. There are several indicators the white nationalist resentment. It is worrying that gun sales have skyrocketed since November 4, 2008. The most democratic media venue, Washington Journal, C-Span's morning call-in, racist passions are very prominent. White nationalist resentment is rearing its ugly head. No where is this ugliness more apparent than the N-word Cookie of Ted Kefalinos. RGN
UPDATE: "Drunken Negro Face" Cookies On Sale at Greenwich Village Bakery
[UPDATE BELOW] At at a time when any decent baker should have been selling racially harmonious black and white cookies by the truckload, one Greenwich Village bakery popular with celebrities and shows like Sex and the City has outraged neighbors by selling a "Drunken Negro Face" cookie in, um, "honor" of President Obama. [Video below.] A shocked customer tells My Fox NY that Ted Kefalinos, proprietor of Lafayette French Pastry, asked her, "Would you like some drunken negro heads to go with your coffee? They're in honor of our new president. He's following in the same path of Abraham Lincoln; he will get his."
Later, her friend stopped by the bakery and said Kefalinos corrected her about the name of the cookies—they're actually drunken "N-word" cookies. She says the backwards baker then repeated the dark suggestion that, like Lincoln, President Obama "will get what's coming to him." Go Secret Service, go!
And it gets worse when Fox's Arnold Diaz goes into the store with a camera and microphone to confront Kefalinos, who suddenly makes Joe the Plumber look like a Rhodes scholar. "I called them Drunken Negro Heads. What's the problem with that?" Kefalinos asks the newscaster with a smirk. "On Inauguration Day I thought it would be cool to change the name to Obama Heads. I just changed it for the day." We suppose Burning Cross Bananas Foster was too complicated to mass-produce.
Kefalinos denies intimating that Obama would be assassinated, and insists that the cookie is "not unflattering. I think it's a fun face... And anyone who says anything else should be ashamed of themselves." Besides, nobody got upset about the "Dead Geese Bread" he sold after the recent Hudson River plane crash. (We're NOT making that up.) Also, Kefalinos insists he can't be racist because, for one thing, "my brother-in-law, he's Cuban." Below, behold the breathtaking train wreck of racist ignorance.
UPDATE: We just spoke with Kefalinos on the phone and he remains utterly oblivious, telling us, "This whole thing was blown out of proportion." He says he's sold out of the "Drunken Negro Cakes" and doesn't plan to make anymore, despite the fact that many customers have been requesting them (he claims). When asked whether he understands that most African-Americans find the word "negro" offensive, Kefalinos explains, "It's a French word. It comes from the French."
Community Board 2 was quick to call for a boycott of Lafayette French Pastry, to which Kefalinos responds, "I'm sorry they feel that way because I was trying to do a nice thing." Not seeming to grasp in any way the degree of outrage he's sparked, he added, "I did it and that's the end of it and it's over."
UPDATE 1/24: Now Ted Kefalinos apologizes: "Seriously, from the bottom of my heart, it was an innocent design I created. It was nothing more than just a piece of art."