Heidi Heitkamp Fundraiser Something Less Than Racially Sensitive
Tonight in Fargo the Heidi Heitkamp campaign is holding a fundraiser picnic called “Nacho Average Picnic Fundraiser.” When I first saw the name of it I was a little surprised they were calling it that.
Judging by my email inbox today, I wasn’t the only one who had that reaction. Here’s what I got from one reader:
Do people in ND recognize how incredibly racist this is?!!!
Maybe just because I grew up in a more southern location, but I almost DIED when I read this. There was a very common joke when we were kids – one that everyone knew and repeated – about a little black boy in the ghetto. His daddy told him to go down the corner and swipe him some cheese from the corner store for dinner. The kid came running home breathless, holding the cheese in his hand and sayin’ ‘”Daddy, Daddy, I got it. I got us some Mexican cheese.” The daddy looks at the kid and says “Boy, how you know that be mexican cheese?” and the kid answers “‘Cuz the man was chasin’ me all the way down the street yellin’ ‘Hey boy, that not cho’ cheese! That not cho’ cheese!”
I get that a lot of people here might not have the same associations, but OMG – my husband and I just about DIED to see something this racist and insensitive coming from a statewide political candidate! Not exactly reaching out to “the new ND”
The version of the “nacho cheese” joke I heard growing up was seriously pretty racist. But I’ve heard much milder iterations since. The joke is predicated on pronunciation usually attributed to urban blacks.
Of course, it’s not like they’re putting on a minstrel show or anything. Let’s just say this isn’t the sort of joke I’d ever care to make. A Republican saying something like this would have the PC police coming out of the woodwork.
But then, Republicans are held to different standards.
Update: In the comments a reader remembers this “Heidi Ho” controversy which, bizarrely, made national news.
That’s the double standard I’m talking about.Tags: Heidi Heitkamp, North Dakota News