Obama Toilet Paper Takes Disrespect To A New Low

As Ann Coulter and others spokes-hacks of the Republican party so frequently assure us, racism doesn’t exist except as a fantasy of the “liberal racial demagoguery.” And we know that’s true because Ann Coulter said it is.

So I’m wondering how she might spin this particularly distasteful site [WARNING: OFFENSIVE]: Obama Toilet Paper, Hope and Change your shorts. Given the product, the tone, the copy, and, well, just my sense of things, I’d bet this wasn’t put together by liberal racial demagogues.

According to a story in the Huffington Post titled, “South Florida Firehouse Draws Investigation After Using Obama Toilet Paper”:

A South Florida firehouse is under an official investigation after firefighters there stocked their bathroom with toilet paper bearing the face of President Barack Obama.

The rolls, which resemble the ones on sale here for $10, were discovered last week at Fire Station 103 in Pompano Beach, Fla. City officials shortly thereafter announced that they were mounting a probe into the situation.

One can imagine the verbal calisthenics the proprietors of Obama Toilet Paper would attempt in defending the unequivocal disrespect – racial and otherwise – of their ill-advised product, but when a taxpayer-funded organization whose mission statement is to be of service to citizens in need – one such as the Pompano Beach Fire Rescue station – not only patronizes such a site but purchases and displays their product, one has to wonder where wiser heads were when the station credit card was run.

Tellingly, the Huffington Post adds, Fire Station 103 was reprimanded in 2011 for another inappropriate incident:

The same firehouse reportedly drew a similar complaint last year, after one firefighter reported that a colleague had anti-Obama bumper stickers affixed to his locker. Administrators asked him to remove the messages, and he reportedly complied.

Quite the place, Fire Station 103. According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, this more recent matter, like the first, is not being brushed under the rug; Sandra King, Pompano Beach Fire Rescue spokesperson, emailed the paper with the following:

…the tissue incident “is being fully investigated as a ‘politically motivated, conduct unbecoming situation,’ and will continue to be considered accordingly unless the investigation reveals other motivations. Such a finding would obviously turn the investigation in another direction.”

Would “other motivation” imply something beyond political disrespect; say, racial animosity?

While King’s response is admirably proactive, and certainly the very least the department could be expected to implement, one has to wonder why this particular station appears to have such a penchant for inappropriate – arguably racist – behavior. It’s not a stretch to assume a culture of intolerance and disrespect is systemic and persistent there.

But let’s be clear: despite the desperate attempts of the Right to dismiss animosity towards the President as based solely on policy and platform differences, it’s unlikely they could convince anyone – at least anyone with a functioning mind – that toilet paper with a picture of the President’s face, described in offensive, repugnant terms, has no element of racism involved. Particularly when it’s sold by a site both ignorant and illiterate (they misspell the President’s name as “Barrack Obama”), inclusive of testimonials and site copy clearly designed to inspire the basest of human responses. I couldn’t stomach investigating the site too thoroughly; I’ll leave it to your discretion to decide how much time you want to spend there.

As I state in my article, Still Racist After All These Years, the delusion of a post-racial society only serves to deflect from the continuing truth of America’s deep racial divide. Hate and discrimination remain; vile, contemptible people continue to make sites such as this one, and even more contemptible people patronize them. That public employees are among those that do is appalling, but it’s likely stories that don’t make it to the media include others we’d be shamed to discover.

I won’t make any grand statements; I already have and, frankly, if someone needs to be told what about this is offensive, what about this is likely racist, they need more than an article on a political website to educate and elevate themselves. The rest of us? We’ll continue to point it out when it raises its pathetic, ugly head, and when anyone – anywhere and of any proclivity – says racism is a fiction of the “Liberal racial demagoguery,” feel free to refer them to this story.

Follow Lorraine Devon Wilke on TwitterFacebook and Rock+Paper+Music; for details and links to her other work, visit www.lorrainedevonwilke.com