And here we go again…
Once more conservatives publicly reveal what many of them privately believe. They are caught, red-handed and -necked, outed as racists and bigots. That’s step one.
Then comes step two: The people who rightfully find this repellent and morally objectionable begin responding with shock and horror, spreading news on social media.
And we move to step three, where the perpetrators respond by claiming it was not explicitly racist while simultaneously invoking their first-amendment right to be giant, flaming douchebags.
Step four is when the politicians who represent the people who do things like this distance themselves from the event, while still willingly taking money and votes from them.
Step five is when people like me get angry about the cyclical nature of all of this. We fire off angry rhetoric, spew words like bullets aimed at the psyche of the kind of assholes capable of this behavior.
Then we arrive at my favorite step: Step six. This is where people like me are told that our WORDS (our accusations of systemic racism, our provable allegations of the pervasive nature of bigotry throughout the conservative ideology) are AS BAD as the ACTIONS of others. As though me saying “I’m no longer surprised when conservatives are racist, as I believe a good number of them (if not the majority) are bigoted” is somehow as dangerous and irresponsible as this:
Are you shitting me?
A group of patriots love this country so much that in the middle of Nebraska on the 4th of July they openly ridiculed our sitting president. These red-blooded Americans are so nationalistic, so devoted to this great country of ours that instead of celebrating this country’s unity they engaged in divisive behavior.
But you know what’s worse to me than the flaming asshats who thought of this, spent time making it, and then publicly displayed it? The people who laughed at it. I mean, at least the float-builders are openly racist and vile. The people who laughed at it are racist, vile, AND cowards.
Actually, the people who are the worst are the people mentioned in this quote from the Lincoln Journal Star:
Parade committee member Rick Konopasek said the float wasn’t meant to be any more offensive than a political cartoon would be. The only restriction for entering a float is that it can’t be considered morally objectionable. That basically translates to a ban on nudity to sexually explicit messages, Konopasek said.
“We don’t feel its right to tell someone what they can and can’t express,” he said. “This was political satire. If we start saying no to certain floats, we might as well not have a parade at all.”
Konopasek and parade announcer Wally Sonnenschein said the outhouse float was the most popular one in the parade, and the three judges awarded it an honorable mention.
“It’s obvious the majority of the community liked it,” Konopasek said. “So should we deny the 95 percent of those that liked it their rights, just for the 5 percent of people who are upset?”
First off, Mr. Konopasek, and I mean this with absolutely no respect: You are a HUGE asshole. It was like you heard what you said in that first quote and were like “no, I can be way more of an asshole than that.” And if that was your intent, an increasing cascade of ignorance, bravo! I imagine your mouth is an endless fountain of moronic prattle.
The articles reiterated that it was not the city government who decided what floats were entered into the parade. So while sending angry letters to the mayor is A VERY GOOD IDEA, may I also offer a humble suggestion. The following are the people of the “Independent Order of Odd Fellows” in Norfolk who approved of this float:
- Merle Rix
- Leland Andersen
- Marie Byram
- Beverlyann Brunswick
- Rick Konopasek
- Kris Colwell
- Inez Haspeslaqh
- Marjorie Summers
- David Fauss
- Terry Beckner
- Eva Seda
- Rod Colfack
If these folks felt comfortable enough putting their name behind a float like this in a parade they organized, then they damn sure better be willing to talk about it with you or anyone who asks. Feel free to let these community organizers know how much you appreciate them “standing up for the rights of the 95%.”
Which reminds me: NOBODY UNDERSTANDS WHAT A RIGHT IS ANYMORE. You do not have a “right” to enter a racist float in a parade. The GOVERNMENT can’t prevent you from doing it, but by God someone should. Just none of the brave souls on that list above.
Now, I’m told time and again that this racism and bigotry is not a part of the GOP itself. I’m chastised for taking the behavior of outspoken conservatives and holding the whole party accountable. I mean, there is no connection between something like this offensive float that was “liked” by 95% of the people there and any actual establishment Republicans.
This year’s parade also included a float of Pete Ricketts supporters.
So what kind of people would possibly allow both an anti-Obama float AND a Pete Ricketts float?
- Merle Rix – Registered Republican
- Marie Byram – Registered Republican
- Beverlyann Brunswick – Registered Republican
- Rick Konopasek – Registered Republican
- Marjorie Summers – Registered Republican
- David Fauss – Registered Republican
- Terry Beckner – Registered Republican
- Rod Colfack – Registered Republican
- Leland Anderson – Registered Republican (NOTE: I previously had a link to donor information for Leland Anderson. I’ve received word that is a different person, so I took that down. The Leland Anderson in Axtell was in no way associated with the parade. However, the Leland Anderson who resides in Norfolk is a registered Republican in Madison county.)
Kris Colwell and Inez Haspeslaqh were not registered (at least under those names) and poor, poor Eva Seda is a registered Democrat, which either makes her the lone voice of reason or she forgot to change her party affiliation.
So, if you’re keeping track at home, a group of 9 registered Republicans allowed both a Pete Ricketts float AND an anti-Obama float. BUT WE’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO DRAW A CONNECTION BETWEEN CRAZY CONSERVATISM AND ACTUAL GOP PEOPLE.
I’m not saying all Republicans are racist. I’m saying ALL Republicans TOLERATE racism to a degree that makes me sick. Instead of a political party, let’s pretend we’re talking about an actual party.
How many known bigots and racists have to attend a house party before you decide you don’t want to go to that party anymore?
If you’re told “There’s gonna be about 50 of us hanging out and drinking. Oh, and like 5 of the guys are HUGE racists” do you still go? Because I don’t.
If you’re a registered Republican you have two choices: You actively work to stop this shit. You do everything you can to clean up the rampant bullshittery that is dominating your party. OR, and this is the only other choice: you deal with it when I call you complicit to racism. You accept that I get to say you hang out with racist morons and that bigots help vote your politicians into office. You understand it when I say that, just by the law of averages, you have helped elect racists.
I’m sick of the cycle where nothing changes. This is me doing step five. I’m ready for step six, where you blast me for holding people accountable for their actions using strong rhetoric.
If you laughed at this float or donated money to the same people that the people who made this float donated to: you’ve invited racists to your house party.
UPDATE: We now know the float maker.
Dale Remmich of rural Norfolk said Monday he is a military veteran who created the float to show his displeasure over the president’s handling of the Veterans Affairs Department.
Dale may be upset about the handling of the VA department. But there’s no way that’s what this float is about. I can tell because of the way it has absolutely nothing to do with the VA anywhere on it. We can argue about whether a parade (something ostensibly for young children and families) is the place for nuanced satirical discussions of particular policies. But that’s not what this was. See, if you’re mad about the VA treatment, you make a float that says that in some way.
This is the classic backpedaling of those who get called out on their racism. See step 3 at the top of this article. I knew he was going to say this BEFORE HE SAID IT. It’s so cyclical it’s nauseating.
And just to prove to you that this isn’t accidental, the float-maker would have had to not know that this happened before in Montana at a GOP convention… Or this in New Mexico. Or this internet meme. Or this political cartoon. Or this image from Florida. I could keep going. Hell google “Obama Outhouse” and you’ll be going for days. And what you’ll notice is that first link, the one in Montana at a GOP convention…the outhouse was riddled with bullet holes.
I’ve heard people say that this is just a “stale old political reference” about Presidential Libraries and outhouses. I googled George W Bush and outhouse. Images and stories about the Obama float and links to the memes above came up. Let that sink in.
The last thing I’ll say on this today is that Mr. Remmich claims that it was HIM as the zombie at the front of the float. There’s just a few small problems with Dale’s revisionist history. Here’s his excuse:
“I’ve got my bibs on, my walker, I’m covering my ears and I’m turning a bit green. I intended it to look like a zombie who has had enough,” Remmich said in an interview with the Norfolk Daily News.
This is a closeup of the zombie.
Does Remmich wear a suit to farm? I don’t know many farmers who do.
Also, there’s the small matter of skin tone… I watch a lot of zombie movies. Never seen any of them turn darker once they die.
Dale had to have seen the press coverage in order to respond. That meant he more than likely read the part where Glory Kathurima, a black citizen of Norfolk, had to explain to her little girl what that float was about. What Dale did this weekend was racist and offensive. He won’t even own up to it or apologize. Not even to Glory and her daughter.
Glad he’s one of yours, conservatives.