Get Back, Honkie Cat
In my home state of Oklahoma, the so-called Culture Wars don't necessarily involve anything quite so lofty as questions surrounding abortion rights, Darwinian theory or persistent vegetative states (incumbent U.S. senators excluded). Nope, our cultural touchstones -- at least according to some of the recent letters to the editor of The Daily Oklahoman -- chiefly revolve around issues perhaps best left for old Sly & the Family Stone songs.
Recently resigned University of Oklahoma baseball coach Larry Cochell quipped in a private meeting with two ESPN announcers late last month that an African-American freshman outfielder for OU, Joe Dunigan, didn't have "any nigger in him," and then went on to explain that "there are honkies and white people and there are niggers and black people. Dunigan is a good black kid."
So, here's a smattering of the reaction from Sooners in the May 11 Oklahoman:
J.D. Kinard of Washington writes:
"I've been haunted all week by something called the 'N-word.' Whatever this is, it must be really ghastly. No one on the radio will say what it means. No one in the press will print it. A good coach lost his job for having the audacity to utter it out loud. It is described as a racial stereotype word. In the same sentence with the 'N-word,' I read the 'H-word,' but it was spelled out -- 'honkie.' But of course that isn't a racial stereotype word. Is it?"
Sixteen-year-old Cole Walker of Oklahoma City chimes in:
"I was watching the news the other day and there was something on about the OU head baseball coach. He was reported saying the 'N-word.' On the news this word was bleeped out, but the word 'honkie' wasn't bleeped out. Why? The word is just as racist."
And Gilbert J. Thompson of Broken Bow elucidates us that, no, you only thought that the N-word was racist, when in reality ...
"I have worked with blacks. I have supervised blacks. I have been supervised by blacks. I was made to understand that the 'N-word' has nothing to do with skin color. It only refers to a bad person. Cochell's statement verifies that interpretation and shows no prejudice toward a race or toward any person. He is owed an apology and should be offered a position with the university, if not his previous position."
OK, aside from the aforementioned letters being a sad and pathetic testament to not-so-lingering racism in my home state, let me say this ... It is beyond asinine and completely disingenuous for any yahoo to make the claim that he or she finds "honkie" offensive. If anything, Cochell's use of the word only indicated that he must've stopped watching television shortly after the 1977 cancellation of "Sanford & Son."
Isn't "honkie" antiquated, anyway? Geez, what a ... what a ... cracker this guy is.
We can argue the logic of media outlets bleeping the N-word throughout when scores of rap and hiphop performers use the word on commercial radio every day. We can argue the double-standard of bleeping the N-word when other pejorative terms, ranging from "fag" to "kike," don't receive the same delicately P.C. treatment.
Moreover, if Cochell's legion of defenders are intent on arguing that the coach got a raw deal, they can challenge the propriety of a guy forced into resignation for a presumably off-the-record remark -- although there, too, one could certainly counter that only a seriously unstable jackass would make that comment to two ESPN announcers he barely knew.
But pretending that "honkie" has your white-assed dander up? Give me a break. Just treat yourself to a meal at Applebee's and suck it up, honkies.