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Saturday, September 06, 2008
 
Sambo Story

What a ridiculous story:

“So Sambo beat the bitch!”

This is how Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin described Barack Obama’s win over Hillary Clinton to political colleagues in a restaurant a few days after Obama locked up the Democratic Party presidential nomination.

According to Lucille, the waitress serving her table at the time and who asked that her last name not be used, Gov. Palin was eating lunch with five or six people when the subject of the Democrat’s primary battle came up. The governor, seemingly not caring that people at nearby tables would likely hear her, uttered the slur and then laughed loudly as her meal mates joined in appreciatively.


Okay, let's start with the easy stuff. Little Black Sambo may have been a well-known character in fiction in my parents' childhood. I'm about 7 years older than Sarah Palin, and all I know is that some tigers were running around the tree he was perched in and turned into butter. Or something. So I would not be surprised if Sarah Palin had never heard the Little Black Sambo story. Indeed, it appears that the writer himself doesn't know the story:

Besides insulting Obama with a Step-N’-Fetch-It, “darkie musical” swipe....


Second, consider the way the "reporter" got the story. He doesn't spell it out but:

It’s not easy getting people in the 49th state to speak critically about Palin – especially people in Wasilla, where she was mayor. For one thing, with every journalist in the world calling, phone lines into Alaska have been mostly jammed since Friday; as often as not, a recording told me that “all circuits are busy” or numbers just wouldn’t ring. I should think a state that’s been made richer than God by oil could afford telephone lines and cell towers for everyone.


So it appears that he called a couple of restaurants in Wasilla, asked to speak to a few waitresses and then asked them for any dirt on Palin. Note as well, that Lucille and others are effectively anonymous sources for this story. But that's a feature, because it reinforces the writer's second point, that Palin is vindictive.

And this really stretches things:

people who know her say she refers regularly to Alaska’s Aboriginal people as “Arctic Arabs” – how efficient, lumping two apparently undesirable groups into one ugly description – as well as the more colourful “mukluks” along with the totally unimaginative “f**king Eskimo’s,” according to a number of Alaskans and Wasillians interviewed for this article.


Never mind that her husband is an Eskimo himself, you know.
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