At the recent debates, McCain referred to Obama as “That One.” And while the thinking world groaned and shook its head at a dismissive reference that shouldn’t have been made, the rest of the world lit afire. Why do I say that?
I’ve seen folks arguing that it was a racially motivated slur, for the love of Xenu!
People, he called him “that one.” He didn’t call him “that nigger,” “that black,” “that coon,” or even “that boy over there.” Though given the age/experience difference, that last one could be justifiable. He called him “that one.” A dismissive reference, and one that ‘subtly’ refers back to attacks on Obama’s celeb-appeal, referring to him as “the One.”
The only way you can make that into a racially motivated slur is if you are taking the approach that McCain wouldn’t have said something like that about a white candidate. Now, I’ll admit, I haven’t listened to McCain regularly. But I know his reputation, and I’ll say that it’s entirely plausible that in the more casual environment of the town-hall style debate, he simply slipped into the markedly more casual style he sticks with.
Unforgivably rude, yes. Racist, I don’t think so. If I were considering voting for McCain, this might make me reconsider if Obama’s policies didn’t worry me so very much more than impolitic wording. I’m not voting for either of them, and this certainly isn’t making me reconsider that approach.
So if you’re gonna call McCain on this one, call it for the right thing – being remarkably rude to his opponent on national television.