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the post-racial world

Kansas Congresswoman Totally Didn’t Mean to Be Racist

It's been too long since a Republican officeholder has said something racist about Barack Obama and been forced to make a sheepish, unconvincing apology, hasn't it? Well, Representative Lynn Jenkins of Kansas has broken the streak! Back on August 19, Jenkins told a forum in Kansas that the GOP needs to find a "great white hope" to defeat President Obama. The phrase "great white hope" has an interesting history, you see, and by interesting we mean shameful. Back when Jack Johnson was dominating the sport of boxing in the early twentieth century, white Americans clamored for a boxer of their own race, a "great white hope," to take the crown from him. Because God forbid a black person excel at sports — or really at anything, at that time. Anyway, Jenkins apparently had little to no understanding of the phrase she was saying, according to her. "Obviously I was discussing the future of the Republican Party in response to a question about is there any hope for Republicans," Jenkins told the Lawrence Journal-World. "I was explaining that there are some bright lights in the House, and I was unaware of any negative connotation. If I offended somebody, obviously I apologize." Better to be ignorant than racist, we guess.

Congresswoman apologizes for 'great white hope' comment [Political Ticker/CNN]

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