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Old 04-19-2014, 08:25 AM  
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Topeka Parents trying to Just say No to Wookie




TOPEKA, Kan. — If expanding the guest list to include Michelle Obama at graduation for high school students in the Kansas capital city means fewer seats for friends and family, some students and their parents would prefer the first lady not attend.

A furor over what the Topeka school district considers an honor has erupted after plans were announced for Obama to address a combined graduation ceremony for five area high schools next month an 8,000-seat arena. For some, it was the prospect of a tight limit on the number of seats allotted to each graduate. For others, it was the notion that Obama’s speech, tied to the 60th anniversary of the US Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education outlawing segregation in schools, would overshadow the student’s big day.

“I’m a single mother who has raised him for 18 years by myself,” said Tina Hernandez, parent of Topeka High School senior Dauby Knight. “I’ve told him education is the only way out. This is one of the biggest days of their lives. They’ve taken the glory and shine from the children and put on Mrs. Obama. She doesn’t know our kids.”

Hernandez was among the parents and students who spoke Thursday at a school board meeting and urged district officials to reconsider their decision to invite Obama. Ron Harbaugh, spokesman for the Topeka school district, said Friday discussions were under way to work out the logistics and planning for the event, including how many tickets each family would be allotted.

“We will have a clearer picture of what’s going on,” Harbaugh said.
Harbaugh said officials asked the president or first lady to speak at graduation as a tie-in with the anniversary of the Brown decision, which outlawed school segregation. The district plans to place a priority on seating students and their families, and could broadcast the event to an overflow room at a hotel adjacent to the graduation arena for those unable to find a seat inside.
That’s not good enough for Taylor Gifford, 18, who started an online petition Thursday evening to urge the district to reconsider its plans. She and the more than 1,200 people who had signed it expressed concern that Obama’s visit would limit the seating options for family and friends.
“I really would like it to have a peaceful solution, but there is so much misinformation going on,” Gifford said.

Gifford said her initial reaction to the news was excitement, saying she was “freaking out” about the prospect of the first lady speaking at graduation. When rumors of limited tickets surfaced, Gifford felt like the focus was being shifted from the students to Obama.

“People think it’s a great opportunity, but it’s the graduates’ time. They are getting that diploma that they worked so hard for,” Gifford said. “Families are feeling that they are being cheated out of the loved ones special day.”

Abbey Rubottom, 18, a Topeka High senior, described herself as a “die-hard Democrat” but doesn’t like the idea of Obama sharing the stage with graduates.
“No disrespect for the first lady, and it’s amazing that she wants to come speak, I just think it doesn’t belong at graduation,” Rubottom said.

Rubottom suggested separate ceremonies with Obama speaking at one and the address being replayed at the other.

Some people have said bringing in the first lady politicizes the graduation. Others have suggested that if she wants to mark the Brown anniversary, she could just visit the historic site that commemorates the decision, which is just few blocks from the graduation venue.
The Brown site is housed in a former all-black school where the lead plaintiff’s daughter and another plaintiff’s child in the desegregation case were students. It tells the story of the 1954 Supreme Court decision.

Messages seeking comment from the first lady’s office in Washington were not immediately returned Friday.
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Old 06-11-2014, 09:49 AM   #106
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Originally Posted by Cochise View Post
Was it racist when people used to call Janet Reno the same thing for being thick, amazonian and otherwise manly? They called Janet Reno a "greased wookie" on Saturday Night Live, even.
Were they calling her a Wookie based on her skin color and her lips?

One is poor taste.

The other is in poor taste with racist undertones.
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Old 06-11-2014, 09:59 AM   #107
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Here: google "Janet Reno Wookie" in google images and then google "Michelle Obama Wookie" and try to tell me that's the same thing. Not even close to comparable.

Deny, deny deny all you want. It just makes you ignorant to how everyone else views you.

Two weeks from now they'll probably be a thread about how Dems paint republicans as racist...and completely ignore how republicans give that image to themselves.
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Old 06-11-2014, 10:01 AM   #108
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Are you going to give me the bullshit, "A wookie is an Alien, dur" argument? To try to tell me that a wookie doesn't have an uncanny resemblance to a big-foot or an ape-man is pretty stupid.
No, I don't think a wookie represents a race or an ape.

And since when is Big Foot racial? Is that something new?

In your other post you say that calling Palin wookie-like isn't racial, so because Michelle is black it automatically then becomes racial? Huh?
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Old 06-11-2014, 10:06 AM   #109
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The Wookie thing aside it seems like any ridicule of Michelle is generally considered racist by some people. She's off limits for some weird reason.
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Old 06-11-2014, 10:10 AM   #110
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Originally Posted by blaise View Post
No, I don't think a wookie represents a race or an ape.

And since when is Big Foot racial? Is that something new?

In your other post you say that calling Palin wookie-like isn't racial, so because Michelle is black it automatically then becomes racial? Huh?
If i call a white kid a little monkey because he jumps around all over the place and call a black kid a monkey because he's dark and has big lips, is that the same thing?

You're not asking the right questions. WHY is the comparison being made?

You don't think a Wookie and a Sasquatch have anything in common? Really? REALLY?

Listen, i'm not calling you a racist blaise. I don't believe that you are. However, when you make a joke in which you compare a black woman to an ape-man creature, that clearly has a racist undertone to it.

That alone doesn't make you a racist. However, you do need to be prepared to deal with the consequences that come with that joke. When that joke becomes a running gag, it's an incredibly bad look for the party that you represent. It's not difficult to see how a racist stereotype can develop from that.

And as that stereotype continues to build....all i see is blaming others rather taking on personal responsibility and acknowledging the role you played in building that stereotype that you're so adamantly trying to dispel.
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Old 06-11-2014, 10:14 AM   #111
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Originally Posted by Detoxing View Post
If i call a white kid a little monkey because he jumps around all over the place and call a black kid a monkey because he's dark and has big lips, is that the same thing?

You're not asking the right questions. WHY is the comparison being made?

You don't think a Wookie and a Sasquatch have anything in common? Really? REALLY?

Listen, i'm not calling you a racist blaise. I don't believe that you are. However, when you make a joke in which you compare a black woman to an ape-man creature, that clearly has a racist undertone to it.

That alone doesn't make you a racist. However, you do need to be prepared to deal with the consequences that come with that joke. When that joke becomes a running gag, it's an incredibly bad look for the party that you represent. It's not difficult to see how a racist stereotype can develop from that.

And as that stereotype continues to build....all i see is blaming others rather taking on personal responsibility and acknowledging the role you played in building that stereotype that you're so adamantly trying to dispel.
I get what you're saying, but at the same time - she looks like a big Wookie in some photos.
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Old 06-11-2014, 10:17 AM   #112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blaise View Post
I get what you're saying, but at the same time - she looks like a big Wookie in some photos.
I agree, she does. But still though.....
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Old 06-11-2014, 10:21 AM   #113
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Originally Posted by Detoxing View Post
Were they calling her a Wookie based on her skin color and her lips?

One is poor taste.

The other is in poor taste with racist undertones.
They were calling her a wookie for the same reason as Michelle. Because she's big and amazonian and manly, and at times seems to be ill-tempered
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Old 06-11-2014, 10:24 AM   #114
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Originally Posted by Cochise View Post
They were calling her a wookie for the same reason as Michelle. Because she's big and amazonian and manly, and at times seems to be ill-tempered
A quick glance at google images would lead me to disagree with that assessment.
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Old 06-11-2014, 10:37 AM   #115
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Originally Posted by Detoxing View Post
A quick glance at google images would lead me to disagree with that assessment.
You could draw a lot of silly conclusions about a lot of topics by looking at google images.
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Old 06-11-2014, 10:45 AM   #116
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Originally Posted by Cochise View Post
You could draw a lot of silly conclusions about a lot of topics by looking at google images.
I see far more evidence that suggests the comparison has to do with her appearance than her height and demeanor.

If you don't like the negative connotation that comes with it, then don't partake in the joke.

I have eyes. I'm not some whacky liberal hipster who is looking to take offense to every stupid little thing.

I am 29 years old and i make all kinds of racist jokes with my friends. I'm not blind to why Michelle is compared to a Wookie. I understand. Trust me.

However, i am also smart enough to understand how those jokes can create a negative stereotype on a public stage.
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Old 06-11-2014, 10:48 AM   #117
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Originally Posted by Detoxing View Post
You want to act like "the worn out history card" has no meaning. You can't just erase it and pretend like it doesn't matter. When our country has a history of depicting black people as monkeys, it's kind of a bad look to compare a black person to a monkey these days. Yes, history matters whether you like it or not.

Its in poor taste and these are the things republicans need to understand if they're ever going to shed the "racist" stereotype.

You can deny it and be stubborn all you want. I don't care. You're the one perpetuating the problem not me.
Yes I can... If we don't start telling them to get over things, then it'll never end.

The world is just TOO DAMN PC!!!!

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Old 06-11-2014, 10:51 AM   #118
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The Wookie thing aside it seems like any ridicule of Michelle is generally considered racist by some people. She's off limits for some weird reason.
**** that! She's thrown herself into the ring so she's as fair game as anybody in D.C.. Had she wanted to stay clear of the crtisizm, she should have been one of those first ladies who just served meals in various soup kitchens.

No free passes for the Wookie!
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Old 06-11-2014, 11:09 AM   #119
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I see far more evidence that suggests the comparison has to do with her appearance than her height and demeanor.
It does have to do with her appearance. Her brutish, amazonian, manly appearance and the temperament to match.
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Old 06-11-2014, 11:23 AM   #120
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It does have to do with her appearance. Her brutish, amazonian, manly appearance and the temperament to match.
Ok, fine. Maybe that's your interpretation of it. When you look around however, that doesn't seem to be the norm at all. If you don't want to be lumped in with that "other" group, then you probably shouldn't engage in it because most people aren't going to assume your interpretation is different.
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