Martin who has been at MSNBC for the past three years, came under fire recently because he suggested that Sarah Palin have her mouth defecated in. This received a fairly visceral reaction from the public and rightfully so. Bashir later apologized for the comment and admitted that he made a mistake. Palin whom of course heard the remarks, ultimately accepted his apology.
So, lets unpack all this that happened, because it is deeper than surface level items. First let’s talk about why Bashir chose to attack Sarah Palin in that manner. Palin speaking at a Republican event in Iowa, said the following; “Our free stuff today is being paid for today by taking money from our children and borrowing from China. “When that money comes due and, this isn’t racist, so try it, try it anyway, this isn’t racist, but it’s going to be like slavery when that note is due.” Right?” “We are going to be beholden to a foreign master.”
Now clearly the word slavery carries some strong undercurrents and evokes emotion. So the sheer fact that she chose those words is problematic from the beginning. However the response from Bashir was stronger. Now it is important to point out the important part concerning slavery and it’s correlation to defecating in someone’s mouth.
Back in the 1700’s Thomas Thistlewood, an overseer of slaves at a major plantation in Jamaica punished slaves by using a brand of unimaginable savagery and harm, dubbed the Darby dose.
The story from Thistlewood’s diary goes as such, in his own words; A slave named Darby catched eating canes; had him well flogged and pickled, then made Hector, another slave, sh*t in his mouth.”
Bashir said this became known as “Darby’s dose.
Thistlewood goes on to mention another incident again in 1756, this time in relation to a man, likely guilty of eating things he had no business. Here is what Thistlewood recorded;
Flogged Punch well, and then washed and rubbed salt pickle, lime juice and bird pepper; made Negro Joe piss in his eyes and mouth.
Now with this context, it brings you closer to not only the barbaric nature of abuse that slaves endured, but it related back to what slavery actually is. Bashir attempted to bring Palin back to earth with what slavery previously was, and trivialize her silly banter on money we owe China.
This particular incident caught more attention than the Don Lemon CNN special on race. On this program Lemon started out the show by saying the words “N*gger” and “cracker.” Now it was only acceptable for Lemon to state this, because he is perceived to be “black” in the media. However his commentaries and actions in reporting, dialoguing and otherwise interacting with African American issues is less than uplifting. Meaning the brother doesn’t help black folks out with his pompous attitude.
The fact that a “black” man openly used the word “N*gger on TV should have caused an outcry. He didn’t use N*gga, a oft used hyphenated euphemism that young and old blacks use to describe one another. This is often used as a way to take the power from the word N*gger. But I saw Don Lemon being able to say the word N*gger on TV as a white man doing so. If you have seen Lemon on TV you understand that he has made some ridiculous statements about race and the treatment of blacks. Mainly here recently he was in support of the stop and frisk law in New York.
Lemon achieved what no other white person has been able to do; say the word N*gger on TV with zero repercussions.
To me this was just as bad as what Bashir said, if not worst. Just to clarify, I should point out, that he did not say someone should sh*t in Sarah Palin’s mouth verbatim. He said it in reference to the Darby dose that I covered earlier.
Personally I enjoyed Bashir and his honest commentary of politics and the media propaganda that the likes of FoxNews and CNN dispense, often unchecked. But he decided to resign and take the spotlight off MSNBC, even though he was spot on.
Greg B., is a financial professional and native Ohioan who is the writer here. I am an avid reader, coffee connoisseur and dog lover. Follow me on Twitter @love2edify.