I've seen the infamous sock puppet, and it does look like a black monkey. What I had in mind when I read the original news item was one of those sock puppets that have a red nose and behind because that's the color of the sock toe and heel. This one is clearly intended to be black. Still, I have to ask myself if this is enough to make it a racist effort. Remember, in order for something to be racist it must not only refer to the person's race, but be negative, and the race has to be the driving factor. So, it's not enough to make a crayon drawing of Obama black, cause he is. If I make a black sock puppet, is that enough to make me racist? Remember that I'm also making a wrinkled McCain puppet.
The crux of the matter seems to be that the sock puppet is equated with monkeys, and people have in the past equated African-Americans with monkeys. McCain's puppet is also a monkey. Does the fact that there is a McCain monkey cancel out the Obama monkey? Or is the very suggestion that we might equate Obama with a monkey make it out of bounds? I admit that it's an interesting and potentially disturbing question. Have we gone too far in "sensitivity"? Or is it just good manners to refrain from anything that might be injurious, like not mentioning hippos around fat people?
I haven't changed my opinion, though, about who the real racists are. They are the self-proclaimed keepers of the gate who keep a watch on us lest we slip. Remember the joke about the guy who went to the doctor? The doctor showed him several geometric shapes and asked the guy what he was thinking of. To all the man replied "sex." Said the doctor, "You are obsessed with sex." But, came back the man, "You keep showing me dirty pictures."
Remember also the definition of a Puritan as a person who is angry because somewhere somebody is having a good time. (I wish I knew who said that) Whatserface at the Tribune sees racism in just about everything and piously intones, "They just don't get it." Right.