Kevin Slaten's Racial Rant Got His Show Canceled. He Had a Point, Though
|Graphic by Rick Sealock|
|Kevin Slaten's recent racial rant got his show canceled on KFNS (590 AM)|
Surprised? This is the same radio host, mind you, who once told an RFT staff writer preparing to publish a profile on him: "I'm going to destroy you.... I'm not threatening you. I'm promising you."
But what did he say this time? According to the PD:
The next time someone tells me that the black voters are not bigoted, stick it in the trash can because black voters are bigoted -- ninety-three percent [of the black vote went] for Obama, six percent for [Mitt] Romney -- you're bigots. You might not be bigots in your normal life, but when you vote you are bigots. ... That's how you vote.
He also reportedly said:
When it comes to black voters and a black president ... you're not going to vote for a white guy if there's a black choice. And I think that's despicable, and I think that black voters ought to be ashamed of themselves for voting that way because of race. And that's what they did.
Now, exit polls have suggested that 93 percent of black voters cast their ballots for Obama. That much is true.
It doesn't necessarily make them "bigots," as Slaten suggests. According to Merriam Webster's definition, a bigot is "one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance."
It could be that black voters passed over Romney not out of hatred for whitey, but rather, out of group solidarity with Obama. And then, even to go that far would simplify a complex choice: Race is one of many factors voters consider, alongside ideology, the economy, character and experience of the candidates, etc.
So Slaten was off on that one. However, he also made another point that had more truth to it:
There was a black preacher that said, 'Vote for the black man.' If there was a white preacher that said, 'Vote for the white guy,' he would have been pillaged.(We think you meant "pilloried," Kevin, but you were ranting on the air in the heat of the moment; we understand.)
On this score, Slaten kind of has a point. Dyed-in-the-wool liberal Ray Hartmann, founder of Riverfront Times and a regular on Donnybrook, recently made a very similar point on St. Louis Magazine's website:
Missouri doesn't do the diversity thing in statewide elections.... More than a quarter of a million voters in this state wouldn't elect a black man at the same moment they were giving landslide wins to white candidates in his own party. I'm not seeing red about that. I'm seeing white.Hartmann appears to be saying that white voters picked Romney out of white solidarity. This is equivalent to Slaten's claim that blacks voted for Obama because he's black.
But where are the enraged people calling for Ray Hartmann's head? (Not that he could ever get fired from a magazine he owns, but you get the point.)
In 2012 America, this is how it works: It's okay for a person to accuse his/her own race of bigotry. It's also okay for a black person to accuse whites of bigotry. But it's decidedly not okay for a white person to accuse blacks of bigotry. Just ask Kevin Slaten.
There might be understandable historical reasons for this state of affairs. But it's still a double standard.