Patterico's Pontifications

3/24/2022

Yo, Kansas: Good Manners Count For A Whole Lot And Can Keep You From Being a Real Goober

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:51 am



[guest post by Dana]

If you feel an urge to mock someone because they don’t look like you, dress differently from you, and/or are of a different race or culture, maybe take a beat and say nothing. You are not obligated to open your trap and confirm to everyone around you that you are an ignorant fool. Most of us aren’t compelled to mock like that, and yet a number of politicians still don’t seem to understand the concept. It’s like they’re physically unable to keep their yaps shut, even while knowing that the word vomit forming in their pea brains and threatening to spill out of their childish mouths MIGHT BE OFFENSIVE to their intended targets. It’s hard to give these goobers the benefit of the doubt because I think they’re intentionally trying to be cute and get a chuckle out of their supporters at the expense of another individual. Shame on them.

For godsake:

Rep. Ponka-We Victors, a Wichita Democrat, made history Wednesday afternoon as the first Native American woman to serve as chair of the Kansas House of Representatives.

But the moment was tarnished when Rep. John Wheeler, a Garden City Republican, made an insensitive remark during a floor speech.

Wheeler told Victors he was “checking to see if that was a tomahawk” after she struck her gavel to quiet the body. He immediately apologized after the comment was met with a mix of laughter and vocal disapproval.

“I am getting a point that that is apparently considered offensive, if it is I certainly do apologize,” Wheeler said.

Just stop. You’re a grown man and an elected official. This really rubbed me wrong because the young Indian woman was singled out for mockery in front of her peers in a professional setting. And rather than being courteous and taking the opportunity to welcome Victors and offer his congratulations for being the first Native American woman to serve as the Kansas House chair, Wheeler fouled the event by displaying his bigoted underpants. And his “apology” was the weak sauce of playing dumb. He knew better. Own it, dude. Just own it.

NOTE: So, I just read this and to some degree, Wheeler has owned it:

[Wheeler] also said he has apologized to Reps. Christina Haswood, D-Lawrence, and Stephanie Byers, D-Wichita, and would call Victors-Cozad when he returned home.

“The world has changed a lot for this 74-year-old man,” Wheeler said. “I try to keep up, but today I had a slip.”

Here’s the bottom line: no matter his age and whether or not he is a true bigot, had he just used self-control and good manners, Victors would not have been humiliated.

–Dana

23 Responses to “Yo, Kansas: Good Manners Count For A Whole Lot And Can Keep You From Being a Real Goober”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (5395f9)

  2. I don’t see Victors as being humiliated, as that would imply that the rest of the body agreed with the “joke.” In fact, the person who is humiliated here is Wheeler, and it’s his own doing.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  3. Racists going to racist. As a part native american myself I have seen this a lot.

    asset (8a0ac1)

  4. I think it’s better sometimes to just roll with things like this. Life is too short to take offense at jokes. If someone were to joke about my white boy dance moves, I’d probably laugh with them.

    norcal (361075)

  5. Dana,

    She came not in professionable garb but in a hokey made in thailand indian shawl. It was hugely disrespectful to the AMERICAN STATE OF KANSAS. She wasnt elected toa tribal council (in many tribes women dont even have the right to vote in tribal matters) She was a clown. But to be fair there are alot of clowns in state legislatures.

    She wore it to be attacked to get publicity. She counted on good and stout heared people like you, Dana to rise up.

    Indians. Best polticians

    EPWJ (0403b7)

  6. Yeah, that’s a joke you’d make only to the lady herself, only if you were friends, and only among friends, in an otherwise non-public setting.

    nk (1d9030)

  7. that’s a joke you’d make only to the lady herself,

    I’d think it’s a joke a male would/should only make to another male.

    In particular, since a tomahawk is a weapon of war in a culture which restricted the role of warrior to males, it’s like falsely accusing a lady of being trans.

    pouncer (b54b6a)

  8. i’m certain no kansas democrats are chiefs fans

    have you heard their tomahawk chop chant?

    JF (e1156d)

  9. “You’ve got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know… morons.” Never a more appropriate quote than in this instance.

    nk (1d9030)

  10. Revisit the televised Inouye/Wilson incident from the August, 1973 Watergate Hearings– especially in light of Inouye’s distinguished service to country in WW2. Have never forgotten that moment.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  11. I’m glad he rethought and properly apologized and didn’t try to say that she’d tricked him into making a racially insensitive remark by wearing ethnic clothing or excusing his actions by saying that some democrats are probably chiefs fans.

    Nic (896fdf)

  12. I don’t see Victors as being humiliated, as that would imply that the rest of the body agreed with the “joke.” In fact, the person who is humiliated here is Wheeler, and it’s his own doing.

    Kevin M (38e250) — 3/24/2022 @ 10:58 am

    Bingo. But it’s harder to paint Victors as a victim and the evil of all white men who just need to shut up and go away narrative doesn’t play out the same way.

    frosty (0dec90)

  13. She came not in professionable garb but in a hokey made in thailand indian shawl. It was hugely disrespectful to the AMERICAN STATE OF KANSAS. She wasnt elected toa tribal council (in many tribes women dont even have the right to vote in tribal matters) She was a clown. But to be fair there are alot of clowns in state legislatures.

    She wore it to be attacked to get publicity.

    Yeah, so all I have to say to this is: it’s clear that you and Rep. Wheeler purchase your underpants at the same outlet store (see post for reference).

    Dana (5395f9)

  14. Whats the matter with kansas by thomas frank.

    asset (8dd52c)

  15. or excusing his actions by saying that some democrats are probably chiefs fans.
    Nic (896fdf) — 3/24/2022 @ 7:37 pm

    looks like you’re having trouble figuring out the difference between pointing out your hypocrisy and excusing his actions

    JF (e1156d)

  16. @JF@15 Bob was drunk at work! That’s terrible! But we can’t criticize him because sometimes other people are drunk on their personal time! It would be hypocritical to criticize him! (no, obviously it wouldn’t, don’t drink on the job people.)

    Nic (896fdf)

  17. Dana, Interesting story. It’s sad that the racist old guy marred what should have been a nice moment for Rep Ponka-We and her supporters with a dumb joke. But let’s look on the bright side
    1. The general reactions as negative
    2. He apologized, apparently sincerely, and owned his misdate.
    3. So far there’s been very little of the incoherent flailing and silly denialism that often comes when someone does / says something racist.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  18. @16 cuz it’s ok to be racist in public, just not at work

    this must be the nuanced take

    JF (e1156d)

  19. @18 It’s generally bad regardless of venue but it’s worse at work because their are generally higher standards for behavior at work. If you want to hang confederate flags up in your living room and scream rants about gay mud people destroying America you can.

    I hope this helps you understand the point.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  20. Dana,

    Insults. Sign of a decent rebuttal.

    EPWJ (0403b7)

  21. @17: It used to be that people went to rehab.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  22. @JF@18 You should be a professional at work regardless of your personal level of jerkness. I’m sorry this is too nuanced.

    Nic (896fdf)

  23. Hey. Indians use tomahawks. They proudly display them. There are bunches of pictures of the same Indian wearing proper conservative western business suits at non indian functions. And everyone there including some of the indians laughed.

    EPWJ (0403b7)


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