Hillary, Gandhi and French Bashing

New York’s senator was in a storm of controversy this week after making a joke about Mahatma Gandhi at a St. Louis fund-raiser. Hillary’s attempt with humour and subsequent apology got plenty of media coverage.

During a speech Clinton quipped that India’s father of independence and non-violent apologist « ran a petrol station down in Saint Louis ». Hillary Clinton’s joke was seen as offensive by many, especially Americans of South-Asian heritage. Within hours the comments hit the airwaves and Right Wing Polemicists from Fox to Newsmax made political hay out the insensitive remark.

Holding Hillary Clinton accountable for her remarks is part of the political process, however, in the light of 2003’s French Bashing frenzy, it seems that insults, slurs, name-calling is acceptable when the butt of the joke is France or the French.

The former governor of Louisiana, Mike Foster, called the President of France “a snake”, Bob Dole and Roy Blunt cracked jokes about the French being too cowardly to defend themselves.

Beyond the realm of politics, many journalists, commentators, and comedians made countless Anti-French comments that would have been considered offensive, xenophobic or racist had they been made at the expense of any other ethnic or foreign nationality.

You can’t have it both ways, if you want to play the politically correct game, it must apply to all. If Hillary is to be held accountable, so should Mike Foster, Bob Dole and Roy Bunt.