A couple of gems from just the past year (during which, remember, she was sick):
Despite being an evil Republican, I suppose I voted mostly like a Democrat on the California state propositions and Los Angeles city measures today. (As far as people go – Arnold Schwarzenegger for governer, Calif. state sen. Tom McClintock for Lt. Governor, etc. – I voted basically the straight Republican ticket.)
But I’m a Republican mostly because I’m a neocon (there, I said it!) foreign policy hawk, not a traditional values conservative. And unlike the left, the right doesn’t peevishly evict you if you fail to toe even one section of the party line.
[L]ike most Jews of that generation [my grandmother] always said “schwartzer” – always insisting it was not impolite at all, because it’s just the Yiddish term for black, so what’s the problem? That was disingenious, of course; any insider’s term for outsiders is always at least a little rude…
I’ve never used “schwartzer” myself, but I still prefer it to “African-American,” a flakey genteel affectation that’s always struck me as filled with more than its fair share of smarm. Somehow, deep down, I think most people know this – even when they’re always careful to use African-American instead of black themselves.
If not, then why all the snickering when Richards misspoke his regrets about insulting those “Afro-American” hecklers on Letterman? And why all the jibes about it in the media analysis after?
I suppose because Richards was using a passe term, one that’s now as outdated as “Negro.” But I think part of it, at least, is because once Richards turned himself into a racist pinata for the non-racist rest of us to smash, we were free to laugh at the genteel affectedness of African-American – which is really just a new twist on the genteel affectedness of Afro-American.
Also: Mark Steyn mentions “one of my all-time favorite NRO jests … its particular combination of body parts and bodily fluids requires her finesse to carry off.” You can find what he’s talking about here, under February.