jeff_frederick copySo I’m browsing the net and visit HuffPost and there’s a story about Jeff Frederick, head of the Virginia GOP advising GOP campaign workers to compare Obama to Osama because “Both have friends that bombed the Pentagon,” he said. “That is scary.”

What is scary is that this twit has a statewide stage from which to spout such utter nonsense, and that he can do it with a straight face.  What really frosts my ass is that he’s also a sailor. We sailors can disagree on politics, race tactics, best cruising areas and brand of gin, but this is embarrassing and offensive on so many levels.

Mr. Frederick’s web site says that he is Hispanic and advises us that he was born in a Northern Virginia hospital, as if to assure of his citizenship. He is also the youngest member ever elected to the Virginia General Assembly. Perhaps we should give him a free pass because of his youth. Or perhaps we should expect more of someone who represents a major political party, whatever their age.

The Admiral grew up in Virginia when public schools were segregated. You still run across school buildings all over the state named after African American politicians and leaders where black children got their education, largely invisible to the rest of Virginia. You still read stories about massive resistance to integration and efforts to repair the damage to peoples’ lives. You still run across people who use code words to describe people of color, thinking that they’re somehow less offensive that way.

I had thought Virginia had made progress toward tolerance and diversity until this story broke. I’m embarrased to say on behalf of my adopted home state that there are people here who will believe Frederick. If Obama loses the state on the basis of policy, values, or because he was simply outflanked, I will be sad. If he loses because of racism, xenophobia, and malice, I will be ashamed and wonder just how far we’ve come after all.

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