Thursday, February 16, 2012

2.1612 Bee-otch of the Day: Pete Hoekstra

Bee-otch of the Day honors are awarded Monday through Thursday, Bee-otch of the Week is awarded Friday on

Name: Pete Hoekstra
Age: 58
Occupation: former Michigan congressman
Last Seen: Holland, MI
Bee-otched For: losing his Stepin Fetchit

For those who've never watched a movie from the 1930's, let me let you in on the first black man in Hollywood who made over a million bucks. After all, it is Black History Month for another two weeks.

Lincoln Theodore Monroe Andrew Perry was a character actor who used the stage name "Stepin Fetchit". His persona was simple: act lazy on camera. After all, his nickname was "The Laziest Man in the World". He would play low-income-earners like janitors, servants or even cooks. While doing so, he would talk slow and use vernacular doing so, making him sound like somebody with an IQ below room temperature.

Needless to say, black leaders, such as the NAACP attacked him for insulting people of his own race. After all, the studios all paid him over a million bucks to pull his schtick. But, he ended up bankrupt and his career was dead after World War II.

Now, there's a woman who was carrying the Stepin Fetchit torch until she actually did her research. Her name is Lisa Chan, an Asian actress from California who was asked by the people running former Michigan congressman Pete Hoekstra's campaign for senator to portray a Chinese woman thanking current Michigan junior senator Debbie Stabinow for giving her people jobs and money.

The controversial commercial aired Super Bowl Sunday on Michigan NBC affiliates to very negative reviews for its inaccurate portrayal of Asians. Hoekstra's campaign even launched a now-closed website using Chan's image and even images of China to claim that Stabinow is a friend to China while Michigan suffers.

Now, Chan is recanting her role. On her Facebook page, she states:
"I am deeply sorry for any pain that the character I portrayed brought to my communities. As a recent college grad who has spent time working to improve communities and empower those without a voice, this role is not in any way representative of who I am. It was absolutely a mistake on my part and one that, over time, I hope can be forgiven. I feel horrible about my participation and I am determined to resolve my actions."
-Lisa Chan

Personally, I know that Chan's a young woman who just didn't know any better. Therefore, I'm happy that she apologized and realized the err of her actions.

However, the ad was nothing more than a way for Hoekstra to lose the election in November. Using racism and hypocrisy won't get him anywhere. Yes, he'll get the AM talk radio fanatics, but in the end, Pete's toast. Bear in mind that I called him a hypocrite because he helped bail out Wall St. in 2008. Remember when pRick Snyder used the 2010 Super Bowl to win the governorship of Michigan? Ain't gonna happen with Hoekstra.

Talk about a chink in the armor.

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