Topic: "Killer's Geraldine" (4)
"What you see is what you get," so spake Flip Wilson, in drag, as Geraldine more than twenty years ago. Frodo was struck this evening by the punditry gone wild, and the fact that a very nice lady, named Geraldine, with a great deal of hard work in her past, who is fighting for her life against Cancer, is catching holy hell for the apparent racial implications in her public comments. What she said put Senator Obama in the context of the "nappy-headed ho's," and her own butt in the the chair before the microphone of Don Imus.
Frodo has walked similar ground; perhaps, dear reader, so have we all. Frodo, many years ago, in gratitude, extended an invitation to a party to more than a hundred people who worked with him. It was just a few days after the brilliant teleplay of Alex Haley's "Roots" had appeared on TV nationally. This incredibly powerful story had an impact on everyone who watched each and every episode during the days when TV was something important. Frodo, in his effort to be both topically wise, and funny, included comments in the invitation to his party about "Chicken George," and other characters. Subsequently, Frodo received a letter signed by each of the invitees who happened to be black. A copy of that letter was sent to all of those who had been invited to the party.
Frodo was not only humiliated, but he was struck to his very being. He had insulted the guys with whom he played basketball. He had written words almost sacrilegious to people whom he supervised. He had given comfort to those who always seemed to be looking to exhibit that blacks wanted to be treated differently. And he had not realized it. He also knew that "the incident" would always haunt his relationships, and it has never escaped his memory.
Perhaps his own experience is why Frodo felt the way he did this evening. Both Don Imus and Geraldine Ferraro had joined in his shame for the hurtful expressions uttered with the best of intentions. No one, including Bilbo, ever told Frodo that life was going to be either easy, or fair. Life is much more like the words Flip Wilson uttered as Geraldine.
Just watch out for "Killer."