But when it came time in the routine for Martin to throw out a word to describe just how special he was, he stuttered and stammered and eventually spat out "pizazz." That was his shtick, of course. That he was so smart, and yet he couldn't quite figure out how to say what he meant.
So I thought of Martin, over the past couple of days as former congresswoman and vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro shared her opinion of Barack Obama and why he is where he is in the '08 race for the White House.
If you hadn't seen or heard about this issue, Ferraro basically said that if Obama wasn't black he wouldn't be getting so much attention, he wouldn't be leading in the Democratic race, and he never would have gotten as far as he has. She said the same would be true if Obama was a woman...of any color. Ferraro later said her comments were misconstrued.
Obama's camp said Ferraro was out of line. Some of his supporters called her racist. She said she was just calling 'em like she saw 'em and that those lashing out at her were being reverse-racist 'cause she's white.
Keeping in mind that the only horse I have in this presidential race is Dave Barry, whom I would campaign for if my bosses would let me, I have mixed feelings about Ferraro's jabs.
The first thing I wanted to do was go dance in the street with the Lion King soundtrack playing in the background, 'cause Ferraro taught me for the first time in my 35 years on this earth that being a black man in the United States is actually an advantage for me.
Who knew? I guess it is pretty far-fetched to think if Barack Obama was white, blond, blue-eyed and named Captain America that anyone in the U.S. would ever want to put him in power. I mean if he has an advantage with that name, I should be in the running for Emperor of the Galaxy. I'm plain old James Burnett, a name with good Scottish roots. How much more harmless could my name sound?
Seriously, while it is lame for people to use something so sensitive as race in a conniving, self-serving manner, it is equally lame for people who don't think before they speak to use out-of-control political correctness as a crutch and defense to their ill-chosen words.
We all have an advantage. We live in the United States of America. Had to say that. No one's gonna come in here after the fact and accuse me of not being proud to be an American.
Anywho, Ferraro isn't corny because she thinks Obama's not prepared to be president. It's her opinion...one I'm sure she had about Bill Clinton when he ran for president with the experience of a small state governor under his belt. And I'm sure, if she's a history buff, she felt that way about the four or five other U.S. presidents in the last century who ascended to the White House with less than six years in elected state or national office.
And Ferraro is not corny for backing Hillary Clinton. More power to her.
Ferraro is corny for being a hypocrite and then falling back on a weak excuse like reverse racism to justify her use of race as a weapon in the first place. Take note you folks who think the only institutional political types who are in the dark about issues of race relations are crusty old GOP legislators. It ain't true.
So even though I'm not getting a million dollar a month consulting fee, I'm gonna give a valuable piece of thought food to Geraldine Ferraro: You were given the benefit of the doubt by members of your own party back in the day that in addition to your gender you brought brains and skills to the vice presidential candidacy. So who's being closed-minded if you're not willing to give that same benefit of the doubt to the people in your own party who are supporting a different sort of minority today?
Either way, vote Dave Barry!
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to exercise my privilege in life by taking candy from a baby, skipping in front of an elderly woman...using a walker at the grocery store, and telling someone, anyone, wearing a badge to go and fornicate himself. These are the advantages of being a black man.