Comedian's Whining Over Obama's Hanukkah Is Totally Racist

white house menorahThe first night of Hanukkah may be tonight, but the First Family started their celebration a wee bit early when President Obama gave a speech and he, Michelle, and the Bidens had a lovely color-coordinated photo op at the White House on December 8. Now, comedian Jackie Mason is kvetching that the President's celebration of the holiday was a "fraud." Oy vey. Seems like the 75-year-old entertainer believes the Obamas and Bidens timed their photo op for the Festival of Lights to bolster his polling with Jewish Americans. Oookay.

Clearly, he missed the memo about the special lighting ceremony planned for the National Hanukkah Menorah near the White House tonight. His meshugeneh tirade makes him seem like your senile zayde who says koo-koo, racist things, but because he's your beloved grandpa who has lost his marbles, you just have no choice but to smile and nod.


The truth is that I think -- and I'm sure most American Jews would agree with me -- that Washington is doing a stellar job of acknowledging and celebrating Hanukkah. For one thing, the early celebration of Hanukkah is nothing new. Bush did it, too. A politically enthusiastic friend of mine pointed out that it happens whenever the holiday falls late in the year (i.e. overlapping with Christmas), and the government will be off during Hanukkah. Furthermore, they've even Kosher-ized the White House kitchen! Mason's beef with Obama (and a handful of other altacockers, or "AKs," as my mom would say) is just fueled by his old-school, unfortunately racist belief system.

I once saw the guy do stand-up at the Chicago Theatre with my mom and grandma, and I remember walking out of the performance all riled up and scowling, because his brand of "humor" is unapologetically prejudiced against pretty much anyone who isn't white, male, and middle-to-senior aged. My mom told me I shouldn't be so sensitive about it, because that's just his "shtick," but clearly, the guy is just a bitter, old man stuck in a time warp where he thinks it's okay to call Obama a "schvartze" (a Yiddish word for black person that's almost always used as a racial epithet). I don't know if I'd go so far to say Mason is a hateful person, but he refuses to live in the 21st century or embrace anyone on the content of their character, as opposed to their race or gender.

And that's further reason why Mason's comments should be taken with a teeny tiny grain of Kosher salt. There's no underlying conspiracy here, as Mason would have us believe. President Obama is well aware of what Hanukkah is (one of his BFFs is the Jewish mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel after all), and there should be no question about his good intentions for having a photo op (to include American Jews in Washington's holiday celebration). The only takeaway from this story is that it's time for Jackie Mason to get off the stage.

What do you think about the White House's Hanukkah celebration and Jackie Mason's remarks?

Image via Elvert Barnes/Flickr

Read More >