If there's one good thing about town halls, it's that we get a glimpse of our fellow Americans' true colors. But is that really what happened when Rep. Lynn Jenkins insisted Republicans can find a "great white hope"?
The Kansas-based Republican made the off-color remark during a town hall last week, when she implored fellow conservative not to lose faith in the GOP, for they can — and will! — find someone to lead them out of the dark Obama days. From the horse's mouth:
Republicans are struggling right now to find the great white hope. I suggest to any of you who are concerned about that, who are Republican, there are some great young Republican minds in Washington.
The phrase "great white hope" traces its origins back to 1908, when racist whites called on James J. Jeffries to beat the great, black boxing champion Jack Johnson. Jeffries ended up throwing in the towel. But, nevermind.
Since then, the phrase has become quite common, and we can definitely see how someone like Jenkins — or anyone — would use it in a ra-ra speech. So, we're not going to call her a racist, but we will wrinkle our forehead in wonder.
Jenkins isn't totally unaware of her comment's objectionable subtext. Her office insists she didn't mean to be offensive and issued an apology. It was, we're sure, from the heart, not a reaction to outraged masses.