(Editor's note: The original headline on this story has been changed to reflect the fact that Jennifer Gates is not wearing brown coloring on her face.)
Dallas City Council member Jennifer Staubach Gates, whose name has been mentioned recently as an establishment candidate for mayor in 2019, announced the end of her political career in novel fashion the day after Halloween by posting photos of herself dressed as a Mexican man in a sombrero with a black mustache holding a giant alcoholic drink glass.
Apparently the photos, which she posted on her Facebook page, were taken at an office party at City Hall. The theme of the party seems to have been that she and the staff were ingredients in a margarita, an alcoholic drink. She was the lime.
Some political observers — well, me — have always wondered how Gates, a product of affluent white North Dallas, would establish rapport with voters as a citywide candidate in a blue-voting diverse city. The photo of herself on Facebook in what could be called brown-face answers that question. Not well.
To be fair, she obviously thought the photos on her Facebook page were funny, and she obviously didn’t intend to offend anyone, because white people in North Dallas never do. People just go around offending themselves because they’re so sensitive.
But it’s the reach thing. Even if it’s people’s own fault for getting offended when you dress up like them and have a few laughs at their oversensitive expense, then how do you get them to vote for you? It’s especially difficult if they’re not laughing, which they never are, because they’re so sensitive.
Is it inherently evil to dress up like other ethnic groups because you think it’s funny? Maybe not, but it is inherently white. How many black SMU fraternity parties have there been where all the black kids wore white-face and pink polo shirts and walked around calling each other Bunny? It’s just such a white thing.
Do white people dress up like other ethnic groups as a way to make friends with them? Like, if they get invited to a black wedding, do they show up in black-face? Nope.
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Why do they only do it when no nonwhites are around? Are they subconsciously afraid of getting punched? Consciously?
Here’s the one thing we know for sure. White politicians who want to get elected to offices for which they will need the votes of nonwhite ethnic groups never, ever, ever get dressed up like those ethnic groups as a joke, and they never, ever, ever post pictures of themselves doing it on Facebook. Ever. Never.
But Gates did that. So that means one of two things. Either Jennifer Staubach Gates, daughter of real estate developer and onetime football great Roger Staubach, does not intend to run for mayor of Dallas, nor does she want to run for anything else and maybe she wants to get off the City Council right away and spend time with her g-monkeys. Or it means she didn’t know about the don’t-dress-up-ever-never rule for white politicians.
Prediction. Five or six days from now? She’s gonna know the rule.