What should have been an important day and endorsement for Hillary Clinton’s campaign in North Carolina was tarnished by an ugly slur. Yesterday morning (29 April), North Carolina Governor Mike Easley said that "Hillary Clinton makes Rocky Balboa look like a pansy." The word pansy is defined by every dictionary entry I could find as a disparaging term for both effeminate and homosexual males.
From Yahoo Education (http://education.yahoo.com/reference/dictionary/entry/pansy ):
pansy ?? (pnz) KEY ?
1. Any of various plants of the genera Achimenes or Viola, especially V. tricolor or its hybrids, having flowers with velvety petals of various colors.
2. A deep to strong violet.
3. Offensive Slang
a. Used as a disparaging term for a man or boy who is considered effeminate.
b. Used as a disparaging term for a homosexual man.
From Yourdictionary.com (http://www.yourdictionary.com/pansy )
pansy Definition pansy (pan'ze)
noun pl. -•sies
1/ any of various violets, esp. a popular garden hybrid (Viola tricolor hortensis), with flat, broad, velvety petals in many colors
2. Slang an effeminate man; esp., an effeminate male homosexual: often a contemptuous term
From Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pansy ):
The word "pansy" has indicated an effeminate male since Elizabethan times and its usage as a disparaging term for a man or boy who is effeminate (as well as for an avowedly homosexual man) is still used. (There is a queercore musical band called Pansy Division, drawing on this association.) The word "ponce" (which has now come to mean a pimp) and the adjective "poncey" (effeminate) also derive from "pansy".
Hillary did not make any mention of Governor Easley’s use of this term in her speech accepting his endorsement. Neither she nor her campaign have addressed this inappropriate slur on the GLBT community since. They know it was an ugly slur because in posting Governor Easley’s endorsement on Hillary’s official site, they cut that part of his endorsement speech out: http://blog.hillaryclinton.com/blog/main/2008/04/29/140113 . The question is, does Hillary Clinton care that this slur on the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgendered community was done in her name and to further her candidacy? The Presidency of her husband was marked by anti-gay legislation such as DOMA or the Defense of Marriage Act that defined marriage as being between a man and a woman. President Clinton also backed off of his pledge to fully accept gays and lesbians into the armed forces and instead initiated the policy of DADT or Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, a policy which still has the military actively investigating discharging gay and lesbian service people on the basis of their sexual orientation.
Hillary’s delay in responding to Governor Easley’s slur against the GLBT community says a lot about how little regard she has for that community. This language deserves a vigorous response that distances Senator Clinton from those remarks and from the person who said them unless they too apologize and explain their remarks. Slurs against any minority group do not belong in mainstream American politics or anywhere near the campaigns of potential Presidential nominees.