It’s been too long!! After being unable to bring you a DBOTW last week, we decided to make up for it by covering TWO of them this week. We took some extra time to hand select these two douchebags, and we think they’re pretty deserving of their titles. So, let’s start off with the less-known douchebag of the week, Mr. Chad Palmer. Chad is a deputy sheriff in Camden County, Georgia. You’re probably thinking that he did something along the lines of police brutality to land himself here, right? Surprisingly, Chad didn’t beat up an old lady or taze an unarmed man. He’s in the news because of a Halloween costume that offended quite a few people. Now, Halloween was over two weeks ago, but a photo of Palmer in the costume is just now getting around to the right (or perhaps wrong in Chad’s case) people. Without further ado, here’s the costume in question:
Some background: Palmer told friends at a Halloween party that he was “dressed as a Camden County inmate,” hence the prison stripes. It’s bad enough that he felt that he couldn’t be an inmate without the blackface makeup. Adding to the douchebaggery, Camden County Sheriff Jim Proctor (who is Chad Palmer’s supervisor) defended the deputy, saying that “the officer did not fully understand that the costume would be interpreted as racist.” We find that highly unlikely and far-fetched, but that might be enough to get him off the hook for a lot of people. We saw some pretty horrendous and offensive Halloween costumes, so this one isn’t very uncommon. Fair enough.
BUT WAIT! Chad isn’t going to let his douchebag crown be taken by someone else that easily! He’s got one more thing to add to the already offensive costume. What puts it over the top is a little sentence that can be found in the Huffington Post article (linked at the bottom of this post):
“Chad Palmer, a 15-year veteran of the Camden County Sheriff’s Office, allegedly told people at the private party that he was dressed as a Camden County inmate, and he was “picking cotton” in the photo, First Coast News reported.”
THERE IT IS! We were looking for that overly ridiculous and offensive thing that would push Palmer to the top of the list, and he gift-wrapped it for us. He even managed to nuke his supervisor’s defense before it was even made. Wow, Chad. That’s got to be some kind of record. Also, picking cotton. Because that’s not racist at all. I can’t even imagine why that would offend an entire race of people who were oppressed and forced into slavery for centuries.
This one isn’t very hard to decipher. Palmer dressed up as a black inmate and took a photo “picking cotton.” It’s racist, it’s wrong, and he’s a douchebag for it. This is all not barring the fact that this man is a law enforcement officer who interacts with African-Americans on a daily basis. He carries a gun and we’re supposed to trust him to protect our children, regardless of their race. He takes that trust and then goes to a party dressed as a black inmate and makes references to slavery? Seriously? I’m not saying that as a cop, he has to be spotless. Nobody is perfect, and we shouldn’t demand that from him or other cops, because they have lives too. But there has to be some standardized level of decency and common sense, and Chad Palmer is WAY below that level.
After the photo made headlines, Jim Proctor suspended Palmer without pay until he “completes sensitivity training.” Still, many citizens of Camden County are calling for his resignation or firing from the police force. I can’t say I blame them, although Proctor claimed that there was no evidence of racial bias in his record. Funny thing about racism, though: it’s not always obvious. It’s not always someone marching in a KKK rally or burning crosses. Sometimes, those you least expect are the most vehemently racist bastards around.
Now, our second douchebag champion is following in his son’s footsteps by becoming Douchebag of the Week here on the blog. This marks the first time that we’ve had multiple DBOTW from the same family, which is exciting news for us. I ranted last month about the idiocy of Ted Cruz and his 21-hour non-filibuster that included the reading of “Green Eggs and Ham” on the Senate floor. While that was pretty bad, it looks like stupidity might be hereditary, as Ted Cruz’s good ole dad has managed to say something even more offensive than his son. Rafael Cruz has been making some pretty inflammatory statements as of late, and we caught wind of this one just yesterday.
Cruz was speaking to a gun rights advocacy group in Oklahoma (anyone else not surprised at all?) earlier this month, and he managed to drag the discussion from gun rights to religion. Don’t ask us how that happened, we don’t try to understand the minds of crazy people. At any rate, Cruz was talking about atheism, and the lack of “moral absolutes,” most likely referring to the argument made by many Christians that God is the basis for all morality, good and bad. As is typical of him, Rafael was condemning atheists when he made this statement:
“And of course, this leads us — when there are no moral absolutes — leads us to sexual immorality, leads us to sexual abuse, leads us to perversion. And, of course, no hope. No hope.”
The basic idea here is that atheism leads to a world full of pedophiles, molesters, and perverts. Obviously this is a ridiculous and factless claim, and Cruz was likely just making it to appease the crowd (who we suspect were of the Tea Party persuasion, since they were listening to Papa Cruz in the first place). Still, it’s worth examining for future reference. Given his crazy claims of the past, I’m sure Rafael or perhaps even little Teddy will bring this one up again. As our friends at Huffington Post so poignantly mentioned in the article, “Nearly 17,000 people have suffered sexual abuse at the hands of the clergy since 1950, according to USA Today.” I love how easy it is to disprove crazy people, don’t you?
The claim itself is dumb, but I have no doubt that thousands (perhaps even millions) of Americans will believe it and take it as fact without doing any research. The sad part is that it’s not only statistically wrong, Cruz actually got it backwards. Some studies have shown that sexual abuse, especially in children, is conducted by members of an organized religion more often than by those who don’t claim a religion. Cruz’s claim is so weak that all I have to do is say “Catholic Church” and he’s instantly disproven. Of course, i’ve come to expect no less from the family whose greatest hits include “Obama needs to go back to Kenya,” along with the always comical attempt to repeal Obamacare by shutting down the federal government. How’d that one work out for you again?
Getting back to Cruz Sr., it honestly doesn’t even surprise me that he would make a statement like this. He’s been more outspoken in the last few months, comparing Obama to Fidel Castro and saying that Ted was chosen by God to be president in 2016. The man is crazy. My biggest problem with him is not even in debating his statements. I just can’t figure out if he’s crazy because he’s in the Tea Party, or because he’s senile. It’s also sad how similar those two traits tend to be. In any case, Rafael managed to stay off the Douchebag of the Week list longer than his son, but we all knew he would eventually make it. So congratulations, Mr. Cruz. You’ve proven that if you work hard, give offensive speeches, and alienate large portions of the country with single sentences, you can be a douchebag too!