'Great White Hope' Outcry an Overreaction

Lawmaker's remark clichéd, not racist: Tucker
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 28, 2009 2:08 PM CDT
Lynn Jenkins.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Lynn Jenkins' remark that Republicans are seeking "the great white hope" has been blown far out of proportion, Cynthia Tucker writes in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Sure, the freshman lawmaker welcomed young GOP stars "who are, well, white," but she was just drawing on a cliché. She likely doesn't even know its origin: Writer Jack London coined it when calling for a white boxer to beat black champ Jack Johnson in 1908.

“Jenkins has been harshly criticized for stupidity and insensitivity if not outright racism,” Tucker writes. “Like most politicians, she tends to speak in cliches. She reached for one and it was unfortunate. She has apologized. No harm done.”