This is almost a week old, but someone posted it to Facebook today. The joke is one on which a representative of the Jewish people presents the new pope with a bill for the last supper, something–according to the joke–that representatives of the Jewish people have been trying to do for centuries. The video speaks for itself, especially in the enthusiastic response the joke gets:
Whitbeck’s response to those who find the joke offensive is quoted on Opposing Views:
According to Whitbeck, no one should be offended by the joke because he heard it at church. He said, “[I] did not tell an anti-Semitic joke. I told a joke I heard from a priest at a church service.”
He added: “Any alleged outrage over this joke has been wholly manufactured by American Bridge, an organization founded by Democrat activist David Brock and funded by Georg[e] Soros. American Bridge, which has the sole purpose of electing Democrats by attacking Republicans, has repeatedly demonstrated its commitment to defeating Ken Cuccinelli by any means they deem necessary.”
used a North African pejorative, “macaca,” to describe a person of color, which led folks to wonder what the Southern-accented son of a legendary football coach knew from North African pejoratives, which led to the discovery that Allen’s mother was born Jewish in Tunisia, which led Allen to deny this, emphatically, which all helped lead to his defeat.
Kampeas goes on:
Now this [where Whitbeck made the joke] is not a dusty southern corner of the state (although that would hardly excuse it.) [Virginia’s] Tenth [District] encompasses a good chunk of the state’s Washington suburbs, which is where a lot of the state’s Jews live, and which is represented in Congress by Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), who has made a name for himself as a leading advocate of human rights overseas.
That a Catholic politician would make an antisemitic joke, even on the campaign trail, even when campaigning for someone else–in this case, Ken Cuccinelli, the Virginia attorney general who is running for governor–neither surprises nor shocks me. (Cuccinelli not only distanced himself from the joke, but made a point of saying that he would have called it out on the spot if he’d been there when Whitbeck told it.) Nor am I surprised or shocked by the way Whitbeck’s audience laughed at the joke. I am angry, of course, but mostly I am sad, just deeply, deeply, deeply sad, and I don’t quite know what else to say.