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Who you calling' ugly, Ugly?

I remember the one time in my life that I called someone ugly.

It was freshman year at St. Augustine's College and I had somehow snagged me my first girlfriend.

She was a cheerleader and she was beautiful. So were all of her friends.

I naturally began to think that I belonged in that club because they let me sit at the table in the cafeteria with them.

One day while lounging in her dorm room at Baker Hall and leafing through her yearbook, my finger stopped on an interesting-looking fellow.

"What's wrong with him?" I asked cockily.

"He's ugly - just like you," she replied.

That smackdown was much-deserved, and I knew immediately that I didn't belong in that club or with that girl. I have never, since that day, cast aspersions on anyone's appearance or called anyone ugly. Nor have I felt cocky.

I can't stand people who pick at other people because of how they look. That's why I was already fixing to grab a pitchfork and join the mob attacking Michelle Wolf for what she said about White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders at the White House Correspondents Dinner recently.

Then, I heard what the comedian said. Wolf, who M.C.'ed the annual self-congratulatory schmooze-a-palooza for journalists, did not insult Sanders' appearance, did not call her ugly.

Wolf's harmless, apt analogy about Sanders burning facts to get that "perfect... smoky eye" mascara look had some members of the press apoplectic, tripping over themselves in faux-outrage to condemn her and, presumably, stay on the good foot with the White House.

Had Wolf insulted Sanders's appearance the way everyone is saying she did, she would deserve a severe smackdown like the one I received in college, and I'd gladly administer it.

You know who shouldn't administer it?

This current White House press corps, that's who. Its members, more than anyone else, are responsible for normalizing bad behavior emanating from the highest level of our government, either by ignoring it , letting it slide or pretending it's no big deal.

Yet, they're now clutching their pearls and going all "heaven's to Betsy" over "perfect smoky eye"?

Some will defend spokeswoman Sanders by noting that she's only doing her job. That is the defense former spokesman Sean Spicer is peddling to justify his previous prevarications on behalf of the president.

BULL! Remember the Sanford & Son episode where Fred's furniture was about to be repossessed by Crushed Velvet City and he turned to the black deputy and said "You're a brother. You gon' let 'em take my stuff?"

The deputy replied "What can I do? It's my job."

"Why don't you," Fred asked the deputy, "get a respectable job?"

That's what we should be saying to any person who tries to justify unscrupulous behavior with that lame excuse.




Meet Barry Saunders

For over 20 years, Barry was a columnist for The News & Observer in Raleigh, NC. He also wrote for other publications, such as the Atlanta Constitution and the Richmond County Daily Journal. Often described as powerfully honest and illustratively funny, Barry's writing is both loved and hated by readers- sometimes simultaneously.  


Want more? Get your own copy of one of Barry's published books featuring reader favorites (and not so favorites) from his years writing columns for The News & Observer. Titled "Do Unto Others...And then Run" and "...And The Horse You Rode In On Saunders!", they're full of guaranteed entertainment. 


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