Updated: Oct 10
You just know that when Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson was preparing his “We are called to be led by men” speech recently, he inserted “Pause for applause” when he got to the well-rehearsed ad-libbed line “but when it was time to face down Goliath, (God) sent David. Not Davita, David.”
He also said that when God sent Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt that he called “not Momma Moses. Daddy Moses.”
And this: God “knew what he was doing when he made men big and hairy and ugly. It’s because you’re supposed to scare away predators, whether they are in the woods or standing in front of your elementary school.”
Speak for yourself, Robinson.
Such schoolyard dismissals of women elicited howls of laughter and approval from some quarters, but it also, predictably, elicited howls of outrage from people who rightly viewed the comments as sexist and not based in historical fact.
Of course, that is what they were designed to do. Tar Heel Marky Mark is as adept as his Hollywood namesake at captivating the media’s attention – only, he does it by saying inflammatory stuff and antagonizing people who were never going to vote for him anyway.
I have confessed before God and everyone else that, while I attended an Atlanta bible college when I thought I heard the calling to preach, I only lasted a week.
It seems the voice I thought I’d heard calling unto me from on high turned out to have emanated from elsewhere – maybe from something bad I’d eaten.
Even I, with my rudimentary knowledge, though, know that there are women in leadership positions in the bible and throughout history. But hey, why let historical facts get in the way of a good applause line that’s sure to rankle the libs?
Robinson tried to moonwalk back his reprehensible worldview of women by citing his love of Dear Ol’ Mom, whom he called “the greatest hero and leader” of his life. The damage, alas, was already done, the desired media fire already stoked.
Robinson’s speech was made at Freedom House, a Charlotte-based church with different campuses in the Queen City. Robinson, who is fixing to release his autobiography, obviously knows that there’s nothing like a good controversy to boost pre-sale orders.
Imagine, though, Robinson trying to peddle his chauvinistic worldview to great leaders who were women since antiquity until now, women who’ve made the world a better place.
Robinson might’ve been the person yelling “Hey Cleopatra. Quit playing with that snake and fix me a sandwich.”
Or the one telling Shirley Chisholm “You can’t run for president until you finish cleaning this house.”
Or admonishing Betsy Ross “Hey woman. Put that flag down and finish darning my darned socks.”
When Robinson proclaimed “My God tells me that when I face adversity… I am to stand up like a man! M-A-N!,” I halfway expected him to channel that 20th century philosopher/blues man Muddy Waters.
With apologies to my man Muddy, here is my version of Mannish Boy, featuring Lt. Gov. Mannish Mark Robinson. Maestro, hit it:
When I was a young boy
At the age of 5
My mother said I was gon’ be
the greatest lieutenant governor alive.
But now I’m a man
way past 21.
And I aim to be your governor
Before I get done.
The lines I shoot
will never miss.
When I say something stupid
the media can’t resist.
The words I say
Leave most people aghast
But they’ll think of me
When their votes are cast.
I’m a man.
That represent M-A-N.
Here’s something the lieutenant governor might want to ponder the next time he decides to belittle the contributions of half the planet: Who does he think answered “Yes” when David asked “Ma, can I go outside and practice with my slingshot?”