James Seif

Most people remember Lynn Swann as the graceful, Hall-of-Fame wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers during their glory days of the 1970s. Needless to say, heÂ’s a rather popular guy in Pennsylvania. Like other retired athletes, heÂ’s attempting to capitalize on his popularity by entering politics. More specifically, Swann, a Republican, is seeking to become the first black governor of the Keystone State by portraying himself as a political outsider.

Bill Scranton, a former, two-term lieutenant governor, is also a Republican gubernatorial candidate. Scranton, who happens to be white, recently fired his campaign manager, James Seif, for remarks made during a televised call-in show.

Seif, a white guy who previously served as head of the state Department of Environmental Protection under Gov. Tom Ridge, attempted to paint Swann as part of the establishment. After a caller questioned Scranton’s principles in dealing with the Republican State Committee, Seif retorted, “In fact, the rich white guy in the campaign is Lynn Swann.”

What the hell was this guy thinking? How could someone in his position say something so racially insensitive in the public media? Besides, didnÂ’t he see all those spectacular catches that Swann made back in the day, especially the ones against the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowls X and XIII? ThereÂ’s no way a white guy could have made those plays.

Of course, we at Red Shtick Magazine would never imply that a black man wasnÂ’t really black. Perish the thought. We might say it outright, but weÂ’d never imply it.

Seriously, though, doesnÂ’t the Republican Party have enough of an elitist reputation? Oftentimes, Democrats like to paint Republican African-Americans as token members of a predominantly white organization. Seif certainly didnÂ’t help his partyÂ’s image by acting like a blue blood who doesnÂ’t mind blacks in the country club, just so long as theyÂ’re cleaning the silverware instead of eating with it.