Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Ferraro: Black men are so lucky!

Did you catch the latest head-scratching race quote from a Clinton surrogate? Geraldine Ferraro offered:

If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman of any color) he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept. SOURCE
Now all my black male readers should thank Ms. Ferraro for this tip. I mean as you have gone about your life, working hard, you may have been stopped for driving while black or maybe passed over for a promotion or a job because of your skin color. You may look around at your office or, say, the United States Senate and notice a dearth of black men at the top. Women like Ms. Ferraro may quicken their steps and clutch their purses when you walk by, even when you're in your best business suit. Salesfolk at tony department stores may follow you around like a common thief, even though you make enough money to pay the security stalker's salary twice over. You may have thought these things added up to racism. But you are WRONG. Your skin color is an ADVANTAGE, says Ms. Ferraro. Thanks to her, you now know about this asset and can begin using it to take over the world.

Why oh why did Ms. Ferraro wait so long to share this helpful information?

(Taking tongue out of cheek)

Could it be that Pennsylvania is weeks away and Ferraro and her candidate are trying to appeal to working-class white voters, who they think will embrace the idea of an uppity Negro getting privileges because of his race while people like them get screwed?

I tell you, I am offended for my race, Obama AND the voters of Pennsylvania.

UPDATE: Funny video about the Clinton campaign's sly use of race: http://video.236.com/services/link/bcpid1452197343/bctid1452258048

14 comments:

KimcheeBrown said...

That's right...Hillary Clinton, wife of the Great Bill "Bubba" Clinton...the one black folks said was soooo down. Just like a brotha. Dem Clintons really cared about the struggle, they were on our side...right???

I'm enjoying this long-awaited "told ya so" moment. I just hope it doesn't last past August.

SheCodes said...

Especially since Obama is as much white as he is black; and defining him exclusively as 'black' is a legacy of a racist, white supremacist theory of the 1 drop rule.

Everyone on both sides of this argument has some soul searching to do, myself included.

Tami said...

Shecodes,

You're right that much of how we view race is a legacy of slavery and the one drop rule, but I consider Barack Obama black because he self-identifies as black. Also, given his appearance and name, I would imagine he is received by society as a black man. I think, in this country, if you "look black" despite being bi-racial, you are stigmatized by society in much the same way as someone with two black parents.

MacDaddy said...

As an African American male, I want to personally thank Ms. Ferraro for informing me that I should feel so lucky to be a black male in America Of course, not so much:
-When I go to my poorly-funded public school to try to learn that real history was done by white male slave masters who wore wigs and stockings (racist education);
-When I try to compensate for my lack of racist education by shopping for sports gear at the mall and security guards follow me like a drunken but loyal member of the KGB (Shopping discrimination);
-When I drive my suv on the freeway (racial profiling);
-When I get passed over for a job and it's given to a less-qualified white applicant;(Employment discrimination);
-When I try to get a bank loan to start or expand my business (institutional white racism);
-When I try to buy a home or even rent an apartment. So I have to have my girlfriend apply and put it in her name (Housing discrimination); or


Otherwise, Mr. Ferraro, i'm cool. BTW: Could you help me get an apartment?

KimcheeBrown said...

An interesting op/ed piece from today's NY Times by Harvard sociology professor Orlando Patterson:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/11/opinion/11patterson.html?em&ex=1205380800&en=2a03d1b410beb859&ei=5087%0A

Symphony said...

She gave this interview before Ohio and Texas when Hillary was desperate. It was probably meant to fire up the White women voters.

So, Barack Obama is the affirmative action presidential candidate. Ferraro showed her true color - White.

While everyone is focused on Black women, this is another example of how White women put their race before gender.

NOLA radfem said...

Fire up white women voters? It's making me want to crawl into a closet from embarrassment.

Dear white women sisters,

Please shut up about this topic.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Now black men in America are finally seeing the secret poison we black women have been quietly knifed with for decades behind closed doors from the white women you marry. Welcome to how she really sees both us and you.

And trust us: she sees us as even less. You at least have a "big, dark, forbidden penis! Ooo!" they can pleasure themselves with, and can give them a cute baby they can use to get back at mommy and daddy. All WoC have ever been to them is despised competition, and now you are beginning to taste the venom.

Look carefully at what sleeps across the bed from you tonight, black man in America. White women are focused entirely on white womandom. Nothing else matters. Black women, with the exception of cybermammy Oprah Winfrey, have known this since the very beginning.

Mes Deux Cents said...

Hi Tami,

I listened to Gloria Steinem on News and Notes today. Besides being delusional, she is also a liar. She totally backtracked on what she said just prior to New Hampshire.

Billary just gets more and more desperate. She seems like she's running for Student Council President rather than POTUS.

NOLA radfem said...

That video is great.

I haven't laughed that hard in a long time.

And I've needed to!

bradski said...

1) Ferraro is disgusting.

2) Obama is biracial. However, the majority of African-Americans are genetically mixed-race as all recent genetic surveys show. Malcolm X., Martin Luther King Jr, and Rosa Parks were all mixed, right? So, what's the genetic different between Obama and them? Not much.

On the other hand, Ferraro is dismissing Obama's cultural heritage of being brought up by his mother and her family who were white. By doing so, Ferraro hopes to play up Obama's otherness.

3) As for the comment that generalizes all white woman as racist back stabbers, give it a rest. That's pure B.S. Making comments like that only adds to ignorance and hatred to the discussion. It plays on so many stereotypes, and, frankly, given that Obama's mother was a white woman, the comment is intrinsically insulting to Obama's very existence. Remember, Obama's father divorced his mother and went back to Africa and didn't bother to contact his son nearly a decade. So, have some respect for the woman raised Obama from boy to man.

Were it not for a white Irish woman who married Martin Luther King's grandfather, where would we be?

4) We need to focus anger/energy on individuals and the political groups to which they belong instead of falling into the divide and conquer mentality the Clinton campaign wants. The Clinton campaign delights in African-Americans saying anything perceptible as racist because it is simply fuel for the fire the Clinton campaign has started. The bigger the fiery discussion about race, the more Obama is perceived as a "black" candidate and he becomes encumbered by discussions of race.

5) Instead of just complaining to the DNC, why not complain to the African-American politicians who are supporting Hillary Clinton? Why isn't anyone asking Maxine Waters or others why they haven't done something to stifle the racism?

Moreover, why isn't someone bringing up the fact that if Bill Richardson were in Obama's place, Hillary Clinton would be spewing anti-Latino rhetoric.

Has anyone sent out a letter to Latino or Asian American bloggers asking the question? Wouldn't that be a wonderful question? Wouldn't that help to breakdown barriers?

6) And, why not help people that Clinton is targeting with her racist message understand how the same tactics have been used to manipulate poor whites against poor blacks for decades? Weren't similar tactics used to inflame antipathy between striking white union members and the blacks who were hired to replace them at a lower wage?

7) Again, why not start asking these questions LOUDLY? Why not ask these questions of your friends and fellow bloggers? Why not ask a Latino blogger about this divide and conquer strategy and what they think Hillary would do if Obama were one of them? Ask the question about whether Clinton is loyal to the Democratic party or to just herself.

Why not ask a white progressive blogger about the history of dividing the working class by religion, Catholics versus Protestants, Italians versus Irish, etc. by business to break strikes?

Ask them to compare that history to Clinton's tactics.

The conversation has to be redirected.

Sending letters to the DNC is only the start.

Don't fight hate with hate. Sorry, but that is not going to win the election.

P.S.,

Although I understand that some African-American women resent white women dating African-American men, I don't care. I think it's a waste of conversation and a distraction from someone finding real happiness. There simply aren't that many white women who marry African-American men. Nor are that many African-American men who marry white or non-"black" women.

Statistics show that out-marriage of African-Americans to other groups is very low. Moreover, people don't own other people, especially because they have some genetic similarity.

Seriously, there are bigger issues that have real impact on the lives African-Americans of either gender. Allowing the spousal choices of others to define one's perception of oneself is pointless anger.

Look at Michael Jackson and what is hatred did to him: he looks like an inhuman monster and is alleged by his wife to have used a sperm donor to father his children to ensure that they would be white.

If some of these men who marry white women harbor similar self-hatred, why would any African-American woman want to marry them?! What kind of marriage would that be?

Tami said...

Kimchee,

I read that op-ed in the NYT. I really like Orlando Patterson and his work, but I'm not sure I follow him on this one.

Anonymous,

It's not right to paint all white women with a racist brush. And not fair to demonize white women in interacial relationships and the men who love them. This isn't about ALL white women. This is about ONE white woman, well two: Geraldine Ferraro and Hillary Clinton, and their actions. And frankly, there is plenty of blame left to throw some the way of Maggie Williams, Clinton's black campaign manager, who must be complicit in all this. Is she representative of all black women? I sure hope to hell not!

MDC,

Yeah, my Steinem love is well gone. I do appreciate her role in the feminist movement, but it is clear that she did what she did with little thought or understanding of women like me.

Bradski,

I agree with you about the other steps we need to take to address this issue of Clinton race baiting.

womensspace said...

That she did this was really really bad. That the Clinton campaign didn't fire her, or at the very least censure her, is inexcusable. It makes me wonder if this was intentional, like a deliberate throw-down strategized by the campaign (for some reason I can't begin to fathom) as opposed to a stupid, thoughtless and racist comment that needs calling out pronto.

Very disturbing.

tasha212 said...

I think this woman is ludicris for making these statements, but clearely the Clinton's are backed against the wall. They have had the rug pulled from under them. The race-bating has got to stop. I saw the woman on tv this morning and she said that her statements were not racist. I think she needs to look up the definition of racism.

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