Monday, March 10, 2008

Geraldine Ferraro Foolishness

David Knowles has made my work easy. Although I have many thoughts about the election, I'm just sick of foolishness. Geraldine Ferraro has taken up the race card as she sites that if Obama wasn't Black he surely wouldn't be where he is today. Good thing she didn't get elected to lead our nation, we need more gender based politics like we need Hillary Clinton. But in essence, that's my point. Birds of a feather....

I mean let's be clear, Obama has an equal or better education than any other candidate. If you are a minority you know the reality of this equation - he has to be twice as qualified to even be on the same playing field. Vanessa Williams quipped this well known fact to Barbara Walters just recently, as she shared the lesson taught to her an every other Black child, including me. He has raised millions of dollars with the most effective fundraising campaign to hit politics in decades, and he has outraised all of his peers, including Senator Clinton. If you look at his strategic planning process, he has created a comprehensive strategy that win or lose, has out paced Clinton in popular vote, delegates and impact with voters. If he wasn't Black, he'd already be president.

Yet, I lost an hour yesterday and I can't devote any more time to this mess. I live in a time when women can say and do anything with regard to gender, including deny its impact as we use race baiting without consequence. There is a sick tone of entitlement which implies Barack has resonated with people only because of the color of his skin. Let's ask Ohio about how in love they are with that small reality? He can't be smart, bold, provocative, engaging, qualified, organized, effective, or the best candidate. No, according to Geraldine Ferraro, he better be glad that he's gotten this far. More delegates, more states, more money and more popular vote - but she couldn't give him credit for that. Read David Knowles summary, and note, I agree with him on what this could imply for why Hillary has gotten this far. If proximity to Bill or intimacy with a former president makes you qualified, we'll get a woman voted in easily, and it wouldn't have to be Senator Clinton. But let's forget about dirty politics, race baiting is the only acceptable evil in 2008, and it isn't evil at all if you serve it from the mouth of a gender challenged woman. (Because Geraldine would have won if she'd been a man, right? Puhhhlease.)

According to David:

First, you could easily turn the hypothetical around and ask, If Geraldine Ferraro was a black woman, would she have been nominated as Mondale's VP? Her point that she wouldn't have been nominated if she was a man brings up the obvious retort, Would Hillary be where she is today if she wasn't Bill Clinton's wife? You see, these kinds of games are silly, divisive, and totally unproductive. While identity politics do draw voters toward certain candidates, the notion that the only reason "we're talking about" Obama is that he's black is ludicrous. By that same logic, an Obama supporter could counter that the only reason that Hillary got this far is that she's a woman. It's nonsense either way.

Note to Ferraro, if Barack Obama was not black, he wouldn't be Barack Obama. Hillary Clinton, likewise, is more than just a female candidate. Both people are talented at what they do. That's why they've made it this far. Please, Geraldine, get a grip.

1 comment:

Kemba said...

As has become the norm in this "silly season" in our nation's history, I'm not sure which angers me more: the original statement, or the response (I cannot say apology because frankly, this was not even the half-hearted, veiled "If you were offended by what I said, then I didn't mean for you to be" apologies that have we have all come to know and loathe!). Query to Sen. Obama, and every other African-American male in this country, " How lucky do you feel when you are pulled over by the police for driving in a neighbor that may or may not be your own?" Inquiry for all African-American women, "Do you feel lucky when you are SWB?" (Shopping While Black for those readers who are unfamiliar with this special level of joy). For those readers who wonder about how "lucky" people of color, especially those of African descent, must be everytime we have to run faster, write better, turn water into wine, and perform three other miracles on command, please read "White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences Through Work in Women's Studies," by Peggy McIntosh of the Center for Research on Women at Wellesley College (1988), AND THEN TELL US HOW LUCKY WE ARE!