Saturday, March 15, 2008

Geraldine Ferraro tells it like it isn't.

Hey, guess what? The pre-moving business pretty much extends itself into a post-moving business where I still don"t have a whole lot of time for anything and I'm constantly running late because I can't find the box where I put the thing I'm looking for.

So, still not much time to blog. But I did want to talk about something.

By now everyone has heard the toolish remarks of Geraldine Ferraro regarding Barack Obama's apparent lack of any sort of interesting qualities besides his skin tone. To quote Joe Conason in Salon:
Until lately, Ferraro was an admired waxwork, a symbol of national progress and a brief entry in a child's textbook. Then she confided her opinion of the Democratic presidential front-runner to a California newspaper. "If [Barack] 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."

That sounded like folk wisdom from her home borough of Queens, N.Y., where she once represented the Archie Bunker constituency in Congress -- and where racist resentment of all those "very lucky" black people was once a common refrain (and can still be heard in certain saloons and clubhouses today). Those corrosive observations usually referred to affirmative action, which threatened traditional ethnic monopolies on certain jobs and contracts in both the public and private sectors. And indeed, Ferraro's reaction to the criticism of her stupidity is reminiscent of the resentful whining of white men who complained about "reverse" discrimination and the supposed taboos of political correctness.
Yes. Exactly. Whenever this meme has appeared with regard to Obama (and it's especially hurtful to to hear it kicked around the feminist blogosphere) it's like a stab in the gut. I hear my mother's Italian family (yes, from Queens, NY) in my head saying the same things about my father.

Via Daisy, here's Roseanne Barr making a similar assertion.
Premiere Hillary represents the soul of the Democratic Party: the women who support her, Latinas, Latinos, 30 percent of the black voters, the blue collar worker, male and female, as just proven in Ohio, and the Baby Boomers...quit bitching and moaning and whining now! Be a man and take vice, bow to the woman who is the last vestige of the New Deal which represents universal health care.
Silly black man. Even though you're ahead in delegates, you just don't know your proper place, which is bowing down to white women. And even though she's behind Obama, Clinton deserves the nomination because...well...she just does. And 30 percent of black people is plenty enough!

Ugh. When I've heard feminists say recently that racism is less openly welcome in our culture right now than sexism, I can only point to examples like this. There are ways to call someone an uppity nigger who doesn't know their place without using the words "uppity nigger who doesn't know their place."

2 comments:

Daisy said...

Isn't it just awful? It reminds me of the crap I grew up with, too.

Happy St Patrick's Day, Vanessa! :)

Plain(s)feminist said...

There are ways to call someone an uppity nigger who doesn't know their place without using the words "uppity nigger who doesn't know their place."

Yes, indeed, there are. Thank you for saying so!