Election 2008 Obama Politics The Clintons

The race card and Ferraro

Ta-Nehisi Coates writes in Slate today about the “race card” and Geraldine Ferraro:

The racist card is textbook strawmanship. As opposed to having to address whether her comments were, as Obama said, “wrongheaded” and “absurd,” Ferraro gets to debate something that only she can truly judge—the contents of her heart.

It’s a clever and unassailable move: How would you actually prove that Ferraro is definitively a racist? Furthermore, it appeals to our national distaste for whiners. It’s irrelevant that the Obama campaign never called Ferraro a racist. It’s also irrelevant that Ferraro said the same thing of Jesse Jackson in 1988. And it’s especially irrelevant that Ferraro apparently believes that Obama’s Ivy League education, his experience as an elected official, and his time of service on the South Side of Chicago pale in comparison with the leg-up he’s been given as a black male in America. By positioning herself as a victim of political correctness run amok, Ferraro stakes out the high ground of truth telling.

One reply on “The race card and Ferraro”

I read it. This nation has never had an honest discussion about racism and sexism. And by the way, the Slate piece doesn’t foster that discussion. We are at this crossroads with this campaign fighting over what is racist and what is sexist. And to have someone like Olbermann defining racism for us shows how far we have not come. And for Chris Matthews to spout sexist comments constantly and play like a little boy caught with matches just compounds the problem.

This isn’t about the campaign anymore. It is about who is more oppressed and who is more oppressive. The Slate piece is a case in point. Geri Ferraro is a case in point. Me, me, me, me, me.

I was proud the Democratic Party fielded a diverse set of candidates in constrast to the white hair club for men on the other side. And now it is all about race and sex and both candidates are to blame.

I like that Obama is mixed race. So is my daughter. They make their ways through multiple worlds. They are often unique. Maybe it will become the norm someday. That would be good. In my daughter’s case she also has to traverse the minefield of being female in a male world.

But at this point the bottom line for me is this: these two candidates are not that far apart on policy issues. They are both more moderate than I would like, both tend to be over cautious, both are smart and articulate, and either one would be a change from the last eight years.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: