Thursday, March 13, 2008

Clinton vs. Obama and racism arguments... You ain't seen nothing yet... Wait until it's Obama vs. McCain...

I'm really interested in how the Geraldine Ferraro/race thing sorts itself out. Not because I'm really all that concerned about the phantom racism of old white women who just happen to have stopped reading and thinking about feminism before all of the race/gender intersection scholarship and activism blew up old-school "woman is the nigger of the world" thinking.

My interest is more future-oriented. I want to see how this plays out because, when it comes to race, you ain't seen nothing yet.

If you think the Democratic primaries have started to reveal some lingering issues of race in the U.S., just wait until Barack Obama squares off against John McCain down the road. That's when the shit will really hit the fan.

Whereas Geraldine Ferraro is just a very frustrated warrior clinging to a dying vision of feminism, John McCain has a track record that makes her comments look incredibly trivial.

McCain voted against making Martin Luther King, Jr. Day a national holiday.

McCain hired Terry Nelson, the guy who put together the anti-Harold Ford ad that many decried as racist.

McCain had a dust-up over the use of the expression "tar baby".

McCain raised money for George Wallace's kid, a member of the Council of Conservative Citizens, an organization on the Souther Poverty Law Center's hate group list. The CCC celebrates America's "European heritage" and takes offense to things like mixed marriages.

McCain has that "I'll always hate the gooks" thing going for him. Yeah, he says "gooks".

McCain was "honored" when John Hagee, he of the "slave sale" fund raisers, provided an endorsement.

McCain hired Richard Quinn, founder of "Southern Heritage", a guy who called Nelson Mandela a terrorist and blamed Martin Luther King, Jr., for creating perpetual dependence upon welfare among blacks.


By the way, I don't think all of those criticisms prove John McCain is a bigot or anything. Some of them are weird, some are probably accidents, some are stupid. Some really are disturbing, but more in a "this guy has questionable judgment" way than in a "John McCain hates people" way.

However, this undoubtedly sets the stage for some race-related fireworks. Then, there's the traditional tension between blacks and the Republicans. You also have media "personalities" who will probably end up in McCain's corner who are certain to raise hackles and you can bet that at least a handful of surrogates will say stupid things--they always do (on both sides, by the way). The Republicans are sufficiently aware of that risk that they're already engaging in some prevention activities.

If Bill Clinton's allusion to Jesse Jackson when discussing Obama can make headlines and the frustrated grumblings of Geraldine Ferraro can trump Eliot Sptizer humping a whore in the press, you have to wonder what's going to happen with Obama vs. McCain.

That's why the reaction to the Ferraro babble interests me. It might be a sneak preview of things to come.

It'll be interesting to see how that plays out, huh?


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1 comment:

  1. Yeah. It might be a useful discussion. I'm not hopeful about that, at this point, given the tone thusfar. At this point, I would bet on bullshit, vote-seeking discussion that enlightens us on matters of race very little. But it might be interesting.

    I've gotten to the point, John, where I don't care. I don't have confidence that people really want something more thoughtful, anymore. I think people are, generally, defensive assholes who care more about proving their right than learning anything new. It's a stupid exercise, I have to admit. It's also the way the most people seem to behave and reason, I'm afraid. And while they could change, most people seem pretty committed to not doing so.

    I'd love for them to prove me wrong. I hope they do.