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What if it happened like this, #3

vastleft's picture

What if John McCain said that Black males have "abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men"?

Well, it wasn't him that said it. 'Twas the other guy.

To those who still stumble to the fainting couch at the mention of "Sister Souljah," I say welcome aboard the good ship "Triangulation II"!

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gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

Obama has been blaming Black folk for a while now. Remember his Popeye's Chicken comment? That's when I started suspecting he wouldn't be good for people of color.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

One of the things I've been thinking about is why the misogyny aimed at Clinton was so much worse than the racism aimed at Obama. One reason is that I think, for a variety of reasons, misogyny is more socially acceptable. It's not more prevalent, but you can still go on television and call a woman a bitch and not lose your job. Which, of course, is not to say there wasn't racism in the coverage of Obama (the Wright stuff definitely had it), but it wasn't as out there as a lot of the misogyny crap. To be clear I'm talking about the SCLM, not the email, internet smear crap.

Some of the media narrative suggests that Clinton's problem was that she didn't embrace her historic role as much as she should have. But every time she tried to embrace it, she was attacked for playing the gender card, including by Obama. Now, near the end, she clearly stopped caring and went for it. But while she was attacked for playing the gender card, Obama was embraced for his speech on race and constantly praised for breaking barriers.

I don't think it's enough to say that misogyny is more acceptable to explain this. I think the reason for the disparity is that Clinton, while generally a centrist politician, is not seen as a centrist in one area - her advocacy for women's equality. Clinton has a long history of fighting for the rights of women. From writing law review articles to her speech in Beijing to holding up nominations for Plan B, the one area where Clinton has been consistently strong is in fighting for women's equality. In this way, she's a threat to the establishment. She tried to downplay that at first by not bringing it up, but it's always going to be there because that's who she is. When she says she's experienced, where did that come from? Largely working on those silly women's and children's issues. To a large extent it doesn't matter to the most privileged that you would protect their policies, what they want is for you to protect their privilege. In one area, Clinton can't be trusted to do that.

Contrast that to Obama. While Obama did work as a community organizer in a predominantly AA community, he's not identified with the Civil Rights movement. Part of this is his age. Part of it, however, is his language. He has gone out of his way to align himself with the dominant culture (white, straight, male). Thus, we got the "excesses of the 60s and 70s" and the claim that African Americans were 90% there on racial equality. We get Donnie McClurkin. We get the distancing from Jesse Jackson (someone who is so tied to those threatening excesses of the 60s and 70s). We get this Father's Day speech.

The irony of it all is that it's Obama being held up as the one willing to take on the race issue with his speech. You know, the one where he vowed never to throw his black minister under the bus right before he threw him under the bus, largely because he might be making white folks question whether Obama really was against all of those excesses from the 1960s and 70s.

I should say that this analysis is still in the early stages and I'm sure there are some flaws in it. But I think there is something to it.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

There are massive industries built on demonizing her as a fat, Marxist, lesbian devil and on demonizing her being a racist Rovian Republican monster.

So polarizing!

Maybe it's just me but "community organizer," like "John McCain is a war hero," is a buzz phrase that sounds designed to blunt our critical thinking.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

Buzzing around my brain is also the issue of reproductive rights and how it relates to Clinton. I don't think it's a coincidence that Clinton is both the first viable woman candidate for President and a member of the first generation of women to have (mostly) available access to reliable birth control that was within their control. Really, that whole generation of women were able to do things that previous generations weren't in large part because they could control their bodies. Which is why, I think, so much of the backlash against feminism is aimed at this area. Take away that and almost everything else will follow. It may also explain why that generation of women engender so much rage in some of the younger men, no?

Of course, the Pill didn't just free women, it also freed men. If women feared getting pregnant, men feared being forced to marry and support them (interesting that Obama scolded black men for not doing this in his Father's Day speech). But some people have trouble wrapping their heads around the fact that the more people a society empowers, the better off it is. Any analysis of the standards of living between countries with greater gender and racial equality and countries without it will tell you that. I believe it was Larry Summers, who before his meltdown at Harvard, pointed out that the single biggest thing a developing country can do to lift its economy is educate its girls. Yet, some primitive part of our beings insist on seeing it all as s azero sum game. If women gain, men lose. If people of color gain, whites lose. If gays gain, straights lose.

For a species that prides itself on its intelligence, we're really not very smart.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

Oddly, I only get like this when I'm on a lot of cold medication. A coincidence, I'm sure.

And, thanks and right back at you!

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

Back in my undergrad days I always did my best computer programming when I was on "cold medication". Now that I'm older, lazier and more cynical it doesn't work that way anymore. So it goes.

Submitted by lambert on

As Little Feat sings.

Me too. It's like the entire blogosphere in exile has a head cold...

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

Welfare - boo! Tax cuts - yay! And if you want healthcare go get wounded in a war (not that I'm against giving wounded vets healthcare, obviously, but the reason this is an issue is the failure of our overall healthcare system).

Via Talk Left