Wednesday

Free speech sometimes leads to folly...


Geraldine Ferraro has stepped down from the Clinton campaign after making some inflammatory and insulting remarks about Barack Obama. In a nutshell, she said that Obama was unqualified to be President and that America had merely gotten caught up in the “concept” of having a Black male president.

Some have criticized Ferraro's comment as being racist. It wasn't so much racist as much as it was simply inaccurate.

I met Ferraro last fall and we had a brief conversation about the presidential race. She felt strongly then, and clearly does now, that Clinton is the best candidate. She was also very excited to have a woman—a woman with a great chance of winning—in the race. So, it is not at all surprising that she is critical of Obama. However, it's not entirely her fault. Nobody saw this competition coming--not at this time in history.

Old school feminists, like Ferraro, find themselves in a quandary. They are so blinded by their desire to have a female president that they are ignoring history and today’s reality. They feel forced to make idiotic comments about Obama because the only song they know is “It’s hard out there for a White woman”. They feel that if Obama beats Hillary it must be because he has had an easier time than she has.

But that is only true in some alternate universe. It ain't true in America. It has never been easier to be Black than White in America, EVER. And, being a Black man in America is particularly challenging. Black men die earlier, have a greater likelihood of being impoverished, and are disproportionately represented in prison. The statistics tell the story; it is tough being a Black man in America.

Don’t get it twisted. Obama’s meteoric ascent does not mean that it has gotten easier. And it does not mean that his campaign has been easier because he's a Black man. What his ascent means is that he has overcome a lot of obstacles. His ascent is the manifestation of “hope” personified.

Somehow in the face of racism, Obama has managed to capture the heart and soul of the majority of Democrats. Somehow they have managed to look past his color and see his skill, his talents, and his heart. Somehow he has made them believe.

Desperation creates illogical arguments. And Ferraro simply got it wrong. Her suggestion that he’s had an easier time because he’s Black ignores basic facts.

That being said, the First Amendment is about allowing people to make a fool of themselves. Ferraro has definitely availed herself of that right.
Post a Comment