Wednesday, March 19, 2008

This is Controversy? Really?

Hey! Media! Yeah, you guys!

Barack Obama did not say "God Damn America," his pastor did. Barack Obama did not say "America's chickens are coming home to roost" after September 11, 2001; his pastor did.

Hillary Clinton did not say ""If 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;" Geraldine Ferraro did.

Thing is, what no one really wants to talk about are the truths inherent in many of the statements made by Pastor Wright. No one wants to think about the truth in Ms. Ferraro's recent statement. No one wants to talk about candidates for public office in America having to go through religious vetting in order to be elected to office.

It seems patently obvious that America is a country that has a deeply racist past and that still harbors much of the de facto segregation and prejudicial attitudes that we like to believe we have transcended. It is true that America has inflicted far worse devastation overseas than we experienced on September 11th. And if Barack Obama were a white man, things would be different. It's disingenuous to deny that. If Hillary Clinton were a man, things would also be different. But no one wants to talk about how ingrained and accepted sexism is in America. This country will elect a black man to the presidency before it elects a woman of any color. I often hear pundits and people saying things like "I don't like Hillary. It's not because she's a woman..."

While it may not be entirely because she is a woman, the fact that it has to be mentioned shows that it is at least partially about that very thing. Were Hillary Clinton a man saying the things that Hillary Clinton says, she would not be so virulently hated by so many people across the political spectrum. You don't hear people saying "I don't like Barack Obama. It's not because he's black..."

Mr. Obama is not responsible for the things his pastor says, and he should not have to explain himself any more than he should have ever had to talk about his faith in any way, shape, or form. There is no reason to believe that Mr. Obama's appeal to unite America should be disregarded because of something a third party says.

We are being manipulated for a story and to sell advertising on talk radio so that we will stop paying attention to a financial crisis that will soon fall on the shoulders of taxpayers regardless of our responsibility for it. The Obama story came from the McCain campaign around the same time that Bear-Stearns tanked: on Friday, March 14, Senator John McCain’s campaign forwards a Wall Street Journal article about Pastor Wright to reporters; March 13-14, 85 year old firm Bear-Stearns falls apart. Too bad they can't come up with a sensationalist nothing story that will overshadow today and make us forget that we have been in Iraq for five years now.

1 comment:

susan said...

yep, its true--a black man before a woman--remember what Shirley Chisholm said in 1978-ish--she experienced more predjudice in D. C. as a woman congress memeber than as a black!