Misogyny & Racism or the Democratic Primaries

I’ve been trying to ignore the primaries since Texas and Ohio. I voted a lifetime ago in a different “big primary” and my gf is now officially done for now with her role in the Ohio primary, so that makes me free to not think about what either side is doing. We are both at the point where any hope we might have had is all but gone with regards to who will be running this country and how; polarization is a powerful civic destroyer. So I am just going to make these quickies and then continue to look away:

  • Clinton asks for another debate; Obama likens it to a beauty pageant when he refuses. – the blogosphere lights up with criticism about misogyny but the media says almost nothing about it.
  • During Texas debate Clinton questions Obama’s acceptance of support from Farrakhan b/c of his antisemitic and sexist views. Obama stumbles on the issue saying he can’t mediate his supporters viewpoints. When Clinton pushes it, claiming, rightfully, that support from oppressive factions aligns one with oppression and pointing to how she denounced divisive supporters during her Senate campaign, he denounces Farrakhan’s support w/out even mentioning the list of supporters who have said racist things without her denouncing them.
  • Clinton’s campaign circulates an image of Obama in head scarf just before the vote. When asked about its origin, they deny knowledge of it. When an MSNBC reporter tracks down its origin as coming from within Clinton headquarters, Clinton’s camp responds by saying they have “hundreds of people in the office and cannot track down who did or did not send it” but they think the racism lies with “complaining about the photo” not circulating it.
  • SNL claims “bitch is the new black” the mainstream feminist blogosphere puts copies of the skit up everywhere; Clinton praises the show during a debate asking Obama if he wants a pillow.
  • Clinton appears on the next week’s episode of Saturday Night Live in which they air a cartoon with Sharpton being periodically shocked by a dog collar, Jackson not knowing the geography of a continent that he has been a top adviser to multiple presidents on and acting like a general buffoon, & Obama adept at using poison darts. – the media focuses on her attempts to be personable (which she really did try to be) and makes no mention of the racist cartoon. – the Clinton camp also makes no comment accept to continue to praise the show’s valid viewpoint of the campaign.
  • H. Clinton hints at offering Obama the VP on her ticket despite currently being in second place in the primaries. – the media mostly reports this as an ideal solution to the drawn out battle that may destroy the party’s chances of a win.
  • Top Aid, Samantha Power, in the Obama camp calls H. Clinton a “monster” – Obama responds with an immediate apology and request she resign the following day. She does. – media discusses it without mentioning misogyny (internalized or otherwise).
  • AP does a poll of Clinton and Obama supporters to see who would support the “Dream Ticket.” They present the findings as follows: “Clinton’s supporters are more flexible than Obama’s”; “Obama has already rejected any chance at resolution.” They neglect to mention that the “Dream Ticket” is defined as Pres. Clinton, VP Obama; they do however report Obama’s exact quote at the very end of the article in which he points out that he has more delegates, more primary wins, and more popular vote support than Clinton to date (including the latest win in Wyoming).
  • Rosanne Barr tells Obama to “bow to the woman,” (twice) in a Huffington Post opinion piece in which she claims he needs tutelage from Clinton before he can run in 8 years.
  • Friday, Geraldine Ferraro, the first woman to run as VP on a major party ticket, and Head of Clinton’s Finance Committee, told the Daily Breeze Newspaper that Obama’s success reveals the “very sexist attitude of the media. She makes no credible references to his sexist comments or repro rights voting record to back her statements but rather lets it stand that his success as a viable candidate is solely about sexism and not that he has any credentials or legitimate support behind him. – no comment is made by the Clinton camp.
  • In same article, Geraldine Ferraro says that “”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.” implying that patriarchy erases racism for black men in the same breath she claims that patriarchy would apparently not help a white male beat a white woman, hmmm – the Obama camp calls for her dismissal; the Clinton camp does not respond.
  • Rice, an Obama top aid, claims the “white man” comment is more offensive than the “monster” comment once again aligning a candidate with the “my oppression is worse than yours” argument that has typified certain contributions to the race.
  • Tuesday, Clinton responds to mounting criticism about Ferraro with the following: “I do not agree with that,” and later added, “It’s regrettable that any of our supporters — on both sides, because we both have this experience — say things that kind of veer off into the personal.” She has not asked that Ferraro step down.

update: Ferraro has stepped down from the Clinton campaign of her own accord. According to Clinton’s camp, she was not asked to do so nor was their discussion that she should. The following is the letter Ferraro sent Clinton to resign:

“Dear Hillary, I am stepping down from your finance committee so I can speak for myself and you can continue to speak for yourself about what’s at stake in this campaign. The Obama campaign is attacking me to hurt you. I won’t let that happen. Thank you for everything you’ve done and continue to do to make this a better world for my children and grandchildren. You have my deep admiration and respect, Gerry.”

Ferraro also released a statement to the press citing her40 year record of opposing discrimination including race” as reasons why her statements were not racist. Clinton has remained silent since her press release on Tuesday.

update two: Clinton finally issues an apology for multiple racist or racialized incidents in her campaign. When faced with 200 black reporters representing black news outlets around the country, Clinton was asked about Bill Clinton’s remarks during the South Carolina debacle, Geraldine Ferraro’s comments, and Hurricane Katrina. Clinton responded by saying:

About Bill Clinton: “I want to put that in context. You know I am sorry if anyone was offended. It was certainly not meant in any way to be offensive,” and citing both of their records on race.

About Ferraro: “I certainly do repudiate it and I regret deeply that it was said. Obviously she doesn’t speak for the campaign, she doesn’t speak for any of my positions, and she has resigned from being a member of my very large finance committee.” which is different than the comments she made a few days ago to a mostly white press corp.

About Katrina: “I’ve said it publicly, and I say it privately: I apologize, and I am embarrassed that our government so mistreated our fellow citizens … It was a national disgrace.”

update three?: At some point Ferraro responds to the controversy she has created with the following quote: “racism works in two different directions. I really think they are attack
ing me because I am white. How’s that?
” The Clinton campaign remains silent. The Press quickly moves on to the latest scandal of Obama’s ties to a preacher who criticized N. America for using bombs for solutions in wars that were questionable and questionable bombs (the Atom bomb to be exact) in wars that were not and then wondering why 9/11 happened. Though democrats supported the Dixie Chicks in asking similar questions, the preacher is seen as a liability. Obama responds by denouncing his comments years after they were made.

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