Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Daily Breeze: Geraldine Ferraro Says Obama is Black!!!

I have to laugh. I remember the small hometown daily newspaper, The Daily Breeze when I used to live in Southern California. Now, from its interview of Geraldine Ferraro last Friday, the lowly, modest and undersized Daily Breeze has had its story splashed across the pages of newspapers from coast to coast and worldwide.

And according to the article, Geraldine Ferraro says Barack Obama is a black man.

You know, I really, honestly haven’t even thought about Obama’s ancestry lately. People keep bringing it up though. As in “Isn’t it wonderful and a comment on our times that we are choosing between a woman and an African-American?”

Apparently, Geraldine Ferraro doesn’t think it’s wonderful.

Her comment, picked up by anyone with an ear to the ground, went like this:

“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.”
Was this a woman, a former vice-presidential candidate, mind you, who was just being brutally honest – as she must be thinking in her mind – or a woman, a former vice presidential candidate (mind you) who thinks that Barack Obama is being just a little bit too uppity?

This is a guy who is taking advantage of the fact that he is black, and THAT’S why he’s ahead in the national polls, the popular vote, the delegate count, and the number of states won in the primaries?

You have GOT to be kidding.

I started to think about this, and thought that if anyone thinks Obama is at an advantage because he is black, they haven’t stepped too far outside the past few years. Like outside to Bubba’s filling station in East Texas, where the locals are pretty convinced that the South will someday rise again. Or to downtown Houston, Cleveland or Atlanta, where Barack Obama’s middle name is uttered as if it were a slur.

I hear that Senator Clinton has renounced Geraldine Ferraro’s remarks, remarks that Ferraro has even defended in today’s issue of The Breeze (as we used to call it). That’s fine but I think it’s not enough. I think it behooves the Clinton campaign to return every dollar that Geraldine Ferraro raised for the Clinton campaign to Ferraro, so that she can, in turn, return that money to the donors. I also think it is time to dismiss Ferraro from her campaign.

It really makes me wonder how many women over 50, white women, have entertained these thoughts as well. If we have someone who is allegedly sophisticated in their racial outlook, as I am sure Geraldine is, say something like this without batting an eyelash, you really have to wonder about what kind of subliminal thoughts are driving some voters toward the Clinton campaign.

Is it truly about Obama being a black man? Is it truly about something with a black man that still scares older white women?

I very much hope not, but I am characteristically pessimistic.


Vigilante said...

One of the reasons why Barack Obama was right when he observed that the Republicans had the big ideas in the 1980's is because Democrats had so many small-minded leaders, like Geraldine Ferraro, at the head of their party.

adept2u said...

Ms. Ferraro,

I am terribly disappointed. Your recent suggestion that Mr. Obamas’ success happened only because he is black is especially painful. To think that being black in America is a lucky thing strikes me as being inconsiderate.

I am a black person born the same year as Mr. Obamas’ wife 1964, and I can tell you at no time in my life was being black a lucky thing, or are you unaware of the sad and continuing legacy of American race relations. You disregard Mr. Obamas’ legitimate and laudable accomplishments by attributing them to one thing, and it’s the one thing Mr. Obama tries least to be – a man of race. Mr. Obama is a child of God, a husband, a father, a university graduate and a lawyer. Mr. Obama has been a stellar state representative of Illinois and he is currently a United States Senator, and great American. Somewhere probably in the high teens of the list of things Mr. Obama is would be black man.

The statements you have made and defend amount to making his race his primary attribute. You are playing the race card in a manner that is insulting, and quite frankly would be more expected from the kind of reactionary people America has hopefully outgrown.

In 1984 I was a student at the University of Southern California an institution with a traditionally conservative bent. I remember campaigning for and ardently defending a certain congressperson from New York as being more than just a woman, but a person regardless of gender worthy to potentially lead this country. I’m sorry to know now that I was wrong, and all the time any Gerard really would have sufficed.