Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Dear Geraldine…

This is not an attack.

This is a response.

I woke up at 4 o’clock in the morning thinking about you, Geraldine.

I lay there listening to my sorta-beagles snore and wondered if you really think that Senator Obama is still in this race solely because he is a black man.

I don’t know you, Geraldine, and I don’t assume a person is decent simply because they hold a certain status in the Democratic Party and feminist history. This bitch has never met you, but I sure as shit know what it is like to have someone attribute my success to my being black.

It’s the freakiest mind fuck out there to have someone treat what has been the source of oppression like it is the “it” benefit of 2008.

But you know that, don’t you…Geraldine?

And it is a sadly powerful attack that dismisses all the hard work; the years spent biting your tongue, the ass whoopings you chose to hold back and the cussing outs that never happened even though not telling someone about themselves almost caused you physical pain.

Blink.

Pause…sip water…continue.

"If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position," Ferraro said. "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."

Which I translate to mean that you, Geraldine, think Alan Keyes just had bad timing.

Yeah.

Right.

Let’s get real, Geraldine. You don’t give a flying shit whether you offend the hell out of some people as long as your message gets through to the right people. The kind of people who hear a quote like that and are thankful that someone said it…fucking cheer when they hear it then eagerly e-mail it to five friends…and can’t believe you’re catching hell for it.

Those people…

…who you need to fire up and are confident the tried and true fuel of 'gender trumps race' will get it done and bring in some money.

This trifling ass shit has left me unable to imagine a scenario where I cast the vote people risked their lives and died to achieve for me for a candidate who's campaign insults what I stand for and the principles I believe in.

Hey thanks.

This has been so fucking not nice.

And next time don’t bother with the “and if he was a woman (of any color)” pander, okay?

I haven’t been caught up in that unified sisterhood concept yet, honey...and your verbal malfunction didn’t help with that shit one bit.

I’m not attacking you because you are white.

This is coming at you because you’re wrong…

43 comments:

Sara said...

Amen. Just because she feels that she benefitted from tokenism back in the day does not mean that this is still the case. Yo, Geraldine - IT'S NOT FREAKING 1984. You've got a whole new generation of voters now who grew up during and after the major civil rights battles, and a bunch of Jim Crow-believing old folks have died off. Maybe, just maybe, we've grown up a bit as a nation??? Sheesh. I'm not a Reaganite in the slightest, but I'm just a teensy bit glad right now that she did not attain high office.

A.evilredhead said...

Thank you once again for your words.

I have struggled trying to find those words today as friends and co-workers wondered what I was sputtering about.

I am so stunned that Geraldine does not understand. I am shocked that friends don't get it.

I voted for her in the 1988 election, NOT because she had breasts like me, but because I thought she would have done a good job. How sad to know that I was better off without her.

Rounder said...

I couldn't have said it better. She should be ashamed of herself. Part of me thinks she's still hurt over how bad she got spanked when it was her turn.

What's worse about this is that it won't stop. In a few more weeks, someone else from the Clinton campaign will walk this line again, and Senator Clinton will distance herself, and the message will get out anyway.

Here's an interesting quandary, Shark-fu. What's her next move? Does Senator Clinton think she'll be able to win back enough of the black folks and young people to beat McCain? If we as a community have to watch another (over?) qualified brother get torpedoed by an establishment player, we may not be willing to choose her for lack of a better choice. And these young folks can hold a grudge.

Defending with the reverse racism card is the rotten cherry on top of this vile sundae. Her comments were exactly what every Democrat has been afraid of. It's proof that the party may be shattered beyond repair, that defeat can still be savaged from the jaws of victory.

It's been a while since I've been this sad.

Gregory said...

Great response. Over at Politico they dug up a 1988 quote from Ferraro saying "If Jesse Jackson weren't black, he wouldn't be in the [presidential] race." Apparently it's nothing new for her.

voodoo said...

you. are. f*&@in'. awesome.
thank you for saying so well EXACTLY what I was thinking.

Leota2 said...

Shark-Fu,
Thank you for your on point words.
I sit here as stunned as I've ever been in my life.
(and that's saying something growing up in a somewhat scary part of Ohio.)

My father told me all I ever HAD to do in this life is stay black and die. Well--he was wrong.
It seems all I have to do is stay black, listen to a vile, bitter, hater spout racists bile and make sure it gets out to the wink, wink, nod, nod crowd, then die.
And there sits the the object of her supposedly protective rant saying---"I disagree . . . ."

L. Jackson said...

Yep, HRC is playing her 'trump' card...get the hate message out, scare whitey, get the vote at any cost. Shaking head that it has to come to this! What I fear is that the voters will lose hope & walk away from all of the Dem mess & feel like their votes won't count to 'old establishment' ways..very sad.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

I think it's obvious that Ms. Ferraro managed to slip away from her caregiver and find a microphone somewhere. Tsk, tsk, some home healthcare worker wasn't doing their job now, were they?

Anonymous said...

I am certain about one thing, Mr Obama will address this comment with class and insight and in the end he will get more votes because of how he handles all of these obstacles folks who are supposed to be on his side throw in his way.

He is overqualified and he will be able to bring even these nonbelievers into the fold. His comments will be clear, to the point, and yes, they will say fuck you but in a way that leaves them thinking wow, this guy is good. That is the problem with these folks, either they have watched him and said wow this guy is good and it has scared them to no end or they do not yet believe how truly impressive this individual is. Folks like him do not come along often. The Democrats are about to blow the chance of the century.

Just because Hillary's husband was in the whitehouse and she helped, because she did, this does not make her automatically more qualified for the job. Sometimes the most qualified person is the one who brings something different to the table. I think Mr. Obama's ability to bring people together and to be combative in a noncombative way, and get things done, is the "x" factor needed in this day and age. He seems to be a gifted listener as well as a gifted problem solver. I don't think amny presidents have had this quality.

Delux said...

I want to know why Hillary thinks I should vote for her when she sends her race baiting street soldiers out every chance she gets.

more cowbell said...

*clap clap clap*

It's ridiculous. If it's such luck in a presidential election to be black, how come we haven't had a black president before?

What about the 43 white men before him? They got there just fine. The fact that Barack Obama can even get close to that office without the support of the system set up with the help of those early white presidents is amazing.

AND, I just now heard her response on the news: "racism works two ways, I think they're attacking me because I'm white." What?? Unbelievable.

Things like this are not helping Hillary, they're hurting the Democratic party, and if they don't stop this crap, the fracture is going to be on our side of the house, rather than the Red side.

more cowbell said...

(oops - guess I should've clicked on your last link - i wouldn't have been shocked hearing Ferraro's response on Olbermann)

Mike13833 said...

*Standing O!* (for you)

Lesboprof said...

I am with you! The gf and I are so frustrated and horrified by the slew of old white "feminist" women who seem to be speaking their racism throughout Hillary's campaign. I am losing faith (and face) as a white feminist. I wonder if they have read Audre Lorde, remember what she had to say about all of the intersecting oppressions and privileges we negotiate.

I am disgusted that Ferraro has not moved on since 1988. This kind of race-baiting demeans us all... especially those of us who are Democrats and feminists. I mean, DAMN!

Sarah J said...

My response to Geraldine is the same as it is to every other woman who tries to make me feel guilty for not supporting Hillary.

Where the fuck were you when there WAS a qualified black woman running for president? Shit, Carol Moseley Braun had more experience than Hillary Clinton, aside from that whole marriage thing, and where was Geraldine?

As I pointed out to my friend earlier today, no, if Barack Obama were a white man with a white name, he wouldn't be in the same position he is.

Hasn't she looked at those exit polls from Ohio indicating that race was a factor--for Hillary's voters? If Obama was a white man, he'd have won this shit by now.

Dusty said...

A-fucking-men Shark Fu..I have been fuming all day over this fuckwitted remark by a woman that I used to respect.

As a brown bitch..I certainly take exception to her lily-white remark.

She only furthers the division between white and minority.and between male and female..

God, I can't wait finish MY piece on this crappola ;p

calugg said...

Look, Ferraro is a "nice white lady" from Long Island, which is one of the most virunetly racist places in the US.

They wear white gloves instead of white robes, and speak in all manner of code.

But it's still deadly.

Ferraro has been doing this dance a long time. I'm just delighted that Americans are CALLING her on her coded racist crap.

THANK YOU!

Neneh said...

I was too pissed off to think straight when I heard that comment. And then went nuclear when I saw comments that defended her ("just saying what's true"). Thanks for having the right words.

(And PLEASE crosspost this at Shakesville. Some of the commentariat there need to hear this.)

Maureen O'Danu said...

Thanks SO MUCH, Shark-Fu. I'm so pissed off I'm trembling. More and more of HIllary's supporters are saying and doing more and more things that make me fear I will not be able to vote for her if she wins the Democratic nomination.

Here's hoping I won't have to.

Admiral Komack said...

"Here's an interesting quandary, Shark-fu. What's her next move? Does Senator Clinton think she'll be able to win back enough of the black folks and young people to beat McCain?"

-Late-breaking news flash:

Hillary doesn't fucking care!

She doesn't want the black vote, else she wouldn't be pulling the race card.

She wants the haters.

Anonymiss said...

Gregory said...
Great response. Over at Politico they dug up a 1988 quote from Ferraro saying "If Jesse Jackson weren't black, he wouldn't be in the [presidential] race." Apparently it's nothing new for her.


Oh my. She seems to be quite the asshole.

Anonymiss said...

Forgot to mention, props to you Shark-Fu for another well-written response to asinine comments from out-of-touch feminists.

red said...

Meanwhile, I heard yesterday on some tv news commentary that Obama winning by less than 15% in State X would be bad for him b/c it would mean he only won the black vote. Who's telling Hillary that she's in trouble b/c she can only win the white vote?

adjunct whore said...

precisely. thank you.

Anonymous said...

Hillary knows that there is NOTHING she can do or say to get the black vote (91% for Obama in Mississipi). She has to appeal to somebody if she wants to win.

Maggie said...

This is so fucked up. I get angrier and angrier the more I think about it (and I've been stewing about it since I heard). I am so embarrassed that these people call themselves "feminists." They give feminists, and Democratic women, a bad name.

betmo said...

i guess i was shocked that geraldine and camp clinton had become out in the open with the race card. up to this point they had been using 'muslim' in place of 'black'- but meaning the same thing. winning is everything and if she can't win on merit- she will use the bigotry card. i don't buy into the american feminist bullshit anyway. to me- it looks like an upscale white yuppie coffee klatch. and i am a white female. obama has been sticking to the issues and they can't take it- so they are going for the base. that's the difference between 'experience' and actually having a finger on the pulse of the voters.

Anonymous said...

This is such a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation. If Mr. Obama wins the black vote that is down played if he loses it, it's
played up.

Farraro has errored and so has Hillary. The days of dragging out Willie Horton to win an election are gone. It is so obvious that she is part of the old guard that has kept this country bogged down in ignorance. Why continue to go for the hater vote? It really doen't help the nation to move forward. Doing what is best for the nation should be the goal first and foremost.

It is so disappointing to see people behave in such a way. And so disappointing to constantly see how little progress this nation has made in the area of race. What will it take? I mean really. Why are there these pockets of people working so hard to keep other's down? They need therepy. It is sad. They refuse to let go of their beleifs that are not based in fact but in myth. It's the same old statements whites make about affirmative action that the black person couldn't possibly be qualified based on their level of education, work ethic or knowledge. No, they would rather believe the balck person only got where they are because they are black. As if you can just sit there, be black and stuff falls into your lap. It is a demeaning and tired arguement.

What is happeneing to Mr. Obabma is what happens to all blacks who achieve within this nation. They are brought down a peg, attacked and bullied. This verbal intimidation is as harmful as the lychings that occurred in the past.

A moment of silence please as the civil rights clock rolls backwards.

A.H. said...

You are right as rain. I can't believe how she's defending herself, claiming it wasn't a racist statement. She's disgusting and Clinton is disgusting for not getting rid of her. I'm sick of Clinton supporters trying to compete over who's more discriminated against. She's appealing to the lowest common denominator and thanks to here I think we're going to end up with another tired, shady old white man in the office--nothing's going to change.

Empty Head said...

HRC is abandoning the black vote b/c she thinks she can win with the blue collar white (mostly Catholic) women's vote--like she did in Ohio. She knows that her base is racist so she's given 'em some white hope. She "offered" the VP to Obama to show her "fairness". She's in second place, but she's not giving up and she'll ruin the whole thing rather than lose graciously or quit. The right-wing haters were right about the Clintons; they're vile, arrogant liars who will do anything for power. Not that much different than our current regime.

Anonymous said...

You have hit it squarely Empty Head. But what a bad strategy it is. She will not win the election with such a strategy. If people were so opposed to Obama he would not have already taken so much of the popular vote. It is amazing she is not seeing this.

It is a desperate last gasp for air.

Who knew the Clinton's were such bad news? I am amazed!

Amanda Marcotte said...

Have I told you lately how much I love you?

In all seriousness, it looks like Obama is going to win the nomination. At which point, Republicans will have the "even the Clintons said" card to play. Fucked up.

Rileysdtr said...

I don't think it's racism. No really, it's not. It's pure-D bafflement. I'm a little baffled myself...

(cracks knuckles, neck)

Let's all take a deep breath and place ourselves in those sensible pumps for just a minute, okay? You are a 60-year-old career politician, having started back in the day when "career politician" wasn't an epithet but recognition of a higher call to public service. All your life you have worked harder than anyone else – you’re a bulldog and a policy wonk who has to know everything about every issue because that's how you survive. You’ve brought home the bacon and fried it up in the pan; then been humiliated into baking cookies on national TV to prove that you’re not one of those feminists. After decades of taking the backseat to your more charismatic spouse - and standing by your man - it’s time. Your kid’s out of the house and you’re in the Senate; the stars have finally aligned and it's… your… turn.

And it’s sweet. You’re ready. You know just how ugly things can get, but you’ve been through the fires. Interns and Ken Starr and vast right-wing conspiracies? Bring ‘em on. You’re ready for the Limbaughs, the Coulters, those Citizens United Not Timid shirts with your picture on ‘em, and every other sling and arrow Outrageous Fortune will throw your way.

Then some kid with big ears and a funny name stands up, grabs the spotlight, and just won’t sit down again.

It’s bafflement, people. She’s baffled.

Race is an issue (don’t one single person out there DARE tell me it isn’t – I’m from Detroit) just as much as gender, but Barack IS being treated more lightly than Hillary because we have been taught that polite people don’t use certain words but women are still fair game. Where are the smart-ass “Not In God’s Green Earth Republican” t-shirts? Does anyone really believe that if Barack is nominated an older woman will stand up at a McCain rally and ask “how do we defeat the Nigger?” (and if so, that McCain will chuckle and respond “good question”?) Pick your epithet. They’re all wrong, but don’t sit there and suggest they are any LESS wrong than what she's called in public every day.

Hillary is baffled, and she’s not used to not knowing the answer. I’m baffled, and I don’t know the answer either. I think she is going to lose the nomination, and that will break many hearts - including mine - as it gladdens others. For those who would rejoice in Barack’s success, welcome. For those who would gloat in Hillary’s downfall, shame on all of you. She is a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sitting senator of this country, a human being, and a child of God. Let’s work together on this public forum that Little Sister ABB so graciously shares with us to lift up, not tear down. We are all in this together.

Shark-fu said...

Sister, I take no joy from this.

None.

But the bafflement you speak of is rooted in a place of privilege that has led the same people who feel Obama has been given a pass to reveal through their words exactly what they feel he has been given a pass on - race.

I hold the left to a higher standard and I will not apologize for that. And I sure as hell hold candidates who seek to achieve my vote to the highest of standards.

This is not about who is getting more shit tossed at them. This is about who is tossing the shit, the message they have attached to it pre-toss and the back-to-back-to-back pattern of it.

I'm disgusted. I'm insulted. And I'm in no mood to suck it up and take one for the team.

That may change, but continued incidents of race-based bafflement will not assist in that one bit.

So no, there is no joy for me in this election except that the citizens are expressing themselves better than the candidates.

Mayhap I'll take comfort in the masses...

Anonymous said...

Drat, why do people that I once respected have to flame out so spectacularly?

Gov. Putz, the former bane of Wall Street crooks

now my fellow alumnae (years before), Gerry Ferraro.

And HRC - she should know how to rein in her erstwhile allies. And,she should know not to violate the 11th commandment, thou shalt not praise a Republican over a Democrat.

NancyP

Dusty said...

Shark Fu, you have, in your comment here, vocalized what many of us think about this campaign.

Thank you for your insightful commentary.

Ferraro has resigned..but only so she can continue spewing her vile bullshit.

Pathetic..thy name is Geraldine Ferraro.

Not to mention, Pat the Idiot Buchanan is now standing up for her right to spew vile racist garbage on Dan Abrams show..god make it stop!!!

cowboyangel said...

Bravo! Great post once again.

Sometimes, listening to Clinton's supporters justify this kind of crap really gets me down. I expect it from the Right, but from the Center Right? Sorry, I meant to say from supposed Liberals? But this has always been there, lurking underneath, hasn't it? It's just that the Clintons have turned over the rock to expose what's been buried below.

I hold the left to a higher standard and I will not apologize for that. And I sure as hell hold candidates who seek to achieve my vote to the highest of standards.

Yes. That's why all of this is so disturbing.

Thanks for taking it on so well. Thanks for giving me something to smile about.

Rileysdtr said...

No passes, no excuses - it's wrong wrong wrong. But what is driving me nuts is the glee I can feel oozing out of some people watching Hillary's implosion. It feels the same as the night I watched the results come in from the Carol Mosely Braun/Peter Fitzgerald senate race (good lord, has it been 8 years ago?) - Carol fought tooth and nail, built the best coalition she could, and lost to a stageful of suspender-popping, cigar-chomping balding old white men. The Dearly Beloved and I cried as Fitzgerald gloated through his acceptance speech.

This feels the same. I welcome Barack, but I abhore those who violently reject Hillary because, well, just because she's Hillary. Call it mysogeny, call it gender bias, call it schadenfeude. It's wrong by any name.

Anonymous said...

Well the reason the Alan Keyes excuse doesn't work is that he wasn't the "right" kind of black man, he was a Republican.

Hate to say it but GF is right, most people can't name a single accomplishment Obama can take credit for on the national stage, that's because he is inexperienced and not qualified.

He is qualified in many people's opinion based on hyperbole and personality and yes race, not his stances which are identical to Clinton's.

Shark-fu said...

Anon...
Tempting though it is to dive into a qualification dance, that's not the purpose of this post.

Gerry stated that Obama is where he his because he is black...and, given her logic, Keyes should have caught on whether he was a Republican or not. Her argument is that it was all a matter of timing and the planets lining up and blah blah bullshit.

As to Gerry being right, well that's a very telling statement for you to make.

But this ain't therapy, you're not my patient and I'm not going to try to cure your ass.

Mercy.

Anonymous said...

Two points you missed.

1. Ferraro made the statement on a politcal discussion talk show that she is paid to do. She said it as a response to a question about her opinion and not on behalf of anyone on a campaign, It's her own separate opinion.

2. It was referenced as her belief that Obama does not qualify for President. He lacks experience and if it weren't for the black vote he would not have gotten this far on his credentials alone! Up until recently, Obama has not been questioned on what he will do for the African Americans or anyone else for that matter. Angry black bitches will just wait until he is safely in the whitehouse to ask what he stands for.
Then you will find out that it is not Obama that rules, but Pelosi, Dashel, Dodd and the remainder of the racists that will rule the whitehouse much the way that Cheney and Rumsfield ruled over Bush. Ferraro is not a racist but these above mentioned people may be. They want control of the whitehouse and Obama is their only route to controlling it.
Obama has been bought out and payback is a bitch. blink blink...
Oh and check out what Shirley Chisolm said about her experience of race and gender. She said it was tougher to win on her gender than it was her race!!! dum de dum

blink blink blink

Check your references and get rid of your short sightedness. Or just stay angry, uninformed and jumping to conclusions. After all the race card is a easy out if not downright lazy.

Anonymous said...

From experience I know that what Geraldine said is, at least for some voters, true. I wanted Obama to be my candidate. I really did. Early on I was excited about the possibity of an African American becoming president. All things being equal between Hillary and Obama, I'd voite for Obama. Why? Because I personally believe that, while prejudice of all sorts exist against women and people of color, a black president would represent a greater barrier conquered. Just my opinion. After researching the two candidates and their views, it turned out that Hillary was more on target in representing my views, and so that is who I have to support. While Geraldine's comments probably exaggerated the situation, she was NOT totally off base.

Not hiding behind anonymity said...

"Check your references and get rid of your short sightedness. Or just stay angry, uninformed and jumping to conclusions. After all the race card is a easy out if not downright lazy."

Wow! That wasn't condescending at all.

My long range vision shows me that Hillary Clinton is the queen of race baiting in this election. Her campaign is doing all the dirty work so that the republicans manage to keep their hands racially clean. She and her husband are every bit the opportunistic sharks that conservatives always knew them to be. And apparently, racism is not out of their bounds. But that's ok. When a white woman such as Geraldine Ferarro makes a racially insulting statement, basically busting Barack's campaign success as being nothing more than a case of affirmative action, let us all turn it around and blame any black voices of dissent, call them mentally lazy, and accuse them of playing the race card that the white woman actually dealt.

And while you're patting yourself on the back for being able to see Geraldine as a harbinger of truth, the concept of the "right kind of black" is racist... and still innacurate in your argument. Because Geraldine did not say Obama is where he is because he is black and a democrat. You made that distinction, not her.