Sunday, March 16, 2008


"If Barak was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman, 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

An exchange of emails between me and Benny the firecracker salesman regarding Geraldine Ferraro's comment that blew up in the press, causing her to resign from the Clinton campaign.

Hey, Benny,

What's up? I thought about what you said at the bookstore last night about Geraldine's stupid comment. I still tend to think she's being racist, here. She went on FOX News the next day to defend her remarks and made them again--this time, I suspect, to a more receptive audience. She made exactly the same statement in 1988 about Jesse Jackson in his run for President. So Geri's been down this road before. There's a sort of pointlessness to it which characterizes all racist language and behavior, because it focuses on just this one aspect of the person (in this case, skin color), to the exclusion of all their other traits. So if she's not being racist, why can she only think of that one thing to say about the person running for high office? And why does it come out sounding so critical? In this day and age it's about as relevant as saying that John McCain is in this race because he's white. The correct response is "So what?" Ferraro thinks of herself as a nice modern liberal woman, but underneath, there's a little dark stain of bigotry that she just can't wash out no matter how she tries to spin it.


Benny's Response:

I tend to avoid self-satisfied, overbearing Yankee ladies. Neither Ms. Ferraro nor Hillary would be impressed with me. I'm proud of that. Ferraro's comment has the ring of factual commentary, however. The thing is that it was thoughtless to spout to the media because the aftermath was inevitable. The response is the same as when she commented on Jesse Jackson and it will be the same if the old bag lives long enough to utter it concerning another black presidential candidate. She did not say he was in because he was black. She said he was lucky. She said the country, the kids, the college students, the activists, were enthralled by a black that talked, behaved, and had everything in common with a Sierra Club-Oprah Winfrey-style male person. We like our own selves for finding a black person we can back for President of the United States. We're ok. We're decent liberal people and here's the proof that we're alright. We're endorsing and voting for a Negro for President. It's new, it's kind of a cult, and we love it. You saw it at the Fort Worth Convention Center. That's why new voters are joining in like never in history. And I goddamn well hope we can elect the Jaycee-acting rock-star bastard because it appears we're just too fucking stupid to do any better. Additionally, if he were to suggest a real black leader, like Cynthia McKinney (who does her Presidential campaigning at the Spiral goddamn Diner) as his Vice-Presidential nominee, his race for the Presidency would end before nightfall. So, yeah, he is, in fact, lucky to be where he is. Being smart won't get you there. Remember Kucinich, and Gravel, and Richardson, and Edwards? Pray for peace.


To Benny:

Well, maybe so. What's funny--if you go back and look close at what Geri actually said, she said: "If Barak was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman he would not be in this position. . . ." Hm. Hillary Clinton is a woman (I think), and, uh, she's in this position. So why isn't Ms. Ferraro making the same statement about Hillary that she made about Barak, only perhaps with some slight variations?--i.e.--"If Hillary was a man, she would not be in this position. If she was a black woman, she would not be in this position. If she was a black man (blacker than Barak), she would not be in this position. If she was a man and her first name was Bill, she would not be in this position." And so on. I'm sure there's even more possibilities for John McCain, such as, "If John McCain wasn't a decrepit old white man, he would not be in this position. If John McCain hadn't sung, "Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran, he would not be in this position." And so on. Make up your own.



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