Thursday, March 13, 2008
Keith Olbermann Special Comment. Target: Hillary Clinton.
In truth, people have been noticing for some time, including this author, a racist overtone of the Clinton campaign, and it has come to a head with Geraldine Ferraro's remarks dismissing Barack Obama's success as some sort of affirmative action quota. Finally, we see the awful truth: the Democratic party, for whom black Americans have been the most loyal and consistent voting block, views that block with something between condescension and contempt.
Or perhaps not the Democratic party as a whole, but certainly the Democratic Leadership Council. The message from the DLC has been clear in this primary election: you may take a place at the table, but never at the head. I think, in their heart of hearts, black Americans have known this for some time, but it was always preferable to being relegated to the children's table by the Republicans.
This status quo is not, and should not be, acceptable any longer. Every opportunity which is open to white Americans should be open to black Americans, just as every opportunity which is open to men should be open to women.
Barack Obama got where he is not because he is black, but despite it. That Geraldine Ferraro cannot see that belies her latent racism (which she also cannot apparently see), and that Hillary Clinton tolerates it belies that while she may not approve of racism, it doesn't get her hackles up. It doesn't create the visceral reaction in her that it does in many others. A strong condemnation of Ms. Ferraro could have been her moment where she wins back the black community and re-establishes herself as a champion for all people, not just herself. Alas, she couldn't bring herself to even pretend to do that, placing herself below John McCain in terms of moral authority on racism. Think she can count on the black vote in the general election? Are you kidding me? After all this? John McCain will be able to speak to the black community and say, "This is what the Democrats really think of you; vote for the party of Lincoln." While he may not win all or even a majority of the black community, the Democrats will forever lose them as their most loyal and reliable voting base -- and they'll deserve to.