“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.” (Geraldine Ferraro’s resignation letter to Hillary Clinton, Los Angeles Times)
Some emails were a-flying between me and Snob regular Nonie yesterday and as we discussed the Ferraro “Obama’s very lucky to be black” debate, I pointed out how Ferraro seemed to be fully insulted, enraged as she insinuated that she was the victim of that most convoluted of terms “reverse racism.” Unapologetic, she argued that it was Sen. Obama’s campaign that was behind this toxic fomenting of race and gender and that she was being attacked by these Obama people so she was forced to climb up on that cross and die for the sins of the body politic.
What irritates me so about this is that constantly, constantly Hillary Clinton and her proxies accuse nameless, faceless disembodied voices that allegedly emanate from the Obama Campaign. These unearthly phantasms who interject bigotry and torture them so.
They name no names. Clinton or Ferraro do not accuse Obmam campaign strategist David Axelrod or Michelle Obama. They don’t cry their eyes out over the numerous senators, like John Kerry, Ted Kennedy and Chris Dodd and accuse them of raising any tar baby flavored hackles. Aside from Samantha Power’s “monster” blurt, who are these assailants? Who are these vicious race baiters who are attacking constantly without provocation?
They can’t mean the senator. Barack Obama has worked hard to be race neutral so he can appeal to a wide audience. It can’t be his wife, who gets rundown for just critiquing her husband’s sometimes smelly failings. So who are this mouths without a face or name?
This is very different from the words of Clinton staffers that did come with names and faces. Mark Penn, Bill Shaheen, Robert Johnson, Bill Clinton, Maggie Williams and now, Gerry Ferraro join the chorus of conflagration, burning bright with cynicism and calculation, bitterness and hardened hearts.
I’m growing wearing of all this mock outrage. Ferraro made a bonehead remark and caught some heat from the press and supporters of both Obama and Hillary Clinton. Many people were appalled by the laziness of her bigoted statement, one she tossed out with certainty and ease that could be easily implicated as racist.
Yet she refused to apologize because she didn’t want to give in to them, the Obama campaign who apparently told black and white people all across America that Geraldine Ferraro made comments that deserved the side-eye. The campaign that apparently is all-powerful and can control the media and its message and the passionate supporters who were angered by her words.
Geraldine may or may not have needed to apologize to Barack Obama, but she did need to explain herself and apologize to me and every person who was shocked and dismayed by her callousness. What could it have hurt, who could have it hurt if she’d swallowed her chip-on-shoulder, fragile pride, explained her intent and shown some contrition? The damage was already done.
Unless you don’t care if the rifts in our party remains unhealed, that the cracks and fissures continue to move and buckled until things register a 8.9 on the Richter scale. Unless this is part of a master plan to raise the controversial issue of affirmative action, the mantra of “those black hands took your job” to bring whites closer in a bid to finagle the nomination.
This is the most corrupt view, but I fear it is the one most true. I don’t know if Ferraro’s words and actions were coordinated. I think they reflected her own angst and bitterness rather than the true attitudes of the Clinton campaign, but once her words were out there very little was done to diffuse them and in the name of letting the issue die Ferraro went on every news show she could to continue grinding the bones of the Democratic coalition to make her bread.
I realize that when you reach a certain age you can say whatever without worrying about the feelings of others, but if you fought, as you say, for civil rights issues don’t you think you at the least owe them an explanation why someone they once admired is talking like that polemic misanthrope Ann Coulter. Ferraro has the haughty harruph of someone two seconds from saying “How dare these jungle bunnies insult me. I made them who they are. Without me they are nothing. Be happy with the bits of approval I give you and please, abscond away as I make room down the path of history for the once and future Queen of America, Lady Hillary, the carpetbagger of New York by the way of Little Rock.”
Who are these tormentors who plague her, them the Clinton campaign? Who are these haunts, these motley white-hating jiggaboos poking out of the bush, buck teeth baring in a Cheshire grin, watermelon in one hand, dagger in the other, rags tied around their heads, bellies full with the meat cut from your mettle? Who are these mongrel ingrates, punk kids, misogynist Liberals, high on hope junkies who follow their man like he’s a philosopher king, tossing rose petals on the stones of his golden path, kissing his feet, placing halo on head, anointing with oil the biracial star child walking with liberty in one hand, brotherhood in the other?
While I believed various Congressional Black Caucus members when they said they were being harassed by their constituents to switch from Clinton to Obama, I find it hard to believe the Obama campaign itself is behind any of the blow back from Ferraro’s words, unless a tersely worded press release is all that is needed to set the whole damn world on fire.
John Lewis and other members of the CBC never once said the Obama campaign was behind their harassment. Obama and his staff are too smart, or rather, not dumb enough to bully the elders. It was individuals, people who voted for Obama who were calling the offices and flooding the inboxes and I’m sure that those are the same letter writers, phone callers and emailers who are prickling Ferraro’s ego and pissing in her proverbial cornflakes.
As Hillary goes on her too little, too late “I Repent!” tour of penance, I’m just sick with it all. I’m through. This is the last damn post I’m writing about Driving Miss Geraldine Ferraro. Make me wanna holler, throw up my hands.
Gerry, if you want to start spraying the napalm while Mark Penn tosses around the Silly Puddy, go ahead, have at it. But I can’t give you the benefit of the doubt, despite your work for women and minroties, when you can’t even be bothered to explain your words and assu
age the fears of so many blacks in the Democratic Party who are sensing Great White Father’s manos of fate rigging the field yet again to deny progress.
To quote Langston, what happens to a dream deferred? Decades of mistrust by blacks who feel disrespected, that our friends really aren’t friends and would rather keep the status quo than let their beloved pets turn into their equals.
I’m through talking to you and about you, Geraldine. I’m tired of reasoning with those who care not to be reasoned. It’s better that we break if you don’t care to work with me at all.