Ron Rosenbaum, Writer

May 30, 2008

Racists Seek Succor From Geraldine Ferraro.

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 12:56 pm


was on the phone with my friend Errol Morris (you really should see Standard Operating Procedure, his powerful Abu Ghraib documentary) and he called my attention to what he thought was an remarkable rant by Geraldine Ferraro in The Boston Globe. (Errol lives in Cambridge).

Now you know of course that she was encouraged to resign from the Hillary campaign because of a stupid remark about Obama never getting close to the nomination if he wasn’t black. But she can’t help digging herself in deeper.

Consider this sadly damning paragraph:

“As for Reagan Democrats, how Clinton was treated is not their issue. They are more concerned with how they have been treated. Since March, when I was accused of being racist for a statement I made about the influence of blacks on Obama’s historic campaign, people have been stopping me to express a common sentiment: If you’re white you can’t open your mouth without being accused of being racist. They see Obama’s playing the race card throughout the campaign and no one calling him for it as frightening. They’re not upset with Obama because he’s black; they’re upset because they don’t expect to be treated fairly because they’re white. It’s not racism that is driving them, it’s racial resentment. And that is enforced because they don’t believe he understands them and their problems. That when he said in South Carolina after his victory “Our Time Has Come” they believe he is telling them that their time has passed.”

It’s the same phony rhetoric used by those who whine that they can’t criticize Israel without being accused of anti-semtism, rhetoric, which is not true even when, you’ll be shocked, shocked, to hear, the ploy is often used by genuine anti-semites.

Oh the poor oppressed white people, like the poor oppressed Israel-haters: “If you’re white,” Ferraro says,”you can’t open your mouth without being accused of being racist.”

In other words there really is no such thing as racist criticism of Obama; it’s just whites daring to open their mouths when theyre not “frightened”.

“They’re upset because they don’t expect to be treated fairly because they’re white.” Says who Ms. Ferraro? Who says they won’t be treated fairly because they’re white? Certainly not Obama. Could it be this is what you think or are you just giving us the fruits of your frequent conversations with ignorant and/or racist whites? Thanks for the tip on how “whites” think, though.

And don’t you love the way she ventriloquizes “whites” with an off-the-deep-end racist misinterpretation of “Our Time Has Come”. I think your unconscious is showing Ms. Ferraro. Obama didn’t say “You’re Time is Up, Whitey”. That’s evidently just the way you heard it. I wonder why?

And of course there’s the truly great misreresentation of the line that caused her departure from the Hillary campaign. Sure it was all about “the influence of blacks on Obama’s historic campaign.” Right it was all about celebrating that historicity.

The Hillary campaign must be grateful you’re no longer an Official Embarassment. But I think your time has come. And, in your case,gone.



  1. You know I love your writing. Nevertheless, I do not believe there can be “good” racism which one can find to be praiseworthy. If I can accept and appreciate black Americans voting for Obama mostly or wholly because he is of their race, can I not, as a rational matter, do the same for white American voting for a white candidate? Both are based on race. While it may be true that we do this all the time (vote for our friends, our co-religionists, our neighbors, those most like us), I’m not certain it meets the ideal. To me, a post-racial America would be one in which racial voting was not tied to the race of the candidate.

    While I am no fan of Ferraro, one has to be wilfully obtuse to fail to recognize the power of the term “racist” in this election. Mr. Obama’s narcissism, as revealed in the creepy slogan “We are the ones we have been waiting for,” suggests that anything short of full agreement must be based on race. I would like him to transcend race. I have come to believe that all he means by that phrase is that when he is elected that act, in itself, will constitute the transcendent event.

    I wish it were different.

    Comment by Mark Van Wagoner — May 30, 2008 @ 1:43 pm | Reply

  2. Obama is white; Obama is passing while also being black; Obama is a sixties’ American and a fifties’ African, out of Nyerere and Kenyatta. Because he is all these things, he is a mirror of others’ struggle with identity: a white priest wanting to be a radical black, an Italian conservative woman transformed into a feminist and back again. If someone fires at the mirror, will it reflect the bullet?

    Comment by charlie finch — May 31, 2008 @ 12:29 pm | Reply

  3. You write, “Obama didn’t say ‘You’re Time is Up, Whitey’.”

    Yeah, well, the Democrats had better hope that neither Obama nor anyone close to him said anything so foolish — especially before a camera or a microphone. Because it would destroy his chances, which now look pretty good.

    Comment by Gabe Conroy — June 1, 2008 @ 6:55 pm | Reply

  4. Ron, I don’t think you’re being fair to racist Ferraro at all. In fact, you’re demonizing her much as KKK racists demonized blacks and Jews in the past.

    Or how anti-Conservatives demonized black Clarence Thomas. It’s kind of funny to see how spittle dripping angry you seem to be in an expression that a lot of whites probably do feel — and your attacking their feelings with anger rather than any logical arguments is unlikely to change their minds. (Of course, so few read things that their policital opponents write, they are unlikely to read you in any case. Like you probably haven’t read Feith’s book.)

    Where are the examples of criticism against Obama that do NOT include racism as a defense? If you can’t find any, or make any, that shows she right; if it’s merely hard to find a few, she has a good point.

    On Israel, the Left in particular has been happy to prove the possibility of critizing Israeli politics without being anti-Semitic. Of course, the anti-Semites are happy to join such criticism as well, so British Universities keep voting to boycott Israeli academics.

    After writing the above, I thought I’d even read the note, where she said: “The reaction to the questions being raised has been not to listen to the message and try to find out how to deal with the problem, but rather to denigrate the messenger.” << This seems clearly to be your response.

    Comment by TomGrey — June 4, 2008 @ 1:16 am | Reply

  5. Whenever “racism” appears on a page, on a screen or a radio, I turn the page, hit the remote, spin the dial. Does wonders for the peace of mind.

    Comment by Banjo — June 5, 2008 @ 3:00 pm | Reply

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