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“… When Hillary was crying, and people said that was put on, I really don’t believe it was put on. I really believe that she just always thought, ‘This is mine. I’m Bill’s wife. I’m white. And this is mine. I just got to get up and step into the plate…’ Then out of nowhere came, hey, I’m Barack Obama. And she said, ‘Oh damn, where did you come from? I’m white. I’m entitled. There’s a black man stealing my show.’”

-The Rev. Father Michael Pfleger on Hillary Clinton

“For those threatening to vote for John McCain or to stay home and help ensure Barack Obama's defeat, as a way to protest what you call Obama's sexism (examples of which you seem to have difficulty coming up with), all the while claiming to be standing up for women... Your whiteness is showing.”

-Tim Wise on Hillary Clinton’s white allegiant female supporters who oppose Obama.

It was quite a scene to behold at the DNC last week: White Women in their 50s, letting the world (or at least whoever cared to listen) know just why Barack Obama would not get their votes. No matter what he did or didn’t do, they made it explicitly clear that Sen. Obama would never have their support. They staged incoherent protests in the name of their cause: putting Hillary Clinton on the ballot for nomination. It wasn’t until Hillary Clinton posed a timely question to them – in her Tuesday night speech - that they began to see the virtue of not voting McCain. In a highly self-promoting speech, Sen. Clinton paused to query her anxious fans and supporters, “I want you to ask yourselves: Were you in this campaign just for me?” The truth Hillary is much aware of is that a majority of that faction was indeed in the campaign for the sole reason of voting for her. Not for a woman, not for a white woman, but for a “Hillary Clinton type of woman”: white, elitist, rich and powerful.

When Barack Obama embarked on the prestigious journey of selecting a V.P, Sen. Clinton supporters all-but-informed him, that if he dared pick a female as his running mate, they would muster up whatever muscle amassable, and destroy his campaign. It was regarded as an “insult,” for Sen. Obama to bypass the competent Hillary Clinton, and launch for an equally qualified female politician such as Kathleen Sebelius, current Governor of Kansas. Mrs. Clinton’s hubristic supporters had suffered the irreparable loss of defeat one time, and believed that a worthy compensatory prize would be an automatic offer for the Vice-Presidency. It was not enough that, as purported Democrats, they had a candidate with an impressive chance at sweeping the election come November. It seemed as though those supporters were unwilling to accept history repeat itself a second time.

White, female Clintonites often touch upon the 50 year disparity between the granting of voting rights to Women vis-à-vis Black men. What they fail to mention however, is that most of those Black men who wished only to exercise their legal and God-given rights were lynched, burned, murdered, castrated and maimed. For Clinton supporters, Hillary’s nomination as the Democratic Presidential candidate would be a way to repay history and affirm their legacy as second in command to the hierarchy of prestige in this society. It would be unacceptable to accept this fair loss with dignity and grace. To make up for their defeat, derailing Obama’s candidacy would be satisfactory reparation – even if it means advancing the lie, myth and falsehood that Sen. Obama approved of the unavoidable sexism, misogyny and patriarchy that dominated the slow-witted beast’s coverage of Clinton’s campaign. The spokesperson for the leading pro-Hillary-anti-Obama-group, PUMA, would later remark that, “The Democrats are throwing the election away. And for what? An inadequate black male?”

If we flipped the script, and put the shoe on the other foot, one can only imagine the amount of vitriol that would be hurled toward the numerous Black Males who would rightly claim that Sen. Obama had -- and still has – a more challenging campaign as a result of his blackness. Those exact same staunch Hillary supporters would, at the drop of a hat, pull the “Blacks complain too much” card. In reality, the same case can justifiably be made in discontentment with the high level of covert and overt racism which has plagued the 2008 presidential race. Legitimate News organizations have licensed death threats, invective-filled rants, toxic-insinuations, and blatantly false-mischaracterizations made against Sen. Obama. I would humbly suggest that if certain frustrated Black people saw no offense in taking to the streets as a result of this full-frontal assault upon Black folks in general, the expected media outrage that would boil over should be discounted as illegitimate. If Hillary Clinton supporters regard any and all criticisms of her campaign as patently sexist, Black, Brown and Native-American supporters are more than certified to equate any harsh-analysis of Sen. Obama’s campaign as a racially-inflamed insult.

The pretense Hillary Clinton’s adamant fans use in justifying their hatred of Sen. Obama is laughable because they exposed their true colors when Michelle Obama was undergoing a dilemma that was, at the very least, unbearable to watch. Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama, a bright, lucid and well-educated Woman, was, on a daily basis, subjected to the lowest standard of journalism ever experienced in the history of Broadcasting. So-called journalist upon journalist pounded the character, merit and temperament of Mrs. Obama, all in the name of “Investigative Journalism.” From FOX News to the Huffington Post, they expressed anxiety over the possibility of seeing a Strong Black Woman in the White House. She was reduced to a caricature that would make Sara Baartman blush. Hillary Clinton’s “feminist” supporters were nowhere to be found when this façade of folly was being executed by the Right wing and neo-liberal media. Just as in 2006, when Cynthia McKinney – present Presidential Nominee for the Green Party –  was being scurrilously assaulted by the News Media, so it is now with Michelle Obama, and once again, white female racism rears its ugly head. Many are aware of Sojourner Truth’s landmark 1851 “Ain’t I a Woman” address, but few are willing to acknowledge that the majority of Truth’s impassioned words were directed at white Women who had placed the priority of their race over that of their gender. Looking back at history, it is saddening that so little has changed.

Grand Author, Essayist and Philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson once quipped, “I Have Said So Poorly What I Have Seen So Clearly. Now is the time to incorporate the mantle of “parrhesia,” and speak the unmitigated truth to power in which ever form it comes in. Guest Student Commentator, Tolu Olorunda, is a 19-year-old local activist/writer and a Nigerian immigrant. Click here to reach Tolu Olorunda.

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September 4, 2008
Issue 289

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Executive Editor:
Bill Fletcher, Jr.
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Nancy Littlefield
Peter Gamble
Est. April 5, 2002
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