I just watched The NBC Nightly News interview with Geraldine Ferraro. I watched in utter disbelief as NBC gave her the pulpit to accuse the Obama Campaign of of attacking her and painting herself and her resignation from the Clinton Campaign as a martyrdom. She claimed that she was the victim of reverse racial discrimination. She spun it in every direction as she tried to turn her denial of her very obvious attempt at a smear into an attack.
Dear Hillary –
I am stepping down from your finance committee so I can speak for myself and you can continue to speak for yourself about what is at stake in this campaign.
The Obama campaign is attacking me to hurt you.
I won’t let that happen.
Thank you for everything you have done and continue to do to make this a better world for my children and grandchildren.
You have my deep admiration and respect.
I think of all the ways her comments have been offensive and I’m having a hard time choosing between “staggering ignorance of U.S. history and current culture” and the insightful Catholic theological category for human sin, “willful ignorance.” I lean toward the sin concept, because I believe this is a sinful statement on a number of key levels. But I’m not going to ignore historical and cultural ignorance either, as I believe it is the way forward for the country beyond the Ferraros and their monovision.
The New York Times has reported the Justice Department statistic that “an estimated 12 percent of African-American men ages 20-34 are in jail or prison…The proportion of young black men who are incarcerated has been rising in recent years, and this is the highest rate every measured.” Just for comparison, note that 1.6 percent of white men in the same age group are incarcerated.
So, let’s see, to follow Ms.Ferraro’s logic, the other 88% of African American men are being promoted to high public office? Facts dictate otherwise. There are more African American men now in prison than in college and the employment rate for African American men has dropped to just over 50%. It’s nigh on to impossible to get a job in this economy anyway, let alone when you have a prison record. Incarceration rates, unemployment and poverty are linked.
Let's get one thing straight, a few months ago, the Hillary campaign was crowing that they had the African American vote. The Conservative pres was trying hard to make the case that his mixed racial background would be a problem with African Americans.
The reason I believe this statement by Ms. Ferraro is an example of the sin of “willful ignorance” is that a person would have to will themselves to actively exclude evidence fully available in every paper, blog, and 24-hour newscycle to come to the conclusion that it’s a “lucky” break for Senator Obama that he was not born a white man.
Let's get this straight, has Obama ever campaigned using his racial identity as part of his platform? As he said in his cool and measured response to this today, "Could I expect to become president if I used my race or my middle name as part of my appeal?"
Frankly, I sense real desparation coming from the Clinton Camp. They have committed major sins in the world of inter party politics. This will not go away as easy as Samantha Power resigning from Obama's Camp because she used the word "Monster" to describe Hillary in the British Press.
Ferraro has offended a lot of Americans and degraded the Democratic Party. Her defiant stance is all the more offensive. If her statements had come from a conservative commentator the furor would be deafening.
I think that if Hillary is interested in her "legacy", her supporters should urge her to stop destroying it.