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Is Geraldine Ferraro A Racist?

In Barack Obama, Democracy, Democrats, Election 2008, Hillary Clinton, Media, Politics on March 11, 2008 at 9:39 pm

Geraldine Ferraro and Hillary Clinton

Tempers and words were flying today on both sides of the Democratic candidate camps. While the focus should have been on the Mississippi primary, statements were issued from both Sen. Clinton and Sen. Obama about a recent statement that former 1984 VP candidate, Geraldine Ferraro made.

From the AP:

In a brief interview with The Associated Press, Clinton said she regretted Ferraro’s remarks. The Obama campaign has called on the New York senator to denounce the comments and remove Ferraro from her unpaid position with the campaign.

Last week, Ferraro told the Daily Breeze of Torrance, Calif.: “If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman (of any color) he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept.”

She also faulted a “very sexist media” in the historic race between a man bidding to be the first black president and a former first lady seeking to become the first female president.

In the AP interview, Clinton said, “I do not agree with that,” and later added, “It’s regrettable that any of our supporters ā€” on both sides, because we both have this experience ā€” say things that kind of veer off into the personal.”

“We ought to keep this on the issues. There are differences between us” on approaches to issues such as health care and energy.

Ferraro is a former New York congresswoman and was Walter Mondale’s running mate when he was the Democratic presidential nominee in 1984. She has endorsed Clinton and raised money for her campaign.

Obama called Ferraro’s comments “patently absurd.”

“I don’t think Geraldine Ferraro’s comments have any place in our politics or in the Democratic Party. They are divisive. I think anybody who understands the history of this country knows they are patently absurd,” he told the Allentown Morning Call.

Obama senior adviser David Axelrod said Ferraro should be removed from her position with the Clinton campaign because of her comments.

“The bottom line is this, when you wink and nod at offensive statements, you’re really sending a signal to your supporters that anything goes,” Axelrod said in a conference call with reporters.

A defiant Ferraro dismissed the criticism in an interview with Fox News. (see video below)

So is Ferraro a racist or is she merely stating the truth that no one wants to admit? While anyone can stand there and argue that race and gender is not an issue in this election, I ask you to look at the droves of people turning out to vote in this election. It’s not an issue of blacks voting for blacks or women voting for women, but an issue of electing a history making president in a role that has been dominated by white males since our forefathers. Let’s say Sen. Clinton and Sen. Obama were not the presidential candidates but rather John Edwards and Dennis Kucinich. Would we still see the record breaking turnouts at the polls as we are witnessing? NO. You know it and I know it. We may be sick of the current Bush Administration but the fact that the nomination is now between an African American and a female IS AN ISSUE OF RACE AND GENDER. Like it or not, admit it. We may not head into the polling booth with race or gender on the mind, but it IS there subconsciously. I would hope that the majority of voters are going to the polls with issues and agendas as the main focus for our choice, but we wouldn’t be standing in line for hours if those two white male candidates were on the ticket.

I am currently taking a Politics and the Media course and I have learned a lot more about bias in the media than I ever cared to know. Now it could be that we are only hearing sound bites that the gatekeepers of the media want us to hear, (just look at past political sound bites) and it could be that Ferraro merely spoke before thinking. Either way, I don’t condone what she has said but is what she said intent or interpretation?

Remember, this IS politics and as the horse race gets tighter, words will get nastier.

Here is the video from FOX News:

  1. For a change there is a Democrat that is speaking the truth. Mr. Obama has made some great speeches, has impressed many people with his looks, but he still has not proffered any ideas as to how to get this country out of the mess it’s in. As much as I do not like Hillary’s personality, in this election there is no other Democrat that has any idea on how to solve the economic probles of this country. Isn’t voting for somone solely because of his race racism?

  2. I agree with other posters that Ms. Ferraro’s comments were not racist, but were her opinion of the situation, of which she is fullly entitled to as an American citizen. I’m about as liberal as you can get and I actually happen to agree with her. I feel her comments were true and that she made a very valid point – based ONLY on the experience of the candidates, I don’t believe Mr. Obama would even be in this race if he WERE a white man. What also amazes me is that no one seems to ever comment or even think about the issue that blacks are overwhelmingly voting for Obama for no other reason but simply because he IS black. Many articles point out that fact. Isn’t that reverse prejudice? Voting for someone only because he is the same race as you are – whether they are black or white – why isn’t anyone saying THAT is racist? Shame on anyone who does. Seriously people, we need to evaluate candidates based on experience and ability and who has the best solutions to clean up the mess created over the past eight years (by another candidate who had lots of charisma but seriously lacked experience !) – Vote based on who is best equipped to clean up this house of ours – NOT based on anything else, particularly race.

  3. Geraldine Ferraro’s comment is defintely racist. Her remark that Senator Obama “would not be in this position” if he were not Black, uses racism to explain his success. This is the standard “affirmative action” type of response people of color have hear for decades–“you would not be in this job (or school) if it were not for affirmative action; it’s not your ability, it’s your race, you don’t belong here.” This is racist and should not be tolerated in the New America. She has no place in the campaign of a candidate for the presidency.

    Senator Obama is winning because he is winning, because he has a message of HOPE and CHANGE that America wants to hear, because people TRUST him. Keep the facts straight–ALL RACE GROUPS are voting for Obama, not just Blacks.

    Ferraro is old school and needs to be replaced!

  4. I am so upset. I was watching MSNBC and listening to a interview of the first female vice presidential nominee and when she gave her opinion, which I believe is the right of all Americans, she was CUT OFF AT THE KNEES, go to a break, feed us more commercials…….

    I am outraged. Is this what our nation is about. Freedom of the press, as long as you don’t bash the press. Give me a break, whatever happend to the right to voice your opinion. I just realized the problem with this country is the press releases only what is in the best interest of the PRESS. You guys are borderline Nazi’s. MSNBC you have gone over the top!!!!!

    I am starting a movement to ban whatever sponser MSNBC!!!!!@
    Let’s excercise OUR Freedome of choice.

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