Hillaryism Invites Conservative Backlash
by Manic Lawyer, Mon May 26, 2008 at 01:38:09 AM EDT
In the video above, which, no doubt, many have seen already, Liz Trotta, a conservative white woman commentator, was asked to comment on Hillary Clinton's suggestion that the word "assassination" is relevant in the 2008 presidential campaign. Trotta responds,
"and now we have what ... uh...some are reading as a suggestion that somebody knock off Osama ...uh..um..Obama [after being prompted by the FNC anchor]....well both if we could [laughing]"Hillary Clinton's frequent allusions to assassination in the 2008 presidential election contest have opened a Pandora's box, effectively making assassination part of the public discussion while giving permission to radical Republicans to air their dirtiest mental laundry in public, thereby making the entire debate more conservative than it would have been otherwise.
In that sense, Hillary's contribution has once again been very "Republican", as when she repeatedly asserted that John McCain was more capable of leading the country than her Democratic Party opponent.
As with George Allen's "macaca" allusion (see video above), it is often the basest disrespect toward Black people that unmasks white politicians as simply to vile to be worthy of the public trust.
I traverse a wide range of blogs, and there's something that I've noticed concerning discussions of Sen. Hillary Clinton and her recent "assassination" remark. At the primarily white blogs, there is much debate over whether or not what she has said is offensive (I won't bother repeating it here since it's been posted everywhere) and yet when you look at black bloggers, and other bloggers of color, there is an almost unanimous agreement that her remarks were reprehensible.
I also noticed that in the links being provided by blog authors and commentators at the primarily white blogs, to support their agreement or disagreement with the offensiveness of Sen. Clinton's statements, all are to other primarily white blogs and white bloggers. I find this problematic because I've seen a lot of comments on these blogs to the effect of "anyone who thinks that her statement was truly offensive is paranoid, a nut case, delusional, incapable of rational thought, etc," and this leads me to think that a lot of people just aren't taking into consideration, let alone even reading and listening to the black and other bloggers of color that Clinton's statement has affected not only on a political level, but on a deeply personal level.
Let me tell you a story:
As a child, I once came home, after hearing the standard "if you work hard enough, maybe one day you can be President" spiel at school, and quite happily informed my grandmother that all I had to do was work my butt off and maybe one day I could be President of the United States.
( . . . )
Slant Truth's story demonstrates that the Obama candidacy presents America with a challenge to make good on one of America's most fundamental promises to all of its citizenry, that the nation is "one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice [and opportunity?] for all."
The macabre story of 2008 is that the vice presidential picks are important. On the Republican side, its because of John McCains age and history of skin cancer, and thats openly discussed. But on the Democratic side, it is, as The Timess Obama reporter Jeff Zeleny has written, a hushed worry. Barack Obama has fused two of the most powerful narratives in American history those of Martin Luther King Jr. and Camelot and that makes him both magical and vulnerable. Maureen Dowd, New York TimesAnd yet, Hillary Clinton's allusions to assassination are most corrosively Republican and conservative precisely because they open a Jeanie's bottle of backlash toward the aspirations of some Americans, based on their skin color. This backlash is a conservative backlash against the fulfillment of America's liberal promises of equality and hope.
And that's why Hillary Clinton needs to rapidly end her candidacy. With each passing day that it continues, she widens the window of anti-Democratic ideation that makes the race harder for the Democrats to win, regardless of who our presidential candidate is. She doesn't seem to have considered the fact that there are almost as many armed lunatics who hate the idea of a female presidency as there are who hate the idea of a Black presidency. It is only because Obama is in the race and is winning that the idea of assassination has not been raised with respect to preventing Hillary Clinton from ending the forty-three term white male monopoly of the presidency of the United States.
[UPDATE:] And although some excuse-makers (see comments below) assert that this concern for Obama's (and Clinton's) safety are conveniently invented recently to hurt Clinton's campaign, this clearly is not the case. On July 31, 2007, one AfroSpear blogger wrote, (before Hillary had mentioned assassination at all),
"When I campaigned for Jesse Jackson back in 1984, Black children told me that Jesse could not become president because white people would never allow it. They might assassinate him or isolate him or otherwise refuse him, but they would not allow him to take the reigns of power.
In light of the tragic history of assassination of Black leaders in America, from the non-violent Martin Luther King, Jr. to the leaders of the "pick up the gun" Panther Party, I could not argue that these children's observations were unfounded. They were a matter of historical fact.
So, I could only argue that we had to continue trying, in spite of the forces arrayed against us, just as we had [done] during slavery and Jim Crow."July 31, 2007
Slant truth cites the following sources for his observation that afrosphere progressives' reactions to Hillary's comments have been far more critical than the reactions of the whitosphere's pseudo-progressives:
The author is editor of the Truth About McCain Blog.