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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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40 Responses

  1. ThickRedGlasses
    ThickRedGlasses May 31, 2008 at 6:08 pm |

    Has Ferraro forgotten again that Hillary Clinton is White?

  2. Peter
    Peter May 31, 2008 at 6:14 pm |

    They don’t identify with someone who has gone to Columbia and Harvard Law School and is married to a Princeton-Harvard Law graduate.

    Why do americans, generally, have this anti-intellectualism streak? I don’t want the guy who works at the auto parts store, and went to community college in the oval office. Call me crazy, but I want people who are motivated, strive for excellence, and of high intelligence running this country.

    His experience with an educated single mother and being raised by middle class grandparents is not something they can empathize with.

    this is stupid. Bush was raised with a silver spoon in his mouth, but the slack jaws voted for him because he would be cool to have a beer with. Does Obama have to put on a cowboy hat, and drink a budweiser to make these imagined voters support him?

    This is the most hackneyed cliche out there.

  3. Holly
    Holly May 31, 2008 at 6:26 pm |

    I am really confused here — Obama has an elite background, but Clinton doesn’t?

  4. exholt
    exholt May 31, 2008 at 6:26 pm |

    And Ferraro puts her foot even further into her mouth when she tries to make the case that Obama comes across as too elitist:

    Totally rich coming from a person who until recently resided in Forest Hills Gardens, a quasi-gated community in one of the most socio-economically privileged parts of Queens. I heard the most inexpensive homes in that area go for an easy few million.

    She also graduated from Fordham Law school…while it may not be a Harvard, NYU, or Columbia….most of their graduates tend to end up in some of the most lucrative biglaw firms in Manhattan…unless something drastically has changed over the last few years.

    One thing’s for sure, she’s demonstrating why she is less politically astute than either of the Clintons..

  5. Peter
    Peter May 31, 2008 at 6:30 pm |

    Oh, and let’s not forget that Michell Obama grew up dirt poor, and worked her @ss of to get into elite schools. Nobody handed her that, like George Bush was handed a life of privilege.

    Why would americans be resentful of a person who grew up poor, and worked their tails off to make something of themselves? Isn’t that the sort of Norman Rockwell imagery that republicans and “cultural conservatives” supposedly worship?

  6. prairielily
    prairielily May 31, 2008 at 6:40 pm |

    Playing Oppression Olympics is so unbecoming for these women… I’m thinking of all the other things that have been written along these lines in the past few months, by a number of second wavers. They were the feminists that young women looked up to, the ones who inspired young women, the ones that broke barriers for young women. It’s really unfortunate that this kind of thinking is tarnishing their image in such a disheartening way.

  7. Holly
    Holly May 31, 2008 at 6:50 pm |

    I tend to agree with what Amp and Ta-Nehisi Coates said… Ferraro is trying to run from the racism in her comments by trying to insist that she doesn’t, in her heart of hearts, believe in white supremacy. When is everyone finally going to understand that you don’t have to own slaves, scream racial slurs, wear a white hood, or even BELIEVE in racism in order to have racism slip into your words or actions? Its not the mark of the beast, folks, it’s the pollution in our groundwater.

  8. exholt
    exholt May 31, 2008 at 7:01 pm |

    Why do americans, generally, have this anti-intellectualism streak? I don’t want the guy who works at the auto parts store, and went to community college in the oval office. Call me crazy, but I want people who are motivated, strive for excellence, and of high intelligence running this country.

    It is a combination of actual anti-intellectualism which could be traced back to the beginnings of our Republic as Alexis de Tocqueville’s “Democracy In America” observed….and a fear that basing the right/access to run for political office on the basis of one’s educational pedigree is elitist, create a new aristocratic ruling class of those who were wealthy/otherwise privileged enough to gain those educational credentials, and will exclude otherwise qualified individuals who did not have the means/opportunity to attain such credentials.

    While it sounds like a nice idea in theory, it is essentially an undemocratic sentiment not too far removed from the idea of the educated scholar-gentry officials of Imperial China or Plato’s idea of the “Philosopher kings”.

    It is also dangerous in practice as what ends up happening is that such societies’ politicians/bureaucrats feel that their educational credentials provides them a means to avoid accountability from the populace by appealing to those credentials as “proof” they know better than the rest of the populace and thus, undermining even the pretense of citizen driven accountability.

    Moreover, possession of a good educational pedigree does not necessarily mean one is competent and qualified for the presidency, especially considering the continual usage of legacy admissions at some of our most prestigious academic institutions of which our current esteemed POTUS was a beneficiary (Yale BA/Harvard MBA).

    Even assuming you do not care for the undemocratic implications of such an idea, it is really only viable if legacy admissions in American higher ed institutions are completely abolished so we can be sure that Ivy/Ivy-level school graduate was actually admitted and graduated on his/her own merits rather than on aristocratic nepotistic privilege.

  9. Roxie
    Roxie May 31, 2008 at 7:40 pm |

    Oh Peter! We all know she got there through Affirmative Action and now some poor, better qualified, white man is working at as a grocery boy due to his incredible rejection b/c of his race!

    Someone needs to point Ferraro over to the Stuff White People Do blog.

  10. Bloix
    Bloix May 31, 2008 at 8:33 pm |

    Geraldine Ferraro built her career on racist resentment. She came to prominence in Queens as a conservative politician whose constituency was white Catholic working class homeowners who didn’t want blacks on their streets or in their schools. She was elected on a platform of opposing busing and supporting tax credits for Catholic schools. Racial division has been her stock in trade for thirty years.

  11. Peter
    Peter May 31, 2008 at 8:42 pm |

    Roxie,
    LOL @ michelle’s affirmative action!

    Thanks for the link. I read some of it, and was LMAO

  12. db08
    db08 May 31, 2008 at 9:24 pm |

    I cannot begin to tell you how disappointed I am in the Democratic Party and its Rules Committee’s decision on how to seat the Florida and Michigan. How can you decide to only seat some of the delegation or to take away their votes? How can you decide to award delegates to people who weren’t even on the ballot in Michigan? What on earth is the party doing? What message does the party send to its members and to other citizens in the United States when it strips away the votes its citizens? It DOESN’T matter that you warned the states not to move up their primaries!!! You don’t punish the elected officials and state parties who made the BAD decisions by stripping away the votes of your party members!!! How does that make sense? How short sighted of you all – after the voting scandals in Florida in 2000, especially! I cannot see any way around this – I used to wonder why people voted against their own best interest – i.e. why poor people would vote for Republican candidates, etc? I am starting to understand. It becomes clearer to me every day that the party elite and their groupies who control this party are out of touch with reality and are more concerned with their own position and status within the party than they are with doing the right thing or caring for their party members. Bye! Good riddance. You won’t get any support from me in the future – I’ve made that mistake for the last time. I will not reward your irresponsible behavior with support in any way, shape, or form – no matter who your candidate is.

  13. Solitary
    Solitary May 31, 2008 at 9:39 pm |

    I’m always amused by the ‘poor white people’ won’t vote for Obama since he’s ‘elitist’ spiel. In Washington, who isn’t elitist? Honestly? I’m poor and I’m white and I have absolutely nothing in common with the vast majority of elected officials. Heck, the newly-elected mayor of my small hometown is a white woman, but aside from those two things, I don’t have anything in common with her either. (woot, she’s only the second woman to ever be major of my hometown and we’ve been having elections since the late 1800s.)

    I don’t want to vote for Bubba or JJ or Aunt Myrtle. I will vote for someone who is smart and educated and hopefully has half a clue about what is needed for the rest of us and the balls to do so. I figure Dems lucked out this year since we had two rockin’ candidates to choose from. In the end, the numbers between Clinton and Obama are nearly identical and in my opinion, it’s a win-win situation.

  14. PhysioProf
    PhysioProf May 31, 2008 at 10:17 pm |

    [W]hy in the world would Hillary Clinton be any more appealing?

    She did a shot of whiskey! She’s not an arugula-eating extreme left-wing elitist like Obama!

  15. iamnotstarjones
    iamnotstarjones May 31, 2008 at 11:35 pm |

    It’s acceptable to certain Americans when white people achieve certain goals such as attending Ivy League schools or succeeding in their chosen industry..it creates aspirational hope.
    it’s unacceptable when someone deemed inferior does it because
    certain Americans don’t want to believe that the system is rigged against them or that their inferiors can succeed in a system that
    supposedly favors white people.
    Barack Obama and others like him disturb their world view.
    Oh well.

    It’s unacceptable that smart, crafty politicians such as Ms. Ferraro and Mrs. Clinton attempt to take advantage of these biases for political gain.

    I feel bad knowing that some Americans favor stoking racial resentment over attempting to possibly heal the country’s many many problems.

    The last 7 years of Team Bush have made me depressed but this Dem primary has made me really depressed!

  16. shadfu
    shadfu June 1, 2008 at 12:06 am |

    “this kind of thinking is tarnishing their image”

    With whom? Feminists and anti-racists, or a vast bulk of the rest of the country? This is politics, baby! The few shots that the Republicans have taken at Obama so far were just adjusting for windage. The full barrage is yet to come.

  17. Jean-François
    Jean-François June 1, 2008 at 12:11 am |

    Bye! Good riddance. You won’t get any support from me in the future – I’ve made that mistake for the last time. I will not reward your irresponsible behavior with support in any way, shape, or form – no matter who your candidate is.

    Yes, great idea. Go ahead and help put McCain in the White House. Please stay home in November (or, if you’re feeling especially vindictive, vote for McCain) and watch as the judiciary is further filled with radical conservative justices. Help them build a dominant majority in the supreme court so they can overturn Roe v. Wade, Griswold V. Conn. et al.. That would suit you, right?

    What is wrong with you people??

  18. prairielily
    prairielily June 1, 2008 at 12:27 am |

    With whom? Feminists and anti-racists, or a vast bulk of the rest of the country?

    With feminists and anti-racists, and the boys and girls who will grow up to be feminists and anti-racists.

    The best way for feminists and anti-racists to tarnish their image with anti-feminists and racists is to succeed in moving towards a more egalitarian society. I’m ok with making that “sacrifice” for equality.

    But I have an ex-boyfriend who has repeatedly called me an elitist, so clearly I think I’m better than the unwashed masses. (He has not noticed that this directly conflicts with my left-wing, socialist beliefs, like that the unwashed masses are just as deserving of the privileges bestowed on the elite.)

  19. hop13
    hop13 June 1, 2008 at 12:43 am |

    It DOESN’T matter that you warned the states not to move up their primaries!!!

    actually…it does.

  20. ballgame
    ballgame June 1, 2008 at 12:55 am |

    I’m with you, Jean-Francois. It’s not just Roe v. Wade that’s at risk, it’s the whole concept of rule of law vs. rule of man, i.e. the ascension of ‘imperial presidentialists’ to Supreme Court dominance.

  21. exholt
    exholt June 1, 2008 at 1:08 am |

    She came to prominence in Queens as a conservative politician whose constituency was white Catholic working class homeowners who didn’t want blacks on their streets or in their schools.

    Wasn’t only working class White catholics. At least in the part of her representative district that she actually resided in…a large portion of her support came from upper/upper-middle class White catholics and WASPs….especially in and around Forest Hills Gardens, the quasi-gated community she once lived in before moving to Manhattan.

    What’s more interesting was that Forest Hills Gardens had a restricted covenant policy of excluding Jews, African-Americans, and the working class until the 1970s. While discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, and religious background is no longer their official policy, the high prices and restrictive policies creates a situation which excludes all but the upper/upper-middle classes.

  22. Fuzz
    Fuzz June 1, 2008 at 6:18 am |

    Since Matt Yglesias nailed it a couple of days ago, I’ll just quote him (I’m sure he won’t mind):

    Get it? When you think an Ivy-educated black couple is elitist, but think an Ivy-educated white couple is the salt of the earth, you aren’t a racist you just resent black people racially. Big Difference. I mean, you wouldn’t attend a Klan rally or anything, but elect Barack and soon they’ll be marrying your daughters.

    db08: Go ahead. Stay at home. You won’t be putting McCain in the White House, because Obama can win without the support of petulant morons more interested in playing out their own self-esteem issues through the Clinton campaign than actually making the world a better place. You will, however, look very foolish when he does.

  23. Doug
    Doug June 1, 2008 at 8:21 am |

    Someone needs to remind Ferraro that those Reagan Democrats she now apparently feels should determine the course of this election are the same folks who brass-knuckled her and Mondale to the tune of a 525-13 electoral-college rout back in ’84.

  24. Radfem
    Radfem June 1, 2008 at 12:45 pm |

    Yes, great idea. Go ahead and help put McCain in the White House. Please stay home in November (or, if you’re feeling especially vindictive, vote for McCain) and watch as the judiciary is further filled with radical conservative justices. Help them build a dominant majority in the supreme court so they can overturn Roe v. Wade, Griswold V. Conn. et al.. That would suit you, right?

    What is wrong with you people??

    Nothing.

    I mean look at the whole “pick the lessor of two evils” voting strategy that the Democrats including feminists have been pushing on the rest of us and how successful it’s been at keeping another Bush out of office. I think it currently stands at 0 for 2.

    Most people would rather vote for something positive than vote against something negative. And what to make of White feminists who say they’re going to vote for McCain if Clinton’s not the nominee? Who exactly is being vindictive? Are they showing how much they care and are down with women’s issues (including those completely ignored by the Democratic Party or where stances are taken that actually harm women) by throwing this kind of pity party?

    As for Michigan/Florida, there were other states that waited and played by the rules to move their dates up. And the only people who got screwed are the voters there, by their own political party. The same one that wants its members to prove their loyalty by playing the “lessor of two evils” game in November.

    As far as the whole “elitist” thing, that’s just about everyone in Congress. So it’s silly to engage in the “you’re elitist, I’m not” game. Every time Clinton tries to sell herself as “salt of the earth”, I laugh, mostly because the same people she’s championing for now, she cut bait with when her husband ran for president.

  25. Bitter Scribe
    Bitter Scribe June 1, 2008 at 3:06 pm |

    radfem: “cut bait with”? That went over my head. Are you saying Bill Clinton somehow betrayed poor people when he was president?

    As for Ferraro, she’s received more attention for less reason than any politician I know.

  26. RacyT
    RacyT June 1, 2008 at 3:18 pm |

    She does touch on something that rings true:

    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.

    They totally think he’s saying their time has passed. And they are terrified by the prospect of losing their privilege. How exactly she imagines this is not rooted in racism is beyond my understanding.

  27. Smite Me! [.net] » Blog Archive » elsewhere on the internets, 2008-06-01

    […] And, um, wtf is up with Geraldine Ferraro? […]

  28. eric
    eric June 1, 2008 at 3:32 pm |

    is there any reason hillary doesnt shut this crazy broad up? unbelieavably racist and shrill

  29. Bitter Scribe
    Bitter Scribe June 1, 2008 at 3:47 pm |

    Jill—Not to hijack the thread, but I fail to understand what was so horrible about welfare reform. It enjoyed overwhelming popular support, and there’s a reason for that. Welfare was meant to be temporary assistance, not a permanent means of support. You might be too young to remember this, but I recall when “welfare” was hung squarely around the necks of the Democratic Party as a dog whistle to appeal to bigots. Bill Clinton put a stop to that, and good for him.

  30. whattamisaid
    whattamisaid June 1, 2008 at 6:03 pm |

    Bitter Scribe, the problem was inadequate welfare reform. No one can argue that there weren’t flaws in the welfare system, but Clinton’s solution simply took away people’s means of support without bothering to provide training and education that would allow them to support themselves.

  31. jamespi
    jamespi June 1, 2008 at 6:20 pm |

    jill, i follow what youre saying on the welfare topic but I think Clinton did the best he could at the time. As far as framing the debate, people who support the reforms you would like to see, mandatory maternity leave (unpaid paternity leave too maybe??) need to frame the debate in a way that makes sense to most americans. I still dont understand how we pay for those things in a competitive world environment, just as many of the european countries it would be great to emulate are encountering severe fiscal problems. In the long run I see it as a great thing but no one sells the long run anymore and thats the problem I have, mandatory maternity leave, health care, all the others will take a big bite out of the paychecks of the middle class for quite a while, the payoff will be more than worth it but that is never really explained beyond it being the -right- thing to do. Finally on that, so we’re one of the only first world nations to lack the things you mentioned, we also lack good mass transit for very clear and simple reasons, is it possible, just possible that we also lack maternity leave/better welfare due to some unique factors present in our nation of 300 million vice sweden, the UK, or australia?

  32. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne June 1, 2008 at 6:37 pm |

    How can you decide to only seat some of the delegation or to take away their votes?

    You mean other than the fact that the DNC said, “If you hold your primary early, you will lose your delegates,” and the Florida and Michigan Democratic parties decided to go ahead, so the DNC took away their delegates?

    It seems like a pretty simple cause-and-effect of consequences promised and consequences delivered, but maybe they though the DNC had their fingers crossed and didn’t really mean it when they said they’d take those delegates away?

    I also notice that no one crying about Florida and Michigan seems at all worried that about a million people in each state did not vote in the primary because it was publicized that their votes would not count. That looks like a pretty good voter suppression tactic, doesn’t it? Tell people their votes won’t be counted anyway, and then turn around and count the votes of the few people who did show up.

  33. Bitter Scribe
    Bitter Scribe June 1, 2008 at 7:26 pm |

    This utterly disgusts me. I was going to send at least part of my rebate check to the Democrats, but now, forget it. It’s all going to homeless vets or my local symphony or something.

  34. Britta
    Britta June 2, 2008 at 2:08 am |

    @ 34
    Right, because the American economy is doing *soo* much better than those European ones ; ) Actually, I read somewhere that Sweden has the best performing economy in Western Europe (correct me if I’m wrong). Most of the world’s economic problems are due to their investments in America’s subprime loan industry. (I currently live in Australia, and the pain here was caused almost completely by the collapse of the US stockmarket).

    But back to Clinton, I honestly don’t think he gave a rat’s a** about the American people. One by one, he let down the groups that supported him: gays, poor people, black people, women, etc. Pretty much the only people who benefited in the 90s were the upper middle class, and that was mainly due to the rising stock market. The first two years of his presidency, Democrats had control of congress, but I don’t remember much happening (except for the failed health care initiative, which Hillary couldn’t even get through a democratic congress). Then after the Republican sweep of 94, Bill Clinton maintained his popularity solely as the “lesser of two evils.” During his entire presidency he let the Republicans redefine things on their terms and instead worked to play catch up. His “new left” mean “republican lite,” aka, we do things like republicans, so they’ll vote for us too and we’ll win. I partially blame the Clintons, McAuliffe, and other Democrats of that era for driving the nation to the right. Once you move the left to the center, it’s much easier to move the right goalpost right

    I think a lot of democrats hoped Hillary was like Eleanor Roosevelt, the more progressive voice of a Washington power couple. For me, it was a major disappointment when she was elected and proved, just like her husband, to be a Republican lite. As a younger member of the party, I want the Democrats to be proactive, to redefine the debate in our own terms and instead put the republicans on the defensive. I want a new “great society” brought out by the Democrats, and I think the nation does too. But I feel like much of the party, like Clinton and Ferraro, is stuck in the 80s and 90s, where the only way to win was to be as much like a Republican as possible and hope you get elected. They’ve failed to notice the country has shifted in the past 8 years, and they’re failing to take advantage of what could be a new progressive era.

  35. Playing Cards. « PostBourgie
    Playing Cards. « PostBourgie June 2, 2008 at 11:31 am |

    […] blogged about this horrible op-ed in the Boston Globe by Geraldine Ferraro (see, for example, Jill at Feministe, Ta-Nehisi at Matthew Yglesias, and Megan Carpentier at Jezebel). Most have zeroed in on the most […]

  36. anon
    anon June 2, 2008 at 11:41 am |

    Ferrarro is nothing but a stone cold racist. Its hilarious to see her make this self-realization and then try to deny it with the idiot “reverse racism” crap.

    You can literally see the wheels turning in her head. For the first time in her life, she’s been confronted with her blatant racism and her entire world is coming undone. Its very similar to a closet alcoholic who is brought in for an intervention with his family. It is shocking her to her core, and she cant believe it.

  37. Lala
    Lala June 2, 2008 at 4:56 pm |

    Ferrarro is a tired and deluded old bigot. A scary racist. Feminism has its twisted underbelly too

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