Kaffeeklatsch: The Woman or the Black?
What in the world are those women doing, sitting with the good china in anguish over the way the choice between Clinton and Obama is impinging on their relationships [“Morning in America,” March 17]? It’s ridiculous for enlightened people to be caught up in the surface qualities of blackness and femaleness in this campaign. Only think of Margaret Thatcher or Clarence Thomas, or cap it off with the worst of both worlds, Condoleezza Rice. “It’s a class struggle, goddammit!” (Fred Hampton). Both breakthrough candidates have shown themselves to be committed to the warmongering, mass-murdering, tax-avoiding, corporate-control-enhancing Mammonite elite that has ruled this country since Shays’s Rebellion was neutralized.
I am an African-American woman. I have lived with discrimination of both race and gender. I have been called a black bitch. Has Gloria Steinem ever been called a white bitch? That women collectively are the most oppressed group may be true. However, white women of a certain class continue to benefit from white privilege.
To tell me I have to support Hillary Clinton because she is a woman is the most sordid type of identity politics. I support Obama but not because he is black. (I consider him biracial like my daughters, 12 and 10, who are excited by his candidacy. He is not African-American in a classic sense because he has no slave ancestry.) If I supported Obama because of his race, I would also have voted for Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, which I did not.
As Ohio Turns…
I commend The Nation on JoAnn Wypijewski’s “Postcards From Ohio” [March 17]. It is by far, by very far, the most informative, moving, thought-provoking and well-written piece I’ve encountered related to this election. Thank you.
‘Muslim’ Is Not a Four-Letter Word
Naomi Klein is right, of course [“Obama, Being Called a Muslim Is Not a Smear,” March 17]. Implicitly denouncing a candidate for association, albeit untrue, with a particular religion amounts to smearing the religion. When I joined a crowd of 14,000 to hear Obama speak here in Boise (in a state where Democrats are regarded as subversive), I paid very close attention when he brought up the Muslim “slur.” If he did not speak to the underlying bigotry, I would not support him. I was relieved to hear him say the innuendo was insulting to all Muslims.