>What do you make of this woman’s commentary?
I’ve taken some of what I think is the most important points she makes and put them here.
Why is it so surprising that someone like me – a black, educated, progressive chick – would put my support behind Hillary Clinton? Oh, I know. I’m black, so, of course, I should support Barack Obama for the number one position in the country…It’s interesting that these outraged critics rarely reference the gender lines that have been crossed, the attacks Hillary has endured from opponents and the press for the past 16 years. She’s been attacked for her hair, her clothes, her facial expressions, her mannerisms…John McCain even joked that she’d had sex with Janet Reno to produce Chelsea – what’s up with that??? And most of us remained silent at these barbs. I would even dare say that some of us most likely agreed with the assessments and snickered behind our hands. It’s never okay to be racist in our world, but, unfortunately, it’s still ‘normal’ to be sexist. I don’t know how that level of unchallenged scrutiny and scathing criticism might develop into survival tactics when called to deal with the press and opponents now. Frankly, it amazes me that Hillary is still standing with her shoulders straight in the face of it all…I’m tired of race being the overriding defining piece of my identity, of black women’s identities. Like Sojourner Truth said years ago, “Ain’t I a woman?” Doesn’t that side of me deserve attention too?
I think Roberts makes some good points. However, I’m still troubled by the commentator’s oblivion to what some staunch Clinton supporters have said about Sen. Obama, particularly Geraldine Ferraro. While I do agree that in the black community racism does trump sexism as a concern, Roberts can not deny that some Clinton supporters have made repeated claims that Obama’s race is the only reason as to why he’s doing so well.
As a black feminist, those assessments about Sen. Obama is a smack in the face. And I’ve made my points about this subject in a previous entry, so I won’t dwell on them. However, as a black feminist, I’m fully aware that sexism and racism is a force black and other minority women must face in the world. It’s a unique force that white women, fortunately, do not and will not ever have to face in their lives. This sole difference is the driving force behind black women’s inability to identify with the white feminist movement.
As much as Roberts like to claim that race isn’t the only deciding factor in choosing who she supports, it’s become clear that race has become a deciding factor to some white feminists and who they choose to support. While these same white feminists are crying discrimination against the (white) male establishment, they systematically block out any and all attacks on minority women by the (white) male establishment.
These same white feminists who claim solidarity with all women continue to look down on a part of us in order to advance their cause.