|As I See It 7-5
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Dear Hillary Clinton,
Thank you. I appreciate you more than words can really say, because you have done something momentous. You have helped clear my proverbial third eye. For years we African Americans actually believed that you and your husband were allies. We believed that you both actually cared not only about African-American, but also issues concerning African Americans. For years we heard the rumblings of Fox news, and right wing pundits who said over and over that you'd do anything to win. Because we thought you were one of us...we defended you. We defended your husband, took you both in as our own, taught you the secret handshakes, and gave you both the biggest "ghetto passes" known to man. As I recall your husband is actually enshrined in the Arkansas "Black Hall of Fame"
But what started as a whisper in South Carolina has risen to a thundering crescendo. It's not the Republicans we have to fear this election, it is you. Your campaign has stated over and again, 'Sen. Obama was not ready', that 'Sen. McCain would be a better president than Sen. Obama'. You have challenged his ability, his patriotism, and subtly challenged his religion. In fact it was you, in debate after debate refused to even acknowledge him as a senator; instead simply calling him Barack (yes, we noticed). It was you who had her husband call his campaign a "fairy tale," going on to say that while he won South Carolina, so did Jesse Jackson. Madam, for the record, I speak "code" fluently. I not only heard what you both said with a wink and a nod, but understood it all too well. The underlying code in your (or your husband's) "innocent" statement was 'don't trust him, he's still a Negro…can't you see'.
It was your campaign that ran with the Hussein comments, as well as "leaked" Sen. Obama in his grandparent ancestral garb. You continue to repeat your misguided belief that he could not and will not survive the Republican "attack machine". Madam YOUR war machine has been positively brutal, but when similar misguided xenophobic ramblings were heard from someone in the McCain camp (Bill Cunningham, a radio personality, and McCain supporter who repeatedly referred to Sen. Obama's middle name), they were immediately shut down, publicly disavowed, chastised, and sent back to sulk at their radio station.
It was one of your supporters who just recently said and I will quote here, "If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position," she continued "…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."
We must make note that this was not just any supporter of yours, but a former Vice Presidential candidate, Geraldine Ferraro. Upon questioning her statements, she later said "My comments have been taken so out of context and have been spun by the Obama campaign as racist that it's doing precisely what they don't want done -- it's going to the Democratic Party and dividing us even more".
I would now like to nudge Ferraro, to gently remind her, give her a late wake up call if you will: Mrs. Ferraro...in case you didn't get the memo we sent to the Clinton Campaign, we speak code fluently, and have been speaking it for years. We all heard you, no need to try to spin your way out of it.
I, for one, will never vote for either of the Clintons. Not merely for this election, but ever again. As long as I live I will actively campaign against both Clintons regardless of what they are running for, from President, to City Clerk, to P.T.A. Treasurer.
They are banking on the idea that during this primary season they can do and say anything with impunity. They are betting that at the end of this election cycle, if they somehow figure out how to steal this election, that democrats and black people in particular will forgive them their trespasses. That we will unite behind the banner of Clintonism and march with her to the White House. I disagree, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. My reaction and I hope the reaction of my peers will be one of disgust and disappointment. Senator Clinton has shown me that she is willing to sacrifice anything for the presidency, the Democratic Party, the goodwill of African-Americans, her husbands "legacy". And to be perfectly frank I expected much more from two people who claimed to be at the very least allies of the black community.
Aside from the kitchen sink that you have thrown, aside from the lies about NAFTA, your spurious claims concerning your involvement in the Irish/English Peace process, aside form you counting the years you were married to the president as Presidential experience, Your push to add Michigan and Florida (even though you agreed not to) proved to be the last straw for me; you ma'am have proven to be untrustworthy, unethical, & unworthy for the job as commander in chief, leader of the free world. Someone who would do anything to get in office, would do anything once in office. We've seen it happen over and over again for the past 8 years with President Bush.
In closing, I would like to thank you. I always thought it was just the Republicans, we had to worry about. I thought that all democrats were allies, and that we had found a place free of the sinicism that echoes in many parts of America. When they said that the Clintons would do "ANYTHING" to get into office, I thought it right wing propaganda and hyperbole. You, however, have opened my eyes, and for that I shall be eternally grateful.
A former AVID Clinton Supporter and Apologist.
Joseph Harris is a writer, poet and History graduate student at Michigan State University.