I abhor racism. I also abhor sexism, misogyny, gay-hating (“homophobia” is too soft a word), and anti-Semitism. So it is within this context that I address the Jeremiah Wright issue. It makes me sad and angry that people consider Obama’s mentor to be a terrible person because he blames America for the plight of African Americans. He is, after all, correct; this is a very racist country. When I see blog and forum postings about how Obama would “only look after his own” if he were elected, it makes me sick. And I am sorry that people are up in arms over Wright because he calls things the way they are with regard to race.
However, that does not mean that I can embrace Jeremiah Wright, for he also has other issues that, sadly, do not appeal to racists or to the news media, and therefore do not get any attention. One of Mr. Wright’s most inflammatory statements is that Sen. Clinton “has never been called a n****r.” Well, no, she has not. But she has been called all manner of vile things that women-haters call women and girls. She is called a bitch at every turn, there is a T-shirt that refers to her as a whore, and another one that suggests she be murdered by a husband.
Most shocking is a 527 called Citizens United Not Timid (check out the acronym), founded by Roger Stone, whom MSNBC had on as a political “analyst.” Of course, a woman’s body part should not be an offensive term, but in our misogynistic society, it is, so if Hillary Clinton has not been called a “n*****r,” how dare Jeremiah Wright not understand that she has suffered the same verbal abuse as African Americans have. And in this campaign, she has endured much more verbal abuse than Barack Obama. Because, as I have written before, public statements of racism are forbidden in this country, but public statements of sexism and misogyny are just fine. There are no talking head “jokes” about Obama’s hair or his love of basketball. There are no anti-Obama bumper stickers and T-shirts, filled with vile hate language, for sale. The worst the Obama-haters can do is make bumper stickers about Muslims, which–though offensive–are few and far between when compared with the pornography being sold about Clinton.
So Mr. Wright’s dismissal of the misogyny directed at Clinton tells me a lot about him–mainly, for him, the dignity of women and girls simply does not count. That makes him sexist, at the least, and perhaps worse.
Then there is the matter of Louis Farrakhan, who–despite his denials–is clearly anti-Semitic. Wright’s church holds Farrakhan up as an idol for the African American community. Again, I will give Farrakhan a pass for his disdain for Caucasian people; I despise the patriarchy, and perhaps Farrakhan and Wright share my uncomfortable balance of holding a class of people in disdain while cherishing and respecting individuals within that class. Farrakhan, however, has not only made inflammatory comments about Jews, he also embraces a religion that preaches male dominance and enforces strict gender roles.
A number of so-called liberals are waving their hands in the air and screaming “What did you expect him to do? Leave his church because of the pastor?” My answer would be a simple “yes.” I also do not understand politicians who claim to be feminist, but who belong to churches who subjugate women (that would include several Democratic Party leaders, including a couple of otherwise admirable presidential candidates), so I cannot single out Obama as having one foot in “liberal” politics and the other in the world of male domination.
These same outraged people are saying that Sen. Clinton should call for “an end to the racism.” But they have never, in this campaign–not once–asked that Sen. Obama call for an end to the sexism and an end to the misogyny, nor has he–on his own–made any attempt to do so. The hypocrisy inherent in this rhetoric is glaring, but neither the liberals nor the news media notices it. America has a long, long way to go when it comes to racism, but when those who fight against it cannot bring themselves to fight equally–or even to fight at all–against sexism and misogyny, it is a very sad situation.