Occidental Exile (baculus) wrote,
Occidental Exile
baculus

race and the path to the Presidency

During this election's Democratic primaries, Clinton surrogate Geraldine Ferraro trotted out the ridiculous claim that Obama was "lucky to be black." She suggested that racial minority status of itself gave Obama an advantage with the electorate. That was and is false on its face: racism is alive and well throughout the US in varying degrees, and all other things being equal, a white candidate can be expected to trounce a black one in appealing to the voters. (What's more, Ferraro's remark was designed to cater to and inflame white resentment toward successful blacks.)

But I was reminded of that "luckiness" when reading what blogger Hilzoy recently wrote:
This season, Obama has had the good fortune to run against two people who held the peculiar belief that they were entitled to the Presidency, and who, as a result, badly underestimated him. The fact that he seems to never let that condescension get to him, however, has nothing whatsoever to do with luck, and everything to do with temperament and character. Since I agree with McCain that we will need a steady hand at the tiller in the years to come, I'm glad to see it.
It seems to me that the temperment and character to brush off such condescension could be the result of a lifetime staring white priviledge in the face and overcoming it routinely.
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