Geraldine Ferraro, former Congresswoman, former Vice Presidential candidate, and former US ambassador to the UN Committee on Human Rights is a well known feminist. She’s also a somewhat less well known racist.
Given the media coverage of Ferraro’s recent racist gaffe, I assume most of the Free World is familiar with her comment:
If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position, 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.
— Geraldine Ferraro
Taken strictly as a standalone comment, this might be taken as simply a poorly worded statement from a feminist who has difficulties in looking beyond gender issues, or the rantings of a Hillary Clinton supporter who isn’t dealing well with the sudden lack of Clinton’s “inevitability.” Sadly, this would be a mistake; Geraldine Ferraro’s racism has roots that are decades old.
Because of his “radical” views, if Jesse Jackson were not black, he wouldn’t be in the race.
— Geraldine Ferraro
Doesn’t the second statement by Ferraro sound eerily familiar? It seems that for at least 20 years Geraldine Ferraro has held and staunchly espoused the theory that Black politicians and political candidates are only viable because they are Black, not because of any skills they might have or their stance on the issues of the day.
When called on the carpet by the general American public, an unapologetic Geraldine Ferraro said that her comments about the electoral impact of Barack Obama’s race have been taken out of context, and that she stands by her words.
“It wasn’t a racist comment, it was a statement of fact,” she said on CBS’ Early Show, adding that she would leave Hillary Clinton’s national finance committee if she were asked, but would not stop raising money for the New York senator’s presidential bid. Ferraro also blamed Obama’s chief strategist, David Axelrod, for misinterpreting her remarks.
So apparently Geraldine Ferraro isn’t a racist because what she said was a “fact.” Below is another quote that then also must not be racist, since it was considered factual and laws reflecting that “fact” were passed in 30 States.
No brutality, no infamy, no degradation in all the years of southern slavery, possessed such villainious character and such atrocious qualities as the provision of the laws of Illinois, Massachusetts, and other states which allow the marriage of the negro, Jack Johnson, to a woman of Caucasian strain. [applause]. Gentleman, I offer this resolution … that the States of the Union may have an opportunity to ratifty it. … Intermarriage between whites and blacks is repulsive and averse to every sentiment of pure American spirit. It is abhorrent and repugnant to the very principles of Saxon government. It is subversive of social peace. It is destructive of moral supremacy, and ultimately this slavery of white women to black beasts will bring this nation a conflict as fatal as ever reddened the soil of Virginia or crimsoned the mountain paths of Pennsylvania. … Let us uproot and exterminate now this debasing, ultra-demoralizing, un-American and inhuman leprosy .
— Seaborn Roddenbery (D-Georgia)
Congressional Record, 62d. Congr., 3d. Sess., December 11, 1912, pp. 502-503
Obama himself has called the comments “patently absurd,” and his chief strategist, David Axelrod, has called for Clinton to cut ties with the former New York congresswoman, who serves on her campaign’s finance committee. Clinton has said that she does not agree with Ferraro’s remarks.
Clinton campaign spokesman Mo Eleithee told CNN’s Sasha Johnson Tuesday evening that “Ms. Ferraro is speaking for herself. We have made clear that we do not agree with her remarks.”