Ben Smith at Politico give us this:
A Ferraro flashback
“If Jesse Jackson were not black, he wouldn’t be in the race,” she said.
Really. The cite is an April 15, 1988 Washington Post story (byline: Howard Kurtz), available only on Nexis.
Here’s the full context:
Placid of demeanor but pointed in his rhetoric, Jackson struck out repeatedly today against those who suggest his race has been an asset in the campaign. President Reagan suggested Tuesday that people don’t ask Jackson tough questions because of his race. And former representative Geraldine A. Ferraro (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday that because of his “radical” views, “if Jesse Jackson were not black, he wouldn’t be in the race.”
Asked about this at a campaign stop in Buffalo, Jackson at first seemed ready to pounce fiercely on his critics. But then he stopped, took a breath, and said quietly, “Millions of Americans have a point of view different from” Ferraro’s.
Discussing the same point in Washington, Jackson said, “We campaigned across the South . . . without a single catcall or boo. It was not until we got North to New York that we began to hear this from Koch, President Reagan and then Mrs. Ferraro . . . . Some people are making hysteria while I’m making history.”
FERRARO: If Barack Obama were a white man, would we be talking about this as a potential real problem for Hillary?
If he were a woman…
GIBSON: You mean if he were John Edwards?
FERRARO: If he were a woman of any color, would he be in this position that he’s in, absolutely not.
GIBSON: Geraldine, are you playing the race card?
FERRARO: No, and that’s the problem. Every time you say the truth – I’m the first person, John, and you know how honest I am, I am the first person who will say in 1984 if my name were Gerard instead of Geraldine, I would never have been picked as the vice presidential candidate.
And most recently, in the Daily Breeze:
“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.” Ferraro does not buy the notion of Obama as the great reconciler.
As we now know, Ferraro took her talking points to the Daily Breeze on Feb. 28th and made the same statement. For whatever reason, the Daily Breeze decided not to release that interview until recently. I’m sure it has nothing to do with hurting Clinton’s chances on March 4th. </sarcasm> Ferraro has now spent the last 2 days on FOX defending her comments. It is important to note that Ferraro is a FOX political contributor. She feels more than comfortable saying these things there, because that’s the sort of thing they say there.
I mention all this to make it clear that Ferraro does have a pattern of this brand of race-baiting. She can pretend that she’s not a bigot, but her statements make it hard to defend that stance.
That being said, I’m curious that not one of our so-called black leaders are denouncing this statement. Whether they support Obama or not, the statement is the height of intelligence insulting and race-baiting. It’s obvious that this is a
dog-whistle fog horn to the supposed racists of Pennsylvania. I only wonder why the Clinton’s didn’t think it wouldn’t have worked in Ohio or Texas.
But there is something we’re not hearing. The silence is louder than the Hillbots psychotically blaming Obama for Ferraro’s statements (after all, how dare he be half-black!) . It’s the silence of all those black men and women we’ve elected for higher offices. It’s the lack of condemnation from people like Rep. Stephanie Tubbs-Jones, Rep. John Conyers, Mayor Andrew Young, Rep. Maxine Waters, Rep. Charles Rangel etc…Where is Tavis Smiley? Where is Julian Bond? Where is Maya Angelou? They’re all Clinton supporters and they’ve been strangely silent on this. One could only assume that they agree with the Clinton’s race-baiting. Or are they just being good House Negroes?
I do not wonder why the media is complicit in this.
In 2006, Harry Belafonte, who is a singer and has never held an elected office, praised Hugo Chavez. A few days later, Sen. Barack Obama was on some cable talkshow and the host actually asked Obama what his feelings on Belafonte’s statement was. Now follow me here…when that dude shot up Virginia Tech, did they trot out Jackie Chan, Margaret Cho or Sen. Daniel Inouye? White people are always shooting up places or kidnapping people, but you never see a white person on TV being asked to condemn the terrorist and to distance themselves and therefore the entire white race from the psycho.
Let’s do a little exercise. Let’s pick white people’s favorie boogeyman/codeword, Al Sharpton–keeping in mind that he is NOT and Obama surrogate or supporter–had gotten on TV. So Al Sharpton has an interview and says, “If Clinton was a man, she would not be in this position. And if she was a man (of any color) she would not be in this position. She happens to be very lucky to be who she is. And the country is caught up in the concept.”
How fast do you think it would take for the Clinton’s campaign to insist that Sen. Obama “reject and denounce” thoses statements. How much time and ink would be spent by pundits and bloggers decrying Sharpton’s injecting of race in the campaign? How many black politicians would have been trotted out on TV to denounce Sharpton? How many times would Stephanie Tubbs-Jones would have had her black ass on TV playing Mammy to Clinton?
Can we please get some new black leadership?