Clinton Acolytes' Racist Attacks - Black Star News Editorial (12.19.07)
Electing Senator Clinton as president would be like rolling the dice twice–not only would we get the Senator but we would also get former president Bill Clinton.
In the last few weeks, Senator Clinton’s campaign has upped the ante on nastiness. We are all for a vigorous contest for the Democratic party’s nomination for presidential candidate. That’s how it should be. The person that occupies the White House is President of the entire world. Look at how George W. Bush has ruined the world.
Two months ago, when Senator Barack Obama was trailing by double digits in Iowa, where the first Caucuses will be held, he was seen as a spent force. Everywhere, Senator Hillary Clinton was being referred to as a “prohibitive” candidate.
Then Senator Clinton started shooting herself on the foot. Before millions of television viewers, she appeared to epitomize double-speak when she was asked whether she supported New York governor Eliot Spitzer’s proposal –now abandoned—to give undocumented immigrants driver’s licenses. She answered in the affirmative and in the negative within a period of minutes.
Senator Obama and candidate John Edwards were as astonished as the national audience and attacked Senator Clinton’s performance. It was thereafter that Senator Clinton's campaign took off the gloves. To begin with, Obama was not as unambitious, as he makes out to be and has always had an eye on the White House. The proof? The good senator from New York's campaign referred to an “essay” Obama wrote before he was even in grade school—while he was in kindergarten.
Predictably, Senator Clinton became the object of jokes and ridicule. So the Clinton campaign decided to use the race card. A senior campaign official, Billy Shaheen, the co-chairman of Hillary Clinton’s campaign in New Hampshire, warned voters that Obama might not be the suitable candidate because were he to win the Democratic nomination, those nasty Republicans could bring up the fact that Obama has admitted to using marijuana and cocaine in his youth. Might the Republicans not even ask whether Obama had also been a drug dealer?
This was clearly playing to the deep seated stereotype that some white people harbor—of Blacks as natural born criminals and drug dealers. Notwithstanding the fact that most of the means of shipping drugs into this country –the private and official planes, the air strips and airports, and the foreign connections, and officials approving entry into the United States— are not controlled by Black people.
Although Senator Clinton apologized for Shaheen’s comments, and the official resigned, it is hard to believe that his comments could have been pulled from thin air. We wonder what else is in the playbook.
The racist onslaught continued this past Sunday when former Nebraska Senator Bob Kerrey, pretending that he was praising Obama said he hoped Obama would play a role in a Clinton Administration by reaching out to Black youth and Muslims around the world. Kerrey added: "It's probably not something that appeals to him, but I like the fact that his name is Barack Hussein Obama, and that his father was a Muslim and that his paternal grandmother is a Muslim," Kerrey, who is currently president of the New School in New York City, said. "There's a billion people on the planet that are Muslims, and I think that experience is a big deal."
As in the earlier case, Kerrey also issued an apology to Obama. Yet, in reading his comments, does anyone really believe this was not pre-meditated and malicious and in fact, racist by suggesting, in essence, that Obama is only sufficient in reaching out to Black youth and Muslims?
Obama is a decent man. That is why he now leads Clinton in Iowa. And if the Clinton acolytes continue with such racist attacks, the lead should increase.
If he was a dirty player, one of his officials might have responded in kind that those “nasty” Republicans might also ask Senator Clinton some embarrassing questions. If elected president, what assurances would voters have that there would be no more Monica Lewinskys in the White House? After all, these “nasty” Republicans are always talking about “family values” and what not.
Bill Clinton in a television interview last Friday said electing Obama would be like rolling a dice. If Obama was nasty he could have said electing Senator Clinton would be like rolling the dice twice.
Senator Clinton and Senator Obama may both be equally prepared to be President of the United States. Both are intelligent enough. Voters will judge each by their temperament and favor the one who conducts the better campaign.
Message to the Clintons: Warn campaign officials not to play with fire. Sometimes it is impossible to control or direct the flames.