Obama – Clinton: playing the race card or healing america

Reading time 3 min.

She has still not said sorry although she is finding ways of softening the magnitude of her words, but it looks like anytime she opens her mouth to talk about the controversy she started, Geraldine Ferraro digs her grave even deeper.

A simple sorry like, “ok folks let’s get this thing over and done with… i am sorry”, might calm the atmosphere and allow people to listen to what she has to say next. But she stands by what she has believed in from time immemorial. That someone’s hard toiled achievement should be questioned on the basis of their race.

What did not shock then does today

April 1988, she said “if Jesse Jackson were not black, he wouldn’t be in the race”. Now, that’s about twenty years ago, so to allow herself to utter almost the same words in February 2008, in a radio interview, according to NBC’s Olberman, and later repeating herself more than once only leaves room for concern. Was she refering to a secret campaign lottery that favours only blacks? The ensuing question is; where then is the former black president?

Less than a week ago, Geraldine said “Every time that campaign is upset about something, they call it racist,… I will not be discriminated against because I’m white. If they think they’re going to shut up Geraldine Ferraro with that kind of stuff, they don’t know me.”

Wednesday she sent in her carefully worded resignation letter to the Clinton campaign “…i am stepping down from the committee so i can speak for myself…” How unrepenting for words that were coined by a hard boiled politician who knows exactly what words can do in a campaign, particularly when it is entering into some states with sensitive racial pasts. In a political campaign words are spirits and timing is always of the essence.

Delay tactics?

Talking about timing, Clinton’s delayed reaction could also be analysed as waiting for the message to sink in to gain the expected results. It is soon the turn of Pensylvania, which due to its close proximity to Ohio is expected to favour Clinton. And as Andrea Mitchell of NBC said, the Pittsburg-Philadelphia areas of Ohio and Pensylvania fall into the red section where whites vote extensively on racial lines where people who favour Mrs. Clinton reject Obama, using the Ohio votes as an example.

Younger generation against the colour divide

Until now, the black and white divide was not an issue, at least not among younger americans, until Ferraro decided that it should be. But the american people are changing, the younger ones who are voting massively for Obama are no longer on the same political-racial wave length as is the case with Ferraro and those from her political age.

In fact Pat Buchanan on Live with Dan Brams’ show, agreed with Geraldine Ferraro’s point of view. He said “if Barack Obama does not think there is any correlation between his spectacular career and the fact that he is black he would be as delusional as George Bush… Obama got 90% of black votes in Mississippi…” Kelly Goff answered “Obama did not win black votes until he got to South Carolina…and to comapre Barack who is a self made individual to George Bush who achieved his career on the strength of his father’s name is not comparable”

Geraldine might be right sticking to her guns, because it is high time america addressed the black and white divide which has corroded its formidable multi racial society, and what best way to do this than using the most historical campaign of all time as a platform.

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