Dear Gerry: You Gotta Think About What You're Trying To Do To Me

Geraldine, do not give me the "Bitch, please" hand. Bitch, please! What the fuck are you thinking? I just read your incredibly offensive op-ed in the Boston Globe and it made me cry with frustration and disappointment and the ruination of that childhood dream I had when you were running for VP and I thought you were so cool and, bitch, I don't fucking cry. Ask anyone. And so before I get into why I'm shaking with anger and disappointment and hereby disavowing you as a Democratic party leader and a feminist and a cool chick worth emulating, I gotta ask — have you been to a doctor this year? Have you been screened for Alzheimers, dementia or anything other than a politically terminal case of racism and shoving your foot down your throat? Can we call that an eating disorder? Because if you're just losing your marbles, well, I've volunteered with the elderly before and you forgive a lot when disease breaks down those barriers we all have but if you're not, um, well, yeah, fuck you.

Gerry, look, I mean, I guess I sort of understand. You grew up in a certain time and a certain place where there was this level of casual, quasi-open racism. You're 72, which isn't really that much younger than Barack Obama's sort of racist grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, 86, and we all know that he forgives her and considers that sort of typical and, frankly, so do I. But you're also a glass-ceiling-breaking politician, smart, brilliant and trailblazing, and you shouldn't have to fucking be told by someone that racism fucking exists in this country and that it pervades a lot of what goes on in this country in big and small ways. Why the hell would you, as a supposedly liberal fucking Democrat, want to wade into that pool?

So, look, the first time you opened your maw in March and said "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," I sort of wanted to give you the benefit of the doubt. I wanted to think it was an off-the-cuff remark, I wanted to believe that you were trying to say something only about sexism, about the dual burden of sexism and racism that women of color face in this country and you just misspoke, I wanted to buy into that dream I had as a 6 year old in 1984 that I could be like you someday and tear down barriers and stand up for the (good) things I believed in.

But you had to fucking stomp on that, didn't you. You had to "defend" your reputation, you had to call the freaking Daily Breeze back and tell them "Racism works in two different directions. I really think they're attacking me because I'm white. How's that?" You had to go on Fox News and say "What I find offensive is every time somebody says something about the campaign, you're accused of being racist," and let Republicans rub their slimy little hands together in anticipation of the Democratic party fall-out and your ouster from the Clinton campaign and make it look like you had no fucking clue why people were so offended that you'd suggest that a black man, a man of mixed race born in the sixties (you remember the sixties, right Geraldine? That would be the time that maybe half of the country thought Jim Crow and segregation and racial discrimination were a-okay and miscegenation laws were still on the books?) was having an easier time of it than a white woman? No, Geraldine, see, the problem was not that you were inappropriately being called a racist, it's that your idea of a defense of those charges was not to go back and apologize or clarify what you meant and then duck down for a couple of weeks, it was to attack people who were — whether rightly or wrongly in your mind — offended by your comments of being racists themselves. And so I tucked my disappointment aside and joined in the many, many calls for you to just shut the fuck up so I could go back to pretending that you were not a stupid, racist old lady who was willing to turn a blind eye (and ear) to her own defects to talk about sexism.

And then you stepped in it again, calling Obama a sexist without any evidence other than that which you said came from his "supporters" in the media and those on the ground and, Geraldine, that's not evidence that he is a sexist, so you both ruined your own (potentially good) point about the pervasiveness of sexism and, plus, frankly, no one really cares to hear a racist yell on and on about sexism because there's both but racism has an uglier face, one filled with hundreds of years of beatings and lynchings and people being classified as sub-human because of the color of their skin and wars (and that's just if you're talking racism against African-Americans). Sexism is a terrible scourge on the equality this nation promises, but it's simply not the same.

And then, today. Your editorial. Geraldine, I literally cried in frustration that you can't see what you're doing to the Democratic party, to the women's movement, to the uneasy détente between the (almost exclusively white) old guard feminists and those feminists of color who have complained for decades about the short shrift their issues have been given in the larger women's movement. What, you hadn't noticed that? You titled your piece "Healing The Wounds of Democrat's Sexism" and then you rip open the flesh of Democrats' racist wounds — you do remember the fifties and sixties well enough, I assume, to recall which party's Southern Senators kept a federal civil rights law off the books for decades, right? And you side with the so-called Reagan Democrats, those bastards that frankly kept you from the Vice Presidency, in charging the party with reverse racism.

As for Reagan Democrats, how Clinton was treated is not their issue. They are more concerned with how they have been treated. Since March, when I was accused of being racist for a statement I made about the influence of blacks on Obama's historic campaign, people have been stopping me to express a common sentiment: If you're white you can't open your mouth without being accused of being racist. They see Obama's playing the race card throughout the campaign and no one calling him for it as frightening. They're not upset with Obama because he's black; they're upset because they don't expect to be treated fairly because they're white. It's not racism that is driving them, it's racial resentment. And that is enforced because they don't believe he understands them and their problems. That when he said in South Carolina after his victory "Our Time Has Come" they believe he is telling them that their time has passed.

Racial resentment, Geraldine, is racism. Why can't you see that? People coming up to you and complaining that they can't complain about black people is them complaining for being looked down upon for being racists! And, yes, their time ought to have passed, it should pass, they should learn and understand that racism should have no place in our society and as a party leader, a stalwart, a barrier-breaker you should be breaking it to them that "getting treated fairly for being white" means losing sometimes, and sometimes it means losing to a person of color. It means you are not always going to come out ahead, it means that the advantages your fathers or mothers faced 40 or 50 years ago (or less long ago than that) because of the color of their skin should disappear and you should lose to better-qualified candidates of color and then you should not ever, ever even in the dark recesses of your small, reptilian brain think "Well, that's what affirmative action has wrought in this country," because that, Geraldine is racism. And it's there, and it's palpable and the fact that you are the educated white Reagan Democrats standard bearer for how sexism is worse than racism and it's not really racism if it's just "racial resentment" makes me sick to my fucking stomach.

And I'm gonna add this, just so you don't point to me and say, well, there's someone who doesn't understand sexism. Is there sexism? Sure, God knows I've been turned down for jobs in favor of less qualified men, replaced men in positions and not earned as much, been hooted and hollered at on the street and been called all nature of diminutives in the work environment and out and had all manner of shit thrown at me my entire life for being a smart girl or a bitchy girl and all the rest of it. But do you know what no one has ever, ever called me? The N-word. Ask around, Geraldine, it's still in use. So, I recognize that I'm damn lucky not only to be a woman (because I love being a woman even if sexism exists for the rest of my life), but that I'm lucky that in addition to putting up with sexism I don't have to put up with racism. The fact that you don't recognize that makes me deeply, deeply sad and furiously angry at the same time.

Healing The Wounds Of Democrats' Sexism [Boston Globe]

Obama Calls Grandmother 'Typical White Person' In Radio Interview [Fox News]

Clinton disagrees with Ferraro on Obama [Boston Globe]

Ferraro, Again: "Attacking Me Because I'm White" [Politico]

Gender Issue Lives On As Clinton's Hopes Dim [NY Times]