Tue. Apr 22, 2008
Angry White Men
Apparently, being a liberal female author and screenwriter, like Nora Ephron, gives one license to engage in what might be considered sexist racist talk about people who look different from you:
This is an election about whether the people of Pennsylvania hate blacks more than they hate women. And when I say people, I don’t mean people, I mean white men.
To put it bluntly, the next president will be elected by them: the outcome of Tuesday’s primary will depend on whether they go for Hillary or Obama, and the outcome of the general election will depend on whether enough of them vote for McCain. A lot of them will: white men cannot be relied on, as all of us know who have spent a lifetime dating them. And McCain is a compelling candidate, particularly because of the Torture Thing. As for the Democratic hope that McCain’s temper will be a problem, don’t bet on it. A lot of white men have terrible tempers, and what’s more, they think it’s normal.Nora Ephron: White Men
If I were to suggest that I believe … let’s pick a sex/race combo … “black women cannot be relied on and have terrible tempers,” a lot of people would rightfully castigate me and suggest that such a sweeping generalization about an entire genetic subset of our species qualifies as bigotry and prejudice. Ugly things that usually disqualify further consideration.
Unless you are someone who gets paid by the word.
Ms. Ephron continues: “...these last primaries will show which of the two Democratic candidates is better at overcoming the bias of a vast chunk of the population that has never in its history had to vote for anyone but a candidate who could have been their father or their brother or their son, and who has never had to think of the president of the United States as anyone other than someone they might have been had circumstances been just slightly different.”
Excuse me, Nora, but this white male from Georgia (certainly, in the mind of a Hollywood screenwriter, a state filled with as many primitive white males as rural Pennsylvania) did not have to vote for someone who does not look like me.
I chose to do so, voluntarily, and joyfully. For reasons that have nothing to do with physical appearance.
Furthermore, to suggest that America is a place that will always line up “by type” and never advance as a society is a depressingly conservative idea for such a liberal to spout, and is contrary to the view of history. Just during my lifetime and Ms. Ephron’s.
I realize there is indeed 10-15% of this country who will not vote for a candidate simply because they are black or a woman. I don’t think they are all white men. And I also think that, in any group of any type at any place, 10-15% of them will behave, shall we say, irrationally. I call it the Butthead Factor (when I’m feeling polite). They’re everywhere, but in small enough numbers they are easily overwhelmed by the more rational among us.
Indeed, a lot of people have said a lot of stupid things during this interminably long campaign, and I suppose Ms. Ephron is due her share. Others, however, have sucked up their entire quota for this century, as well as that of several other people. Yet keep going:
“I think that they played the race card on me. We now know, from memos from the campaign that they planned to do it along.” – President Bill Clinton.
And that’s how President Clinton begins his answer to WHYY’s Susan Phillips who, during a phone interview earlier this evening, asked the President how he feels about one Philadelphia official who says she switched her support after interpreting Clinton’s remarks in South Carolina as an attempt to marginalize Obama as “the black candidate.”
Clearly, Clinton seems clearly frustrated by the question or the suggestion by anyone – either the reporter or the Philadelphia official whom she quoted – that he was somehow making a negative statement about Obama (or Jesse Jackson) based on their race. His frustration comes through towards the end of the recording when, apparently unaware that he was still on the line, Clinton asks whoever is with him, “I don’t think I should take any shit from anybody on that, do you?”President Bill Clinton says the Obama campaign “played the race card”
Update: Bill now denies saying that, even though it was a radio interview, i.e., it’s on tape. “No, no, no. That’s not what I said. You always follow me around and play these little games, and I’m not going to play your games today.” Golly, Steve Jobs isn’t the only one with a Reality Distortion Field surrounding him.
Myself, I just don’t feel as “put upon” as Bill does. And as for what he should have to “take,” perhaps he should talk to his wife about the kitchen. Recently she’s been crowing that if it is too hot in there, you should get out.
Go find a fainting couch somewhere. Or maybe the men’s room. There’s apparently a bunch of white guys in there commiserating, licking their wounds, and collectively deciding who should be the next President.