Professor Lolita Innis
It’s February 5, 2008, and having been on hiatus from this blog during the last few months teaching and writing (see e.g. “A ‘Ho New World...” in my SSRN file), I now return, sticking my head up into the world of comparative racism and the law in
What’s been happening? A lot. Take a look at the
The answer isn’t that simple. In the matter of dueling victimhoods, I’m afraid that both women and blacks (or, getting beyond the black/white binary, racialized others) can hold their own, with enough past and continuing slights, mistreatment and outright absolute abuse to fill volumes. The problem is that this isn’t really what’s being measured in assessing these candidates. Despite all of the calls for picking a different kind of candidate who will, as a result of his or her difference, be a change agent, in choosing between Barack and Hillary we’re not choosing them because of their victimhood, we’re choosing them for their triumph over victimhood. The irony here is that when one of them succeeds in being chosen, it signifies that he or she will have convinced a sizable percentage of the electorate that despite any differentness, they are regular enough to do the job of president. Either will owe a large part of his or her success to the fact that he or she has “street cred” of a whole other kind—Wall Street cred, the type of credibility that buoys not just American spirits but American markets. Regardless of the extent to which they may represent communities who have suffered and who continue to suffer hard times, both Barack and Hillary are still, at the end of the day, members of the most august governing body in the
Does this mean that we shouldn’t celebrate the ascension of Hillary and Barack? Of course not. But we do need to keep in mind that while the victor of this contest may take the spoils they are little likely, at least at first, to roil—too much change could be hazardous to their political health.