2008 Presidential Election, Race and Racism
Professor Vernellia Randall
Speaking Truth to Power!

Worst Person in Campaign 2008


Send Letter to Secretary Hillary Clinton:
United States Must be fully Participate in United Nations Conference
 on Eliminating Racism (Durban Review).



Home March 13,2008 Hillary Clinton and Gearldine Ferraro     February 26, 2008 - Tim Russert;     February 21, 2008 - Bill O'Reilly;       February 20, 2008 - Bill O'Reilly;          January 30, 2008 - National Organization of Women - New York;          January 15, 2008  - MSBNC, Brian Williams and Tim Russert Discussion Forum
This site focuses on one issue: racial inequality. It does not endorse or oppose any party or any candidate.


Home                                                    x
Worst Person                               x
Institutional Racism                                    x
Inequalities & the Election                                  x
Race and Racism                              x
Racial Groups                                       x
World Perspective                               x
NAACP Questionnaire                            x
Primaries and Caucuses                             x
Site Map
This website is always under construction please email me  relevant links related to any of the candidates or to race and racism and the election.
African Americans                                         X
Asian Americans                                                   X
European Americans                         X
Latino(a) Americans                                          x
Native Americans                                 x
Pacific Islanders                                       x
Institutional Racism                                     x
01 Race and Racism                                     x
02 Citizenship Rights                                     x
03 Justice                                     x
04 Basic Needs                                     x
05 Intersectionality                                     x
06 Worldwide                                     x

A week ago, Geraldine Ferraro made
ugly and bigoted comment that Barack Obama is "lucky" to be black, and that he would not be where he is today "if he were a white man" or "a woman." Make that ugly, bigoted. Ms. Ferraro's comment are offensive and shrewd.  Her remarks raise the wide-spread white sentment that less-qualified black people are getting jobs that should go to hard-working and experienced white people. Her words are a barely coded play for the bigot vote. Furthremore, her reference to "woman" read that "white woman" her remark links Obama with the oppression of white  women. Then , Geraldine Ferraro, made herself the victim: "I really think they're attacking me because I'm white," she said. "How's that?"

Hillary Clinton for not swiftly, soundly rejecting and denouncing the comments of Ferraro and firing her immediately from her campaign.


Ferraro Flashback

If Jesse Jackson were not black, he wouldn't be in the race," she said.

Really. The cite is an April 15, 1988 Washington Post story (byline: Howard Kurtz), available only on Nexis.

Here's the full context:

Placid of demeanor but pointed in his rhetoric, Jackson struck out repeatedly today against those who suggest his race has been an asset in the campaign. President Reagan suggested Tuesday that people don't ask Jackson tough questions because of his race. And former representative Geraldine A. Ferraro (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday that because of his "radical" views, "if Jesse Jackson were not black, he wouldn't be in the race."

Asked about this at a campaign stop in Buffalo, Jackson at first seemed ready to pounce fiercely on his critics. But then he stopped, took a breath, and said quietly, "Millions of Americans have a point of view different from" Ferraro's.

Discussing the same point in Washington, Jackson said, "We campaigned across the South . . . without a single catcall or boo. It was not until we got North to New York that we began to hear this from Koch, President Reagan and then Mrs. Ferraro . . . . Some people are making hysteria while I'm making history."

From:  Josh Marshall
Talking Points Memo

I discussed this in the live debate blog. But I think it's worth going back and watching Russert's run of shame here. I would say it was borderline to bring up the issue of Farrakhan at all. But perhaps since it's getting some media play you bring it up just for the record, for Obama to address.

That's not what Russert did. He launches into it, gets into a parsing issue over word choices, then tries to find reasons to read into the record some of Farrakhan's vilest quotes after Obama has just said he denounces all of them. Then he launches into a bizarre series of logical fallacies that had Obama needing to assure Jews that he didn't believe that Farrakhan "epitomizes greatness".

As a Jew and perhaps more importantly simply as a sentient being I found it disgusting. It was a nationwide, televised, MSM version of one of those noxious Obama smear emails.

Late Update: TPM Reader RMS does some close analysis ...

I think that breaking down Russert's Wright/Farrakhan questioning helps illuminate how truly bizarre it is:

1. The title of Obama's book, "The Audacity of Hope," came from a sermon delivered by Jeremiah Wright. Wright is Obama's pastor.

2. Wright is the "head" of United Trinity Church.

3. Wright said that Louis Farrakhan "epitomizes greatness."

4. Wright went with Farrakhan in 1984 to visit Muammar Gaddafi in Libya.

5. Farrakhan has said that Judaism is a "gutter religion."

6. Wright said that when Obama's political opponents found out about the Libya visit, Obama's Jewish support would dry up "faster than a snowball in Hell."

Russert's question is then "What do you do to assure Jewish Americans... you are consistent with issues regarding Israel and not in any way suggesting that Farrakhan epitomizes greatness."

The first question about Farrakhan—and Russert's insistence on mentioning Farrakhan's views regarding Judaism after Obama had already denounced Farrakhan's bigotry—was all foreplay leading up to this masterstroke in which Russert synthesizes the six discrete facts into a knockout punch of innuendo and guilt by association: perhaps Obama thinks that Louis Farrakhan, the man Obama explicitly denounced not one minute before, is the very epitome of greatness.

All of the stuff about going to Libya, Farrakhan's "gutter religion" comment, and Jewish supporting drying up like a snowball in hell—that was all totally unnecessary to reach the ultimate question, but wasn't it fun?



His so called apology is inadequate because he seems to be saying that his comment was taken out of context and he completely ignores the qualifier "unless". He seems to be saying that because Ms. Obama's comment's were political than the "unless" was not statisfied. First, O'reilly did just say that there should not be a lynching. Second, Lynching is not appropriate under any circumstances there is no "unless" and O'reilly's so-called apology is unacceptable. (more)

 In a discussion of recent comments made by Michelle Obama, Bill O'Reilly took a call from a listener who stated that, according to "a friend who had knowledge of her," Obama " 'is a very angry,' her word was 'militant woman.' " O'Reilly later stated: "I don't want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless there's evidence, hard facts, that say this is how the woman really feels. If that's how she really feels -- that America is a bad country or a flawed nation, whatever -- then that's legit. We'll track it down." (See the Video and Take Action)


The recently release statement of the National Organization of Women - New York chapter was amazing (http://www.nownys.org/pr_2008/pr_012808.html ). The statement claiming that Senator Ted Kennedy's endorsement of Barack Obama is a betrayal of all women is offensive. Once again, a predominantly white woman organization claims to speak for African American women and other non-white women. What privileges NOW_NY to be believe that African American women feel betrayed by Kennedy's endorsement.

NOW-NY's  anger is about a white man not giving white privilege to a white woman.

 Of course, NOW-NY is entitled to their perspective but they should at least be honest - Below is a revision of their statement that, in my opinion, is a more accurate reflection of the real issue:


"[White] Women have just experienced the ultimate betrayal. Senator Kennedy's endorsement of Hillary Clinton's opponent in the  Democratic presidential primary campaign has really hit [White] Women hard. [White] Women have forgiven Kennedy, stuck up for him, stood by him, hushed the fact that he was late in his support of Title IX, the ERA, the Family Leave and Medical Act to name a few. [White] Women have buried their anger that his support for the compromises in No Child Left Behind and the Medicare bogus drug benefit brought us the passage of these flawed bills. We have thanked him for his ardent support of many civil rights bills, BUT [White] Women are always waiting in the wings.

"And now the greatest betrayal! We are repaid with his bandonment!  He's picked the new guy over us. He's joined the list of progressive white men who can't or won't handle the prospect of a woman president who is Hillary Clinton (they will of course say they support a woman president, just not "this" one). 'They' are Howard Dean  and Jim Dean (Yup! That's Howard's brother) who run DFA (that's the group and list from the Dean campaign that we [White] Women helped start and  grow). They are Alternet, Progressive Democrats of America,  democrats.com, Kucinich lovers and all the other groups that take [White] Women's money, say they'll do feminist and [White] Women's rights  issues one of these days, and conveniently forget to mention [White] Women and children when they talk about poverty or human needs or America's future or whatever.

"This latest move by Kennedy, is so telling about the status of and
respect for [White] Women's rights, [White] Women's voices, [White] Women's equality, [White] Women's authority and our ability - indeed, our obligation - to promote and earn and deserve and elect, unabashedly, a President that is the first [white] woman after centuries of [white] men who 'know what's best for

You can contact NOW New York Chapter:  info@nownys.org,


Aired on MSNBC January 15, Martin Luther King's Birthday, sponsored by Black and Brown organizations, the debate was pegged as a debate covering Black, Latino and Asian-American issues.   The problem was that MSNBC's moderators, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams and Tim Russert of "Meet the Press," apparently decided to ignore that as they focused none of their questions on issues of racial inequality (nor did the candidates).    Furthermore, they allowed Obama  cantto make a unchallenged statement that I can’t imagine would have been allowed if made by a white candidate.  In response to a question by the 100 Black men, Obama spoke of parents' responsibilities for establishing respect for educational excellence. "We have to have our parents take their jobs seriously, particularly African-American fathers, who all too often are absent from the home," said Obama. "As someone who grew up without a father, I know how important this is."   This statement is particular troubling because ignores the long standing support in the black community for education. Black men have been encouraging their sons and daughters to get educated even when education was practically useless. But perhaps more important, Black fathers are not a particular problem, especially when it comes to education, when you consider that in 2005, black males had a 10% drop-out rate compared to 30.5% drop-out in 1967; that the drop-out rate has been continuously falling.  On the other hand, White males had a drop-out rate of 6.6% in 2005 compared to 14.6% in 1967.  Who has made the biggest progress and is continuing to make progress. Furthermore, even if you focus on the disparity between white and blacks (3.4%) it is not the widest gap. Hispanics have the largest drop-out rate in 2005 with 22%.

What I see for black men is significant continuous progress despite significant obstacle: a welfare system in 50s, 60s and 70s that literally drove black men out of the home and that continues to penalize a single mother if the father provides any help; school funding mechanism that assures that poor and predominantly black schools communities are under-funded; an educational approach that still focuses on training for college and not enough on training for skills and occupation; and, the wholesale criminalization of the black man not only in the law but more important in the news and the media. What is remarkable is that Black men are doing as well as they are.

 The debate in Nevada had an opportunity to have a clear discussion on racial inequalities in America society and how the democratic candidates would address them instead it focused (a bit) on the pseudo-skirmish over race between Obama and Clinton. I have to assume that it was deliberate because at least twice during the debate Clinton said to the moderators and the other candidates that debate was supposed to be on issues of concern to the "black and brown" communities. Both the moderators and the other candidates ignored her.

Thus, Worst Person in Campaign 2008 goes to  MSNBC,  MSNBC, Brian Williams and Tim Russert for ignoring the issues of racism and racial inequality during a debate about Black, Latino and Asian-American Issues.


Discussion Forum

This Page Last Updated:
Thursday, July 03, 2008  

You are visitor number
Hit Counter  
Since January 9, 2008


Submit for Periodic Updates
Update List

DEMOCRATIC                   x
Obama                                                    x
REPUBLICAN                            x
McCain                                                    x
McKinney                                         x

This website is always under construction please email me  relevant links related to any of the candidates or to race and racism and the election.
Minnesota Public Radio                        x
WQAD  TV                             x
Australia - US Survey                                 X


Same level:
[ Worst Person in Campaign 2008 ] Racism and the Presidential Election ] Racial Groups and the 2008 Presidential Election ] Democratic Candidates ] Republican Candidates ] 3rd Party Candidates ] Primaries and Caucuses - Exit Polls ] The World Views ] Former Candidates ] Weekly Updates ]
Child Level:
Home ]
Parent Level:
2008 Presidential Election, Race  and Racism ]
[Race and Racial Groups] [Citizenship Rights]  [Justice and Race] [Patterns of Basic Needs] [Intersectionality Issues] [Human Rights]

Always Under Construction!

Always Under Construction!

Copyright @ 2008
Vernellia Randall. All Rights Reserved

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, some material on this website is provided for comment, background information, research and/or educational purposes only, without permission from the copyright owner(s), under the "fair use" provisions of the federal copyright laws. These materials may not be distributed for other purposes without permission of the copyright owner(s).


Last Updated:
Tuesday, April 07, 2009  

You are visitor number
Hit Counter  
Since January 9, 2008