Ferraro Channels O'reilly

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THE PLANK MAY 30, 2008

Ferraro Channels O'reilly

Mike has an excerpt from Geraldine Ferraro's op-ed in The Boston Globe. Here is the part I found interesting:

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.

Solipsism and grammar to one side, this argument is at least somewhat similar to one that I hear all the time from Bill O'Reilly. In short, middle America consists of good, hard-working people, who really, really want to have a serious and honest conversation about race. But, because of those damn politically correct elites who love labeling white people as racist, they can't!

I have read Ferraro's last three sentences about five times now, and I have no clue what she is arguing. Some questions:

1. How is "racial resentment" different from racism?

2. What does she mean to say by using the word "enforced"?

3. "Their time has passed"? Meaning what? White people's time?

In all earnestness, I would be curious to know what the commenters make of this piece, because it sure reads to me like something that is--at the very least--insensitive (I used a euphemism in Ferraro's honor).

--Isaac Chotiner 

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