I was recently the proud recipient of a link to a post on Salon.com entitled, “Off the reservation”: 4 times Hillary Clinton’s racism showed, by Janet Upadhye.
The 4 times Hillary Clinton’s supposed racism showed include 4 clips captured over a 20 year period. They are random comments that could be taken as racist, if:
– You recognize the origin of the expression
– You think about it real hard and, most importantly
– You WANT them to be racist
While the comments could be seen as offensive, they are neither directed at anyone, nor do they express any personal enmity toward any person or group.
Winston Churchill was anti-Semitic, but it would be ridiculous to compare him to Adolph Hitler. Some cases of moral equivalency just can not be made.
Donald Trump’s remarks are blatantly racist and we’ve heard them on a daily basis for the past year. There is no vaguery, no ambiguity and no doubt. Calling Mexicans rapists is a comment that speaks for itself. In volumes.
Saying that U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel can’t do his job because of his Mexican heritage is not only racist, it is an attack on the American judicial system and the rule of law. By Trump’s reasoning, every black inmate sentenced to prison by a white judge should be released, just as every white inmate sentenced by a black judge should be freed.
Personally, I do not recognize the authority of any German or Arabic judges based on their inherent antisemitism. As a matter of fact, it would probably be harder to find a judge without a tinge of antisemitism than it would be to find one who doesn’t loathe Donny Boy.
Maybe worst of all, Trump’s little charade about a Mexican judge is INCREDIBLY self serving. Don the Con has infused his business interests into a presidential campaign. He is using the bully pulpit of a presidential candidate to litigate a lawsuit against his fraudulent business practices.
As for Trump’s supporters, just take a look at the cretins who show up at Trump rallies. They are the face of racist America. Except for the ones wearing sheets, whose faces are obscured.
Referring to some of Trump’s remarks, Secretary Clinton said that he was “off the reservation.” If he was an alcoholic with a drink in his hand, she might have said that he was off the wagon. It’s expression with an often overlooked provenance.
To go “off the reservation” is a common idiom defined by the Free Dictionary as follows:
1.To go or act outside the bounds of control, propriety, or acceptance of a given group: The youths in this area are going off the reservation more and more these days, disregarding anything they see as a form of authority.
2. To think or act differently or contrary to the accepted norm. The vice president seems to have gone off the reservation regarding his views on legalizing marijuana.
The expression has its roots in the forced relocation of Native Americans and the injustices they suffered as a result of illegal immigrants invading their country (that means us, the white man). Right or wrong, it is an expression that has worked its way into our lexicon leaving its origin far behind.
Few of us think of the plight of Native Americans when we use that expression or how it came into being.
Another example having to do with Native Americans is not only offensive, but incredibly ironic. We refer to people who take back something they gave us as “Indian givers.”
This one’s a head scratcher. We stole their land, relocated Native Americans to designated areas which were often taken away from them or significantly reduced in size. Who’s the real Indian givers?
Wouldn’t the expression “white man givers” be more accurate? Or “Andrew Jackson givers,” Jackson being the man who signed the Indian Removal Act into law?
And what about that football team, the one that plays at FedUp Field in Washington, DC? How do they get away with that? (It’s the Redskins, in case you didn’t know)
The second clip in the video show’s Hillary (in 1996) using the term “super predators” to refer to gang leaders who recruit innocent children and terrorize neighborhoods. This was indeed an unfortunate remark, but one that may be more a case of unintended consequences than a display of racism.
Obviously, she was speaking about crime in mostly black neighborhoods. The comment was ill-advised, but it was an extension of George H. W. Bush’s “Zero Tolerance” policy as an attempt to reign in violence in underprivileged neighborhoods.
As is often the case, it was a monolithic approach to a multi-faceted problem. Gun violence in cities like Detroit, Baltimore and Chicago are prima facie evidence that these problems not only exist, but that they are getting worse.
Desperate situations often lead to stupid comments.
The third clip shows Hillary at a fundraiser for Senate candidate, Nancy Farmer in Missouri back in 2004. Prefacing a quote from Mahatma Ghandi, Clinton jokingly referred to him as “a guy who used to run a gas station in St. Louis.”
It was lame, but she was clearly trying to localize the reference. She also followed that up by saying, ”No, Mahatma Gandhi was a great leader of the 20th century.”
Referring to Ms. Farmer’s underdog status, Hillary quoted Ghandi as saying, ”First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
It should be obvious to anyone outside the “bubble of ignorance” that Hillary’s Ghandi reference was based on her esteem for the man, not her racism towards his ethnicity.
The final clip in the video shows Hillary slipping into a weird sounding southern accent during a campaign speech in South Carolina.
You could call it pandering, but it doesn’t meet any criteria whatsoever to qualify as racism.
It’s possible that as the former First Lady of Arkansas, Mrs. Clinton has a bit of a drawl that pops up from time to time.
It’s also possible that, as Robin Dodsworth, Associate Professor at North Carolina State University pointed out, there is a “very human tendency to accommodate to different audiences“.
It may be lame, it may be pandering or it may be some innate tendency to connect with an audience. One thing it ain’t, and that’s racism.
What about the “Sender” of Hillary’s 4 episodes of imaginary racist comments?
Did “Sender” read the article or just passed it along after reading the title? Clearly “Sender” didn’t bother to investigate the veracity of Ms. Upadhye’s claims.
In the age of Fox News, some of us tend to hear what we want to hear from people who are no better informed than we are and use that to justify and bolster our beliefs. Fox is the opposite of news, the opposite of information and not programmed for those who seek truth.
I also wonder if “Sender” ignores or overlooks blatant racism at home, while looking for made up and contrived instances of racist comments made by Hillary Clinton.
I know that in my house, any use of the N-word would cause immediate cessation of conversation and condemnation of the user. I don’t think it was ever explicitly taught, it just didn’t happen.
I would hope that “Sender” can say the same thing. It’s possible that some of us are fooling ourselves, using this make-America-great-again crap to justify our inner racist jumping on the Trump wagon.
Beyond the hate, everything else he says is just empty words.
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