But before we sprain our shoulders patting ourselves on the back for our color-blind, bias-free selves, let's acknowledge that certain prejudices are far from taboo. In fact, in some quarters they are ascendant and celebrated.
I'm thinking of the overt, outrageous prejudice that infuses some of the contempt on the left for Palin. Scrape away the surface excuses and much of it is because she is a Republican. And an anti-abortion one at that. How dare she!
That the bias comes from people we think of as sophisticated makes it disappointing, but not surprising. After all, contempt for Republicans is the only socially acceptable prejudice remaining among many educated people today.
A well-to-do, middle-aged professional woman who identifies herself as very liberal casually declared at a recent social gathering that Palin was unqualified to be vice president. "Look at all those children; she would be neglecting them," the woman said, before adding she herself has five grown daughters.
I could hardly contain myself. "How," I managed to say relatively calmly, "would you feel if a man just said what you said?"
"Oh, I didn't mean anything; I was just thinking of the children," she said sheepishly.
(BTW-I had a very similar experience this very week with a senior citizen at the nail salon. This time the conversation was pleasant/non-combative. I was shocked to hear this very argument from a woman and one who saw a lot of discrimination in her lifetime against women at that! But I made my point and she conceded. I even think she LISTENED and HEARD me.)
George W. Bush appointed the first two black secretaries of state, but does anyone on the left regard him as a racial trailblazer? When I raised that question to another liberal, she dismissed the idea, saying Bush "never thought about race."
That exchange took place three years ago, but I still can't grasp her logic. How does she know what Bush thought? Why would it be more important than what he does? (A point I have been doing my best to drive home on this very blog, over and over and over.)
The Genial Warrior Versus The Ivy League Messiah
By Phyllis Chesler
The following are excerpts from her blog post on Sunday October 4, 2008
There are things I like and dislike about both Presidential tickets. I do not like it one bit that Senator McCain voted not once but twice against the Violence Against Women Act; I despair over this and over his party’s opposition to abortion. I find Sarah Palin bright, zesty, charming, and admirably tough–and yet her anti-abortion stance and deep silence, at least so far, about other equality-for-women issues pains me as does her lack of experience on the national and international stage.
On the other hand: I do not like the people whom Senator Obama has chosen to work with and who his supporters, well hidden by the mainstream media, really are: the Chicago political machine, Tony Rezko, Weatherman-turned-educational philanthropist, Bill Ayers, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, the Nation of Islam, alleged Saudi funders, George Soros, lawyers who represent CAIR, etc. I don’t like it when Obama denies his connections, pretends he is a Cosmic Change Artist, when he is merely… an exceptionally charismatic and hard-working politician, very much in touch with the media, music, and internet of his generation.
Obama is the biological son of a Kenyan national and the adoptive son of an Indonesian national, both of whom were Muslims. This ancestry is no crime, it is, rather, quite timely and very interesting, and Obama could have talked about how great America is, compared to the Islamic world, in terms of giving its’ citizens freedom of religious choice. But he didn’t do that.
Instead, he presented himself as a very solid “black” Christian, (no nuance here), thus downplaying the fact that his biological father did not come over in chains on a slave ship four hundred+ years ago but left Africa in the mid-twentieth century for a brief American sojourn and then returned home for good. Obama is not an African-American in the usual sense–he is really bi-racial. Obama’s mother was a white American woman. He has not lied about this or hidden it but it sure has gotten lost. Obama is not running as a bi-racial American (that too would be interesting, a mind-stretcher), but as an African-American.
Read her entire post here
Please make sure to see the comment on Phyllis's post from cfbleachers who makes the following points in his comment:
I have tried more cases in state and federal court than Sen. Obama, Katie Couric, …and virtually any other newsperson or politician…I have written more appellate briefs and argued before higher courts more than they have.
And…if I was asked to name, on the spot…Supreme Court cases, by name…that I DISAGREED WITH…I couldn’t do it. It is a question designed to elicit humiliation, not elucidation.
When Charlie Gibson asked about the “Bush Doctrine”…I didn’t know to what, particularly…he was referring. I didn’t know it by that name. I certainly never called it that.
Yet, when Sen. Biden was asked about “intervention”…he said that he AND Sen. Obama agreed that when “we can do something about it”, and when there is “genocide”, and when someone has “a history of harboring terrorists”…then BOTH of them would be comfortable with intervention. Is that the “Obama-Biden Doctrine”?
Didn’t Saddam Hussein gas Kurds into a mass graveyard of sorrow? Didn’t he have woodchippers for political dissenters and his son have rape rooms for innocent women to be tortured and maimed for life? Didn’t he have a long history of harboring terrorists and congratulating them? Given the parameters of the “Obama-Biden Doctrine” it seems that Iraq was a primary choice. Has anyone asked them a “gotcha grill” question about it?
Has SNL done a skit repeatedly on FDR going on TV in 1929? Or on the price of arugula? A presidential seal? Where does Nancy Pelosi stand on the “fairness doctrine” when one side gets vetted and gotcha grilled and the other side gets a free pass and rigged debate questions?