Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Double Standard of American Politics


If a black Democratic presidential candidate was an affirmative action selection (akin to the legacy selection for McCain) at the Naval Academy and graduated 894 out of 899, Fox News and the conservative right would push this story as the basis for his disqualification for the nation's highest office. The rest of the media would then be forced to report on it, giving the story wide exposure.
If a white Republican presidential candidate graduated magna cum laude from Harvard, he would be celebrated as an intellectual giant ready to lead the country in bold new directions. But since we are talking Obama here, his education fits into the "uppity" and presumptuous narrative.
If you're a Harvard and Princeton-educated black woman married for years before having your first child, Fox labels you a "Baby Mama."
If you are a white woman who eloped and had a baby eight months later, you are Sarah Palin.
If you have studied international affairs for several decades, you're inexperienced at foreign affairs.
If you live in a state that is geographically near a foreign country, you have foreign policy expertise.
If you both write and present your own words, you just give good speeches. If you read someone else's words from the telepromptera superstar is born.
If you are Obama, your greatness must be measured by what you've done and its NEVER enough, NOT by any of the profound speeches you wrote yourself, or the repeated grillings you've taken in the press.
If you are Palin, your greatness is measured by just one speech, written by Bush IIs speechwriter, and you will not take any questions from the press.
If you attend two of the top ivy leagues schools in the country, you are surprisingly articulate. If it takes you several colleges to graduate and you deliver a speech with the phonetic new-clear on the teleprompter, you're a poised and eloquent speaker.
If your staff is so dumb they mix up Walter Reed Middle School for Walter Reed Medical Center in your conventions big night, its because you wanted to focus on education & it would have been political to use the soldiers in that format.
If Obama had done that, he would be eviscerated for not knowing the difference between the two, hating the troops/America & would be dangerously unqualified to be CinC.
If your a liberal mayor and you ask for government financing, your a fan of big, tax and spend, corrupt government.
If you're a conservative mayor and wind up on John McCain's worst pork list in 2001, you are disgusted that small towns like yours are dependent on earmarks, even if your town had no earmarks before you became mayor.
A white woman talkin' tough is an advocate of women's rights, a black woman is angry and bitter. A white man talkin' tough is a straight shooter and a conservative, a black man is a angry gangsta rapper.
If you're a GOPer you naturally wouldn't see what the problem with any of this was, even if you slept for 20 years on a dictionary opened20to the word hypocrisy.
If you're a Republican and you talk to America 's enemies, its diplomacy.
If you're a Democrat and you talk to America 's enemies, its appeasement.
If you're a Republican, you swear Jesus is a registered member of your party.
If you're a Democrat, you appreciate that Jesus was a community organizer.
If you're a Republican and you wind up on the cover of People magazine, it's because you're a regular American.
If you're a Democrat and you wind up on the cover of People magazine, its because you're a celebrity.
If you're a black Democratic man who can fill a stadium with 18,000 people (or worse, a German atrium with 200,000), you're a vapid celebrity. If you're a white Republican woman who can get a room full of fire breathing evangelical right wingers to holler, you're a star.
If you are a Democrat, the days are counted down since the last time you have been to Iraq .
If you are a Republican, you have all the foreign policy experience you need because your state is close to Russia .
If you're a black woman, with advanced academic degrees, and you have children while married, you're a baby mama
If you're a white woman who barely graduated from college, and you get knocked up and then get married after you're pregnant, you're a "Super Mom"
If you are black and your daughter is pregnant, unmarried and has an uninvolved baby daddy, you are a statistic, but if you're a white and your daughters baby's daddy has an explicit MY Space page where, in between four-letter words, he exclaims "he don't want no kids," you get to run for Veep.
If you're a black presidential candidate that has wide appeal and the ability to motivate over two million Americans to re-engage in the political process you're an egomaniac with a messiah complex seeking the spotlight.
However, if you're a right wing conservative – you're applauded for your likeability and called a unifier for the Republican base
If you're white, win a beauty contest, attended 5-6 colleges before finally graduating, join the PTA, are voted to be mayor by 1000 people, govern a sparsely populated state for a almost two years now, and randomly get chosen at the last minute to be VP, you've lived the American dream, she's every American.
But if you're black, raised by a single mother, lived on food stamps, help the community, get into Harvard, become the first black editor of the Harvard Law Review, build a great campaign organization from scratch, and are voted to be the presidential nominee by millions of people, you are just uppity.
If you are a democratic candidate and people around you complain about the MSM vitriole toward you, you're a whiner.
If you are a republican candidate and you wont answer the questions the MSM attempts to ask about your qualifications for the second highest office in the land, you're being victimized.
If you are a white republican mom with a special-needs baby, you are suddenly the advocate of all special needs families in the US .
If you are an Alaskan democrat mom with a special-needs baby, you just saw state funding cut for programs like special-ed. You're "on your own."
If you are a black democrat homeowner that was preyed upon by mortgage companies and your house is in foreclosure, you made bad choices and don't deserve a house.
If you an older white republican who can't keep track of how many houses he has, then he deserves another one.

Larry Williamson
Director, Publications & Outreach
National Urban League Policy Institute
1101 Connecticut Ave, NW
Suite 810
Washington, D.C. 20036
Phone:(202) 898-1604
Fax: (202) 408-1965

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