Saturday, September 27, 2008


Yesterday at the Chemo Lounge, I picked up the local paper only to find the letters to the editor dominated by angry responses to the letter by a new faculty member in Ethnic Studies at UCCS.
Professor says Palin gets pass for being white

Despite several commentators' assertions to the contrary, Sarah Palin's candidacy has virtually nothing to do with valuing women's lives since she holds women and children in such low regard. In the case of Palin, we see a candidate who says that she believes in children's rights and yet is carrying her infant around as if the child were some kind of trophy. Disability rights activists are, understandably furious to see the way the infant is being used as some kind of poster child even as Palin has no history of supporting social services, education and quality of life resources for people with disabilities. The media frenzy that is flittered around Palin has also failed to address the many ways that her white privilege has made her candidacy possible. Only someone white could get away with having such shockingly thin credentials when it comes to the economy and world policy. It is both cynical and frightening that the Republican Party is using her gender as an excuse to promote a person who is so poorly prepared for the job. It is another case of white affirmative action with a gender twist. It has been a long time since I have seen so many women in my life so upset (perhaps not since the Anita Hill hearings when Hill's veracity, character and honesty were all miserably disrespected).

While Anita Hill had all of the credentials and job experience she should have needed to be taken seriously, Palin has virtually none. The racial discrepancies in how the two were treated are palpable.

Sarah Palin's nomination is certainly not a step forward for women. It is not even a step back. It is a step down into low-level thinking and sarcastic posturing. It is an insult to the principled life that Senator Clinton has lived on behalf of women and children. The public is already seeing through the post-nomination frenzy and is now recognizing that biology is not destiny. Principles are not genetically determined. Life affirming principles come from social movements and working for justice. We are moving way beyond silly talk about lipstick and square eyeglasses. This election must be taken beyond the confines of white snow and retro politics.

A friend at UCCS has told me that the Campus Republicans there are up in arms about this letter and have posted fliers around campus calling on students to report all liberal professors, presumably if those liberal professors say "liberal" things in the classroom. Reminds me of the Young Conservatives of Texas in the 90s. What does it mean when kids are willing to work so hard to limit what they will hear and censor the free exchange of ideas for which they are supposedly paying tuition? And where are the conservative champions of free speech to condemn this "politically correct" witch hunt?


Post a Comment

<< Home