How to Silence a Nation

RE: “Clinton’s Gradual Education on Issues of Race” (New York Times 2/2/08)

Mark Leibovich’s article offers an excellent example of how the American media too often discourages us from looking at our individual and collective ignorance in the areas of racism, sexism and classism—to name only a few of our “isms.” The fact that Senator Clinton grew from being an oblivious child to a committed champion of civil rights for all does not make her less reliable. It makes her a model. Leibovich’s claim that Clinton’s “first 25 years were arguably more central to shaping her views” than her last 35 in public service suggests that we are each held captive by our youth, our potential fated accordingly. Articles such as this silence us all by discouraging dialogue about where we come from and what our experiences have been. We need media that cultivates—rather than inhibits—our national conversation. Show me the male candidate for president that has not had a “gradual education” on the issue of sexism. Is he to be trusted?

(Letter to the editor, which the New York Times did not choose for publication)

(Thanks to “The Laundry Room” for inspiring this musing)

One thought

  1. thanks for keeping this going and you know, chivas, the more I glance over this troubled(some) article, the more I notice the author’s ‘bad intention’ towards his topic: Hillary. I mean, ostensibly, the story of her developing civil rights mentality is admirable, isn’t it? As you say, she IS a role model. And he never says that she isn’t.
    YET… he manages to minimalize each of her experiences: ‘first black friend’ for example, until it all sounds like, in her VAST sea of whiteness, she had these small encounters with ‘difference’ that she has then cobbled together to create some kind of ultimately bogus ‘civil rights woman’. but underneath, she’s still ‘white power-monger woman’– as IF that even exists…
    But mostly, I think, he just doesn’t like Hillary, which brings us back to sexism, rampant, virulent sexism–you know, WTF! she is SO threatening male terrory with her campaign. and so YEAH, show us the male candidate who has ever had to worry about whether or not he was sexist…her opponent certainly hasn’t had to! I’d say ‘no’, not alot of trust there for him for that (and other things…).
    ~ranting on~ ms. spin

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