Let the Parsing Begin … err … Continue

Come on folks … let’s get real!  The Clintons are trying to clarify recent remarks that the Obama campaign and/or some in the African American community apparently view as impugning Martin Luther King and Barack Obama.  Here’s a relevant piece from yesterday’s NY Times.  Puhleeease! 

It’s not that I don’t think that race and gender play a role in our lives or in these candidacies … but I do get what Hillary was saying.  Whether you agree or disagree, it was a viable point about the relatonship between inspirational leadership from outside the system and nuts-and-bolts work within the institutions of government.  And I also get what Bill was trying to say.  They are both way too smart to be saying what people are reading into their remarks – and frankly, I don’t think there’s a racist cast to what they believe … any more than I think there’s a sexist cast to Obama’s core values or message. 

Racism and sexism are alive and well in this country – and both candidates are going to have their hands full as things heat up and the craziness develops a sharper and sharper edge.  Playing it up as a fight between the two camps perpetuates a falsehood, though.  It’s not sexism or racism on the parts of Barack and Hillary that we need to worry about in particular. 

We should turn the light back on the voting public – and maybe the media.  This is where racism and sexism live like viral diseases – this is where they have their traction.  And this is why the candidates DO have to be careful about what they say … so that they are not fueling or giving aid and comfort to those who would inflame America’s worst characteristics.  The candidates and their camps need to be clear about this … and they also need to not parse one another’s words and try to make something out of nothing.  These issues are too important … and we’ve had enough of what is is!

Afternoon addendum … so meanwhile, as you’ll see here, the press can’t even seem to agree on whether to print the quote in full or not.  If we’re going to parse, at least let’s agree on what we’re parsing for goodness sake!

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