Friday, October 10, 2008

I hate when they pat your head

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

I hate getting patted on the head. It used to happen a lot when I was in my early 20's and men I worked with would say "Good for a girl" (or something similar) and pat my head. Well, the world has changed, but it turns out that old white men can still act in a demeaning and dismissive manner.

I'm talking, of course, about McShame's response to Oliver Clark at the debate the other night. The question was about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. John Boy opened his response with "You probably never heard of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac before this."

I'm not saying he started his response that way because the questioner was black. I'm pretty sure that John would have done so if the questioner was female, too. Or Asian. Or anyone who didn't "look like a banker."

Oliver Clark has a response:

Well Senator, I actually did. I like to think of myself as a fairly intelligent person. I have a bachelor degree in Political Science from Tennessee State, so I try to keep myself up to date with current affairs. I have a Master degree in Legal Studies from Southern Illinois University, a few years in law school, and I am currently pursuing a Master in Public Administration from the University of Memphis. In defense of the Senator from Arizona I would say he is an older guy, and may have made an underestimation of my age. Honest mistake. However, it could be because I am a young African-American male. Whatever the case may be it was somewhat condescending regardless of my age to make an assumption regarding whether I was knowledgeable about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
So when you hear the McShame campaign raising the code words that lead to "he's not like us", ask yourself - is it really a political ploy, or a base belief? Either is ugly, the latter is abhorrent.