World » Americas
Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

Geraldine et al: Shut Up!

Geraldine Ferraro stepped down recently from her position on Hillary Clinton's finance committee after her comments on Barack Obama's race dominated the media for two days. It all started with an interview Ferraro gave the Daily Breeze in Torrance, Calif., in which she said, “If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman of any color, he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept.”

Ferraro, who was the Democrats' 1994 vice-presidential nominee on the Mondale ticket, said her comments were not racist and she is not in the least bit apologetic. Ms. Ferraro affirmed, “I’m exercising my First Amendment rights. If they don’t like it, tough. I don’t intend ever to have anybody tell me that I can’t say what I want to say.”

“I think her comments were ridiculous," Obama said. "I think they were wrong-headed. The notion that it is a great advantage to me to be an African American named Barack Obama to pursue the presidency, I think, is not a view that is commonly shared by the general public." Clinton said she regretted and rejected Ferraro's comments.

It’s obvious that Geraldine Ferraro has been engaged in yet another dirty case of the crash and burn politics-as-usual type of activity that is becoming almost a daily occurrence with the desperate Clinton camp. But with the Clintons, it was more of a wink-wink, nudge-nudge thing one thought went out from acceptability decades ago.

Senator Obama’s momentum has continued in recent contests. Obama won recent small contests in both Mississippi and Wyoming. In the Mississippi primary, Obama won 61% of the vote (19 delegates) and Clinton took 37% (14 delegates). In Wyoming caucuses, Obama won 61% of the vote (7 delegates) and Clinton 38% (5 delegates).

Delegate totals: Obama 1409 and Clinton 1250 which is +123 for Obama.

A fight is currently underway regarding delegates from Michigan and Florida. Michigan and Florida could give either candidate a decisive boost. As it stands now, the Democratic Party has disqualified the results in those two states because they violated party rules by holding contests early. Clinton won both states (uncontested in Michigan) and wants the results added to her tally. Candidates were supposedly not to campaign in either state to be in compliance with party rules. Obama's campaign argues that changing the rules would shatter the party in a fight that would ultimately result in many being dissatisfied and disgruntled.

House Democrats in Florida have voted down proposals for another primary in Florida so that is not going to happen. Another idea under consideration is to give each of Florida’s pledged delegates half a vote at the nominating convention and allow each of its super delegates a full vote. This situation is currently in a state of limbo.

Meanwhile, in Michigan, state Democratic leaders were preparing a plan for the national party to run a full statewide primary in early June. The new vote would be run by state election officials, but financed from private sources. State officials said the plan would cost about $10 million. Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, D-Michigan, said she is working with state Democratic leaders and the Clinton and Obama campaigns on a plan for another vote to ensure that all of Michigan's 156 delegates get seated at the national convention in August.

However, time is running out: Michigan lawmakers must approve a plan before they recess Thursday for a two-week break. The Democratic National Committee also must approve the proposal.

Clinton campaign officials have said they are open to any form of revote in Florida and Michigan except for a caucus, the type of contest in which Senator Obama has proved particularly strong. The Obama campaign opposes mail-in voting.

Meanwhile, the corporate media wages a not so subtle war against Obama, desperately reporting or digging up anything negative they can find. The most recent and unrelenting campaign has been to attack Senator Obama about his church leader, the Reverend Wright, who has been shown on YouTube and various media making inflammatory sermons regarding the plight of black Americans and the disastrous circumstances around 9-11 and Iraq.

In response to the unrelenting media coverage designed to make him look bad, Senator Obama made a heartfelt, disarmingly honest and impassioned speech yesterday to try to assuage fears and suspicions.

“I have already condemned, in unequivocal terms, the statements of Reverend Wright that have caused such controversy. For some, nagging questions remain. Did I know him to be an occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy? Of course. Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes. Did I strongly disagree with many of his political views? Absolutely – just as I’m sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors, priests, or rabbis with which you strongly disagreed.”

“I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother – a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe. These people are a part of me. And they are a part of America, this country that I love.”

For the text of the speech in its entirety:

http://my.barackobama.com/page/community/post/samgrahamfelsen/gGBbrc

Senator Obama runs on a platform of change and the international community is looking on to see if the country indeed is ready for change. So far a lot of mud slinging and stoking of ugly and base passions are going on.

Lisa KARPOVA

Pravda.RU

USA/CANADA

On December 10, 1948 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, its thirty articles enshrining basic and fundamental rights guaranteeing dignity of the human person and equality for all, regardless of race, color, creed or gender. A pipe dream?

Human Rights Day: Let us hang our heads in shame
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