Monday Reads: “Excuse me, I’m Talking!”Posted: March 7, 2016
So, we’re past Super Tuesday and heading towards the Ides of March. I didn’t think I’d learn much new from the Democratic Debate in Michigan last night. There may have not been any new information but there certainly was a lot of reinforcements of impressions and old information.
Y’all know me. I’m a nerdy girl. I always have been. I play piano. I paint. I love animation. I read The Hobbit in 4th grade for the first of many times and discovered Dr. Who in Grad school. I had a comic book collection as a kid. I was in every AP class in High School. I have a doctorate in financial economics which means I use the same damn math that Rocket Scientists and theoretical physicists use. I love anything nonfiction and documentary. I’ve worked at the FED, lots of banks, and I’ve taught university. I’ve been nearly the only damn woman in the work environment or class many, many times. I had to go through a lot to get there and stay there. I’ve been the brains behind a stupid CEO in quite a few states and cities.
So, believe me when I tell you that there’s always one old quack in the room that talks over women, gives nonverbal cues that what we say is unappreciated, and feels that his opinion is the only one that’s important. Every single one of those experiences came flooding back to me last night in living color accompanied by the ol’ heebie jeebies. Oh, and I’m white and any one whose been to my house prior to the flood of young white hipsters would likely call my neighborhood a “ghetto”. WTF?
* Bernie Sanders: The senator from Vermont had effectively walked a fine line in the previous six debates when it came to attacking Clinton without coming across as bullying or condescending. He tripped and fell while trying to execute that delicate dance on Sunday night. Sanders’s “excuse me, I’m talking” rebuttal to Clinton hinted at the fact that he was losing his temper with her. His “Can I finish, please?” retort ensured that his tone and his approach to someone trying to become the first female presidential nominee in either party would be THE story of the night.
You don’t have to be a woman making her way in a primarily male environment for work to be continually hushed by men. We all know the rules of communication are different for us. We have to interrupt frequently to just get a freaking word in edgewise.
It seems the only thing of importance that happened at last night’s Democratic debate is that Hillary Clinton interrupted Bernie Sanders and he shushed her. This has erupted into a big debate on the Twitters and Facespace thing, but I actually think it’s an important topic we need to discuss.
The rules of communication are different for women and men.
Here’s the deal, guys: women don’t like to be shushed. At all. If my husband ever tells me to be quiet or shush — yes, it’s happened — it elicits an intense, visceral, negative response. It makes me furious. And when it happens in a professional setting? It pushes every feminist button I own.
Why? Because you’re telling me I’m not important. You’re discounting me. You’re saying my ideas don’t matter, and that I don’t have the right to express them.
Men interrupt each other all the time and I daresay they don’t have that same response. It’s just how they communicate. But men and women come at communication from very different places.
The way we communicate is one of the many subtle ways women are expected to take a subservient role in society. I know it looks like we’ve come a long way, baby — hey we can vote and wear pants, huzzah — but when you look at basic social interactions, we’re constantly sent the contradictory message that we are second place. We get talked over, our ideas don’t matter, our issues aren’t important to the country at large they’re “women’s issues,” so who really gives a shit. Our work is worth less. Our effort is less valuable. This is the world from a professional woman’s point of view.
“But Beale,” you say, “Hillary interrupted him.” Yes, she did. Of course she did. And this is another thing about the difference between male and female communication: professional women always have to assert themselves to express their opinion. Because women are talked over all the damn time, it’s something we’ve lived with for generations, and many of us have learned how to interrupt if we want to say something.
But, that wasn’t the only moment where we had our doubts about Bernie’s ability to absorb and be interested in the rights of Americans and the
intersectionality of racism, misogyny, xenophobia and sexual preference. Those of us that experienced the “White People Don’t Know What It’s Like To Live In The ‘Ghetto’ ” moment last night nearly had a collective heart attack if we knew anything about code words used to race-bait since the adoption of Nixon’s Southern Strategy. (Follow that link to a great article by historian Heather Cox Richardson on how the Republicans got to their FrankenTrump Monster.)
Movement Conservatives fought to take control of the party from moderate Republicans. Movement Conservatives stood firmly against taxes and government activism, but they built their power by adding racism to their anti-government crusade. They argued that tax dollars redistributed wealth from hardworking white people to undeserving people of color and women. This argument proved a winner when Movement Conservative Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater’s only five states in 1964–aside from his home state—were in the Deep South. In 1968, Nixon captured Goldwater voters by adopting the Southern Strategy to assure white southerners that the days of federal enforcement of civil rights were ending. In 1980, Reagan began his general election campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi, where three civil rights workers had been murdered during Freedom Summer, and told the crowd, “I believe in states’ rights.” The message was unmistakable. He also used the image of the “Welfare Queen,” a black woman who stole tax dollars by making fraudulent welfare claims, in winning the presidency.With a Movement Conservative in the White House, the faction’s leaders tied the Republican Party to tax cuts, the deregulation of business, and the end of social welfare policies. Then, when even racism did not produce enough popular support for their economic policies, leaders welcomed evangelical voters into their movement, promising them conservative social legislation in exchange for their votes.
Trump has just been refreshingly openly racist to the point that he’s publicly attracting white supremacists. It seems to be how he won Louisiana since his big supporter turn out was in David Duke’s old district. New Orleans’ segregationist suburbs gave him his win. No wonder he was so obtuse about Congressman Steve Scalise’s old Stormfront buddies. He’s dropped the old code words and gone straight for the hate.
Now, imagine our surprise when those code words show up on the lips of a candidate for the Democratic nomination in today’s Democratic Party which is solidly supported by the country’s African American voters.
Social media lit up after U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders told debate watchers “when you’re white, you don’t know what it’s like to be living in a ghetto” during the Flint Democratic presidential primary debate.
The answer came after CNN anchor Don Lemon asked the candidates about possible “racial blind spots” they may have.
“(W)hen you’re white, you don’t know what it’s like to be living in a ghetto,” Sanders responded. “You don’t know what it’s like to be poor. You don’t know what it’s like to be hassled when you walk down the street or you get dragged out of a car.”
He then went on to call for an end to systemic racism.
But, the statement drew mixed reviews from those on social media.
I spent a good deal of last night and this morning trying to gently explain the entire concept to a really white young guy going to SFU.
So, here’s my nice young BernieBro’s whitesplain. I’ve withheld the name to protect the ignorant.
This is just an opinion, but I don’t think it was that offensive, especially in the context with which he used it by Sen. Sanders in that debate.
There are ways with which you should and should not use “ghetto” in describing something. Using it to describe the terribly unfortunate and specific living circumstances of some families is proper use of that terminology in my eyes.
Again, just my opinion.
He answered the question on institutional racism by using code words and paradigms of white male privilege. Bringing single women into middle class livelihoods will not mean they will not be making 70¢ on the male dollar any more. Bringing black people into or beyond the middle class will not make access to jobs, education,loans or neighborhoods necessarily available. Poverty occurs across gender and racial lines but the experience of poverty or even middle or upper class livelihoods intersect with racism and misogyny which still exist despite income levels. We have plenty of poor whites in this country but when privileged white men use words like “ghetto” or “thug” we know they are code words specifically applied to the black community. It’s a way to apply the “n” word without speaking it. When white folks are unable to see these things it is because of blind spots they develop while living in a society that advantages whites. While I can never truly experience racism, I can watch and listen to others experience of it and learn about my blind spots and experience of privilege. It’s evident that Sanders has not done this in his many years of living and public service. A person with a tin ear cannot truly experience enough empathy to find ways of leading policy to places where problems are solved for all communities.
And of course, the usual “I have to have the last word cause I’m the guy in this conversation” keeps bringing back responses. I keep getting whitesplaining and mansplaining in one fell swoop. For some reason, these folks are convinced that Bernie was the white MLK. I have no idea why.
You bring up great points, but I disagree that Sanders hasn’t tried to look into his blindness and see past his privilege in order to and understand what poverty and living circumstances look like for poor black families vs other poor families, or even more specifically black folks in general (no matter their walk of life or income levels).
His work during his younger years in university more than establish that, which certainly carries in to a lot of his policies and thoughts as Senator.
To that end, I still don’t think that just because he’s privileged and white that he should be barred from using such terminology as “ghetto” when describing someone’s living situation. Like I said above, the way he said it seemed incorrect, but I seriously doubt that he would stick to that exact wording were he able to elaborate further on what it means to be poverty stricken, no matter your race or ethnicity.
I believe this for my before-mentioned point at the beginning.
You know me, I can’t let this go.
Ok. So my final point on this is to ask you to listen to what black people are saying rather than to rationalize in your mind that both you and Sanders couldn’t possibly be whitesplaining or under the influence of a blind spot.
At this point, my friend wakes up and takes up the lesson.
Kathryn: your last comment on this is spot on.
Sorry, but your defense of Sanders is sort of like when I hear my white friends say, “my grandad is not racist, but…”
While I don’t believe Sanders’s comment came from a place of malice, his experiences POST college activist days (because who hasn’t done crazy shit when they were in college?) have clearly left him out of touch with the black community. The dude was totally winging this answer. And you’d think that after being shut out by black lives matter, and after being crowned by white people as the white Dr. King, he’d be able to speak more intelligently on this subject.
But no. He is, as Clinton pointed out, a one issue candidate. If the topic doesn’t revolve around breaking up big banks, or if he’s unable to pivot to Wall Street, Sanders knows nothing.
Nah, Kathryn is right: Ghetto is a code word that is specifically applied to the black community by politicians. Bernie used it that way himself!
There it is, whitesplaining. I guess that’s the trump card.
I did watch the debate, and I don’t understand why you’d think that I wouldn’t understand the moderators question, though, Lester.
I have a question for you though. Kathryn and yourself both mentioned that white males are of privilege, and in Bernie’s case also a politician, use that word to only make mention of the black community.
My question is, would it miraculously be ok for a white male in the middle class to mention ghettos when talking about poverty and living circumstances when, let’s say, maybe he came from the ghetto himself?
I just want to clear the air with that. That seems to be where a lot of this is stemming from.
He continues to be as obtuse as Bernie. Albeit, he’s young so he still has a chance, I suppose. There were many things that upset me last night. None of these things have made me into a Bernie Fan. Just the opposite.
One of the more interesting things I found out was that the NRA was happily tweeting support for Bernie last night. This continues to concern me mightily.
During the debate, CNN moderator Anderson Cooper argued that a suit brought by families of the victims from the Sandy Hook shooting against Remington may not go anywhere. He asked Sanders what he would say to those families.
Sanders replied that if a gun was legally purchased, he disagreed with holding the gun manufacturer liable.
“If that is the point, I have to tell you I disagree. I disagree because you hold people — in terms of this liability thing, where you hold manufacturers’ liable is if they understand that they’re selling guns into an area that — it’s getting into the hands of criminals, of course, they should be held liable.
“But if they are selling a product to a person who buys it legally, what you’re really talking about is ending gun manufacturing in America. I don’t agree with that.”
Hillary Clinton‘s campaign has sought to use Sanders’s position on guns against him. It has particularly lambasted his vote in favor of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) in 2005.
Critics say the law provides gun manufacturers with an unprecedented form of immunity that no other industry enjoys, but supporters maintain that it protects the firearms industry from frivolous lawsuits.
The NRA’s tweet for Sanders was quickly highlighted by Correct the Record, a super-PAC that backs Clinton.
Here are the remaining March Election Dates for your information.
Hawaii — Republican Party Caucus March 8, 2016
Idaho — Scheduled Elections: US President for Republican Party and US President for Constitution Party March 8, 2016
Michigan — Presidential Primary Election Day March 8, 2016
Mississippi — State Primary and Presidential Primary Election Day March 8, 2016
Washington DC — Republican Party Convention : Number of Delegates: 19 Total Delegates March 12, 2016
Florida — Presidential Preference Primary Election March 15, 2016
Illinois — Presidential Primary Election and State Primary Election Day March 15, 2016
Missouri — Presidential Preference Primary March 15, 2016
Northern Marianas — Republican Party Caucus : Number of Delegates: 9 Total Delegates March 15, 2016
North Carolina — Presidential Primary and State Primary Election Day March 15, 2016
Ohio — Presidential Primary and State Primary Election Day March 15, 2016
Virgin Islands — Republican Party Caucus : Number of Delegates: 9 Total Delegates March 19, 2016
Idaho — Democratic Party Caucus March 22, 2016
Utah — Presidential Preference Primary Election March 22, 2016
Alaska — Democratic Party Caucus March 26, 2016
Hawaii — Democratic Party Caucus March 26, 2016
Washington — Democratic Party Caucus March 26, 2016
Clinton Opens Up Huge Lead in Michigan (Clinton 66% – Sanders 29%)
There continue to be other lies mentioned by Sanders that keep getting repeated. First, he keeps at the how he tried to single handedly stop Wall Street from getting Big Banks when he voted for the Deregulation of Derivatives which was probably the one piece of deregulation law that had the most to do with creating the concentration in banking. Clinton first slammed him with it the CNN debate back on January 18. He’s not stopped the charade.
“You’re the only one on this stage that voted to deregulate the financial market in 2000,” Clinton said, making reference to his support for former President Bill Clinton’s Commodity Futures Modernization Act.
The law effectively gave bankers, or “sophisticated traders,” free rein from pre-existing oversight mechanisms when they wanted to make deals on the sidelines of the major stock exchanges, in “over-the-counter” trading.
Clinton himself would later cop to having made a serious mistake in signing the bill, saying he didn’t understand the extent to which these deals, if they went bad, could ripple across the global economy.
“Even if less than 1% of the total investment community in derivative exchanges, so much money was involved that if they went bad, they could effect 100% of the investments,” he told ABC’s “This Week” in 2010.
The new interesting slam to Sanders was Michigan specific. He voted against helping the Auto Industry because it might help Wall Street at the same time. He was against and for but somewhat against the very successful Auto Bailout. This is another nuanced vote where Sanders decided he wasn’t going to vote for the bill because “purity”.
The bank bailout was so big it had to be doled out in portions. In January 2009, Senate Republicans tried to block the Treasury Department from releasing the second half of the money, some of which was designated for the auto industry. Sanders, based on his opposition to the Wall Street bailout, voted against releasing that money as well.
That vote gave Clinton the opening she needed to hit Sanders as anti-auto bailout on Sunday. “If everybody had voted the way he did, I believe the auto industry would have collapsed, taking 4 million jobs with it,” she said.
(Side note: Having your votes picked apart by opponents is one reason whyit’s tough to run for president as a senator.)
Clinton is technically correct that Sanders voted against releasing the money that went to the auto bailout, but Sanders can also correctly argue that he supported the auto bailout when it wasn’t tied to the Wall Street one.
This back and forth likely isn’t going anywhere; expect both to claim as much over the next few days.
The Export-Import Bank conversation was even more interesting because Sanders actually agrees with Tea Party crazies on this who think it’s a waste of Tax Payer money. Let me get wonky on you. Remember I’m a nerdy girl and economist to boot!
Ex-Im exists to help American businesses sell to customers abroad. Recently, it’s not only not been costing taxpayers anything, it has returned significant amounts of money to the Treasury in the same way Fed profits do.. Bernie’s position threatens a significant number of US jobs. The competitive position of companies like Boeing would be impacted. Boeing specifically needs Ex-Im because it has one competitor on the global stage; Airbus. This industry is a classic duopoly. Airbus is a European entity that enjoys significant support from its own government when competing with contracts around the world. This is actually one area where every one is better off with our Government helping that corporation who couldn’t compete with Airbus given its subsidies. The bank has not relied on any taxpayer money since 2008.
Every year Congress sets a limit on the bank’s financial activities. The bank then borrows money from the Treasury to give out direct loans, which it pays back with interest.
Since 2008, the bank has not relied on taxpayer dollars to cover its operational costs and loan loss reserves. Instead, the bank charges customers fees and interest that it uses to cover those costs in full. Often, the fees generate a surplus, which the bank gives back to the Treasury. In the past five years, the bank has given back $2 billion.
Additionally, the bank’s default rates have historically been lower than private financial institutions — the current default rate is less than 0.25 percent.
The bank hasn’t been completely without losses, though. In 1987, several straight years of losses of more than $250 million to $300 million forced the bank to ask Congress for a $3 billion bailout.
The most recent losses were in the 1990s, following the 1997 Asian financial crisis, said Export-Import Bank Advisory Board member Gary Hufbauer, also a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, a nonpartisan think tank.
Still, the bank has generated an overall profit of more than $5 billion for the Treasury since 1990. But just looking at cash flow doesn’t give us a full picture.
My final issue with the Bernie lies and tin ear comments is that he continues to insist that he does not take Super Pac Money. Sanders keeps earning Pinocchios for this one. Here’s a pretty comprehensive article on that from Time magazine.
I just would like to add one more thing about last night’s debate. The more I see and hear from the man, the more of an active dislike I take. He should quit before no Dem will work with him in Congress.
Sorry for the really long and late post but I had a helluva lot to say. I probably should’ve put up Nancy Reagan’s obit as a nicety but I still remember how political she was to Rock Hudson at the beginning of the AIDS crisis. I’ll let The Advocate talk about her mixed responses on that account.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?