Really, McCain – That’s An “Excellent Question”!?

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Not sure what’s worse:   (1) that  this question was asked; (2) McCain’s  insulting response; or (3) that  67% of poll respondents (when I cast my vote) think  he did a “good job” handling it.

-Kathleen  A. Bergin  

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0 Responses to Really, McCain – That’s An “Excellent Question”!?

  1. Ann Bartow says:

    Phew that is depressing.

  2. rootlesscosmo says:

    I can’t wait to see what McCain says when asked “How do we stop the nigger?”

  3. Ralph M. Stein says:

    He did a poor job. I would never vote for Mc Cain because of his stand on abortion alone but as a veteran I respect him for what he endured for our country.

  4. Ann Bartow says:

    rootlesscosmo,
    I didn’t edit your comment, but even seeing that word in the comments thread here makes me kind of ill, by which I mean that word holds a lot more negative power for me than “bitch” which I never would have considered editing. Why that is is something I need to think about.

  5. rootlesscosmo says:

    I wasn’t sure I should post the word, or use asterisks, or a circumlocution; I would have understood if you’d decided to edit my comment or simply ignore it. I agree, that’s still the ugliest slur in our language, but I also agree we need to examine why slurs that carry an equal weight of hostility, like “bitch,” seem less taboo. That–sort of clumsily–was what I was trying to suggest: that if someone asked McCain the hypothetical question I posed, his reaction would almost certainly have been very different, and if not–if he’d said “Good question”–he would have been sharply reproved in the media. This isn’t, of course, a simple matter of asigning racism and sexism relative factor weights in our society–matters are much more complex (and interactive) than that. It does, as you say, highlight the need to continue examining how various kinds of structural injustice are connected via the informal rules of public discourse.

  6. Kathleen Bergin says:

    In relative terms, I too am more repulsed by the N-word, than the B-word, though both have an undeniable sting.

    Perhaps it is a function of different histories, but I can’t help but think there’s an element of white guilt, privilege and revisionism involved as well. Do I, as a white woman, find the N-word so repulsive because I feel guilty for being a beneficiary of, if not responsible for, racism against people of color? Is my repulsion to the word a function of shame instead of solidarity? Is my protest an attempt to revise history, to cleanse the collective sins of the past in order to deny their continued impact on the present, and thereby legitimize the bundle of unearned racial privileges I receive as a white woman?

    Measuring relative insults may be itself a racist and sexist exercise. In contemplating the responses to this post, I realized that when seeing the N-word, I subconsciously visualize an insult to a black man. When seeing the B-word, I subconsciously visualize an insult to a white woman. It takes a moment of conscious reflection to remember that black women, unlike myself, are in fact slandered by both.

    Finally, not knowing the racial identity of each responder to the post, I’m left wondering what it means when a conversation exploring the emotional reaction to such loaded terms may be taking place exclusively among whites.