I've always believed that George Herbert Walker Bush's appointment of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court was an example of white supremacy. Here's my reasoning: the venerable Thurgood Marshall had dedicated his life to advancing the cause of African-American civil rights in this country, (serving as the lead attorney for the NAACP in the landmark 1954 ruling, Brown v. Board of Education, that marked the beginning of the end of racial segregation in the South).
Later, President John F. Kennedy had to face down the southern wing of his own party to appoint Marshall to the federal bench, and in 1965 President Lyndon Johnson elevated him to the Supreme Court, the first African American in history to serve on our highest court. When Marshall retired Poppy Bush told the civil rights community: "Oh, you people want a black man in that seat? Well, here's Clarence Thomas for ya!" He chose an unqualified, inexperienced, right-wing hack who stood for everything that Thurgood Marshall was against. When Marshall was on his way out he said: "A black snake can bite you just as bad as a white snake." Since he joined the Court, Justice Thomas has consistently ruled against the interests of African Americans thereby undoing much of the legacy that Marshall had worked so hard to create. In my view, that is an act of white supremacy -- using a black face to undo black social gains.
John McCain's choice of Sarah Palin to be his Vice Presidential running mate I see in similar terms. This is misogyny -- using a female face to undermine feminist gains. McCain saw how the gender gap was widening and witnessed the Hillary phenomenon and declared: "Oh, you people want a woman on the ticket? Well, here's Sarah Palin for ya!" Palin is an unqualified, inexperienced, right-wing hack who stands against everything for which the women's movement in this country has fought for over the past 40 years. She is a Christian fundamentalist who is anti-choice, anti-stem cell research, anti-environment, and wants a Constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.
With Palin's choice as his running mate, John McCain is telling America's women that he'll sacrifice their reproductive rights with a smile and a nod and the assistance of a "professional" woman who is a fur-wearing former beauty queen. Now THAT'S misogyny!
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