It looks like H.A. Goodman is at it again. You know, the guy who predicted Killer Mike was going to hand Sanders the presidency; that Hillary Clinton was going to finish third in Iowa; and that Bernie Sanders was going to win Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. Yeah… that guy.
Well, this time he’s claiming that Hillary Clinton mostly owes her success to “white privilege” while Bernie Sanders has “earned” his success.
No, seriously, that is what he wrote in two of his latest articles:
Because, apparently, a female who’s endured decades of sexism, overcome countless barriers, and has faced scrutiny that no other male politician has ever endured is the embodiment of “white privilege” – while the white male who’s from a state that’s 95 percent white has “earned” his success. Not to say Sanders hasn’t earned his career achievements, but Goodman’s premise is absurd.
Now, to be fair, Goodman did write this:
I appreciate the fact Hillary Clinton endured the sexism of the 1990’s and once courageously battled Gingrich and other Republicans. She’s earned a great deal of what she’s built, and alongside Bill Clinton, helped redefine American politics in many respects. (Source)
Though I can’t help but feel that’s the equivalent of “I have black friends so you can’t say that I’m a racist…so now I’m going to say something racist. But you can’t call me a racist because I have black friends, remember”?
Especially considering he wrote this about Clinton’s career achievements and current political successes:
Vermont’s Senator isn’t part of a political machine, wasn’t married to a president, and wasn’t appointed Secretary of State because of a political utility. (Source)
That’s him essentially saying that Clinton’s success is mostly because she is part of the “political machine,” because of her husband, and due to the fact a male president selected her to be his Secretary of State not because she was qualified, but for political reasons. In one short sentence he basically reduced decades of Clinton’s hard work and accomplishments to nothing more than her husband’s success and being used as a political prop by President Obama.
Goodman also claims that if she were a woman of color, she wouldn’t be where she is now based upon the “scandals” that follow her around. In both articles he emphasizes her “email controversy” as something no person of color could survive. Putting aside the fact that I find it rather strange that a so-called “liberal” frequently uses talking points taken directly from the conservative media and Fox News to attack Hillary Clinton, the fact remains that two former Secretary or States before her, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, were both found to have sent or stored emails on their private email servers that were retroactively classified. Now correct me if I’m wrong, but both individuals are African American, right? Well, last I checked neither of their servers are being used as political props to try to tarnish their names, suggest they should be in prison or claim that they put American national security at risk – all things Republicans are trying to claim about Clinton. So, I don’t think “race” has anything to do with this – though politics certainly does.
Again, that makes it all the more interesting that a “liberal” would use conservative talking points and propaganda against Clinton.
He also states that Sanders has a “value system,” unlike Clinton, because he was arrested in 1963 during a civil rights protest, while taking a shot at Clinton for being a “Goldwater girl” during that time. Because there’s nothing at all sexist about taking petty shots at a woman concerning something she did when she was 16-years-old, right? I mean, every male candidate is held accountable for their upbringing and things they did when they were sixteen, right?
Wait, no they’re not. But, hey, if Goodman thinks picking on a woman for something she did when she was a 16-year-old girl in high school is a valid criticism, by all means, go right ahead.
Though the following statement is perhaps the most ridiculous thing he said in either article:
If Michelle Obama had been involved in endless scandals, one can only imagine the effects on her political future, especially if she were to run for public office. Being a Clinton, and being a white woman, has benefited Hillary tremendously. (Source)
Actually, if anything, because of her last name and the fact that she’s a woman, Hillary Clinton has endured more scrutiny than possibly any other presidential candidate in history. Does she benefit in society because she’s white? Of course she does. But here’s a “newsflash” – so does every single white person. This is not exclusive to Hillary Clinton.
You know what, I was wrong – this was probably the most ridiculous thing he wrote:
In contrast, Bernie Sanders has indeed earned everything he’s ever accomplished in politics, and was never given a free pass on scandal or controversy. (Source)
Amazing, isn’t it? For a white male to dismiss the lengthy career Clinton has amassed, overcoming incredible sexism and countless other obstacles every step of the way, as “white privilege,” only to claim that the white male has “earned everything he’s ever accomplished in politics.”
Though what’s ironic is that he does say that Sanders has benefitted from white privilege – which essentially negates his entire “Sanders has earned everything he’s ever accomplished” argument. And last I checked, I didn’t see Sanders having to answer for supporting a bill that would have dumped toxic waste in Sierra Blanca, Texas; voting against a bill that would have increased punishments for sex offenders; or the fact that he voted for a deregulatory piece of legislation concerning Wall Street that led to the 2008 crash being worse. Though you certainly won’t see Goodman mention any of that.
Goodman also frequently tries to paint Clinton as a racist, typically by citing a not-at-all racist campaign ad from 2008 or by citing a few African Americans who agree with him.
Though I can’t help but laugh at the fact that a white male seems to think he knows more about who is or isn’t racist than, say, civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis, the Congressional Black Caucus or even around 87-90 percent of the African American population of South Carolina who just gave Clinton a huge win over Sanders.
I’ve met plenty of great Sanders supporters and I think Bernie Sanders is a genuinely good guy. I’m remaining optimistic and confident that when it’s all said and done we’ll unite to make damn sure Republicans don’t win the White House this November. But this type of garbage I’ve been seeing constantly on Huffington Post and Salon lately is the sort of attitude and writing that gives Bernie and those who support him a bad name.
If you want to talk about white male privilege, look no further than a white male, H.A. Goodman, claiming that a female hasn’t really earned her success, while another white male has earned everything he’s accomplished… while also seemingly claiming to know more about racism, or who is or isn’t racist, than the Congressional Black Caucus, civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis or the overwhelming majority of African American voters who are supporting Clinton.
Here’s my suggestion. The next time Mr. H.A. Goodman wants to write an article about white privilege, especially from males, might I suggest he do one on himself. Because, in my opinion, these two articles are the epitome of white male privilege.