Geraldine Ferraro is back in the news once more. She gained some degree of notoriety with her comment to the effect that Obama’s success is due to his being a black man.
Not surprisingly, some people accused her of being a racist. When Wright’s comments about America and whites started making the rounds, some people started comparing her to Wright.
In reply, Ferraro asserted that it is “unbelievable” to compare what she said to what Wright said. She further added that Obama’s speech failed to “address the fact that this man is up there spewing hatred.” She expressed concern that young people (including “younger people than Obama”) would be exposed to this hatred.
Ferraro does have a point. Young people, including those younger than Obama, can be influenced by such words and presumably encouraged to hate. This, not surprisingly, would not do the youth any good. It would also not be good for the country in general. After all, what good arises from such hate?
Are Ferraro’s remarks on par with those of Wright?
On one hand, it can be argued that they are not. Even if it is granted that her claim was racist, her remark about Obama was not as extreme as the remarks made by Wright. For example, she did not call on people to damn Obama. As such, to say that her remarks are on par with those of Wright would be like saying that a single punch is on par with a beating.
On the other hand, it could be argued that what is important is not the severity or extremity of her remark, but that it was made at all. True, her remark was not as extreme or as hateful as that of Wright-but she still (allegedly)crossed the line into racism. To use an analogy, punching someone in the face is not as bad as beating them. But, the punch does cross the line into the realm of assault. As such, while Ferraro’s remark was not as extreme as Wright’s remarks, it could be claimed that she belongs in the same category as Wright.