When People magazine asked Michelle Obama last month about her “personal experience” with racism, she cited a 2011 visit to a Target store in Virginia.
“The only person who came up to me in the store was a woman who asked me to help her take something off a shelf,” the first lady said. “Because she didn’t see me as the first lady, she saw me as someone who could help her. Those kinds of things happen in life.”
Why is it “racist” for a short white woman to ask a much taller woman (Ms. Obama is 5 feet, 11 inches) who happens to be black to get a box of detergent for her from a high shelf?
Racism and sexism are nearly as rampant in America today as half a century ago, some liberals suggest. The first lady’s anecdote illustrates how difficult it is to find evidence to support this charge.
The greatest civil rights leader dreamed in 1963 “that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
Jim Crow was killed by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Since the 1970s, blacks have been admitted to colleges and universities with grades and test scores below those of other students, been given preference in hiring for many jobs. For decades now, Martin Luther King’s dream has largely been true.
Unthinkable in 1968, improbable in 1988, Americans in 2008 elected a (half) black man president of the United States. But there are those who say the fact that many who voted for Barack Obama have since soured on him proves racism endures.
The growth and impoverishment of the black underclass in cities governed for decades by Democrats is our greatest domestic tragedy. Blaming it on mostly mythical white racism obscures the real causes, prevents solutions.
But if liberals acknowledged the progress that’s been made, more blacks might wonder why all the “help” they’ve gotten from Democrats has done them so little good. So they pretend every year is 1963.
Half a century ago, career opportunities for women pretty much were limited to nursing, teaching, the secretarial pool. Women today are doctors, lawyers, corporate CEOs, generals and admirals.
The pay gap has all but disappeared for women who work in the same fields as men and have done so for just as long. Young women in urban areas earned about 8 percent more than their male peers, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report in 2009.
Holly Lynne, my granddaughter, born Dec. 23, will be able to do pretty much whatever she wants to do and likely will be paid more for doing it than will boys her age.
Workplace equality wouldn’t be on the cusp of achievement were it not for the efforts of early feminists. But feminism died as a civil rights movement when “the sisterhood” embraced President Bill Clinton despite his serial abuse of women.
Hillary Clinton, who got to start at the top because she’s Bill’s wife, is a feminist heroine, despite having orchestrated smear campaigns against the women who accused him of sexual misconduct. So are Elizabeth Warren, who obtained appointment to the faculty of Harvard Law School after claiming, falsely, to be of Native American descent, and Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke, fired for incompetence by the family firm (she says she was “downsized”).
But the first female fighter pilot to fly in combat, the first female Hispanic governor, the first African-American woman to be secretary of state aren’t feminist heroines because they’re Republicans.
To be a feminist today is to be a dishonest shill for Democrats. To deny progress, they push their definition of “sexism” ever further into the realm of absurdity. Lately, feminists in New York City are having hissy fits over “man-spreading,” the tendency of male subway riders to sit with their knees apart.
Nothing in politics is more despicable than sowing race and gender discord for partisan advantage.