December 5, 2012

Category: Real Talk

The Truth About Susan Rice

If you watched Barack Obama’s first official press conference after winning his re-election bid then you saw the President go ballistic when asked about the Republican’s response to U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s possible nomination for Secretary of State. To summarize, our Prezy said that anyone who has a problem with Ambassador Rice will have a problem with him. End scene! I feel Obama because the attack on Susan Rice is not only largely unfounded, but the language used to describe her is rooted in sexism and racism. If the recent Preseidential election taught us anything it affirmed two things: that women and people of color matter and that any attempts at our marginalization, silencing or disparagement will not be taken lightly. But clearly there is still much to learn as has been evidenced by the rhetoric used by the Right regarding Rice’s intelligence and experience.

The truth about Susan Rice is that she’s a DC native who graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University. She’s a Rhodes Scholar and she served as the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs under President Clinton. Yet somehow Senator McCain has said she isn’t “very bright” and that she’s “unqualified.” There’s more blame directed toward Ambassador Rice from the GOP than towards the Libyan terrorists who murdered Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and the three other Americans in Benghazi. It has to make you wonder how much of this criticism is really about her race & gender. Even Petraeus’s name has somehow disappeared from the headlines and McCain has never called him dumb or inexperienced. And I will not even go into the veritable erasure of Bush’s “gentlemanly C” average at Yale in mainstream political discourse. Instead I thought that talking about Susan Rice would be a great opportunity to look at the intersectionality of gender and race politics… especially when it’s bodied by intellectuality and success. So I posted my thoughts on Susan Rice vs. John McCain on Facebook and 5,529 views, 560 Likes and 65 comments later it’s clear to see race, politics and sexism is as hot and more explosive than a burning cocktail molotov.

The truth about Susan Rice is that she made some disparaging, yet fact-based comments about McCain’s foreign policy experience during his 2008 bid for Presidency. So maybe his critique of her intelligence and qualifications (the friggin Trump bullhorn yet again) is really just a case of sour grapes. Yeah I think someone needs to get him a seat and a popsicle and tell him to cool it!

Patriarchy is not men. Patriarchy is a system in which both women and men participate. It privileges, inter alia, the interests of boys and men over the bodily integrity, autonomy, and dignity of girls and women. It is subtle, insidious, and dangerous.” – Ashley Judd

The fact is there are four murdered individuals, but Ambassador Rice did not kill them! The fact that these politicians and the few individuals on my Facebook thread (black and white; men and women) are directing their ire towards her and focusing on if she lied or not is racist and sexist because through their allegations of her being ignorant they are making her the face of a crime she didn’t commit. Dumb b&tch! Dumb n&gger b*tch! Be clear that’s what they are insinuating. It is McCain and the other Repubs goal to not only discredit her, but to also strip Susan Rice of her dignity. One man commented on the FB post that the media should be demanding answers from her. Really? Nah homey, the media and anybody sincerely interested in justice should be demanding that the men responsible for these murders be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Too bad folks like him are more concerned about persecuting the UN Ambassador than they are about the fiscal cliff, than they are about the murder rate in Chicago, than they are even about insuring that the Libyan militia that stormed the Embassy is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. This is the truth of the matter and it’s very disturbing.

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