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Like Fudge on Rice

Would the Congressional Black Caucus be defending Susan Rice if her first name were Condoleezza?

By 11.20.12

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Last Friday, Ohio Congresswoman Marcia Fudge made a most demagogic debut as the newly elected Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. During a press conference, the three-term Democrat from the Buckeye state's 11th District criticized Senator John McCain for his criticisms of UN Ambassador Susan Rice:

There is a clear, a clear in my opinion, sexism and racism that goes with these comments that are being made by, unfortunately, Senator McCain and others.

For good measure, Fudge also said, "It is a shame that anytime something goes wrong, they pick on women and minorities."

Why yes, of course, that's exactly why McCain criticized Rice. McCain can't possibly be criticizing Rice because she made erroneous statements about the September 11th attacks in Benghazi on behalf of the Obama Administration. What other reason would McCain have for criticizing Rice other than she's black and a woman?

John McCain can be accused of many things. Being racist and sexist isn't amongst them. Unfortunately, McCain can't win for trying. Remember during the 2008 presidential race when McCain called Georgia Congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis one of his three greatest heroes at Rick Warren's Saddleback Forum? And how did Lewis repay McCain's kindness? He compared him to George Wallace.

So if Lewis can muddy the waters after McCain pays him a compliment, then what's to stop Fudge from, well, fudging things further, when McCain dares offer a criticism? Given her dual accusations of racism and sexism, one could argue she's double fudging matters. Should President Obama appoint Rice his next Secretary of State, you can be sure that Fudge will cry racism and sexism like fudge on rice.

Of course, Fudge is hardly alone here. Enter Rep. Gwen Moore, a Democrat from Wisconsin's 4th District and also a member of the Congressional Black Caucus. Moore said:

To batter this woman because they don't feel they have the ability to batter President Obama is something we the women are not going to stand by and watch.

Now if McCain or any other Republican were to "batter" President Obama, Moore would be the first to cry racism against McCain for having the temerity to criticize Obama. Naturally, Moore wants to have her fudge and eat it too.

It never ceases to amaze how any criticism of a black public official by a white public official must be motivated solely by race. It also never ceases to amaze how any criticism of a female public official by a male public official must be motivated solely by gender. If the public official in question happens to be both black and female, then all bets are off.

Does it ever occur to those who cry racism and sexism that the criticism might actually motivated by something that black and/or female public official has said and/or done? Of course it doesn't because those who cry racism and sexism believe that said black and female public officials are beyond criticism in the first place.

Well, actually that's not entirely true. All things considered, not all grains of race are created equal -- at least in the eyes of the Congressional Black Caucus. When was the last time the Congressional Black Caucus stuck up for Condoleezza Rice? When was the last time the Congressional Black Caucus characterized Condi Rice's critics as racist and sexist?

I won't keep you in suspense. The Congressional Black Caucus never defended Condi Rice.

Come to think of it, where is the Congressional Black Caucus regarding Allen West? If West were a liberal Democrat, the Congressional Black Caucus would make his recount their top priority. They would be crying fraud and minority voter suppression. But since West is a conservative, Tea Party activist, they won't give him the time of day. The fact that West joined the Congressional Black Caucus shortly after being elected to Congress in 2010 apparently doesn't count for anything. It could very well be said that the Congressional Black Caucus treats West as the black sheep of their family.

If we reach the day that the Congressional Black Caucus can treat Susan Rice and Condi Rice the same, then we will have turned a corner in our country's political discourse. Yet somehow I don't think the Congressional Black Caucus is going to jump on this like fudge on rice anytime soon.

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About the Author
Aaron Goldstein writes from Boston, Massachusetts.