Race, Sex, and Leadership in America

 

Imagine a thought experiment in which the following transpired:

  • A black man who is candidate for president derides his single female opponent for the nomination, “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that?!” (Donald Trump talking about Carli Fiorina.)
  • A black man who is candidate for president charges a female actress and comedian with being “disgusting, both inside and out.” With being a “slob” who “talks like a truck driver.” (Donald Trump talking about Rose O’Donnell.)
  • A black man who is candidate for president labels a former Miss Universe “Miss Piggy,” claiming she had gained a lot of weight, and “Miss Housekeeping,” presumably because she was Latina. (Donald Trump talking about Alicia Machado.)
  • A black man who is candidate for president describes a female television anchor, “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.” (Donald Trump talking about Megyn Kelly.)
  • A black man who is candidate for president boasts on tape about being a sexual predator. “I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it, you can do anything…grab them by the pussy.” (Donald Trump talking to Billy Bush.)
  • A black man who is president of the United States demeans a female television host for her “low I.Q.” and mocks her for having bled “badly from a face-lift.”

Given the fraught history of race and sex in America, it’s impossible to imagine candidate Barack Obama, or President Barack Obama, getting away with what Donald Trump has been allowed. It’s a singularly striking, and dreadfully depressing example of white privilege.

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