Hillary Clinton's phony black accent panned

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
Thu Apr 26 13:32:55 UTC 2007

Hillary Clinton's phony black accent panned

In 1992, then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton hit a political home run
with his "Sister Souljah" moment. In 2007, U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton,
D-N.Y., suffered a reverse "Sister Souljah" strikeout. If it isn't the end
of her presidential aspirations, it should be. Allow me to explain.
Fifteen years ago, Bill Clinton was looking to solidify his centrist
credentials. An obscure quote by an obscure black radical rapper provided
the perfect exploitable opportunity. In the wake of the Los Angeles riots,
Souljah was interviewed by The Washington Post.  "If black people kill
black people every day," Souljah wondered aloud, "why not have a week and
kill white people?"

Bill Clinton took to the bully pulpit at the Rainbow Coalition and
denounced Sister Souljah. "If you took the words "white' and "black' and
you reversed them," Clinton lectured sternly, "you might think David Duke
was giving that speech." Political cheerleaders framed this as an act of
political bravery -- publicly repudiating an extremist racial separatist's
rhetoric to demonstrate independence from minority grievance-mongers in
the Democrat Party.

Disqualifying goofs

Hillary Clinton, whom conventional wisdom mistakenly casts as the smarter,
more disciplined politician of the household, didn't learn from her
husband's Sister Souljah triumph. She turned it on its head. Instead of
dissociation with racial extremists, she has chosen ingratiation. And the
results are comedy bordering on political suicide. Strike one came last
January, standing at the pulpit at the Canaan Baptist Church with racial
racketeer, the Rev. Al Sharpton, in Harlem. Affecting a strange
Southern-spiced-with-street twang during a Martin Luther King Jr.  Day
celebration, Hillary Clinton sassed:

"For the last five years, we've had no. Power. At all. And that makes a
big difference, because when you look at the way the House of
Representatives has been run, it has been run like a plantation. And you
know what I'm talkin' about." "We"? "Plantation"? Whatchu talkin' 'bout,
H-dawg? All that was missing was an "Oh, snap!" and a talk-to-the-hand
motion for pandering punctuation. Strike two came earlier this year in
Selma, Ala. Commemorating the bloody 1965 civil rights march that helped
roll back segregation in the South, Hillary Clinton painfully recited from
an old gospel hymn: "Aww don't feel noways tired. I've come too faarrr
from where I started frum. . . . Aww could have listened all day luung."
The speech was met with universal derision.


Yet, last week, with Sharpton at her side at his annual National Action
Network demagogue-a-thon in New York, Hillary pulled out the contrived
black accent again: "We have ta reform our government. The abuses that
have gone on in the last six years -- I don' think we know the half of it
yet. You know, when I walk into the Oval Office in January of 2009, I'm
afraid I'm gonna lift up the rug and I'm goin' to see so much stuff
uh-nder thar. . . . You know, what is it about us always havin' to clean
up after people? . . . But this is not just going to be pickin' up socks
off the floor. This is going to be cleanin' up the government." "Us always
havin' to clean up after people"?

Strike three.

Still unable to control her desperately pandering tongue, Sister Hillary
invoked Harriet Tubman -- yes, Harriet Tubman! -- to compare the travails
of some malfunctioning audio equipment during a campaign speech: "There
may be some bumps along the road! You know this reminds me of one of my
favorite American heroines, Harriet Tubman. For when she made it to
freedom after having been a slave and she got to New York and she could
have been so happy to just stay at home and just breathe a big sigh of
relief but she kept going back down South to bring other freed slaves to
freedom. And she used to say, "No matter what happens, keep going.' So
we're going to keep going until we take back the White House!" It is clear
Hillary Clinton surrounds herself with fearful sycophants -- and a
neglectful or, perhaps, subversively spiteful husband -- who don't have
the guts to tell her to put her awful blackface voice in a lockbox and
throw away the key. Now, it may be too late. People of every color who
hear the cringe-worthy condescension of the increasingly clownish Hillary
Clinton are coming to the same conclusion:

You be trippin', girl.



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