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Privileged, anxious: Let’s not talk about who’s got it worse

Mark Halperin’s comments yesterday that the Hillary campaign was presenting Obama’s race as an argument to superdelegates to get them to cross sides into her camp left me confused: is sexism worse than racism, so we need to vote for Hillary because things would change more, or is racism worse than sexism, so we need to vote for Hillary because Obama can’t win in the general?

Because we’ve definitely heard both. I don’t know how many Clinton supporters have made the former, from Gloria Steinem to Geraldine Ferraro, and for those of us sitting on the sidelines of these two profoundly complex and privileged people getting caricatured as their race and sex, it’s annoying. And such comments are definitely not moving the discussion forward.

As I’ve said time and time again, to say flatly that one is worse than the other erases the intersections of race and gender, rendering black women invisible and white men normal, denies the way factors such as ability and class play into the lives of the candidates, and ignores the multiple narratives on race and gender that work differently to prevent people from reaching various aspects of their potential.