But I Voted for Shirley Chisholm

SlutWalk-Sign.jpg

Obviously I disapprove of this sign. And as I've said before, I don't think opportunistically quoting Shirley Chisholm or factoring out actual human beings to determine their precise privilege quotient is particularly clarifying.

With that said, as with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, it's always good to understand the roots of the angst. For my part, watching  a major presidential candidate who's been accused of sexual harassment multiple times, crack Anita Hill jokes, deride the first woman to rise to Speaker of the House as "Princess Nancy," and finish the week by warning other accusers to "think twice," clarifies that particular frustration.

That the frustration is sometimes poorly -- even erroneously -- articulated or given voice by white populists should be duly noted in the starkest terms. But the anger comes from somewhere. I simply have a hard time imagining, in similar context, a presidential candidate berating Obama in such overtly racist tones. "Food stamp president" and flirting with birtherism are pretty close. But there's at least some plausible deniability.
Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Politics

From This Author

Just In