Sunday, September 7, 2008

What If Bristol Palin Were Black?

Original Here

What If Bristol Palin Were Black?

Christian-right leaders and conservative stalwarts have praised the decision of Bristol Palin, the daughter of Governor Sarah Palin, to carry her child to term. She is 17 and conceived this child out of wedlock. Now imagine she wasn't the daughter of a prominent Republican politician but an average person. Now imagine she was black.
What do you think conservatives would have to say about her? 'Typical, urban youth with no sense of responsibility raised with loose morals who plans to depend on the state to take care of her child.' You know it. It's not within dispute. That's exactly what they would say.
Barack Obama has told everyone to lay off this because it is a personal, family matter. Yes, but it also has public policy ramifications. Governor Palin is for abstinence only education. Well, that obviously didn't work.
Has she learned her lesson? Will she now amend her policy position on this matter given her personal record of failure in implementing this ridiculous stance?
Notice I am not blaming Bristol. Quite the opposite. People like me are the ones that defend the Bristols of the world. It is conservatives like James Dobson, Rush Limbaugh and yes, Governor Palin who usually attack people who find themselves in Bristol's situation. They demand a dogmatic adherence to moral strictures and chastise and belittle women who have children out of wedlock. Especially if they are women of color.
Which brings us back to Obama. Do you think the Republicans would lay off of Obama if his 17 year-old daughter had gotten pregnant out of wedlock? You know the answer to that question. Everyone does.
'This is what the permissive liberal attitude gets you. If you allow your children to think everything is acceptable, they have no boundaries. They wind up getting themselves in trouble like this. It's a predictable result of the liberal lifestyle.'
And that's before the subtle and not so subtle racial implications are brought into this. There is a constant double-standard of how black and white people and politicians are covered in this country. When a young black girl gets pregnant, she's looking to get money from welfare. When a young white woman gets pregnant, she made an unfortunate mistake and her family is being supportive in trying to help the make the best of it.
Cindy McCain was addicted to drugs and stole from her own charity to feed her addiction. Now what do you think the Republicans would have done if Michelle Obama had done that? How do you think the press would have covered it? You think they would have called it a simple mistake and moved on?
When presented with these examples, no matter who you are, you know in your heart that this double standard exists. All of this is not said to condemn Bristol Palin or Cindy McCain. This is to get you to think twice about your own assumptions about the next time you hear a story of a young African-American woman who got pregnant in the inner city or a minority who got addicted to drugs and committed a crime to feed that addiction.
There but for the grace of God go Bristol Palin and Cindy McCain.

7 comments:

Up&Coming Buppie said...

I have been talking to some friends and family about this question "If Bristol Palin were Black". It's so funny because the only thing that separates Bristol from Le-Le who lived up the street from me and got knocked up at 17 is that

A) Her family has the financial means to help her

B) Her family has the pull to MAKE her baby daddy marry her. (I saw dude's myspace page before they pulled it down. He was not thinkin about marriage. He was hugged up with A LOT more chicks than Bristol.)

C) She is WHITE so it is alright if she has a slip up....DUH!

We won't even touch the whole politics part. Bill Maher was saying on his show the other night that he bets he won't catch the Obama girls pregnant at 17. He said, "Michelle Obama is probably going to tell them 'I will beat the BLACK off you if you end up pregnant.'"

Oh the double standards of white conservative America...

Up&Coming Buppie said...

So listening to NPR this morning it was brought up how would Chelsea Clinton been treated if it were discovered that she was pregnant at 17. The consensus was probably like a redheaded step child with a scarlet A on her chest and her family would be looked upon as failures and therefore not qualified for office.

Which makes me re-examine this issue again. I do believe it is a conservative bias as much as it is a racial one. Republicans have outwardly said on conservative radio as well as other media that teens getting pregnant is ok as long as the responsibility of the care of the children does not fall on the state. So basically if you can take care of it without welfare your cool! But that still does not deal with the primary problem of TEENS GETTING PREGNANT IN THE FIRST PLACE. So no Conservatives you do not get a get out of jail free card for your child being careless just because you can take care of it behind closed doors!

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

All I can say to this is AMEN!

ByTheWayBetch said...

Right on, lady, it's a horrible double standard. ANd I've thought the same thing about Michelle and Cindy many times -- Michelle has to be literally perfect because she's black and Cindy can be a drug addict and no one cares because she's blonde? Why? And she stole from charity, how is that not a bigger deal??

Infuriating.

Great post.

FoggyDew said...

Excellent points. You are absolutely correct about how this would look from the other side.

They're getting off light.

Cyndy said...

Everything about both of these situations are completely appalling to me. Why are these people even running for office? There is so much wrong here. I certainly hope America is ready for a black president, because the alternative is absolutely ridiculous.

Ikechukwu said...

Great analysis of the situation and lovely way to rephrase the debate, casting it in a lens that is not just racial, but a conservative one.

If we take a look at John Edwards and his marital shortcomings, it ties in perfectly with what you've stated: in sensitive situations like these, the brunt tends to be worse for those on the democratic side of the coin. McCain first failed marriage was rocked by his philanderous itch, but he and the media spun it in such a way that left McCain's righteous countenance unscathed.

Out of curiosity, is there any truth to this Black chap parading around on youtube claiming to be the father of Bristol Palin's baby. I recently moved to a new flat so I've been out of the loop, news wise.

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