“Well, I think it‘s simply because of the vilification of black women for sport and for political gain has been sort of a basic part of the American political strategy for both the Republican and Democratic parties for a couple of decades now. It certainly began with Ronald Reagan‘s attempt to blame the majority of the economic problems of the 1980s on the mythical Welfare Queen who was somehow stealing from government coffers.
Melissa Harris-Lacewell on Countdown last night. Lawrence O’Donnell asked Lacewell: “I don‘t quite get why this vilification of Shirley Sherrod was so completely successful so very, very quickly before anyone knew the truth. Why—how did this move so fast?”
But it continued into the Clinton administration when Bill Clinton as a candidate, made an unprovoked attack on Sister Souljah as a way of demonstrating kind of—that he was a new and a centrist Democrat who wouldn‘t be beholden to typical race issues. And it continued when he turned his back on a law school friend in the person of Lani Guinier.
You know, I have to say that, for me, this is not surprising, but it is painful to watch that, again, even in this administration, how easy it is to assume that an African-American woman deserves to be vilified.”