White Male Supremacy Paradigm Protects Timothy Geithner's Bid to Head Treasury Department

Here is an example of the white male supremacy paradigm operating even within the Obama Transition Administration:

A Capitol Hill grilling is likely for Timothy Geithner, President-elect Barack Obama's pick to head the Treasury Department, after public revelations he failed to pay $34,000 in taxes several years ago.  Yahoo News
If Geithner were  a Black male, he would never be considered for this position in the first place, because he would not be part of Lawrence A. Summers' white male supremacy support group.  If he were Black make who had failed to pay $34,000 in taxes, he would be led away in chains, and everyone would agree that he deserved it, and his skin color had nothing to do with it.

However, because Timothy Geithner is a white man he is protected by the white male supremacy paradigm, which is the:

belief that white males, no matter how much and how often they fail, are still, by virtue of their male gender and white skin, inherently more qualified than blacks and women who succeed.  Francis L. Holland, DailyKos, December 16, 2006.

The corollary to that definition is that white male supremacy is also:

 

The belief that Blacks and women, no matter how much or how often they succeed, are inherently inferior to white men, no matter how much or how often white men fail. Francis L. Holland, DailyKos, December 16, 2006.

Now, I'm sure that Geithner is a perfectly nice individual (aside from his participation an exclusively and intentionally all white male professional support group that got him nominated for this position in the first place), but Geithner has apparently flouted the tax laws in the very area for which he would be given so much authority, the Internal Revenue Service.  His behavior makes a mockery of all Americans who paid their taxes, sometimes facing tax leins on their homes or losing their homes if they failed to do so.

It's alright, though, because Geithner is a white male.  He won't be led away for chains, as was actor Wesley Snipes.  He won't be subject to a three year jail term after being tried before an all-Black jury.  (Snipes was tried in Louisiana before an all-white jury, although 31% of the population of Louisiana is Black, according to the US Census Bureau.)

So, who will win?  The white male supremacy paradigm and the nomination of Timothy Geithner, who failed to pay his taxes and will now oversee the Internal Revenue Service?  Or will a new sense of justice prevail?  The same rejection of the white male supremacy paradigm that made Obama's election possible in the first place?

Can a Black male president help to perpetuate the white male supremacy paradigm? Obviously he can, because Timothy Geithner's nomination has not been withdrawn, and Obama continues to appoint white males who are guilty rather than women and Blacks and Latinos who are innocent.

Will white men win if the white male supremacy paradigm wins?  Will they be better served by installing a man to lead the IRS who doesn't pay his own taxes?  Would white males have won if that old crank and crackpot, 'the economy is basically strong' John McCain had won the presidency?  Many of them thought not.

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The afrosphere is NOT the "black blogosphere"

Update [2008-12-18 20:23:17 by Manic Lawyer]: I've reread paragraph (4) and I have no idea what readers are complaining about there. But, as I suspected, no support has been expressed in comments for Black self-determination, the afrosphere, the AfroSpear or Black bloggers, except support for self-expression in general. I didn't expect any support, but the response makes it clear to Black people why the afrosphere is NOT the Black part of the blogosphere.

I hadn't intended to write anything more at my blog, but something I heard urged me to write again.

I personally hate the term "black blogosphere". "Blogosphere" is a word invented by white people, and "black blogosphere" implies that we Blacks are merely a (minute) part of their white world.

In reality, we have our own world with our own definition of our political reality, and out of that self-definition comes our political action. In the afrosphere, we are not the "black table" in a room full of white people. We are an autonomous black conference, independent of white people, which assures our self-determination (until we are infiltrated by the FBI or the Defense Department).

If we were the "black blogosphere", then every time a decision was to be made about the nature of the blogosphere overall, we Blacks would be out-voted, out-gunned, and therefore could safely be ignored.

That's what was happening until the AfroSpear and the afrosphere came along.  Now, we are independent, with our own unique voices and self-definitions. We are not now marginalized as we were and often continue to be at white blogs, where we usually constitute no more than 3% of participants. Instead, we are at the very center of the afrosphere, aspiring to be the vanguard of the Black online world.  In the afrosphere instead of being numerically marginalized and politically ignored, we Blacks are at the CENTER.  We ARE the afrosphere.

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Obama's Credibility Rests on Support for Holder Nomination

When a president elect nominates someone for attorney general, it is a monumental decision that should be followed by an equally monumental determination to see the nominee confirmed by the US Senate.

African American Political Pundit says that Republicans want to hold up Eric Holder's confirmation hearings, (using these hearings,  I suspect, as an opportunity to bring up every old gripe they had against the Clinton Administration, while also showing their utter contempt and hatred for Black people by focusing their fire on a Black nominee).  

I suspect the Republicans believe that the American public (or at least their Republican color-aroused base) will look be more favorable upon resistance to a Black nominee for top position.  Or maybe they are so color-aroused that their obstructionist is automatic in a case like this.

"The Washington Post is now running a headline saying, When It Comes to Holder, Specter Has Reservations," points out AAPP.

The Republicans should remember that two political parties can play this game, and we still haven't resolved the question of whether members of the Bush Administration committed war crimes in Iraq, Guantanamo Bay, and in various other regions of the world.

Few members of the Bush Administration have gone to jail for their patently illegal behavior - so far. But if the Republicans are going to reach back to the 1990's to sully the reputation of Eric Holder, nominee for Attorney General, then the Democratic House of Representatives should use its investigatory and summons authority to investigate the war crimes and pillaging of the treasury that are ongoing even today under the Bush Administration and its Republican cohorts in Congress.

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NBC Picks 11th Consecutive White Male Host for MTP

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Cross posted at the Francis L. Holland Blog.

After a long search that began when Meet the Press' ninth consecutive white male moderator, Tom Russert, died, now NBC has finally selected the white male moderator who will be the 11th consecutive white male moderator in the show's history.

Ironically, the show was created in 1947 by a woman, Martha Rountree, who then hosted the show until 1953.  Ever since 1953, however, when NBC has conducted a search for the best white man for the job, NBC has always succeeded in finding him.  (Of course I have no direct evidence that NBC has conducted searches exclusively for white men, and I am drawing this inference from the extraordinary coincidence that although white men are only 30% of American, they have nonetheless been more than 90% of Meet the Press moderators.

Moreover, Media Matters points out that:

. . . the top-rated Sunday show -- Meet the Press -- shows the least diversity of all. The NBC program is the most male and nearly the most white (Face the Nation beats it out by 1 percentage point), and it has the highest proportion of white males to all other guests. Media Matters

Media Matters points out that eight-five percent of guests on Meet the Press are men and eighty-nine percent are white.  Media MattersSo, it was about as likely that the new moderator would not be a white man as it was likely that Hawaii would be blanketed with six meters of snow at the height of the summer holidays.  On Meet the Press, white maleness is, statistically speaking, the gold standard, even though the show was created by a woman.  

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White Males Still Vastly Overrepresented at Top of Federal Hierarchy

Cross-posted at the Francis L. Holland Blog.

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African American Political Pundit has been sounding the alarm that one Black man in the Oval Office does not diversity make. AAPP's Change Watch: Minority Advocates Watching Obama That point is underscored by a new report by the Government Accountability Office, showing that Blacks and women are still woefully underrepresented among the highest level of civil servants managing the government, and this will not change unless the Obama Administration makes a conscious decision to address rather than exacerbate the inequities.

For example, only 8.5 percent of high level executives were Black, although the nation is 12.8% Black; and only 3.6 percent of the high level executives are Latino, even though Latinos make up 14.8% of the United States.

Meanwhile, white men constitute 60.7 percent of the highest level civil servants, even though they constitute less than thirty percent of the population.  In other words, white men are 100% overrepresented in the highest level civil service jobs.

Some people are going to insist, as a defense of the current demographics, that these jobs should be given out based on merit rather than based on gender, skin color or ethnicity.  While each job should be given to the person most capable of doing the job, the "best candidate" argument assumes that white men are the best candidate twice as often as they are present in the general population.   It's more likely that white men are 100% overrepresented as a result of historic patterns of old-boy networks, the "white male supremacy syndrome".

I define "white male supremacy":  as "the belief that white males, no matter how much and how often they fail, are still, by virtue of their male gender and white skin, inherently more qualified than blacks and women who succeed." -- Francis L. Holland, December 13, 2006 at DailyKos. 
In the middle of the worst recession since the Great Depression, it's hard to argue that having 100% over-representation of white men in the highest levels of the Federal Government is an example of choosing the best people for the job regardless of the color.   Instead, it's an example of choosing white men for jobs regardless of whether they are the best people with the best ideas and the most ability to implement them.

The over-representation of white men results, as well, from the superhuman white man myth.

The Strongest American Myth Historically is the Superhuman White Man Myth

To be elected president, Barack Obama had to overcome this powerful myth, helped by being compared with George W. Bush and John McCain in the context of a hugely unpopular war and then an international economic meltdown.

However, some of the "superhuman" white men who created the current meltdown (like leverage proponent Rubin) are being invited back into the Government, packing the upper levels with white men while ignoring the abilities of women and minorities who have not yet been given a chance to discredited their theories and abilities.   Robert E. Rubin is a director and counselor at CitiGroup, where he helped turn Citi into a financial basket case, a microcosm of the financial policies that have turned international financial markets into a freefalling chaos.

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Stormfront Ideology Animating Obama's Cabinet Picks?

"Times are a changing" in the white male domination of Washington political position. The Obama Adminstration will mark the third out of for most recent administrations in which a woman has been the top diplomat assuring the national security of the United States and leading the State Department. There was Madeleine Albright in the Clinton Administration, Condolezza Rice in the two Bush terms, and now Hillary Clinton in the Obama Administration.  Yahoo News reports,

President-elect Barack Obama planned to nominate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton as his secretary of state on Monday, transforming a once-bitter political rivalry into a high-level strategic and diplomatic partnership.

Obama will name the New York senator to his national security team at a news conference in Chicago, Democratic officials said Saturday. They requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly for the transition team.

To clear the way for his wife to take the job, former President
Bill Clinton agreed to disclose the names of every contributor to his foundation since its inception in 1997. He'll also refuse donations from foreign governments to the Clinton Global Initiative, his annual charitable conference, and will cease holding CGI meetings overseas.Yahoo News 

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Hillary the Credulous?

Cross-posted at the Francis L. Holland Blog.

Most of the public (including myself) believed that Hillary Clinton was qualified to be president, according to polls, so I can't imagine that they will oppose her nomination for secretary of state. If she could have been commander in chief, there's no reason not to put her in charge of the nation's diplomacy.

Yes, Hillary engaged in color-aroused politics during the primaries, which caused me to oppose her presidential candidacy.  Now, I'm in a forgiving mood with respect to Hillary, if only because she did a lot to help get Obama elected, and she didn't do any of the many outrageous things she COULD have done to PREVENT President Obama from being elected, once his nomination was secured.

I'll tell you one thing, though: I don't accept her excuse for voting for the war in Iraq and I will not accept any future excuse that "I went along with a treacherous policy/invasion because the CIA told me it was a good idea."

If Hillary's got any Bay of Pigs invasions in her future, then she should step down and not accept the nomination for secretary of state.

I am going to assume that Hillary is at least as smart as I am, so I will expect her to be at least as incredulous and skeptical as I would be under similar circumstances. Obviously, there are some people working in agencies within the US Government whose word should NEVER, EVER be taken at face value. Hillary must know that, and she must behave at all times like she knows that.

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Obama: The Clinton Fix is In!

Cross-posted at the Francis L. Holland Blog.

If you look at all of the Clinton appointees who are now assisting President-elect Obama (including Rep. Rahm Emmanuel as chief of staff) it's pretty obvious that President-elect Obama doesn't want to reinvent the wheel of national governance.  He wants experienced hands from when the economy was good and the US was at peace with the world, i.e. from the Clinton Administration.

When you look at it this way, appointing Sen. Hillary Clinton as secretary of state makes perfect sense:  The world was at peace when her husband was president, and it will probably soon be at peace again with Hillary as secretary of state, to the extent that it's at all possible.

Yes, she voted for IWR, because she is a political pragmatist and thought tacking to the right would help her at the polls, and maybe even with the Jewish vote.  She might also be more pro-Isreal as secretary of state than some others whom Obama might appoint, like Gov. Bill Richardson.  Or her positioning during the primaries might have been part of a misguided belief that hawkishness would be more successful in the American context, a belief for which she cannot be blamed after George W. Bush twice found his way to the Oval Office.

To understand what's going on right now in the transition and the formation of the Obama Administration, we all have to realize that Obama's "change" message was both:

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Lawrence A. Summers: "Intrinsic Nature" of Women is Inferior

An anonymous reader of my blog was good enough to provide a link to the remarks about women's intelligence by Harvard University presidentn Lawrence A. Summers that led to his resignation from the presidency of Harvard University.  It is my contention that if a man is too sexist to be president of Harvard University, then he is also too sexist to to be Secretary of the Treasury of the United States.  If really believes that women are inherently less intelligent than men, then that belief will play out in his hiring, promotion and contracting decisions, as well as setting an awful example for the private and non-profit sectors.

I don't expect anyone to believe this simply because I say so. I suggest that readers personally read and consider Lawrence Summers' public comments for themselves and decide if he, as a member of the Obama cabinet, could treat women equally and promote their careers and opportunities in the same way that he would do for men.  

Lawrence A. Summmers' comments are below the fold with emphasis added to the particularly reprehensible parts.  I've also divided the text into paragraphs to make it easier to read, although it should be remembered that the original "stream of consciousness" nature of the comments makes it more likely that Summers was telling his audience what he really believed, and what motivates his decisions as a manager.  He basically reasserts every stereotype and bias about women in the workplace that women have heard when they are being denied jobs, promotions, internships and pay increases.

If I had suspected that Lawrence A. Summers held these attitudes when he was in the Clinton Administration, I would have written against him back then. But perhaps he only showed his true colors when he believed, incorrectly, at Harvard, that "academic freedom" protected his biased opinions about hiring and promoting women.

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Yes, Kerry is Wrong for Scrty of State

Cross-posted at the Francis L. Holland Blog.

In response to my discussion of how Senator John Kerry would inevitably embarrass and demoralize an Obama Administration if Kerry were nominated for secretary of state, one commenter defended Kerry and said, "what's your beef?"

(The reader ignored my reminder to readers that Larry Summers, being considered for Treasury Secretary, was driven out of the presidency of Harvard University in 2005 after he said that women are inherently less intelligent and capable than men in math and science. Won't they ask him if he still believes that during his confirmation hearings? If he's too much of a sexist to be presidency of Harvard University, then why would we want to make him Secretary of the Treasury.)

As for my beef with any John Kerry's nomination for state, it's that Senator Kerry (1) chose John Edwards as his vice presidential running mate and then Edwards rolled over in his debate with Cheney, and Edwards later turned out to be a lying, narcissistic stuffed shirt; (2) Kerry's 2004 campaign was disorganized and aimless, and he was personally listless as a candidate, unable to explain his vote for the IWR in the context of his opposition to the war; but, above all, his inept joke about the troops in Iraq convinced him and everyone else that he should not be the Democratic standard bearer in 2008.

That argument is over, but the question now is whether having Kerry on television every night, perhaps more than Obama himself, is the best public relations move for this new administration.  It's NOT.

If nominated for such a high-profile position, Kerry will bumble in terms of developing plans to end the war in Iraq and fight or end the war in Afghanistan;  Kerry will have to be entrusted with covert operations that will embarrass Obama when their ineptitude becomes apparent, and Kerry will constantly say inept or incomprehensible things that Obama and his spokespeople will then have to explain to the public in English.

Obama would be better off appointing himself secretary of state than appointing Kerry.

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