Barbara Boxes with Condi
Ay caramba! What is a feminist, black nationalist, peace and justice advocate to do? Surely not defend Condi Rice. During Senate hearings yesterday, Democrat Barbara Boxer of California had this to say to the Secretary of State.
"The issue is, who pays the price? I'm not going to pay a personal price. My kids are too old and my grandchild is too young. You're not going to pay a particular price, as I understand it, with an immediate family. So who pays the price? The American military and their families."
I don't know why Boxer had to get personal, about her family or Rice's. It is enough to say that a small segment of the population is represented in the military and is paying the price for the occupation of Iraq. Who cares if she or Rice has kids to send?
Well, that is what happens when the personal substitutes for the substantive. At any rate there is a debate going on among feminists about the propriety of Boxer's comments. Of course we also have to contend with phony right wing concern for feminism. Please!
Instead of reinventing the wheel, I will just repeat what I said in a letter to Salon.
"Tony Snow and the rest of the right wing had nothing to say when Laura Bush dissed Condi. The first lady opined that Condi couldn't run for president because she didn't have a spouse to lean on. The right wing said nothing about this obvious insult.
I have to say that Boxer's comments were a great disappointment to me. As a single, childless woman myself, I have experienced first hand the innuendo and derision directed Rice. I am also a fierce opponent of the Bush regime, so I don't let any supposed loyalties, I am also African American, keep me from denouncing true believing neocons like Rice and her ilk.
So, I think Boxer was wrong to phrase her concern the way she did. Should she apologize? Well, when Rice apologizes for lying about mush room clouds, Barbara Boxer should apologize too."
To repeat, Boxer was wrong, but until she kills 600,000 Iraqis, she doesn't owe Rice anything.