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Endorsing Obama =  Betraying Women?

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Posted on Jan 30, 2008
NOW on Kennedy

Sen. Ted Kennedy’s endorsement of Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton for president spurred Marcia Pappas, head of the New York chapter of the National Organization for Women, to accuse Kennedy of betraying women. Here, Pappas explains her position, which, notably, differs from NOW’s response to Kennedy’s endorsement on its national Web site.


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By Conservative Yankee, February 4, 2008 at 6:22 am Link to this comment
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Another four years with no thought of educating our own.

Do they still have night school where you live?

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By jackpine savage, February 3, 2008 at 4:56 pm Link to this comment

Please use punctuation, spell check, and some semblance of syntax. (I have no qualm with lower case i’s within a sentence if your goal is a semi-Buddhist repudiation of the ego.)

And i would suggest that sucking and puking at the same time is not advisable.  We lost Jimi Hendrix that way, we’d hate to lose you too.

Vote as you will, for the moment we at least keep up the charade of a free country.

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By Rmoses, February 3, 2008 at 4:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

i am so suck that i could abslutely puke .when opra can pick a canadat and protomotem them and expect people to vote for her canidate just because she said so .well got news for all you fashionast.this is one vote and many votes that i know will and are voting for Hillary and you bigots can keep on yapping and complaing you are not teh mojority and have no right to tell people who to vote for and half of your crap is nothing but crap.and opra as for you shut the fuck up you are not the movement of people. vote Hillary

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By VillageElder, February 2, 2008 at 6:44 pm Link to this comment

I hope I live long enough to see this country think about competence rather than gender or race. 

I think one of the problems is that so few of our citizens ever leave the confines of the country.  Exposure to other cultures changes so many ideas.  Living in a society of misogyny and racial prejudices based on religious dogma certainly dulls and destroys the ability to reason.

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By robert m puglia, February 2, 2008 at 3:54 pm Link to this comment

ms pappas has a curious slant on what constitutes support. some might perceive other more infamous betrayals of her sex by the senator that would, to a reasonable mind, render his opinion moot and his endorsement undesirable.

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By Conservative Yankee, February 1, 2008 at 5:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

12.3% African American (a misnomer as other “colored” folks are considered “african American” even though they NEVER had a relitive from Africa)
12.5 Hispanic (also a misnomer as sur-names such as “Pugals” and “Maderia” are not counted as hispanic even though those families origionated in Spain.
70.1% Caucasion (another misnomer as folks self identify as Caucasian, and how do they know for sure that there is no “hispanic” or African blood in there somewhere?

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By jackpine savage, February 1, 2008 at 8:56 am Link to this comment

Thank you for the compliment, Louise.  I wrote that post out of honesty and fully expected to get beat up for it.

I’m glad that my sincere intent came through, and i will be the first to say that the sincerity of that intent would not be without my mother. (Who raised - emotionally, intellectually, and financially - three boys all on her own, at least until she found a man who was worthy of her and her sons.)

And thank you for the corrections/additions.  I agree with them wholeheartedly.

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By Louise, February 1, 2008 at 8:07 am Link to this comment

jackpine savage

“The real victory of the feminist movement is to be had in raising children who do not see a person for her gender, but for the person that she is.  Electing a female president would be winning a battle, but winning a single battle at all costs is a good way to lose a war.”

Thanks for those words of wisdom. smile

I never did get too much into the feminist movement.

I never had time. Fighting on the front lines trying to get the education I wanted [You cant take that course you’re a girl] Then fighting to get a job using the education I fought to get [Yes we have an opening, but we need to see more substantial experience] Eventually getting the work I was qualified for and gaining the experience I needed to become so good, the company hired a man to run my department, confident I could train him!

Oh wahhhh! Sorry.

That was so long ago and over time just gets pushed aside as a learning experience. Although I still remember vividly the tears welling up behind the eyes of that man when I told him I was leaving and he was on his own. That really surprised me because I hadn’t realized that being on his own scared him enough to bring him to tears. Oh well ...

Perhaps the feminist movement helped me, not sure. Like I said, I never had time. Surviving always seemed to take priority over joining a group who often had an agenda which seemed to me, to be more about looking and sounding and being like the guys [while putting them down] than real change. Anyway, I doubt very much that Hillary ever had to deal with the kind of issues that I did, or most woman do.

Although I am sure she has had to deal with issues that I would never have the guts to tackle! But then again, had I had the backup system she had maybe I could have. I’ll never know, because I never had the backup system. And even for all the chest-thumping feminists do while sounding their successes, most woman still don’t!

Actually, most men don’t either. All too often, names and connections [and sometimes money] open doors faster than degrees!

And no president, male or female can really change that, because it all comes back to what jackpine savage said: (with a couple of additions)

“The real victory of the feminist movement is to be had in raising children who do not see a person for her (his) gender, but for the person that she (he) is.”

And to that degree I hope I have been successful.

OK, I know.

Long way of saying, no-one, woman or man, should base their vote on the misguided notion that because the candidate is the same sex [or color for that matter] they will better represent their views.

That’s just plain dumb!

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By Pacrat, February 1, 2008 at 7:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The future and the past (way past) - Obama and Kennedy! Wanna be and has been! The Old and the New!What a duo! There is nothing Kennedyesk about Obama -in fact, there is not much Kennedyesk about Kennedy!

Betraying women? Nice hype, but not relevant!

The Kennedy blessing will last about 48 hours and then it is back to business.

Go for it Obama and Clinton (but not Bill)!

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By cyrena, February 1, 2008 at 3:58 am Link to this comment

Barbara Boxer is a favorite for me too. Maybe Obama will hire her for something..whatever she wants to be. I’m still hoping for a Kuncinich name on the VP slot.

And, in all honesty, I don’t think Obama could come close to winning anything, (even by a slim vote) from just combined minority vote. That’s not what has propelled him this far.

Blacks make up 13% of the population, and MAYBE half of them vote. Maybe…that’s a guess on my part about how many vote. But, we know that they are not ALL planning to vote for Obama, since some of the ‘old guard’ is still backing Hillary. I even read on another thread that Maxine Waters is indebted to Hillary, and will support her. I was dismayed to learn this, and I’ve not yet verified it. But, it could be true.

I don’t know what percentage of Hispanics make up the voting portion of the populace, but I think I can safely put it at or below the African-American percentage. Somebody correct me here if you know.

The Asian population, I don’t know either. The Arab/Muslim population is less than 1%. Women are not a ‘minority’ for these purposes, so I’m not putting them in the count.

Still, when we add it all up, there aren’t enough ‘minorities’ even combined, to make even a small ‘win’ for Barack Obama. So, when he wins, it will be because a full majority of the ENTIRE population, (most of whom are white) will have voted for him.

That’s the way it works out, and that’s a good thing. That’s the way I think it was supposed to be, in the original plan.

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By tyler, January 31, 2008 at 5:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I agree luther!  this is the dumbest logic to choosing a candidate i think i’ve ever heard.  how does a woman like this get air-time?

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By Tony Wicher, January 31, 2008 at 3:56 pm Link to this comment

I just received an email from Dee Anna in the Obama campaign which shows photos immediately preceding the one at the SOTU event where Obama is supposedly “snubbing” Clinton. They show very clearly that Clinton was reaching out to shake Kennedy’s hand, not Obama’s - he was already turned away talking to someone else. Unfortunately, I cannot post the photos here, but it is just one more good example of the Clinton’s shabby, lying ways. 

Dee Anna says: 
This is the photo being used to accuse Obama of “snubbing” Hillary in an effort to make women think the MAN is picking on her again. Hillary was caught “red handed” on national television responding to this accusation as if it we true and she stated on FOX NEWS,

” Well, Chris, I rea ched out my hand in friendship and unity and my hand is still reaching out. And I look forward to shaking his hand when I see him at the debate in California…....” as if she tried to shake his hand and he deliberately “snubbed” her by turning his back. Obama has maintained that he was doing no such thing , but rather , was speaking to another senator. Well, we have a shot by shot photo that proves Barack Obama was telling the truth and Hillary was lying.

Dee Anna

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By Conservative Yankee, January 31, 2008 at 12:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The politics of division does not work for long, because if all the men vote their gender and all the minorities vote their color/ethnicity Obama wins by a margin so small that he will be powerless within his own party. 

I would gladly vote for an Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Olympia Snowe, or a Barbara Boxer… I’m not voting for any gender or color where the “win” eclipses the purpose. Hill-the-business-shill is in hock to folks I do not trust. She is a scab and a traitor as is her NAFTA sponsor husband….she’ll never get my vote.

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By Luther Brixton, January 31, 2008 at 12:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So, to Pappas, the top priority in matters of both foreign and domestic policy is that we have a candidate that fingers themself instead of strokes themself.

Check please!

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By jdogg333, January 31, 2008 at 12:01 pm Link to this comment

I f#&ing;cant believe this guy.

This guy’s ego is enormous!!!
Please make it stop, my head is going to explode!

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By RAE, January 31, 2008 at 11:03 am Link to this comment

What the hell has genitalia got to do with ability to successfully act as CEO of a country?

Anyone - ANYONE - who votes based on the candidate’s color or gender is seriously ignorant if not mentally unbalanced.

But in America, it’s HYPE and LOOKS and THEATRE that counts… doesn’t matter if on the inside it’s all pulp fiction just so long as the cover looks great!

Shallow. Shallow. Shallow. ergo: G. W. Bush

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By EFKaplan, January 31, 2008 at 10:56 am Link to this comment
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By MrJJ, January 31, 2008 at 10:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Err… does this mean that NOW mothers are offering up their daughters to work in a Billary White House?

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By jackpine savage, January 31, 2008 at 9:40 am Link to this comment

My mother was (and remains) a devoted feminist.  I grew up reading “Ms.” in the bathroom, and finished “Our Bodies Ourselves” in late elementary school…my, it was so titillating.  I once even went to a lunch with my mom (in my early 20’s) where Ms. Steinem (sp?) was the speaker; being like the only male there, i was a minor celebrity worthy of even Ms. Steinem’s attention.

I understand where the feminist movement is coming from with this endorsement and counter endorsement…or endorsement critique.  But i think that its misplaced.  On the other hand, i also understand that when you fight the battles, you live with the scars forever.

We are hardly a society where men and women are equal, but are we a society where women of color and white women are equal?

I would be proud of electing a female president.  But sometimes when i look at the feminist movement and its evolution i have to wonder if it has succeeded in making women equal to men or made women more like men.  Example: Sec. Albright saying that the death of 500,000 Iraqi children was ‘worth it’.  To hear a powerful woman say that disturbs me, because i have always hoped that when women gained the power that they deserve it would lead to placing more value on human life.

But that’s besides the point.  The real victory of the feminist movement is to be had in raising children who do not see a person for her gender, but for the person that she is.  Electing a female president would be winning a battle, but winning a single battle at all costs is a good way to lose a war.

And aside from all that, if Hillary Clinton is the model of a feminist for the NY chapter of NOW…they might want to rethink what their movement means.  She does not resemble the idea of woman or feminist that i was raised to believe in…though i’m sure that my mother supports her.

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By L Woody, January 31, 2008 at 8:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Agreed totally! Is there any way that the country will wake up before next tuesday and realize that we are all being made fools of by the Clinton/Bush dynasties? Can we get past these hijackers of our government. Please Bill and Hillary just go away and let us all be inspired, even if it is only for a few moments, and Marcia Pappas go to the gym and blow off some steam.

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By don knutsen, January 31, 2008 at 7:45 am Link to this comment
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Its idiocy like this, single issue mentality types that make all their decisions based on gender alone, or right to life, or tax breaks alone, that prevent us all from moving forward. Who can take a feminist like this seriously ? She does more harm to her cause then helping it by viewing the world thru her cranky feminist goggles. She would support Hillary, despite her hawkish stance on an illegal war, her ties to the corporate money trough, simply because she is a women. Its just as stupid as supporting Obama only because he is black or supporting Bush because your a big fan of pathological liars.

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By Aegrus, January 31, 2008 at 7:34 am Link to this comment

The statement Marcia Pappas made was outlandishly stupid, but serves to prove a point. Many feminists have lost sight of equality objectives. The goal of women like Marcia Pappas is to have special political power for their gender in order to redress the male supremacy of old. It’s counter productive, and really speaks to the character of the movement.

I do enjoy Obama’s Campaign for not making his nomination about his skin color. Any endorsements Hillary has received were not subject to respite by the NAACP. Barack has proved how well he can do by speaking to people, not to black people.

It’s important, however, to realize Obama doesn’t have the luxury of population demographics. 50.07% of the America are women, where 12.8% of Americans are black. Were 50.07% of Americans black, maybe he would make it about race. Regardless, diminishing candidates to merely a skin color or gender is a disservice to America.

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By Johnny Smith, January 31, 2008 at 5:18 am Link to this comment
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Hillary is too blinded by her ambition to be president and her corporate gains to worry about any of us. If she cared about US, she wouldn’t be pushing for Free Trade with Peru. If she cared about US, she’d announce plans for getting us out of Iraq. If she cared about US, she wouldn’t be pushing a universal health care plan that would be run by the health care industry itself instead of the single payer plans that other industrial nations have already implemented. The head of one of the top health care companies was given a $1.2 bonus, while our rates once again skyrocketed and THAT’S who Hillary wants to “reform” health care. It’s like asking the top CEO of Exxon to regulate the gas industry. I’m sorry but Hillary’s ideas are not in line with the democratic party that I grew up with and if she’s the nominee, she won’t be getting my vote.

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By dlbernau, January 31, 2008 at 5:10 am Link to this comment

What is it about Hillary Miss Pappas finds so appealing? Her hawkish stance on the war, which has resulted in the deaths of 4000 Americans(presumably these soldiers had mothers/wives/daughters), and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis? Or that she won’t bake cookies?

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By kath cantarella, January 31, 2008 at 3:41 am Link to this comment
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(as if we needed any) of how some people will focus on the mistakes of a few women, or on the lousiest or dumbest women, and assume all women are incompetent, lousy, and dumb.

There are very good reasons for this woman’s blindness. She probably listens to horrendous stories all day every day, and it has coloured her world-view.

Saying Ted’s private decision was a ‘betrayal’ was an incredibly stupid gaff that negates anything true she might actually have said amongst it all.

But, by all means, let’s all roll our eyes like the stuck-up newsreader, because it WAS stupid and she DOES actually deserve it.

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By kath cantarella, January 31, 2008 at 2:32 am Link to this comment
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Do you even understand what you are talking about?
Maybe you have to be a woman who doesn’t conform to the socially-approved idea of a woman to know what that constant, tacit prejudice is like: when society both lowers the bar and raises the bar for women. To know how retarding it is. You can’t fully judge the state of women in society by talking to the conformists, even if they are grumpy conformists.

Shame on the war-hawk Hillary’s supporters! As always, patriarchal wars take precedence over everything else, even bringing down the patriarchy that helps cause them, a patriarchy which, unfortunately for us feminists, Hillary probably represents.

Patriarchy is founded on a presumption of inequality: it is the oldest, most basic form of fascism. (For all you misguided anti-fascists who are also anti-feminist.)

Women’s (humans, half of them) freedoms are often mocked as ‘the battle of the sexes’. Why don’t people think: why is it a battle in the first place? Can you see that it is more about male entitlement, than female entitlement? A fully (not just apparently) equal female voice is required before you can even consider calling women ‘over-entitled’. Unfortunately that has never stopped people from doing it. And it is very much a traditional male complaint, it’s nothing new, and therefore not really a response to any aspect of feminism at all.

You wrote:
‘I guess he betrayed them by standing in the way of Hillary’s election, and the possibility of a big pay back for the last several thousand years.’

Yes and no: many thousands of years, yes, big payback, no. Tiny, infinitesmal, negligible payback… no, not even close.

To see the logic you need to consider the example of the Senate: an exclusive boys’ club for centuries, but in 1992 after a handful of women broke in, more and more women have run and been successful. Not necessarily the best women, but some of the most ambitious and aggressive. Considering the appalling calibre of most of the men who got there first, all i can say is… Hooyah!

To see the logic, you have to have some small measure of sympathy for the struggle. To see the logic you do actually have to believe that women are truly worthy of being considered equal (and equally appalling), not biologically inferior or biologically incapacitated to independence, adulthood, and leadership, not psychologically and intellectually inferior, not less deserving of risk-taking freedoms and independence because they are generally physically weaker. (Or because they have to think of the kids more than Dad does, for some socially-generated reason.) Because if you believe in those basic biological equalities and look at our society, then you must know that some powerful form of prejudice is operating almost unopposed within it, from each little girl’s birth to each old woman’s death.

On a personal note: if you are going to criticize the greatest human rights movement in the history of the world (i can hear the groan you are making), then you need to spell the name of one of it’s leading lights correctly or you will have no credibility whatsoever.

It’s fashionable and fun to criticize feminists, (especially if you are trying not to appear racist, after all, racism is somehow, quite bizarrely, far far worse than sexism) but it’s not entirely ethical. The problem with entitlement obviously lies elsewhere when 51% of the population is represented by a pathetic fraction of the government.

Please address your own unconscious misogyny first, and your ignorance of the movement and its historical context, and then get back to healthy criticism of some aspects of feminism, without trying to debunk the whole movement for it’s mistakes.

yours sincerely,

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By cyrena, January 31, 2008 at 2:28 am Link to this comment

Nope…no betrayal there. Besides, it’s highly doubtful that Marci here much cares about black people. Just women, and not black ones.

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By Gabriel, January 31, 2008 at 1:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m a white male, but a progressive one and I can see that the chance to have the first female president is exciting. However, isn’t the chance to have the first African American president equally as exciting? At the end of the day, it has to be about more than that, though. It’s about the fact when Barack Obama speaks, positive change actually seems possible and I forget for a moment how cynical I had become about politics. It’s about the fact that Obama openly opposed the invasion of Iraq in 2002, while Clinton waited for years until it was politically safe to speak out, and what that says about their characters. Ultimately, this is what makes Obama a more credible candidate than Clinton, and this stuff has nothing to do with gender or race.

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By G.Anderson, January 31, 2008 at 12:22 am Link to this comment

In order to betray someone you have to first make some sort of bargain with them, or some sort of promise.

Did I miss something, Did Senator Obama promise something to the Women’s Movement?

Was Gloria’s Steinham’s marriage a betrayl of the the women’s movment?

That actually is the number one problem of the Women’s movement, a feeling of entitlement. And the belief, however misguided, that their agenda is something that other women need even if they say they don’t want it.

I guess he betrayed them by standing in the way of Hillary’s election, and the possibility of a big pay back for the last several thousand years.

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By P. T., January 30, 2008 at 11:44 pm Link to this comment

Marcia Pappas seems to have a problem with blacks.  Hillary stands up for women?  What a joke!  Hillary backed so-called “welfare reform.”  Hillary stands up for rich white women, not her maids.

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By cyrena, January 30, 2008 at 11:34 pm Link to this comment

This is SOOO embarrassing, for ALL women!! She definitely doesn’t speak for ME! She says that part of the responsibilities of NOW, are to get ‘good’ women into office. Well fine then. If they do their flippin’ job, and get some QUALIFIED women in the competition, we’ll vote for them!!

She says Hillary knows how to ‘get up in the morning’….blah, blah, blah. Well HELL, I know how to do that!! She says that Hillary cares about women, children, health care, and education. Come again?

Is this the same Hillary that has put full support behind a war that has left thousands of widows and children without a parent, or has taken the children of thousands of mothers? Is this the same Hillary that ‘accepted’ the fact that 60% of Americans don’t attend college, and she wasn’t worried about finding a way for them to do that, even if they wanted to?

And, where was Hillary anyway, in all the debates that tried to prevent george from kicking out the health care provisions that were already in place for low income children? Remember? I think he vetoed that TWICE! What did Hillary have to say about it? Was she even around?

Has she been anywhere NEAR Walter Reed lately? Or, any other military base or hospital? If so, she must not have noticed those FOOD lines on base, with all of those women and kids standing in line – hungry. Their spouses are 10,000 miles away. Dying or being wounded. Guess she hasn’t been around when any of these men AND women come back from war all battered up, and can’t get help of any kind from the VA. Gee, what’s up with that? Thos women could sure use some help, and the kids for sure could use it.

Still, Marcia KNOWS that Hillary is gonna get up every morning, and women are gonna be the first thing on her ‘to DO’ list.

Now, if Barack Obama made a promise like that, they’d have him lynched before sunset, Eastern Standard Time.


Sure am glad I don’t belong to THAT organization. Nevermind NOW, ya’ll don’t have to help me get into office….

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By scott, January 30, 2008 at 9:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Further evidence that women never fail to fixate on the most meaningless issue in any election.

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By Just Me, January 30, 2008 at 9:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sooo..ahh..if he endorsed Billary, would that be betraying Black people?

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