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Karina’s Capsule: Harriet Christian

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Hooray, it’s the Weekend of Women! As of this writing on Sunday afternoon, it looks like the Sex and the City movie is going to make at least $55 million in its opening weekend, thus establishing a new record for the best debut of a R-rated comedy in history. Bloggers and studio execs alike have already started declaring that girl power has fundamentally changed Hollywood in a single weekend. Yay!

It’s a good thing feminists who are willing to put on blinders have *some* kind of symbolic victory for all of womankind to hold on to, because the results of an arguably more important contest this weekend went very badly for both the woman involved and, by extension, the image of women in power as a whole. Whilst millions of my fellow American women were waiting on line for their dose of the latest adventures of Carrie and company, I was glued to the TV, watching gavel-to-gavel coverage of the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee meeting, held to determine whether or not all delegates from both Florida and Michigan will be allowed to vote at the Democratic Convention.

Hillary Clinton wasn’t present at the meeting, but she nonetheless haunted the proceedings (she’s the one who would have gained most from a full seating of these delegates, which the committee ultimately denied), and her supporters were out in full force, shouting, cheering, booing, and getting themselves ejected from the hall. Far more fascinating than the all-day debate are the YouTube clips of angry Clinton supporters exiting the RBC meeting — and reactions to those clips.

By now, you might have seen the above clip, featuring a Clinton supporter named Harriet Christian — as of this writing, it’s been viewed almost 450,000 in its first 24 hours on YouTube. It was posted by the liberal blog Firedoglake, as was this clip of Deborah Foster showing off bruises which she says are the result of being pulled out of the hall by security. On a different day, the Foster clip might have made cable news headlines, but it’s been far out-shined by the Christian clip, a jaw-dropping transmission of raw human emotion that’s actually difficult to watch. The clip is so controversial that it has already sparked many reaction videos; Jane Hamsher calls the original “a Rorschach test for how people view what’s going on in the Democratic party,” and compiles noteworthy responses.

So what’s the fuss about? “I am proud to be an older American woman!” Christian begins. Well, so far so good, right? But then…

“The Democrats are throwing the election away. For what? An inadequate black male? […] And I’m not going to shut my mouth anymore…I can be called white, but you can’t be called black? That’s not my America. It’s equality for all of us! I’m no second class citizen.” When a reporter asks for her name, she responds, “Why would you like my name? Maybe you’re, the CIA, the FBI?” Then, for some historical perspective: “I was a second-class citizen before, and now I’m nothing!” Then she threatens to vote for McCain as revenge, and storms off.

In positioning the RBC’s refusal to bend a rule that would have put more votes in the Clinton column as a blow to feminist progress, Christian seems to confirm the blanket stereotype that Clinton supporters are, like the candidate herself, shrill, prone to convenient irrationality, quick to cry “sexism,” and possibly even racist. Certainly, as a portrait of a Clinton supporter, the video does Hillary no favors. As a meme, it essentially distributes the same main idea as another Hillary-related vid making the rounds this week, Jerry O’Connell’s Young Hillary. While Clinton works herself into a frenzy accusing all around of treating her unfairly and demanding reparations — thereby inevitably digging herself deeper into a hole — Obama stays quiet and scores.

I find it fascinating that while a fairy tale version of middle-aged women is dominating popular culture, an actual middle aged woman’s fall from a position of potential power and the hysteria that event has engendered amongst her supporters is dominating YouTube and the cable news cycle. Obviously, for most of us, the fake version of this demographic’s triumphs and tragedies is easier to digest. “Man, I’m not concerned with all the politics!” growls a heavily-digitized Fergie in the movie’s theme song, “Labels and Love.” Enough said.

8 Responses to “Karina’s Capsule: Harriet Christian”

  1. This lady is obviously ill informed and stupid. she is as bad as the con talk show hosts. I strongly dislike Hillary because of her pompus attitude of entitlement, and Bush-esque tactics of lying and attacking for no reason during the campaign. I would rather see McCain than Hillary.Has nothing to do with her being a woman, I was for her in the beginning, she destroyed herself by being a ruthless evil bitch. I no longer support her because I see the real her. I am voting for the much better than all suited Obama. Not because she is a woman, and he is black, but because I have common sense and am objective. Women like this just need to shut up and not vota at all, since she blindly votes her opinion on people. She did not mention a single issue either had a stance on, only black-white/man-woman. She is wrong and an idiot.


    check this out then have a rational discussion ∆

    Integrity and dignity, something I myself lack at times says alot about an individual.

    so black people are voting for obama cause he is black? and women are not voting for hillary cause she is a woman? if that was truely the case Rev Jesse Jackson would have been president a long time ago!!!!

  3. Alvin

    Harriet tries to say she’s not a racist because she supported civil rights….ok. but then she goes on to say that 99% of blacks are voting for obama simply because he’s black…ummmmmm yeaaaa. thats the same argument as some of me best friends are black!

  4. BarbraAnn

    I saw an interview with Harriet Christian on Fox and she was very calm, rational & intelligent. She made numerous valid points and said that she had worked for civil rights in the past and is no racist. The MSM and Obama supporters obvious disrespect for women in general is what has fueled her rage as well the rage of a wide swath of women voters. It’s no longer about Hillary – it has become extremely personal and the results will be evident come November.

  5. andrewa

    bla blah blah feminist sexist woman just don’t get it…no one gives a dam that Clinton is a woman…people just plain don’t like her because she is an unlikable nasty person….I’m not voting for Obama because he’s black…its ridiculous…who thinks like that? Apparently women do because all I hear is “I’m supporting the woman candidate.” Sorry but that is not a good reason to support someone. The sad thing is, this is just a generational thing…I’m sorry you had lots of sexism growing-up but its a new generation… every woman I know under 30 is wildly supportive of Obama…in with the new…out with the tired and old….

  6. BobbyG

    Sent this out on my email list:

    Harriet Christian, President of the Manhattan Chapter of The Densa Society of Noooh Yawk, seriously off her meds. And a funny reaction.

    Y’know, I read an enticing argument recently throwing cold water on the idea of max get-out-the-vote participation. Basically, if you’re such an intractably limbic-driven lunatic Star of Your Own Reality-Show Psychodrama incapable of rational parsing and getting up to speed on the catatonically tedious non-YouTube Moment details of process and governance and policy, maybe you should just stay home and throw shit at your TeeVee between Budweisers.


  7. blah blah blah Men just never get it. We don’t care about the issues anymore, you’ve insulted us since January. Obama and the media slandered and demonized Hillary. Can’t stand Obama now, so it’s gonna be John McCain.