Gwen Ifill’s Cousin, Sherrilyn Ifill, University Of Maryland Law Professor, Says Sarah Palin Offensive to Black Women

UPDATE:  Sherrilyn Ifill is bound to ruffle some feathers in the legal world with her comments about President Obama’s pick for the Supreme Court to replace Justice Souter. She wrote a commentary on CNN that was pretty convincing, in my opinion, but will no doubt the bothersome to some.

Well, I don’t think that Gov. Sarah Palin is offensive to black women. She’s offensive to women in general. This is the woman who John McCain says is brilliant, yet she can’t answer a simple question about what newspapers and magazines she reads. This is the same woman who offered a lame excuse about her foreign policy experience as being able to see Russia from Alaska and keeping an eye on Vladimir Putin. So, Gwen Ifill entered the fray this week when her objectivity was questioned because she has a pro-Barack Obama book coming out around inauguration day. Well, another Ifill has joined this political dogfight. Sherrilyn Ifill, who Gwen has called her “brilliant” little cousin, said that “from the first day, Palin presented herself as shooting a bear in the morning, field dressing it, cooking up the breakfast, diapering the babies, passing legislation in the afternoon, cleaning the house, satisfying her husband, etc., etc., etc. And it’s just not true,” she wrote in an e-mail interview. “It’s hard to be an average working mom, really hard. And when women who are privileged present as though they have it all together, it’s offensive to black women.”

She said, “black women are not easily confused by false claims to feminism. When women like Palin lay claims to ‘representing’ average women, I think that black women have a visceral reaction to it.”

Ifill added that Palin “missed her opportunity when she announced Bristol’s pregnancy to explicitly talk about how painful it was to her as a mother – instead of making it as though this too was also part of her perfect life.

“Hillary has the sympathy of women because of what she went through with Bill in front of the whole country. Michelle [Obama] takes pains to be self-deprecating and to talk about her concerns and fear about her girls. She insists that she couldn’t do what she does without the help of her mother. Most importantly, both champion issues that affect the lives of real, average women – universal health care, equal pay, choice, etc. To do so is a recognition that real working women (not political wives or politicians) need policies that will help them maintain their families. What’s the point of Palin’s brand of feminism if it doesn’t translate into real returns for average women?”

But, Ms. Ifill did attack Hillary Clinton as well. She denounced her as a phony feminist: “When she knocked back a shot and a beer in that bar in Pennsylvania, Mrs. Clinton ended any pretense of running as a feminist.” She compared it to Michael Dukakis in a tank, a failed “macho stunt.” Wow, this is deep!

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 Gwen Ifills Cousin, Sherrilyn Ifill, University Of Maryland Law Professor, Says Sarah Palin Offensive to Black Women
Janet Shan is a freelance journalist, blogger and social media consultant. Janet specializes in political and social commentary, as well as business writing. She is the founder and managing editor of the Hinterland Gazette. She is putting the finishing touches on her new novel, a mystery based in the hills on Montego Bay, Jamaica.
  • Pelmo

    From today until election day why not change the name of your blog from Black Political Thought to the Offical Sarah Palin Bashing Post. You have been in over drive from day one.

    I wouldn’t care, but many of them been have been proven to be false and I have yet to see a retraction or apology. Yet you get deeply offended at the slightest criticism of Obama.

  • : JustaDog

    Palin presented herself – actually this is how pro-Obamaites portrayed Gov. Palin, then accepted it as “fact”.

    It is normal guilt motivation mode of the Obama camp to label people as “racist”. Sort of like when Obama was an attorney in Chicago and Citibank was being sued for not extending loans to blacks that were bad credit risks. Obama tried to frame Citibank as “racist” – totally circumventing the truth and reality of who should be extended a loan.

    The entire Barack Obama camp have proven to America their campaign is one of lies and racist accusations.

    Your post proves my point – totally void of evidence against a female governor, just filled with “he said, she said” and you pass that on as if it were fact.

    I have no doubt that racism is alive and well – and being packaged abd distributed by predominately a few blacks.

  • Janet Shan

    Pelmo — Let’s put things in the proper perspective. Whenever I voice my opinion about the GOP, Sarah Palin and John McCain, you have a problem. I have been very critical of Barack Obama and even comments made by Joe Biden on many issues. So, please, don’t tell me how to run my blog. I don’t tell you how to run yours. The opinions expressed here are mine. You claim I get upset about criticism of Barack Obama, but a lot of it is unfounded. You are out of line to even suggest that I bash Palin only. I write about a lot of different issues. Like I tell people, if you don’t agree with me, that is fine, but don’t insult me because I didn’t insult you. You and I have vastly different experiences and I have a right to say exactly what I feel. Don’t ever try to infer that I am not above board. I am a Democrat and I will root for Barack Obama. As an African American, I am proud that he has reached this far. Of course, I don’t expect you to understand that.

    Justadog — Guilt motivation? You are missing the point. Blah, blah, blah. Exactly what has John McCain done to a) avert the subprime meltdown b) what should the next course of action be? He went to DC to fix things, but in reality, he did nothing. Let’s not forget that he quite clearly said he didn’t know much about economic stuff. To the GOP’s credit, actually, to Sarah Palin’s credit, she redeemed herself, but still couldn’t quite answer some of the questions in the debate. Somehow she wants to give herself more legislative power as VP if McCain wins. Gee, she wants to rewrite the Constitution. Please, come with something better next time.