From left: NOW Executive Vice President Karen Johnson, NOW President Kim Gandy, Carol Moseley Braun, NOW Membership Vice President Terry O’Neill and NOW Action Vice President Olga Vives. Photo by Lisa Bennett
“Where were feminists, including Gloria Steinem, when Carol Moseley-Braun ran for President?”
That’s the latest throw-down, examples of which can be found here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here, for just a sampling of many. The implication being, of course, that while Gloria Steinem and white feminists in general would speak up on behalf of Hillary Clinton, they could not be bothered with Carol Moseley-Braun.
Matter of fact, Gloria Steinem spearheaded Carol Moseley-Braun’s campaign. In July of 2003, she said:
Ever since I walked through the cold streets of Chicago with Carol when she was supposed to have no chance of winning a U.S. Senate race—and saw the love and respect of ordinary citizens who later confounded the experts by electing her—I’ve known that she can’t be measured by ordinary standards,” Steinem said.
”Her time as U.S. ambassador to New Zealand expanded her view from Illinois and the U.S. to the world, and dramatized the needless mistakes this country is making,” Steinem added. ”Whether or not she enters the White House, her presidential candidacy will take the ‘white male only’ sign off its door, move many voters to insist on new issues and positions from all candidates, and force the next president to deal with a changed national consciousness. In other words, she can’t lose.” — from an article of Monday July 14, 2003 by Steve Neal, Chicago Sun-Times
Gloria Steinem’s campaign contributions report shows a $1,000 donation to Moseley-Braun in 1992. She then went on to be a member of Moseley-Braun’s Exploratory Committee and to campaign vigorously for her.
I had Moseley-Braun’s campaign photo on the main page of my old website for months and months after she’d dropped out of the race– just because I liked seeing it there and had such deep respect for the woman.
What’s off-the-charts scandalous about these blog posts is the boldness with which all of the bloggers linked above, and many others, have published lies about a woman. This is not ancient history– this happened just five years ago. Gloria Steinem’s name, paired with Carol Moseley-Braun’s name, was ubiquitous and everywhere during Moseley-Braun’s campaign.
Evidently, though, that didn’t register with quite a number of feminists and progressives. They were so sure of their reporting — and apparently so unconcerned for the facts or for any sort of journalistic ethics or their own credibility — that they didn’t even bother to check. The information is readily available online. My hunch is, they presumed that the ongoing campaign to discredit and erase the work of feminist leaders like Gloria Steinem has been so successful, even if what they wrote wasn’t true, they’d be believed, and even if as it turned out, people learned their reports were false, it wouldn’t matter, they would continue to repeat the lies anyway, in the ongoing woman-hating which is masquerading, right now, as feminism. Or perhaps they have such skewed and distorted ideas about Gloria Steinem, they just assumed the worst about her. I kind of favor that latter explanation, actually.
Well, a few of us will continue to work very hard to keep the rest of you honest.