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Why black women must stand up to the unfair attacks on Susan Rice

Dr. Avis A. Jones-DeWeever, National Council of Negro Women
The Grio
Nov 29, 2012

( - Let’s be real about the hoops that Susan Rice finds herself now navigating in order to save her potential nomination for the position of Secretary of State.

They are hoops structured, designed, and maintained by the persistence of white male privilege in America. They serve as reminders that though a new and rising diverse electoral coalition is undoubtedly in play, the overall paradigm of power and privilege in this nation remains firmly within the grasp of white men.

Let’s remind ourselves of how this whole thing began.

Days after a crushing victory gave rise to a second term for the Obama administration, the president’s first electoral foe stepped before the bright media spotlight with what appeared to be a chip on his shoulder. In classic McCain brooding and overbearing style, the senator proceeded with an attempt to undo the president’s anticipated pick for the nation’s next top diplomat even before the newly re-elected president had the opportunity to put a name firmly in play. It was in this moment that Senator McCain went on the attack.

In an appearance on Fox and Friends, McCain leveled serious and downright insulting charges against Ambassador Rice, stating boldly that she was possibly “unqualified,” suggesting that perhaps she didn’t “understand” the evidence surrounding the Benghazi incident, and then accusing her of outright lying to the American people by making statements which he believed were “patently false and defied common sense.”

And then the kicker: “I will do everything in my power to block her from being the United States Secretary of State.”

Now, let’s deconstruct this a bit.

John McCain questioned the “qualifications” and “ability to understand” of someone who is both a Truman Scholar and a Rhodes Scholar. Someone who holds not one, but two graduate degrees, including a Ph.D. from Oxford University, and someone who, by the way, earned that Ph.D. after winning an award for penning the best doctoral dissertation in the United Kingdom in the field of International Relations. Read the full story at

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