Unpacking Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Privilege Knapsack

Veronica Arreola in BitchMedia:

This is an excerpt from Love Her, Love Her Not: The Hillary Paradox, edited by Joanne C. Bamberger, which comes out from SheWrites Press this month. Photo of Hillary Clinton by Marc Nozell.

HillIf Hillary Rodham Clinton is to successfully shatter the now-infamous glass ceiling for women presidential candidates, she will need to grab a sledgehammer from her “privilege knapsack.” That knapsack that holds so many of our unconsidered privileges, such as white privilege and class privilege, that color our perceptions. Hillary’s bag holds the mighty sledgehammer that she requires to smash her way into the White House in her own right, and get the votes of women who don’t carry that same knapsack, by taking a swing to break down some inherent problems in her well-intentioned family policies.

While Hillary and her entourage of consultants may think that the key to a 2016 White House victory is reestablishing the Democratic Party with white men, I contend that for her to succeed, she must win the hearts of low-income women and women of color. In 2008, President Obama not only overwhelmingly won over African-American (95 percent), Latino (67 percent), and Asian (62 percent) voters, but he also triumphed with the majority of voters who earned less than $50,000 a year. As a Latina, I know that in order for Hillary to win us over, she needs to spend some quiet time with her privilege knapsack and show voters in those groups more respect. Sadly, she doesn’t have a great record of doing that. Don’t get me wrong—I admire Hillary. I was born in her hometown of Park Ridge, Illinois. We both grew up root-root-rooting for the Chicago Cubs. We both centered our careers on the empowerment of girls and women. But I learned that empowerment is a complicated thing.

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