Geraldine Ferraro stepped down from her position on Hillary Clinton’s campaign finance committee after her controversial remarks that Barack Obama’s success in the election thus far has been due to the color of his skin.
Last week, Ferraro, a former vice presidential nominee, remarked to The Daily Breeze, of Torrance, Calif., that, “If Obama was a white man; he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman of any color, he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept.”
An unapologetic Ferraro decided to resign after intense political backlash towards both her and the Clinton campaign. However, she has not resigned because she regrets her statements. In e-mail to Clinton, Ferraro wrote, “I am stepping down from your finance committee so I can speak for myself and you can continue to speak for yourself about what’s at stake in this campaign. The Obama campaign is attacking me to hurt you. I won’t let that happen.”But could an apology have helped her? Only if it was sincere, says Simma Lieberman, a diversity consultant based in Albany, Calif. “If someone makes a comment like that and then says they mean it and refuses to see the point in a discussion about it, they should be lose their job."
Inappropriate comments whether they be racist, sexist, or anything else, can be incredibly hurtful and are always inappropriate, especially in the work place. However, when people find themselves in this situation, they may be able to turn it into a learning experience and keep their jobs at the same time.
Most people are not intentionally malicious and their inappropriate comments, are often a result of naïveté. People don’t realize that the intention of their statement is much different than the implication. “Geraldine Ferraro’s comments actually imply that the voters supporting Obama are idiots and have been taken in by him,” says Lieberman. “The same goes when people make a racial comment about a co-worker or boss. It implies first that someone of a different race is incompetent and incapable of having their job and that they are much more competent to have those responsibilities.”