Amy Siskind, founder of the feminist nonprofit The New Agenda, shocked many people in stating that she would never support any white male in the Democratic primary. Period. Does not matter what they have accomplished or what they want to accomplished. Does not matter if they are the most qualified for the White House. Siskind simply intended to vote on race and gender, but apparently does not like being called a sexist or racist. When political talk show host and Boston College professor David Pakman made the obvious objection to her tweet in a video entitled “Racism & Sexism Exist On The Left, Too“, he says that she not only blocked him on Twitter but allegedly complained to Boston College to jeopardize his adjunct position.
Pakman tweeted out her blanket rejection of all white male candidates on December 17th.
I will not support white male candidates in the Dem primary. Unless you slept thru midterms, women were our most successful candidate. Biggest Dem vote getters in history: Obama ‘08, Hillary ‘16. White male is not where our party is at, and is our LEAST safe option in 2020.13.4K9:10 AM – Dec 17, 2018Twitter Ads info and privacy8,400 people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacy
What is curious is that she seems to view Hillary Clinton as a good candidate despite being the least popular candidate ever nominated by the party and someone who lost to the least popular candidate ever nominated by the Republican party. The general view is that a wide array of candidates including male candidates like Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders would have easily defeated Trump. Yet, Siskind still views Clinton as the model of the candidates going forward.
Yet, the most problematic element is Siskind’s open sexism and racism in rejecting any white male. I can understand Siskind discussing the racial or gender issues in the campaign, but she calls for a categorical rejection of candidates based on their race and gender.
That point was reasonably raised by Pakmanon Twitter when he observed that “pre-emptively dismissing a candidate based on their race and gender” did not seem “progressive” to him: “I feel like there’s as [sic] word to describe that.”
What is ironic is that Siskind is known for her posting of The Weekly List, on how Trump is “eroding norms” and yet seems to exhibit a sense of utter immunity from espousing sexist positions on males or whites. Siskind serves on Cornell’s Council of Cornell Women our its Cornell University Council. She has been featured at Cornell in advising students on women empowerment. She also writes for the Daily Beast.
Siskind did later respond that “[s]ecure men are always at the fore-front of diversity.” However, she did not apologize, let alone rescind her earlier position against any white males. Imagine if she had written that she would not cover any African American or hispanic male. Yet, she views it as perfectly appropriate to encourage people to vote on the basis of gender and race.
Yet, Pakman alleged that Siskind did “call Boston College demanding they not have me back as adjunct faculty.”
For her part, Siskind would only say that “Mr. Pakman can publicly apologize and explain his misstatements. I understand he has been corrected. People are watching how he conducts himself.” I am still unclear of what misstatement Siskind is referencing.
Pakman identifies himself as liberal and his video does not seem to be intentionally insulting or clearly inaccurate:
I also fail to understand why such criticism would produce such an alleged response in blocking the critic or seeking to harm his academic association with Boston College. If you look at the comment section on this blog, there are some pretty insulting and heated criticism of the host. I rarely delete such comments against me absent vulgar or racist elements because that is the price one pays to write publicly. On a blog committed to free speech, we often tolerate trolling and juvenile commenters to guarantee a forum of free exchange.
As a writer for the Daily Beast and a public figure, Siskind should either deny that she took these actions or explain why she felt that they are appropriate.
Boston College should also confirm that, if Siskind did reach out to the college, it did not change Pakman’s status due to the objection over his exercise of free speech.