She agrees that Ms. Ferraro's statement is factually correct but she objects to its implications (AKA implicatures). Lacking any additional background, and Jender provides none, I had thought it most likely that Ms. Ferraro was objecting to the way the press had treated Mr. Obama, in part because of his race, as a messiah or rock star, to which "the country" had responded, giving him an unfair advantage.
Geraldine Ferraro has been widely and rightly criticised for saying the following:“If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position,” she continued. “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.”
It is not unusual for the press to pick favorites. In 2000, while they still thought he was a liberal Republican, the press treated then Gov. Geo. Bush very positively. Between 2004 and 2008, they treated Sen. Clinton as the 'inevitable' winner of the Democratic presidential nomination. Sen. Obama has merely been the recent beneficiary of media praise. But, feminist philosopher Jender sees it differently:
But– what [Ms. Ferraro] conveyed (via implicatures, if one wants to get technical) was that Obama was undeserving of his successes. That his successes were solely a result of his race. And that being non-white is a huge and undeserved stroke of luck in America. All false. And all so offensive and obviously false that nobody would explicitly say them.The implications that Jender reads into Ms. Ferraro's statements come from Jender's mind, not Ferraro's. While everyone else acknowledges, for example, that Sen. Obama gives superb political speeches, in Jender's mind, Sen. Obama's successes are "undeserved" and "solely" because of race. Her introduction of the word "solely" is particularly significant: it is no where in Ms. Ferraro's statement nor in any reasonably implication of her statement. Jender's argument appears to me to show Jender projecting her own racist feelings of black inferiority onto Ms. Ferraro.
UPDATE: Shelby Steele argues that Ms. Ferraro was right.