The Things We Can't Talk About, When We Do Talk About Race, And Barack Obama

Although this is my first entry at MyDD, I have been blogging for about a year and a half on my own; the election, and writing about it, has helped attract readers, and bolster my confidence as a writer, things for which I am grateful. It's a little odd to me that I would choose a dicey subject like our racial divides as a jumping off point, but it's something I care about (and have written about, as the links will show), and I think someone has to try.  My intent, of course, is not to offend, but to invite a dialogue, and a way to get into a difficult subject. Whether it succeeds or not... is up to you.

It doesn't surprise me that one outcome of this week's primary results is that the tensions of talking about the dynamics of this election season have gotten rougher; a lot of Obama supporters - which could easily be described as "the media" - have had to readjust to the fact that Clinton's win in PA was solid, as good as her supporters expected, if not better, and made it clear that things we'd been saying were turning out to be true. And that, in turn, has led to some expected hand-wringing about the kind of divide the results exposed.

Put another, less PC way... it's gotten hard to ignore that some white people don't vote for Barack Obama.

The question, of course is why.  And in order to discuss that, naturally, we need to talk about some difficult subjects. And race, really is only part of it.  It's also class, and economics, and cultural tensions... but simmering under and around all of it is people talking frankly about race in a way that most people find uncomfortable, a way that has to acknowledge perceptions and prejudices without, necessarily, giving into them.

And I mean that both ways: some, I think, struggle with a way to talk about working class white voters that doesn't resort to "redneck" or "trailer trash" type stereotyping; the opposite, of course, is sweeping generalizations about black people that  are clearly prejudiced if not flat out racist. Complicating it are perceptions, stereotypes and casual notions many of us hold, things we rarely admit, or discuss with strangers.

There's more...

Classism: Did Sharpton Really Say That?

Linfar's diary about the role that class plays in this election has prompted a lot of comments about electability and race. Overlooked in the discussion is an alarming quote that the diarist attributes to Rev. Al Sharpton:

Al Sharpton on Feb. 17  called Hillary supporters, "uneducated, redncked white trash."

That's quite a thing for Sharpton to say. I hadn't heard this quote before, so I did some checking to try to find the source. I googled it, but nothing came up.

There's more...

GOP Prepares for "Bitter" Fight Against Obama

The New Mexico Republican Party is fielding an ad in rural southern New Mexico that plays off of Barack Obama's comments on April 11 about the bitterness felt by some rural Pennsylvanians over economic issues.  Obama suggested that the bitterness could lead some Pennsylvanians to support hot button issues that have little meaning to their lives.  What Obama said can be heard here.

The NM Republican Party ad can be heard by clicking here,

There's more...

Middle class blacks are not going to vote for Clinton

Using racial fears to win

...is supporting systemic racism. Having this issue in the news so much, has an impact on people's lives. I'm a black person who spends most of her time with white people-- there is tension and I feel second guessed. I invited a friend to my church for Easter and they turned me down, I think they were scared it'd be like Wright's church or something-- Not that Wright's church is really "scary" --I'd go there, but some white people think it's scary. And that is simply NOT TRUE.

If Hillary wins this way I don't think there is anything she can do to "make up for it" --Black people are speaking out about the relentless smearing, but white people, won't trust the message unless they hear it from white people too.

Clinton could have stopped all of this and made the issue go away-- she could have won some of the progressive vote for doing it too. She could have been so NOBEL and amazing. Just think about the message it could have sent to the country!

There's more...

Pelosi Speaks Out On Tibet; Class Conflict A Cause of Protest

Speaking in Dharamsala, seat of Tibet's government-in-exile, Ms Pelosi said: "We call upon the international community to have an independent outside investigation on accusations made by the Chinese government that His Holiness [the Dalai Lama] was the instigator of violence in Tibet."

She added: "The situation in Tibet is a challenge to the conscience of the world.

"If freedom-loving people throughout the world do not speak out against China and the Chinese in Tibet, we have lost all moral authority to speak out on human rights."

There's more...

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