The Subject of Race: A Personal Perspective

As painful as it is, one cannot live in the USA and not talk about race. Whether we like it or not, it is either the elephant in the room or is smouldering beneath the surface. As a black professional who happens to be a Hillary supporter, I have few black friends who understand why I support Hillary. I mostly talk politics with my children or some of my white friends. My daughters have married men from all races and we speak openly about the subject.

A few years ago my secretary was mistaken for my boss just by virtue of our skin color. I have been called every name in the book because of something I cannot change. Recently I have been looked at in strange ways because I support a candidate who I think is more experienced. I am not against someone I am for someone. It has gotten so bad that I am now considered a "negro" because I am beholden to "the white man."

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If He Wasn't Black

     For the first time in American history being a black man is now an asset? Ok, for the first time outside of an athletic event being a black man is a plus. I have been black a long time and I have witnessed countless instances when being a black man has been a handicap of epic proportions. I can even attest to the fact that just having a "black sounding" name has been a detriment. Now, I am suppose to believe that being a black man is somehow the reason Barack Obama is leading the nomination for President of America? I wonder if the people who are saying this line even hear themselves. I would like for them to go and tell this to the many young black men that are incarcerated in our nations jails and prisons who won't even get the opportunity to vote in this historic election or tell it to the many young black men who are unemployed standing around the corners of our inner cities.

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On Race, Gender and Reconciliation

It was a brilliant summer day in Atlanta, and the lumescent, blue sky lifted my already risen spirits as I was planning my wedding. A coworker and I were shopping for wedding dresses in an upscale suburb, both of us dressed in the standard uniform for such an event: sweats and sneakers. My coworker carried the look off with much more chic than I, with her tall frame, warm brown eyes and rich, espresso colored skin giving her the natural grace of a woman for whom sweats is a weekend indulgence.

Me? I just looked a little dumpy.

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Can we be honest about identity politics?

I will not get into the latest skirmage over identity politics with the presidential candidates because frankly I don't care about it.

Instead, what the latest skirmage forced me to ask myself is whether progressives/Democrats/Liberals, etc can be honest about how identity politics affects our decision making process?

This diary is mostly just a series of questions. I firmly expect to be attacked for asking because questions, but I have to ask.

1) Can we be honest about how identity politics affects decision making or must we sweep the discussion under the rug of racism or gender bias or whatever else people like to claim ?

2) Do you honestly think that there is not a positive for identity politics related to rage and gender that's a net positive for candidates in a Democratic primary season?

3) Do you think the stats that show how people are voting should be ignored ?

4) What do you think will happen in the general election with these issues?

These are just off top of my head. I am sure there are others I can think to bring to the mix.

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Media Bias? or Hillary the victim?

This article really embodies how many people feel about the primary media coverage.

Biased media!? Why I'm angry
By bserious- March 1, 2008, 4:36PM

The media is actually giving Hillary positive press for her tantrums and her claims that the media is pro-Obama.They're spinning it as a rallying cry for feminists. Taking lead from Tina Fey's sketch on SNL, her tantrum is somehow being spun into an ownership of the word, "bi*ch." You have people on tv talking about the double standards that women face in politics (i.e., men are assertive and women are bi*ches).

Now, I won't deny that women face double standards. And I know that there is some truth in that analysis. But this is not Jane Doe, this is Hillary Clinton.

Guess what, that "double standard" theory doesn't fly when her opponent has gone out of his way to be as respectful as he possibly can towards her (despite her repeated attacks). I could see if she was running against some sexist prick. But she's not. Yet she wants to take her anger at the media and re-direct it towards Obama and his success?

Why doesn't the media focus it's attention on how disrespectful she has been towards him? She won't acknowledge his victories; she mocks his message; she scolds his supporters; she calls him an empty suit; she calls his words, "cheap," and his hope, "false." The list goes on and on.

I don't care if she's a woman, man or whatever . . . when you're wrong, you're wrong.

"Shame on you Barack Obama"?!?!?! Who is she to talk to him like he's some 4 year old? This ain't pre-school and her condescending attitude is getting real tired, real fast.

Senator Obama is a grown man. He's just as accomplished as she is, (check their senate records) yet she wants to go around the country and call him some naive rookie? She dismisses his supporters and ignores the impact that he has had.

It's never good enough. He can win 11 straight states by an average of 33%, but it's still NEVER GOOD ENOUGH! He can expand the Democratic party by bringing in Independents, cross-over Republicans and first-time voters, but it's NEVER GOOD ENOUGH! He can draw crowds of 20,000 but it's NEVER GOOD ENOUGH! He can win more states (24 to 11), have a commanding lead in Pledged delegates, have a strong lead in the popular vote . . . but it's still NEVER GOOD ENOUGH!

She needs to stop making excuses. She needs to recognize that he's just doing a better job at reaching the voters than she is. Plain and simple.

Her stunts are going to backfire on her. It has nothing to do with being a man or woman. Democratic primary voters don't like negative politics . . . it's as simple as that.

This goes to show that there are differences in how the media treats race and gender. I'm not saying that they're better or worse, just different. I'm just gonna say it. This country has an instinct to protect white women. It can be a burden at times (i.e., Cult of True Womanhood) but it's still there. Hillary gets her feelings hurt and voters rush to her aide. She throws a fit and we make excuses because, after all, we can't forget those double standards, right?

Yet, at the same time, we have an instinct to fear black men.

Tell me, what would happen if Obama went on a tirade against Hillary, like she's done ? What would happen if he (gasp) raised his voice to this white woman? What would happen if he spent all of his time talking about the "white man," the way Hillary talks about the "boys club?"

Rick Lazio, a white man, found out when he "invaded her personal space." If he took the fall, you can imagine what would happen to Obama the second he steps out of line.

Hillary faces a lot of obstacles through sexism, no doubt. But there are moments where she benefits as well. There are moments where she has the luxury to portray herself as the victim to garner sympathy from voters and the media. There are moments where she can, as Melissa Harris-Lacewell (a black woman, professor) notes, slip in and out of her "Scarlett O'Hara" routine. It's a prime example of how mainstream media discusses gender bias without recognizing the white privilege that often comes with it.

You want to talk about double standards? Obama has run his campaign under the interrogation of white approval ever since he made that speech at the DNC in 2004. He knows he can't do or say certain things because he can't afford to make white people uncomfortable, especially when running against a white woman.

Once again, I know that we have to fight sexism as vigorously as we fight racism. And we should be doing a better job at it.

But I also know that there are many "oppressed" white women who would never trade places with a black person. All I'm saying is that it's more complicated than the media would like to suggest.

So to the media: Fine, point out the double standards. But don't make excuses for Hillary's poor and divisive behavior. And don't pretend like Obama doesn't walk a tight rope everyday as well.

Obama caught hell just for saying, "you're likeable, enough" because people didn't like the tone of his voice. He caught hell for the "snub" because he happened to be talking to someone else when she came by. I swear, I almost fell out of my chair late last week when I heard a pundit criticize Obama for WRITING ON HIS NOTEPAD while Hillary spoke at the debate. I guess he was being disrespectful because he wasn't looking at her when she talked. Give me a break!

I can't make this any clearer. Obama has to RUN AWAY from issues of race for fear of being labled the "black candidate." It's the only way he can win. Yet, Hillary gets to embrace "girl power" in ways Obama could NEVER embrace "black power." Now you've got Tina Fey saying "Bi*ch is the new black."

Some see Hillary as a victim. But some of us also know what discrimination is. And for a lot of us, we see Hillary as a grown woman who knows exactly what she's doing. She conveniently plays off of gender oppression every chance she gets.

Some of us don't see her as a victim, and never have. What we see is a privileged person who thought the white house was her entitlement.

But the media keeps falling for her BS. The narrative remains the same . . . everything goes back to "POOR HILLARY"

http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/tal k/2008/03/biased-media-why-im-angry.php

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