Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Obama and Racial politics in the US

No one ever put Hillary Clinton on stage to address why several radical feminists and And national organizations like National Organization of Women support her? No one ever put John McCain's faith on question. No one even suggests that they should change their church just becasue their pastor has critical thoughts and harsh feelings towards racism and imperialism. But we do need to put the black candidate here on stage to defend how he is not just "black" but will work for everyone. Racial inequality and fear of people of color still haunts America.

All this is not to suggest that I am crying "Obama is vicitm of racism" because regardless of ways racial inequality persists in the US, he has struggled and thrived in life. What I am suggesting is that racism in the US is no longer about the "n" word only. It is nuanced in the ways we frame debates and dialouges. The failure of the mainstrem media (and largely white reporters, because the African-American reporters are speaking their mind on this) to realize the level at which progressive religious institutions like Trinity play crucial roles in poverty stricken communities, by providing servcie that the government otherwise has shrugged their shoulders from. Also, the ways in which complex transformations of pain, frutration to hope and spirit happen through energized sermons.

While I donot beleive that Senator.Obama's running is going to fundamentally alter the ways in which fear of altering racial power in this country operates, I do believe like the Senator it is time we start talking about such issues as why higher rates of Black men are in jail? why even after paying taxes both documented and undocumented immigrants are cut off welfare? why is HIV risisng in communities of color? why so many targets of anti-transgender killings are transgenders of color?

Also at the core of this is to ask what are the limitations of us as individuals rising above our conditions versus society as a community of people working to solve crises collectively? Both need happen in tandem!

5 comments:

Piali said...

ok - wow - you're up early writing!!!

Paul said...

John McCain and Hillary Clinton's pastors have critical thoughts and harsh feelings towards racism and imperialism? Well, I'd be surprised if they didn't. Still, I'd be interested to know who their pastors are and what thoughts and feelings of theirs you are referring to. Can you cite where you got that information for me?

Also, can you point out to me where Senator Obama spoke or wrote about "why even after paying taxes both documented and undocumented immigrants are cut off welfare; why is HIV rising in communities of color; why so many targets of anti-transgender killings are transgenders of color?" I know it wasn't in the speech he made today which focused on issues of race, and I don't remember it being in any of the other speeches I've heard. I'd be really curious to know exactly what his words are that you are referencing.

And speaking of Senator Obama's quite brilliant speech today, what did you feel about his characterization of and comparison of Israeli's and Palestinians? If you missed it, you might want to go back to the text and check it out. Also, I was surprised to hear him say that he "could no more disown" Reverend Write "than he could his white grandmother." It seems to me that he could have left the church quite easily if he so vehemently disagreed with what was being preached there as he maintains. Still, he's hung on for more than twenty years. I had no problem leaving my church when they denied to allow Catholic LGBTQ men and women meet on church property to pursue their spiritual lives at the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis, even though I recognized that the Catholic Church was doing a tremendous amount to care for PWAs at the time. My grandmother, however, remains my grandmother.

autechre said...

thanks for giving voice to these sentiments d! this contrived attempted virtual lynching of rev. wright is barely a week after johnny mccain happily accepts the endorsement of john hagee who is a complete racist islamophobe and nut-case; and yet the MSM turns a blind eye to this. unbelievable!

Paul said...

Really? "Contrived attempted virtual lynching?" Is the onus of slapping the virtual horse on Senator Obama then? Personally, this statement makes me as uncomfortable vis a vis the thousands and thousands of victims of actual lynchings in all their horror as did Clarence Thomas' use of "high tech lynching" in response to the congressional hearings regarding the Anita Hill situation prior to his appointment to the Supreme Court.

And while Hagee's endorsement of McCain came back in February, not "barely a week" ago, as stated, here's one example of how the MSM "turns a blind eye" what the New York Times (pretty much considered mainstream media I believe) published on March 8, 2008:

"Later, before speaking to a conservative group here, Mr. McCain repudiated the views of a prominent Texas televangelist, the Rev. James C. Hagee, who endorsed him last month. Mr. Hagee has called the Roman Catholic Church the “anti-Christ” and a “false cult system.”

Many, many more "turned blind eyes" abound in the MSM, in print, broadcast, radio, internet, etc. if one takes the pains to open ones eyes and ears to see and hear them.

Debanuj said...

Hi Paul, while i agree with you about the difference between Lynching in the past and the ways "modern" racism works, dont you think that lynching can be still used as a metaphor?

Is the economy a bigger problem in the US than racism?