Home > feminism, hillary clinton, journalism, media misogyny, politics, race > The blindness of race-love

The blindness of race-love


Of ALL the many articles, blogs, reports I’ve read these past few weeks, this has to be the one with the silliest logic.

First, “Iowa caucus-goers stood by Barack, in part, because when voting with their bodies, in front of their neighbors, Iowans are held accountable. In the quiet, solitary space of the voting booth, some New Hampshire voters abandoned Barack.” – is that the ONLY difference in the two? Isn’t a more fundamental, basic difference the factor of time? Isn’t there SOME element of stimulus-response based on what happened at Iowa and in those five days? That when Iowa was voting, Obama wasn’t looking solid, so his supporters came out, and when Clinton looked like she was about to not just lose NH but just completely wiped off the face of this election, her supporters came out to vote and give her a fighting chance?

Second, “But there is not a substantial gender gap in American politics. Historically, white women voters are as likely to be Democrats as Republicans; as likely to vote for male candidates as for female; and as likely to describe themselves as conservative or liberal.”. How many viable, electable female candidates has this country seen in the last two hundred years? If women voters (white, black, brown or yellow) were actually offered a chance that would bring them together, they would’ve voted as one a long time ago. Like the black voting bloc stays constant with Democrats because they speak to them, with them, for them – there has been NO party or person that would deign to work for women. And therefore, the loyalty of that group of people has depended on other factors. Which kind of shows that the problem of women haven’t been recognized, acknowledged or even ‘found a voice’ in the public sphere. And please don’t tell me that there are no common problems that all women face.

Third “Clinton cried about being attacked in the debates, but there are no public tears shed for the strain Obama must feel as a result of death threats, which caused the doubling of his Secret Service detail”. This is the worst form of begging for sympathy – ‘he’s going to be killed so vote for him’? Is Obama the only public figure ever, to get death threats? We can be pretty certain that Hillary Clinton has received her fair/unfair share of death threats. I don’t recall, say, Benazir Bhutto or any one of the zillion leaders/politicians/movie stars who get death calls crying on TV – so death calls make you scared, angry, and the only viable solution then is to get out of the public glare.

Hillary has been dragged through pretty much every kind of humiliation a human being can face in the public eye. And no, she hasn’t cried – yet. Not about being attacked in the debates – she can give back as good as she’s ever got. No, she didn’t spill tears – not even on the ‘most viewed video’ on Monday.

Barack Obama is an inspirational leader, but his strategy is neither new nor difficult. He not just models himself on other young leaders talking about hope – JFK, MLK Jr, even Jesus, and yes, Bill Clinton; he literally invokes them, quotes them: he’s idiot-proofed it so each one of us can NOT miss that connection. At best, this is borrowed shine – at worst, this is plagiarism.

Ok, so your 5-year old asked you a question. She asked you that after you’d fed it into her that those two girls were going somewhere – all she did was mirror your disappointment. You’d said “Look at the beautiful black girls who might get to live in the White House,”. Like it’s a great thing for beautiful black girls to get to live in the White House and not an equally great thing for a woman to run the country from the Oval Office?

By saying “What I know for sure is that if black Americans are going to be relevant to American elections, they must rally behind Obama now”, you’re basically implying that we’re not ever going to remain relevant to American elections if we don’t. Frankly, ‘Pshaw’ to that – we’ve been pretty much the single most important, large and influential voting group apart from evangelicals in the last few years.

And each extra time he plays the MLK card or the civil rights movement card even if they may not be anywhere relevant to what he’s talking about, Obama is ‘playing’ the race card.

I don’t think that is bad, after all he is mixed race and that he’s reached where he has despite his race, is an achievement. So he should be proud of that. Let’s just not assume that all that name-dropping is naively done – because if it is, then we have an ignoramous on our hands (which is terrifying). Seems unlikely from all that Obama’s put out so far that he’s not smart enough to understand people or the influence of words.

As a brown woman, I was proud of Obama until he started playing dirty politics (“triangulation” is merely bipartisanship in different clothing, so dragging down someone else while patting yourself on the back for doing the same thing yourself is dirty), being petty and cocky at the same time, and setting himself up as a modern day Prophet descended onto the planet to save all of us from hell (‘you’ll see a ray of light hit you”?? – I mean seriously, next you know he’ll start referring to himself in the third person). I’ve seen men do that enough all my life, and unapologetically, and unashamedly. I’m tired of it, and I’m tired of him. I’m thrilled to see a woman beat, fight her way back amidst oceans of tears spilled by Obama-mesmerized crowds.

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