Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis: Yes...this is about "blackness"...and Hillary is courting the bigots - Part 1.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Yes...this is about "blackness"...and Hillary is courting the bigots - Part 1.

A hysterical video - but directly on point:

This issue has become a definite bone of contention between me and some of my friends.

First, read one of the best pieces I've ever seen on racial issues written in DKos a few days ago. This was the same day I felt like I was "shamed" about even bringing racism up in regards to Obama.
Not so very long ago, there was a great deal of talk around various progressive parts of wwwLand about how the "half-white, half-black" Barack Obama had "transcended" race and racism. Well, actually, not so much talk about that, but rather talk about why talking about racism is by its very nature divisive.

Racism is divisive. However, not talking about it doesn’t make it go away.

Many people find straight-up discussions of the subject uncomfortable. Or irrelevant. One expression I have heard for the past 20 or so years from whites – both friends and others – goes along the lines of: why do black people (Indians, etc.) keep bringing up racial issues? Things are different now. True. In my lifetime, progress has been made. But race and racism still factor greatly in the social, cultural and political life of this nation
. Look at voter suppression. Look at our prisons. Look at our reservations. Look at the Ninth Ward of New Orleans.

Most of the people I know - of all races - want race to no longer be a factor in any negative sense. However, the only people that try to insist that we've "come so far" that it no longer is a negative factor are those who don't have racism touching their lives in an intimate way.

Yes, that means white people.

Please read the entire article - it's that good - but on March 5th there were several parts that struck home powerfully. First this section:
But because of its history, race now has a significance that it is anti-progressive to ignore. Once introduced into human society, race has implications and human experiences are shaped by it. To ignore the implications of those experiences is a wrong-headed approach, I believe. We are all humans, but our histories and experiences have not all been the same. The question isn't to pretend that this isn't the case, but what we do with that knowledge and recognition.

In a perfect world, perhaps, we'd all be colorblind. But in my experience it's mostly been white people who have claimed to be colorblind and black people who have said they want their blackness to be acknowledged. Black and proud. I've heard black people lament how many times they've been told, "I don't think of you as black," as if that's supposed to be a compliment or as if they're being separated out from other blacks and praised as "one of the good ones."
If you're a light-skinned Indian, you get the other side of this: "You don't look Indian."

Since the launching of the Democratic primary campaign, a number of accusations of racism have been made, some of them this week. I’m not going to reprise them and all their nuances now. But if, as seems likely, the presidential contest this fall is between a brown-skinned black man and a cream-colored white man, we can expect more of the same and worse. Perhaps we won’t get force-fed slurs along the lines that Obama fathered a white child, but the idea that race won’t matter in the contest for the Presidency, that it’s been transcended, has pretty much been debunked by events.

As I will discuss later, that is proven even more in the last few days.

And secondly, the section containing Senator Obama's own words:

"If I was arrested for armed robbery and my mug shot was on the television screen, people wouldn't be debating if I was African-American or not. I'd be a black man going to jail. Now if that's true when bad things are happening, there's no reason why I shouldn't be proud of being a black man when good things are happening, too. "
In America, there are two classes of people, white and not-white. If you are white, then you are white, but if you are not white, you are NOT WHITE. Have you ever heard of anyone described as half-white, unless they were visibly another race? No matter how pretty or how smart, if you are not white in America, you are not white.

But Obama didn't have to use the example of armed robbery, all he had to say is if he got into an elevator, some white woman would clutch her purse. The double Ivy League grad (Columbia, Harvard Law) is not white in America, to what degree doesn't matter, he could be half-Mexican like Bill Richardson or Jeb Bush's kids, and they are not white. It's not the degree of blackness you have, but the lack of whiteness.

It doesn't matter what my 10-year-old's skin tone is or the fact that her daddy was Creole (mix of white, black and Native American) and I'm white...society views her as black. When I heard talk of folks asking "why" Obama calls himself black, I laughed.

End of Part 1.


Post a Comment

<< Home