Sunday, December 12, 2010

Can You Handle the Truth?

Just read an op-ed piece in the New York Times by writer Ishmael Reed entitled What Progressives Don't Understand About Obama. It was an amen article, a piece with which I nodded continuously in agreement as I read it and murmured amen under my breath. To appreciate Reed's piece, read it, no summary can do it justice. He takes on the ad nauseum criticism that Present Obama is weak, ineffectual, ball less, and not tough enough to be president. A smart guy, but too nice and too concerned about keeping the peace. Too afraid to give the Republicans the ass whipping that they deserve.

I've been accused of being "nice" as in I don't want people to dislike me. Not true. I'm going to tell you up front that some of you aren't going to understand the truth that this article speaks and you may not like my attitude. See, as a black person I'm so sick and tired of white liberals who have still enjoyed the privilege of being white trying to tell a black man how to navigate in a white world.

You don't get it and you lack the humility to simply accept that you do not. Instead you attack the President as being weak, without balls, a sellout and any other demeaning, emasculating terminology that you can devise. You don't understand what it is to be black and walk in his shoes and you're too damned arrogant to listen to those of us who try and tell you.

By now, you're all upset because I've offended you. Hey, don't you want us to show our anger? Don't you have problems with me being so nice and reasonable all the time?

Don't get hung up on the mistaken notice that I'm taking the position that the president is off limits for criticism. I don't think he's perfect and I certainly have problems with some of his decisions. He and I part company when it comes to the continuation of either of our wars.

Read carefully and understand me, I'm talking about the continued hammering at his character. I'm talking about the insulting and demeaning allegations that he is less than a man, some namby- pamby smart guy who doesn't know how to be tough. What colossal ignorance and arrogance to believe that any black person could achieve what President Obama has achieved and be weak. Until you have walked in our shoes, until you have been marginalized based on the color of your skin in a culture that continues to not only openly express racism but defend its right to do so under cockeyed readings of the 1st amendment, then don't talk to me about how you think that any black person should behave.

Now, I'm going to go back to being nice. It's survival mode because if I dwell on this crap I can't leave my house. Every day that I go out I run into racism in this "colorblind" society of ours. Some days it's just the fools with the confederate flags plastered on their pickup trucks, or the monuments to the confederate dead that litter the South, but it's always something. So I'm tough and I work hard to not lose my cool because I don't have time to waste in being angry and out of control, and neither does the President.

39 comments:

  1. Wow - this is why I'm such a fan of yours. So amen to all of that - and that's not a word I use often.

    "Every day that I go out I run into racism in this "colorblind" society of ours."

    Saw a large truck weaving in and out of traffic on I95 last week - "Obama the Tyrant king" was written on the rear. They get creative when you deprive them of the N word and their white sheets. "2012 - end of an error" Yeah, right. Why not just come out and say it? Caution, bigot on board. Colorblind? We're hypersensitive to race, class, education and all the nuances of those things. We just don't talk about it directly. Instead we have wars on Chirstmas and Obama the tyrant - to dress up the bigotry.

    I remember when Obama became a candidate. There was one camp yelling that he wasn't enough of a stereotype and the other insisting the White House lawn would be littered with fried chicken buckets. Either way, it was an affirmation of racism: the idea that he was defined and limited by his father's skin and for the most part it was white people defining what it was appropriate or possible for a darker skinned man to be.

    McCain was not born in the US. Did they ask for his birth certificate?

    The Bahamas - I mean really

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've been reading my brains out this week, including Reed's article this morning: financial analyses of the tax proposal; the reactions of conservatives, liberals, progressives, the tea party; Obama supporters who have jumped ship and those who have jumped aboard. I've watched more televised news and analysis this week than I have since 2008. The more I read, the less sure I am of the right course, for all the options look gray.

    Whatever happens next, I know this: Mr. Obama has consistently conducted himself with an aplomb and grace that earns my personal loyalty--all the more because I have an inkling of the additional historical burden he carries. May be succeed.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Captain, I am truly honored by your "amen." I may be your neighbor in the Bahamas. I like the ocean and I'm thinking that I can hire some handsome young man to bring me drinks and fan me while I lounge on the beach. Yes, I know that it's wrong of me to objectify men.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sheria - I love how you make me stop and think. Your posts are never one dimensional, so many facets to consider.
    Events in my childhood and teen years; with my parents and their "funny" accents and during the years of integration and civil rights implementation shaped my view of my fellow Americans in all their colors, religions and ethnic backgrounds. I think President Obama is not leading this country as a "black man" but as a politician and in that there are things he has done that disappoint me. But the most important point is the president does not make laws or set policies - Congress does and that is where I put the greatest blame for spineless behavior. Which is squarely where it belongs.
    I am dismayed that we have made such little progress in the area of racism in this country. Seems like 1 step forward, then 2 back. But then I remember that night 2 years ago when more than half of ALL Americans voted to seat our first African American President. It took people of all colors and ethniticities to accomplish that - so, a ray of hope that we shall overcome someday...

    ReplyDelete
  5. What is the truth? That progressives are racists? Or is the truth that progressives cannot criticize democrats?

    If I cannot possibily understand Sheria or Barack Obama then how can they possibly understand me? If this is the case then you have just justified discrimination as rational self interests.

    The tax cut will pass and Obama will continue to enjoy 45% or so support but unemployment will still be over 8% and the income inequality, or the wealth distribution will be even more of an issue.

    Kind of like support NAFTA and Glass-Seagall because Clinton signed both of them: Can't criticize that because he was a democrat.

    I agree with Nance, I admire Obama and I understand the situation he is in but I am not going to end my criticism of his policies just because someone might claim that I am a racist.

    Maybe just maybe it isn't about race at all...maybe just maybe "race" is like those confederate flag bumper stickers and confederate memorials that dot the souther landscape: relics.

    Maybe the real issue is status quo vs. anti status quo?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sheria,

    Please excuse the length of this two-part comment, but the subject you address is of much interest and importance.

    I read Ishmael Reed's op-ed just now and had a similar reaction – it's true that President Obama can't adopt a deeply angry tone towards his opponents. It is at times frustrating to hear him point out how much the Republicans love their country, etc., but at the same time, it makes sense to interpret such remarks as part of a rhetorical "long con," and something essential for a black man in a position of such great power to do: you may realize that your detractors are in no way a loyal opposition but are instead vicious enemies determined to destroy you and everything you stand for, but you can't say that, so you try by rhetorical means to generate a "shape" within which they'll have to fit themselves, either for shame (wouldn't work in this case – the GOPers have none) or for naked political reality's sake (might work so long as the public buys Obama's characterizations of the GOP and expects them to conform). Your hope is that if you keep insisting that they're honorable and willing to work with you, they will look like fiendish, cruel idiots when they (almost inevitably) show themselves dishonorable and unwilling to work with you.*

    There are no guarantees that the strategy will work -- for one thing, prominent white liberals, as I think Reed points out, are a thorn in the President's side because they often don't see anything but weakness in him when he's calm and friendly, and of course those same white liberals set the tone on the talk shows and among the Demo-public at large. But when we factor in the still extant amount of racial animosity in this country, Obama has no other option to pursue, so let the long con continue and we'll see how it works. It's probably taking a few years off the fellow's life, what with all the frustration it must entail, but that's the price he pays for "the distinct honor" of being president.

    Perhaps fair-skinned ultra-critics should just quit focusing their ire on the POTUS and instead view the matter dialectically: go ahead, talk all the hyphenated-word truth-smack about the Right that the President cannot, but don't blame him for not chiming in. He can't -- he just can't. The term "dialectical," I think, is all the more important when we are talking about an African American president. If we recall how Frederick Douglass analyzed Lincoln's presidency with equal measures of sternness, honesty, and ultimate approval -- well, 'nuff said. The least white critics could do is "read" Obama's time in office with a similar degree of understanding. His presidency may not be as momentous as Lincoln's, but it is historic in its way, and should be respected as such, not dismissed by dint of misprision.**

    End Part 1 of 2

    ReplyDelete
  7. Part 2 of 2:

    About the closest I've seen the President come to calling his "opponents" what he might have a chance to call them early and often if he weren't Af-Am is his recent press conference in which he referred to the GOP as "hostage-takers." That was really something else -- spot on, and risky! It translates rather neatly, I think, into "Look, my opponents are criminal thugs with scarcely a trace of humanity left in them. And you thought I didn't know that? Please!"

    It's a wonder that nobody seems to have taken the statement's full measure. But if I were him, I wouldn't count on making the gesture often. If he keeps doing that, he might as well put on a bow-tie and start referring to himself as "Brother Minister B. Hussein," because that's what The Man™ is going to see: a smarty-pants ("arrogant" being the racist term of preference), similarly tall-and-skinny Second Coming of Malcolm X. That isn't going to help him at the polls in 2012, since -- let's face it -- a lot of white people only like Malcolm X now because they have no idea what the man actually said and instead just put his signature "X" on cool-looking baseball caps. He's been all but reduced to a fashion statement, and is not often honored for the many challenging analytic statements he made about American politics and race relations. But they only do that to/for you when you're safely dead, of course, so it's no model for one Barack Obama to follow.

    Notes

    *I think it's fair to point out, by the way, that some of the masculinity-insulting tripe you reference was also used against Bill Clinton -- it's standard fare for sadistic bullies to degrade other men that way (it shows just how much they disrespect females, too, as the great original of all them damn-liberal "nancy boys" out there, be they of whatever rank, from prole to POTUS) -- but they hit Obama with so many strains of vicious insult and lie that it just has to be race-hate when you turn over the discursive rock from whence it comes. No other way to explain it, really.

    **I suppose that if there is some little patch of naiveté in the president, it's simply the universal reluctance on the part of decent people everywhere to recognize wickedness fully and consistently for what it is. Just as Thomas Edison is supposed to have said that folks don't recognize opportunity because it comes up to them dressed in overalls and looking an awful lot like hard work, many cannot force themselves to recognize a thorough bastard as such because he greets them with a disarming smile, a few charming expressions, and a nice expensive suit. Everyone is a bit vulnerable to that kind of thing -- we don't want to think the worst of others if we are good -- but really, Obama would need to have been born yesterday and gone to bed early not to see what the contemporary Right are made of. I don't think any Chicago pol is likely to be that naïve, so I'll stay with the "long con" reading of Obama's characteristic words and gestures towards them.

    ReplyDelete
  8. "Maybe just maybe it isn't about race at all...maybe just maybe "race" is like those confederate flag bumper stickers and confederate memorials that dot the souther landscape: relics."

    Tao, I've thought about the above sentence and whether I should simply ignore it, but I can't and I won't. Nothing pisses me off more than in discussions about race, non-black folks always want to suggest that racism isn't really the issue. Relics? You think that you have the knowledge to reduce my life's experience as a black woman to a concern with relics of what was?

    "If I cannot possibily understand Sheria or Barack Obama then how can they possibly understand me? If this is the case then you have just justified discrimination as rational self interests."

    Let me be clear, the reason for not understanding is because of not listening. If I tell you my head hurts you don't get to tell me that maybe it's really my elbow and that the pain in my head is imagined. You listen and empathize and tell me what you feel and how you feel, but not how I should feel.

    I know the difference between racism and class bias. By any standard of measure I'm middle class, possibly upper middle class. I've got a pedigree education. I live in a nice neighborhood. I own my own house but I'm just as likely to be a victim of racial discrimination as a friend of mine who happens to live in public housing. The only difference between the two of us is that I am willing to make a scene about it if I feel that a point needs to be made and when I do, I have an uncanny ability to shame the bigot and on may occasions, reduce him or her to tears.

    When I tell you that I experience racism on a regular basis, you don't get to tell me that I imagined it.

    We know far more about the majority culture than it knows about us. For generations we've raised white children, worked in white people's kitchens, cleaned their houses, washed and ironed their clothes and watched and listened. This isn't unique to America. In any country where one class is a serving class and the other is the recipient of those services, the serving class learns about the master class as a matter of survival.

    ReplyDelete
  9. The unique twist in the U.S. is skin color. Without even getting into the history of the "one drop rule" and defining who is black and who is black, just look at Obama's lineage. How is it that a man who has an African father and a white mother is automatically black? He's no more black than he is white. A good friend of mine stated some years ago that he was offended that it took two white people to make a white person but only one black or partially black person to make a black person. The whole notion in this country is that blackness pollutes. It's not the same as when I was a child but this country is still far from being a post racial society. However, every time The PEW Center or some other group conducts a survey, the majority of white people feel that we are moving into a post racial age. Funny, but in the same surveys the majority of black people do not.

    But why listen to us? Form your own ideas about racism and then tell us what it is and isn't and how it's really all about class. I'll try to remember that the next time I'm standing on a street corner in Manhattan trying to get a cab, or in a store waiting my turn when the salesperson turns to the white woman who just walked up and asks her if she needs help, although she just spent the last 45 minutes following me around the store as I selected items for purchase just in case I planned to steal something.

    I specifically made it more than clear that I do not believe that Obama is above criticism. It is a specific type of criticism that I find racially offensive. If you aren't clear on that , then go back and read my post.

    One more thing, the reason that I and a lot black people that I know avoid discussing race and racism with white people in general is because the first response is always a declaration of their own lack of racism. No one said that you were. Neither Reed in his article nor I in my post stated or even suggested that those who criticize Obama are racists. My point was and is that for the most part, even progressives don't really understand what it is like to be a black intellectual in this culture where you are constantly straddling two worlds divided by the color line. Nothing new, DuBois wrote about this some 90 years ago in Souls of Black Folks.

    The next response is to label us, a la Glenn Beck in speaking of the President, as hating white people. By that point, there really isn't any room for a discussion of substance so we go back to our silence and the elephant in the room just keeps on taking up space.

    ReplyDelete
  10. ..some namby- pamby smart guy who doesn't know how to be tough. What colossal ignorance and arrogance to believe that any black person could achieve what President Obama has achieved and be weak.

    But that's not what people are saying though. When people criticize the president as being "weak" they're not talking about his character. They're talking about his strategy. They're saying his approach is wrong, that he's being advised wrong. I have not heard ANYONE on the left attack the President's character, his person. The Right is different story, of course.

    That Obama chose to negotiate directly with the GOP on the tax cuts issue and leave the Democrats out of the conversation and threw away a key plank of the Democratic economic platform was a problem of strategy, not character. That Obama chose not to get involved in the healthcare debate and sat on the sidelines telling Congress to send him a bill first was a strategy flaw. The president's leadership failures on key issues are political miscalculations not character flaws.

    Certainly the Republicans have attacked the president's character aplenty but that's to be expected.

    I'm not afraid to say it, my biggest concern about Obama when he was a candidate was that he wouldn't be tough enough, that he wouldn't be a fighter, that he wouldn't have the requisite spine to push through his agenda in the face of the GOP and media hate machine. That's racist? Bullshit, I've said the same thing about Harry Reid. How many times have we bemoaned "spineless Dems"?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Dino, I greatly appreciate your thoughtful response to my thoughts on this matter and to the Reed op-ed. I was particularly struck by the following observation:
    Your hope is that if you keep insisting that they're honorable and willing to work with you, they will look like fiendish, cruel idiots when they (almost inevitably) show themselves dishonorable and unwilling to work with you.

    I do think that Obama is strategizing with every thing that he says or does. I would be. Perhaps it seems so obvious to me because as Ishmael Reed points out, you can't be a black intellectual in this country without learning how to play the game. Claude McKay wrote a poem called "We Wear the Mask." When I was growing up, I learned the rules early: don't act uppity in front of white folks, never talk back to them, always say ma'am and sir, get out of their way on the sidewalk even if it means you have to step in a mud puddle. Our parents told us the cautionary tale of 14 year old Emmett Till who went down south to visit relatives and was beaten and killed because he allegedly whistled at a white woman.

    Things are not nearly that dire now, but I do still wear a mask in my professional life as do most of my black friends. I don't lose my temper even if others actions merit it, I am a problem solver; my style is don't get mad but when opportunity presents itself do get even.

    When I was younger and a new teacher, I was the only black teacher in the English department at the high school where I taught. There were 16 English teachers. The American Lit curriculum was lacking in women writers and any writers of color. I suggested that we needed to rectify this. One of the teachers spoke up and said that she didn't feel qualified to teach "Black Boy" by Richard Wright because the subject matter of the book was beyond her cultural experience. My response was that if that was the case, I didn't want to teach "The Great Gatsby" because that was outside my cultural experience. By the next day, half the school had hear about how
    confrontational and intimidating that new black English teacher was. I learned a lot from that experience.

    I don't think that is is impossible for white people to understand blacks or vice versa but I do think that it has to begin with honest communication. I like your honesty.

    ReplyDelete
  12. "See, as a black person I'm so sick and tired of white liberals who have still enjoyed the privilege of being white trying to tell a black man how to navigate in a white world."--Sheria

    I think this statement is the heart of the truth of what Sheria has written.

    How many times have I visited conservative blogs to see photos of Mr. Obama with a frown on his face, looking like the stereo typical angry black man? And wasn't it just recently that the demogogue and racist Limbaugh said that a photo of Mr. Obama (looking justifiably angry, IMHO) made him look "demonic?" When wass that label ever attached to any other president? We got "Tricky Dicky," but never "Demonic Dicky."

    This is the truth of what Sheria is saying--she's not talking about legitimate criticism of his strategies or policies.

    Can anyone imagine what the reaction in the MSM and the rest of this country would be if Mr. Obama ever said "Go ahead, make my day," to the GOP senators and representatives?

    In a white president that was taken as an indication of "toughness." If a Af-Am president said anything approaching it, this country would be calling for dogs and fire hoses.

    I get what Reed and Sheria are saying.

    ReplyDelete
  13. SB, that's not what I hear when they accuse him of having no balls, that's not simply a commentary on his strategy. I believe that you may not have encountered such criticism on the left but I have big time, on Facebook, on Huffington Post, and always from progressives. It is progressives who speak of Obama as having sold out to the Republicans. It's progressives who are calling for a third party. This isn't about simply criticizing his strategies. I'm no novice to politics; I know the difference between attacking misguided strategies and attacking the character of the person making those strategies. He's characterized either as a wimp or a traitor and neither is accurate nor flattering.

    In addition, there are all of these false assumptions and jumping to conclusions. In my opinion and others as diverse as the Daily Kos, Obama didn't betray the Democrats. They have no power in the Senate. They couldn't even get to a vote on the merits of the tax cuts bill. Two votes and three turncoat Dems voted with the republicans and the Democrats couldn't get the 60 votes to end debate. Noe maybe you think that no bill is better than a bill with a tax cut for the wealthy. I disagree because there are a lot of other people who need the UI benefits, the tax credits that are also in that bill. Regardless of whether you support the bill, the only way it stands a snowball chance in hell of even getting to a vote is if the Republicans cooperate. So the President struck the deal that the Senate Democrats couldn't seem to broker for themselves. remember, they had two votes to end debate, The second vote was on an amended tax cuts bill and it still failed.

    I haven't a clue how you could conclude that Obama sat on the sidelines in the health care debate. He held town meetings, met with Republicans and Democrats in groups and individually. He held televised press conferences. There were news clips and sound bytes all over the Internet. What he did not do and could not do was write the legislation. It's as if no one understands the Constitutional provisions for separation of powers. the president can address the Senate but he can't sit in on their debates and offer commentary.

    We see this differently and that's fine but please don't dismiss my perspective because your experiences haven't been the same.

    ReplyDelete
  14. SB, that's not what I hear when they accuse him of having no balls, that's not simply a commentary on his strategy.

    But that's what I hear. And when I've said Obama has no balls (I don't know that I've used those exact words but I wouldn't be surprised if I had, because I've certainly thought it enough), that's what I mean.

    And when liberals stay "such-and-such Democrat/liberal has no balls" be it Harry Reid or Chuck Shumer or Howard Dean or Joe Biden or Phil Bredesen (our governor) or Ed Schultz or ANY of them it is patently a given that no one is talking about the person's character but their policies and their approach and their strategy and their political will.

    I mean it's starting to sound like when we criticize our nation's first black president we need to use a different language than what we use when we criticize white politicians. And dear Lord but I hope it hasn't come to that.

    Look, there are a gazillion examples of overt and subtle racism we can all point to as relates to attacks on President Obama. NO ONE denies that. And then there are times when I, as a white person, must defer to my African American friends as to whether X was or was not racist. For example: when Jim DeMint said he wants to "break" President Obama, was that racist? I didn't hear it as racist. I heard it as reprehensible, a chilling window into the GOP's position stating they don't care about the country, just care about destroying a Democratic president. Does it matter? It's just as bad either way.

    We can certainly disagree on things like the healthcare bill and the tax bill, and yes it's correct to blame the turncoat Dems who side with the Republican repeatedly on these things but that to me is a weakness and failure of leadership on the part of the President and the Senate Majority Leader, who should be able to whip the caucus into line into supporting the president's policies, either by threatening committee chairmanships or campaign support or whatever the hell else it is they do to accomplish that. And if someone is going to tell me that's racist, then I'm going to again say bullshit.

    And a final word: please don't take my disagreement with your position as being dismissive of your perspective. That is simply not the case.

    ReplyDelete
  15. How does one have an honest and open discussion about race when one starts with the assumption that "white liberals" are attacking Barack Obama for being weak and then jump to, "See, as a black person I'm so sick and tired of white liberals who have still enjoyed the privilege of being white trying to tell a black man how to navigate in a white world."

    Personally, as a progressive I am tired of being thrown under the bus by the democrats every chance they get....the whole concept of "Triangulation" is once again nothing more than democrats throwing progressives under the bus.

    Sheria made the claim about white LIBERALS and everyone chimes in with "conservative blogs" "Glen Beck" and so on and so forth...that's not an honest discussion.

    Sheria is right...I will never know what it is to be black but to claim that blacks know more about whites because: "For generations we've raised white children, worked in white people's kitchens, cleaned their houses, washed and ironed their clothes and watched and listened. This isn't unique to America. In any country where one class is a serving class and the other is the recipient of those services, the serving class learns about the master class as a matter of survival."

    Then logically I cannot know what it is like to be white because no one in my geneology ever had black servants.

    In regards to shopping in Manhatten...guess what, I have the same problems! Hell, I am 6'10" and I cannot go out in public locally without someone staring or pointing...Lived in this town for 25 years and I still hear, "You are not from around here are you..."

    Don't dismiss my perspective Sheria just because your experiences haven't been the same...

    History has proven that senators make poor presidents...it takes a different skill set to be a senator than it does to be President.

    But of course you will see a post from "TAO" and you have a preconceived notion of what I will say and you will react to what that notion is....

    You talk about race being unique and then you shift into a discussion of class: As if race is the only determinent of class. You talk about blacks taking care of "white" babies and working in "white" kitchens and then you claim that that creates a 'servant class'

    ...ah, but what do I know....I am not an elitist.

    ReplyDelete
  16. "This is the truth of what Sheria is saying--she's not talking about legitimate criticism of his strategies or policies."--Shaw

    Shaw, you get it. That's it exactly. Thank you for understanding my views.

    I think back to Michelle Obama's observation that for the first time in her life she was proud of her country and the immediate condemnation that she received for being unpatriotic and anti-American. Not a single black person with whom I discussed the topic didn't get exactly what she was saying. Many of us, myself included had made similar observations in our lives. It struck me yet again how wide the communication channel is between black and white Americans. How can white America expect me to have the same feelings about this country? I grew up in a society that continually told me and my people that we were less than, stupid, a step below human, and unworthy. This isn't ancient history; it's my life. I'm 55 years old and I was raised in a society where I had to enter back doors and was barred from entering some establishments.

    I also recall when the crap hit the fan because the Obamas had attended Rev. Wright's church for 20 years and he was a fiery minister who talked about racial justice issues from the pulpit. Wright was pilloried for daring to say that 9/11 was an example of the chickens coming home to roost, a direct result of America's failed policies in th Middle East. There were members of government who made the same point in less colorful language but it was used to paint Wright and Obama by association as anti-American.

    Chief Obama critic Glenn Beck actually said on television that President Obama's problem was that he hated white people. The same type of character attack keeps turning up among progressives except that they accuse Obama of being a traitor to progressives and a secret supporter of the republican right. I find this appalling and ludicrous and far more than a critique of his policies and strategies .

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thanks for the discussion but either you get it or you don't and I'm tired of talking about it. Believe what you need to believe. I'm done with discussing race for a while. It always takes a lot out of me and I don't have the emotional energy to dwell on this any more.

    ReplyDelete
  18. the president might be black but the captains of industry are white and they call the shots. i have no doubt that soon after obama was elected the captains of industry showed him the secret handshake and then pushed him off the turnip truck.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Yes, Sheria, you need to take a break...

    "Chief Obama critic Glenn Beck actually said on television that President Obama's problem was that he hated white people. The same type of character attack keeps turning up among progressives except that they accuse Obama of being a traitor to progressives and a secret supporter of the republican right. I find this appalling and ludicrous and far more than a critique of his policies and strategies...."

    You find way too much racism in way too many things....

    ReplyDelete
  20. Tao, I've really enjoyed my time at SZ and up until now, I've always found the discussion to be stimulating and respectful. But you have crossed a line. You don't get to tell me that I find racism in way too many things. You have not walked in my shoes and you do not know me. You have no right to speak to me as if we had any personal relationship. I accept a lot from friends because I believe in the honest and give and take of friendship. However, we are not friends. We're not even acquaintances. I have lived with racism all of my life and I don't accept any individual presuming to tell me when or to what extent I get to perceive racism. I shared and owned my feelings here; they are mine. You don't have to agree with them, but you don't get to declare my perceptions to be paranoid delusions of racism behind every corner. I can only assume that you really don't have a clue as to how insulting your comment is. Maybe you know someone that you trust whom you could ask. It's best if you never address any comments to me about race ever again. If you can't do that then I will have to leave SZ.

    ReplyDelete
  21. TAO,
    You mention in your first comment that you agree with me: "I agree with Nance, I admire Obama and I understand the situation he is in but I am not going to end my criticism of his policies just because someone might claim that I am a racist."

    I did not say that. It's not a "but..." situation, as I see it. I was saying that I have no idea what the correct choice should be on taxes--we're dealing with an economy that has grown too complex for certainty--and that I admire the President's comportment and self-restraint.

    Best I can tell, no one has called me a racist today.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Nance, what I meant to say what that I too admire Barack Obama as an individual...stop there.

    He is a remarkable individual...

    I disagree with his policies and I am a progressive. Sheria on the other hand uses the term 'progressives' 'white liberals' and then 'some' without qualifying which 'some'....and says they are racists.

    That is exactly what the right does inregards to their use of the words "liberalism" and "liberals"

    Had Sheria pointed to a specific comment or a specific "progressive" argument and then shown how IT was racist...that would be one thing...

    But a hysterical argument of "white liberals" and "walk in our shoes" and all that is nothing more than a "you are with us or against us" rationale.

    How exactly does someone who voted for Barack Obama criticize him? Based upon Sheria's logic we can't because only she knows racism....

    She could have said JAMES CARVILLE if that is who she was refering to when she complained about "white liberals" and or "progressives"

    I don't really take kindly to being lumped into a group with Carville and his ilk...

    ReplyDelete
  23. Sheria and all,

    Will just add a few observations based on what I'm hearing, and then for me it's enough said --

    TAO, isn't the point that whatever some liberal detractors may think they're doing, they have found it far too easy to level the sort of accusations we have been discussing here? Aren't those same statements too easily accepted into mainstream discourse as conventional wisdom? Might it not be that this unholy facility has something to do with racial prejudice? I think it does. To be fair, I've heard some pretty dreadful stuff directed at Bill Clinton ("corporate sellout," etc.), but the intensity of it against Obama is remarkable -- that intensity is, I believe, what leads many of us to suspect that in at least some individual cases and in the collective sense as well, racial animus and baggage underlie it.

    I come round to stressing the need for historical perspective, for dialectical interpretation, and yes, sometimes even for at least a subtle shift in language to reflect this need. I think Sheria is correct that it isn't only the Right that has been culpable here -- when liberals bash Obama as a hopeless, thoroughly co-opted weakling, they are enabling the nastards who hail from Planet Wingnut to close in for the knockout punch. It doesn't have to be about deep-down character; talking about his strategy too intently in this manner could have much the same effect. I don't think the President is perfect, but at the same time, before his supporters and erstwhile supporters up and declare him a wimp's wimp, it would be wise to step back and consider why he adopts the restrained tone and language he does. He is to a certain extent boxed in, undeniably and painfully, by this country's racial history. The sense I gather from Obama's public performances is that he's trying hard to take the long view of things: if he out-clevers his enemies and gets his full eight years in which to accomplish good things, why then, let everyone say what they will -- he'll still have succeeded, and eventually many people will come round to seeing things that way. This tendency to take the long view is all Obama's mostly white critics, I believe, need to "get" for them to turn towards being a bit more constructive in their remarks.

    Sheria invokes a partially Hegelian view when she mentions the master/servant lens through which black people have, at least collectively, always had to view white people -- I believe that philosophical framework meshes well with Du Bois' talk about doubleness and the color line. It's the "servant" who is the more knowledgeable of the two in that relationship -- even if Barack Obama is not personally the direct descendant of enslaved people, he simply can't afford not to think like some wily character from an Aesop's Fable: he may be the POTUS and Commander in Chief, but his race, thanks to our long and troubled history between "black" and "white," tasks him with the need to understand the master/servant dialectic better than the white folk (be they liberal or conservative) who have so often plastered him with opprobrium. I would neither praise him in an unqualified manner nor count him out -- he knows a good deal more than many people think he does, and he has to know by now (if he didn't already) that his presidency is going to be one long, difficult labor "from can't see to can't see," without much gratitude coming from any quarter.

    Well, Barack Obama has my vote if I'm still around come 2012 -- unless, of course, he goes and declares himself in favor of that new Republican bill allowing open hunting season on dinosaurs for all twelve months in the year....

    ReplyDelete
  24. Dino, thank you for your observations, they have helped restore my equilibrium. I promise that if Obama supports that bill allowing open hunting season on dinosaurs for all 12 months that I will join you in not voting for him.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Sheria,

    I spent all day trying to determine exactly what PROGRESSIVE claimed that Obama wasn't "a man"...which is basically the whole basis of your argument about "white liberals" and "progressives" being racist in their criticism.

    The only source I could find of that statement was James Carville...who is no progressive but rather nothing more than a hired political mouthpiece for the Clintons...and they are not progressives either.

    Calling him a progressive is as stupid as the right claiming that Bush was a liberal. So, you go and yell "RACISM" and all of the sudden everyone jumps in line: That works as well for some on the left as yelling "SOCIALIST" at a conservative.

    Oh, you democrats want us to run out and vote for your candidates, donate our time and money, and then the minute we stand up and complain you throw us under a bus...or in your case you play the race card.

    The truth of the matter is you are pissed at progressives for not blindly supporting Obama as he carries on with his "Bush Lite" policies. You are angry because all these fair weather liberals didn't come out to vote in 2010 the way they did in 2008.

    The honest to God truth is that you only support Obama because of his race: Had Obama been a white guy with the exact same policies, you and the Rainbow coalition would have been all over him for selling out.

    Yes, your life history is uniquely yours and I apologize for ridiculing it but your life history cannot be the determinate of what is or is not discrimination.

    As long as blacks have a stranglehold on the democratic party and as long as "race" is defined as black and only black then the reality is the democrats will always be a minority party.

    Until you can find a way to see beyond your own personal history then we, as a party, will never be able to attract and keep whites, union members, latinos, and or gays....or progressives.

    However you want to spin it the truth of the matter is that this tax cut bill is not a whole lot different than what McCain would have offered upon taking office.

    Its trickle down economics...cut taxes, generate economic activity and that economic activity will create jobs...

    This trickle down didn't work with GWB first proposed it...now China got a bunch of jobs but the United States didn't. But why would anyone listen to a Progressive? Clinton never did, Obama surrounded himself with Clintonites, like they really supported him over Hillary Clinton....and once again us Progressives are outside the tent...

    ...Oh, and then Sheria wants to claim that "some" of us PROGRESSIVES are racists because of our criticism of Obama.

    So, go ahead and make whatever statements you want, if it satisfies you I will have no problem leaving the Swash Zone...then you can sit and criticize every one you want for being stupid, for being racist, for being lesser mortals than you....

    The right has patriotism to rally the troops and the left has racism....and you played it quite well there Sheria...

    Congratulations and good luck with 2012 Galbraith is right and Feingold are right....its time for progressives to leave the democratic party.

    Oh, but wouldn't that be racist of us?

    ReplyDelete
  26. Sheria,

    I and all the dinosaurs thank you for your support on this vital matter. If humans of either party think they can slip this turkey of a bill through in a lame-duck session, they've got another thing coming. Come to think of it, why am I insulting turkeys? They're my descendants!

    TAO,

    Dude, take a deep breath, why don't you? My reason for suggesting this time-honored course of action:

    "blacks have a stranglehold on the democratic party"

    Say what? You could have fooled me. They seem to have been trying just to get their voices heard for an awful long time rather than being taken for granted. Now that America has one rather beleaguered black president, black people have it all locked up? Well, I guess somebody had better tell them this....

    ReplyDelete
  27. TAO,
    I asked you to not address me but you don't listen very well.

    It appears that you feel that the Democrats have put you under the bus and mean old Sheria called you a racist.

    I never said that anyone was a racist. I wrote about the lack of progressives' understanding of what it is to be in a position of power in this country and to also be black. We are a unique minority in that we were brought to this country in chains in the bellies of ships and sold like cattle. It sort of tends to slant one's perspective.

    I have no knowledge as to why you have insisted upon this entire thread being about your being a racist. You are the only one who has continually refuted a status that no one has attributed to you.

    What I have said and quite clearly is that white liberals have a proclivity for presuming to understand what it is to be black in a white dominated world and too much hubris to listen to the voices of black people when we tell you how we really feel. I think that women encounter the same dynamics in participating in typically male dominated professions. Those who have been marginalized historically often continue to be regarded by those who once were the sole possessors of power as interlopers and their beliefs are dismissed as invalid. Being black and female is to be hit with a sort of double whammy.

    I also don't follow the "you Democrats" language; I've never thought of myself as having ownership of the Democratic party. I certainly haven't tried to recruit anyone to become a Democrat. I've never asked anyone here at SZ for their party affiliation.
    It does appear that you have a real fixation with deciding what I think and what motivates me.
    "The honest to God truth is that you only support Obama because of his race: Had Obama been a white guy with the exact same policies, you and the Rainbow coalition would have been all over him for selling out."

    Absolutely fascinating! This is not the way to win friends and influence people. Other folks have rationally explained where they disagree with my views on the proposed tax compromise but you appear to be unique in perceiving my take on progressives and the lack of understanding of the black experience as a personal accusation that progressives in general are racists and that you in particular are guilty of racism.

    Your mind reading skills need some work. Just for the record, I began as a supporter of Dennis Kucinich. I liked his humanist centered philosophy. When it became clear that Kucinich didn't have a real shot at the nomination, I was torn between Clinton and Obama. I heard Obama speak on a few occasions and I was taken by his intelligence, by his understanding of the political machinery. I read his book, The Audacity of Hope, and I found a man with whom I could identify. Yes, I was happy that we had a shared racial identity but I was also happy that Hilary Clinton was a female candidate. If she had won the Democratic party nomination I planned to fully support her. After more than 200 years, I was more than ready to see someone other than a white man in the office of the president and I don't apologize or feel the least bit of guilt for that.
    cont'd.

    ReplyDelete
  28. It's not my single life story that is determinative of what is or is not discrimination; it's the life stories of all the people of African descent whose blood and toil helped to build this country and who were held in literal bondage for 250 years and in the bondage of Jim Crow for another 100 years. We paid for the right to be the arbiters of racial discrimination. I don't apologize for that either.

    "So, go ahead and make whatever statements you want, if it satisfies you I will have no problem leaving the Swash Zone...then you can sit and criticize every one you want for being stupid, for being racist, for being lesser mortals than you...."

    I'm not sure where the above comes from. Never asked you to go anywhere, just to not discuss the specific top of race. You annoy me. I don't like being annoyed. I see no point in discussing that particular subject with you. You also seem awfully defensive because no matter what I say or others have pointed out you still appear to be hung up on the notion that everything that I've written is all about you and your being a racist.

    You attribute a great deal of power to me. I just double checked and, nope, I don't call anyone stupid, racist, or a lesser mortal than I am. I do on occasion have delusions of grandeur and demand that my closest friends refer to me as Empress, but mostly I'm just a regular commoner.

    "As long as blacks have a stranglehold on the democratic party and as long as "race" is defined as black and only black then the reality is the democrats will always be a minority party."

    The above is a real revelation. Evidently all the blacks with a stranglehold on the Democratic party neglected to get themselves elected to office. It would seem to logically flow that the majority of elected Democrats at the local, state, and national level would be black given that we have a stranglehold and all on the party. It's downright amazing that we haven't managed to elect a black president until now and he's only half black. Let's see, we've managed to parlay our controlling interest into 42 black Democrats in the House for nearly 10% and 1 black Democrat in the Senate for a grand 1% in the current 111th Congress. Some of those House seats will be lost in January 2011.

    I wish you inner peace, Tao.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I'm sorry the comments on this thread have deteriorated so. There is much to be explored here in a rational, nonconfrontational manner which we at the Swash Zone have come to expect from one another. As leader of the country, President Obama, like other presidents before him, has the big bullseye on his back and so takes his share of attacks and then some. I was one of Obama's early supporters because I saw an intelligent, accomplished and compassionate man and I voted for the candidate I thought was the best person for the job - a most difficult job to be sure.
    Sheria, what you interpret from what you see and hear comes from the unique perspective of growing up a black woman in America and you are right, I have no idea what that is like but I can tell you what it is like to be the child of immigrants, hearing someone make fun of them because of their accents and being shut out of certain cliques and clubs because I wasn't "American" enough.
    I can tell you what it is like to be a young woman, having to fight off unwanted advances where you can't say NO! loud enough. Or being passed up for a promotion in favor of a man.
    I suppose the sum of our life experiences leads us to interpret events from our own unique perspectives and the first thing we need to do is validate each others views. We might not agree, but there doesn't always have to be a right and a wrong answer.
    I get that you see the president being attacked in a unproductive manner that has nothing to do with policies and strategies and I don't disagree. But I also see a president with enough self confidence to follow his own path without feeling intimidated. I don't agree with some of his actions or some of his timing but I've also never tried to run a country so I trust that he is trying to do his best - and I still think he was the best person for the job.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I wasn't thinking about Carville at all. I was thinking about the number of people who identify themselves as progressives and who hammer home on a regular basis that Obama isn't man enough for the job or that he is Machiavellian leader who only pretended to be progressive so as to get elected so that he could then sell out the country. I accept Tao that you haven't read any of this material but I have.

    I was inspired by Ishmael Reed's post on the same topic and motivated by comments that I read on a post by a friend of mine, Mark Olmsted, who writes for the Huffington Post. Neither Ishmael nor Mark even knows you. This is utter madness that you continue to personalize this and insist that I've called you a racist. Do you know how rarely I use that term to refer to anyone? When I do speak of racism, I tend to speak of racist behavior because I don't believe that human nature is fixed. People can act differently given a reason to change their perceptions. I wrote broadly about a societal issue of communication between blacks and whites that has been ongoing since reconstruction. You appear to resent that I think that there is a problem. A view not necessarily shared by all black people but certainly shared by a significant majority of black people.

    The rational non confrontational manner at SZ only appears to be sustained as long as topics are safe and we all agree to not talk about issues where we don't agree. Ironically, this is exactly what Reed was writing about and what I commented on. The notion that if black people tell white people what we feel and how white attitudes make us feel there is the defensiveness exhibited by some people that immediately casts us in the role of being difficult and paranoid, looking for racism everywhere.
    Tao you have made this personal. You have repeatedly accused me of calling you a racist. You have dismissed my perspective as having no validity because according to you I just see racism everywhere. I don't need you to agree with me about the tax cut compromise bill but that's not what this discussion has been about. You've accused me of only voting for Obama because he's black. You've dismissed the reminders of oppression that litter the South as mere relics of the past. You appear to assume that my experiences as a black person are unique to me when they are the common and shared experiences of black Americans. May I suggest that you do some serious reading on critical race theory?

    Sheria on the other hand uses the term 'progressives' 'white liberals' and then 'some' without qualifying which 'some'....and says they are racists.

    Please point out the exact lines where I say that liberals, progressives, and you are racists. I don't believe that being a liberal or progressive bestows any particular insight when it comes to race. Actual communication across the color divide takes some serious efforts at communication.

    I love and respect my gay friends but I don't fully understand the impact that homophobia has had on their lives. I respect what they tell me about living gay in a world that defines normal as being straight. When they write or speak of their frustrations with the attitudes of straight culture towards gay culture, I don't view it as labeling me as homophobic. One of my friends is opposed to gay marriage because he rejects the notion that gay people would mirror what he considers to be a failed heterosexual institution. I never would have considered this line of thought on my own. I don't agree; I still think that it's a civil rights issue and marriage should be an available option but I respect that he represents a different perspective that I would never have heard if I hadn't been open to listening. That is the only point that I have tried to make about race.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Sheria,

    How can we discuss race when you own it? How can we discuss civil rights when we frame the conversation around the idea of a black man in a white world?

    We cannot discuss it in a time warp. Barry Gordy is no longer running the Motown Groups through finishing school to make them more appealing to white audiences. Today in fact you got a bunch of white kids trying to pretend they are hip hop artists.

    Yeah, I am not an intellectual and I can be rather crude and rude at times...but damn, lets wake up.

    Is there something called the "black experience?" sure...there is a black worldview. But today its gay kids being bullied and committing suicide...that is the 21st century public lynchings...

    Today its the latinos that are taking care of white kids and working in white kitchens...

    Its like Rev. King in Atlanta....all these intellectuals get on television and discuss how black church congregations will rally to his side because of the fact that they will see this as the white world putting down a black man...

    BULLSHIT...its a multi millionaire molesting young boys...

    You comment on the fact that your white friends always want to talk about race from a "some of my best friends are black" mentality and yet you do the same thing with your gay friends.

    Lets see, blacks have to fit into a white world, gays have to fit in a straight world....hmmm...pretending to conform....hmmm...

    I can't walk in your shoes anymore than you walk in mine but I would love to know how this white world thing benefits me as a white man...sometimes we like to intellectualize things to the point of irrelevance.

    No, we will never have a conservation of race only lectures....you want to talk about your experiences and Nance wants to talk about what it felt like to be part of the desegregation of her high school.

    I cannot be part of that conversation because I grew up in the military school system in the 70's

    But regardless we are talking ancient history: it was 50 years ago and that experience shaped your world view but it does not shape the world view of the current generation.

    We can talk about homosexuality but again, we have to acknowledge that our worldview of "civil rights" is 50 years old. Nowadays boys brag about kissing other boys!

    Just last night I had a conversation with a 24 year old girl who was informed by someone that I was making a move on her mother...

    Her mother is the widow of my best friend of 20 plus years and yes I watch over them and I am very close to both of them...this young girl wanted to know why "men and women couldn't just be friends...why is it always about sex?" I told her that back when I was growing up boys and girls were not friends...males were hunters and women were to be conquests....and sadly as we age that world view stays with us...we did not change with the times.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Continued...

    Sheria, you start a post titled "Can You Handle The Truth" and all I did was get in your face exactly in the manner that you were attempting to do with your post and comments about "black man" "white world" and all of that...

    We are using the racial dialectic of the 60's to now discuss a President....

    Personally I do not believe race has jackshit to do with it but rather the problem is that the Clinton's have a stranglehold on the democratic party and Barack obama is surrounded by advisors and department heads who's first loyalty is to the Clintons....

    But then again, what can I know? I am not black, I am not gay, I am not part of the poltical elite structure, I am not a government bureaucrat...

    Damn, I can't know jackhsit can I?

    Exactly how then do we proceed with a policy or a political party where all knowledge is personal? Where we do not have conversations but rather lectures.

    Liberals need to figure it out real quick or we will be as relevant as a golden oldies music program on PBS.

    So, I gave you a taste of the angry white guy....and when I see Barack Obama I see a priveleged white guy who is married to one HOT black woman!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Rocky: I suppose the sum of our life experiences leads us to interpret events from our own unique perspectives and the first thing we need to do is validate each others views.

    Yes, that is exactly what we to do. I think what drives the acrimony behind this comment thread is that we have not yet come to terms with the latest election defeat. Inevitably, there are always mutual recriminations that follow a debacle of such magnitude … and the all too human tendency to seek a scapegoat for ritual sacrifice.

    We have seen this before: Witness the first midterm election during the Clinton administration - an initial defeat that ultimately resulted in a successful reelection. And this was foretold: In December 2008, before the Obama administration even got started, David Axelrod warned of a midterm election victory for the Republicans and why it was vital to pass the most difficult and contentious legislation first … specifically healthcare reform.

    So why are we blaming Obama? This was known. This was foretold. And why are we behaving this way? Here is a fundamental fault of liberals: We predate our own offspring. We accuse rabid right-wing conservatives of acting like village idiots bearing pitchforks. Then, when our side takes a ‘shellacking’ at the polls, we turn ourselves into village idiots bearing pitchforks … against ourselves.

    When Sheria joined the Swash Zone, I learned a very important lesson: When Sheria speaks, I listen. She challenges me, not just to think, but also to feel. Intellectual knowledge is not enough until you feel it in your bones. There is no meaning or purpose in being an armchair liberal unless I understand racism and social injustice as LIVED EXPERIENCE. There is no point in supporting feminism unless I understand sexism and misogyny as daily assaults upon a woman’s personhood. A psychotherapist does not belittle or demean an adult victim of incest by dismissing childhood abuse memories or attributing those to fantasies. It is unreasonable and unjust to tell a rape victim that she brought it upon herself.

    Many of us, if not all, bear life’s wounds … whether those arise from birth, abuse, accident, bigotry, or outright violence. Victims have a powerful need to acknowledge those wounds, and when we deny them the validation they seek, we continue an injustice.

    We have lost our way in the wilderness of post-election finger pointing, and I see no point or purpose in arguing amongst ourselves. It maketh me inketh the aquarium.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Sheria said,"The rational non confrontational manner at SZ only appears to be sustained as long as topics are safe and we all agree to not talk about issues where we don't agree."
    I disagree - there have been touchy subjects broached at SZ before where we did not all agree - religion is one of them, and we do manage to get through without coming to cyber fisticuffs.
    I do "get" your post and I don't think you were addressing anyone personally nor suggesting people should refrain from honest criticism of the president's policies or strategies.
    I once worked for a transgendered doctor (male to female) who totally pissed me off when, not a month after the BIG operation, "she" decided to lecture her female staff on how we should act and what we should do as women.
    My immediate response was, "when you've had to fight off a "date" twice your size in the back seat of a parked car or have been turned down for advancement over a man, etc, THEN you can tell me about being a woman!"
    While we may not be able to "know" each others' unique life experiences, we can certainly empathize with each others' struggles by drawing from the well of our own unique experiences.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hmmm. I've seen Obama referred to as the "house nigger." Does that say anything?

    Excellent post, Sheria. Some of the comments substantiate your thesis to a tee.

    ReplyDelete
  36. OCTO said,"Many of us, if not all, bear life’s wounds … whether those arise from birth, abuse, accident, bigotry, or outright violence. Victims have a powerful need to acknowledge those wounds, and when we deny them the validation they seek, we continue an injustice."
    Excellent point!
    The comment I hate the most is hearing that "black people should get over it." As if years of abuse and mistreatment can be erased.
    The Holocaust was 60 years ago - Jews should "get over it."
    Indians were descimated and all their land taken but they should now "get over it."
    Raped and beaten 20 years ago? Hey! Get over it!
    If we don't face it, discuss it ,acknowledge the unfairness of it all, we can never "get over it." The wounds run to deep and never heal.

    ReplyDelete
  37. There are some interesting truths embedded in these comments. Everybody seems to want to write a book. Dino's thoughts were definitely worth a good look. Sheria, I appreciate your insight and will add my own. My only disagreement is that our president doesn't have to hide behind our justify his actions by his race. My basic thought has always been this. If you can't back the president, you have no relevance. You're no longer part of the solution. You have plenty of company on the right. Sarah, Glenn, et al. FOX News is glorying in the discontent of the liberal base. You're playing right into their hands. They run a story on it every hour on the hour. Furthermore, Obama has no base. That was Bush. His base was the super-wealthy. The middle-class republicans that chanted his glory were just the rabble to him. Obama is the president of the U.S.A. and every person here, good or bad.

    SB, after the extremely polarizing presidency of Shrub, when Rush confessed on 1/21/10 that the entire R party would rather see the economy tank in the shitter for 4-8 years rather than see one job created by Obama's policies, how do you fight that? Threaten families? Broken knees? I'm glad I don't have a KGB thug for my president.

    Back to your thoughts Sheria and those of Ishmael Reed. Of course, we can never understand the hardship, opression, hatred, both overt and brimming. But the best of us can empathize. It's not only race. A big part of it is poverty. I have had the privilege of knowing many hard-working poor families. I have had the privilege of black friends sharing their pain with me in moments of candor.

    ReplyDelete
  38. As one of the here-maligned "conservatives", who is ASSUMED to be racist, and definitely called morally reprehensible, I wonder if ANY of you listen to yourselves. I read the statement "I see racism everywhere." They SEE racism in "Obama the tyrant king". Because THEY WANT TO, not because it has ANYTHING to do with race, it does not. And then, I see you liberals disagreeing with yourself over political strategy and who is to blame for political failures, and it ends up with someone shouting about race, and the derogatory insinuation is aimed at another liberal.

    How in the world could ALL of this be about race? I grew up in the Pacific Northwest. As a child, I was told that "All God's children come in different colors." Oh, ok. That was good enough for me until I was almost adult age and moved to the Southwest, and saw people accusing each other of racism, over things that boggled my mind. And then, as an adult, it's aimed at me, and then my children. The mother, cussing us out, because my blue-eyed, brown-haired daughter is dating the "n___r" that is her boy - accusing my daughter (and us) of being racist...BECAUSE SHE IS DATING HIM.

    And I thought it was just because she's an alcoholic and rarely sober. And I come here and see the same inane behavior.

    Yes, I understand the political STRATEGY of accusing people of racism, as a tool for political defeat. Despicable, but I know what it is. But I don't understand the preoccupation of people who disagree over matters that have NOTHING whatsoever to do with race, making it about race. I've lived in a xenophobic culture, where nobody would talk to you or be your friend, until you had been around for years, and then, finally having decided you're not going to be a monster, suddenly welcome you into their society, after making you the shunned outsider for little more than your skin color. I GET it. I understand the true relative difference of race, and it isn't really much at all. Our cultural and political differences are far greater. Liberals and conservatives can be married to each other, and if that's the case, WHY does race have to be the dividing factor, or at least the one blamed, for every flaw in society?

    ReplyDelete

We welcome civil discourse from all people but express no obligation to allow contributors and readers to be trolled. Any comment that sinks to the level of bigotry, defamation, personal insults, off-topic rants, and profanity will be deleted without notice.