Saturday, April 19, 2008

A Hard Left Isn't Necessarily the Right Direction

In case anyone is wondering, I have nothing personal against Obama; though I do take offense to being classified…stereotyped…judged…as an irrational xenophobe.

Yet, I digress.

To a large degree, I see McCain, Obama, and Clinton (from here on referred to as Hillary) as exactly the same: politicians. It wouldn’t be unusual to hear me say, “I trust politicians about as far as I can throw ‘em.” It would be more accurate, however, to say that I take everything that politicians say with a grain of salt, and while I try to give them the benefit of the doubt, their position as elected/public officials (allegedly leaders) and the responsibility that such a position carries prompts me…requires me… to apply a rigorous degree of scrutiny to the stances they take and the claims that they make. At this point, you may feel enlightened about my motivations, but if you’re an Obama supporter I’m sure you still feel that I am unfairly focusing on Obama.

Get over it.

So, why haven’t I posted anything about McCain or Hillary? I haven’t posted anything on McCain or Hillary for the same reason I haven’t addressed every single aspect of Obama; I have a life and can only spare so much of it to focus on the circus which is US politics. There is so much fodder related to each of the candidates, I can’t possibly blog it all.

So why did I choose Obama? I didn’t, he did. When he made it clear that he buys into the “culture of oppression,” he espouses the conspiracy theory that some external force continues to thwart black Americans’ success in our time, he accepts and practices racism against non-minorities in America, and he not only believes the lie, but bolsters and spreads the lie, and is depending on that lie to secure his election to the position of President of the United States… well heck, I realized that someone with two firing brain cells ought to point out the obvious to the rest of the US.

Originally, I realized that plenty of rational people recognize Obama’s most crucial shortcoming, and I almost decided not to blog. Then I realized that there is an incredible Obama following that have shut their eyes to this most important issue, and no matter what lengths Obama goes to to point out his own pointed prejudice, these blinded believers cling to the notion of change…strictly for the sake of change.

“Quick, I think we’re headed right into the ditch, steer left toward the cliff.”

If this blog can help at least one poor, guilted soul to cast fear aside, I’ve fulfilled my civic duty. If it helps… I’m black, and I forgive you.

Now, snap out of it, and help me steer this damned thing!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Racism: Barack’s Double Standard

Contrary to his sales pitch, Obama isn’t even remotely attuned to the racism prevalent in our nation today, even though it’s as plain as the nose on his face or the plank in his eye.

Barack Obama met the overt and distinctly racist comments of Jeremiah Wright, his long time pastor and mentor, with an allegedly enlightened reasoning and understanding that he proposes America needs to adopt in order to “heal” from past racial afflictions. Obama begrudgingly distanced himself from Wright, but loyally upheld his ties to the congregation that celebrated in Wright’s pro-black racist expression and belief. In contrast, Obama has demonstrated little enlightenment, reason, or understanding with respect to Linda Ramirez-Sliwinski.

Ramirez-Sliwinski, a delegate to the Democratic National Convention, was reportedly asked by the Obama campaign to resign after she made a remark that was interpreted as racism. She apparently used the word “monkey” with regards to the dangers and appropriateness of children climbing around in a tree near her home, and unfortunately for her, those children just happened to be black.

Let’s take a look at why this might be offensive.

Analogous idioms are possibly the most common and effective method of expression used in verbal communication. It is remarkably commonplace, exceptionally helpful, generally expected, and widely accepted that some sort of comparative example will be used to emphasize or articulate accounts of even the most mundane ideas, occurrences or situations. While analogies can be used for the purpose of offense, and often are, there is no inherent quality of analogous expression that implies offense.

Monkeys are typically perceived to be cute, active, and mischievous, and they spend a great deal of time living in, climbing on, and swinging from trees. Our understanding of monkeys influences us to reference them in relation to cuteness, particular degrees of activity and mischief, and…trees. It would be highly inaccurate, inappropriate, ineffective, and absurd to reference alligators, stallions, or ostriches when describing or comparing play or mischief within a tree, monkeys enjoy that distinction almost exclusively.

It is highly common to reference children as “little monkeys.” It is a charge made against countless children by countless individuals in countless situations. Since it is not uncommon to endearingly reference or rebuke any bouncing, running, screaming, or merely cute child as a little monkey, we have to rationally conclude that to become offended by such usage would be irrational.

To assume a racial connotation, especially in the context of Ramirez-Sliwinski’s comment, is more to demonstrate racial bias than to recognize it. We would not be justified to assume a racial slur referencing “a bull in a china shop” or “a dog with a bone,” so why are we upholding or justifying the asininely hypersensitive assumption that “a monkey in a tree” is somehow inherently and universally racist.

In the same fashion that Obama failed to immediately and unconditionally denounce Jeremiah Wright’s words and/or sentiments, he has also failed to address the obvious injustice committed against Ramirez-Sliwinski. Obama’s very well written and well delivered rhetoric try to portray his awareness, disapproval, and sensitivity of racism, but his actions instead clearly demonstrate his ignorance, acceptance, and practice of racism.

Because this is a fairly recent development, I haven’t had time yet to completely vet every aspect of the story (I do have a life you know). I offer that caveat because the story seems way too cut and dry to leave any doubt in American minds about Obama’s racism, yet the veil is still in place. So, rather than jump to any immediate conclusions about the political biases or intellectual deficiencies of Obama’s supporters, I will instead assume that there are details about this story that have yet to come to light. I’m not particularly familiar with the source of the article and cannot speak to their credibility, so I invite readers to search out additional sources for information on this story. Please post your findings, so all may expand their visibility and understanding of the issue.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

New American Racism: Embracing Obama

Why have Americans embraced Barack Obama’s racism?

Growing up, I was always perplexed by how my parents and many family members could so casually practice racism while accusing “the white man” of all manner of conspiracy and treachery against blacks. When racism was defined and explained, it was absolutely obvious that anyone and everyone could practice racism. I was always confused that many in the black community practiced almost unrestrained racism (sometimes even accompanied by violence), allegedly in the name of justice and equality, but it was never called racism. It was all justified by fixing our gaze doggedly on the wrongs of the past.

As I grew older, I was astonished to discover that under that same justification many in the black community made no attempts at being equitable. On the contrary, when I was in college the African American Student Union focused almost completely on separatism; they stoked the fires of resentment, nursing an age old grudge, and maintaining the “us/them” mentality in all facets of student life. Ironically, the charter for the group was to “heighten the awareness” of the student body to the presence and culture of the colleges black students.

When I joined the military I was confronted with institutional racism, again justified by the wrongs of the past. At one point during a leadership training session, when I brought the shortcomings of an insubordinate soldier to the leadership, I was told in confidence that as a black female she was “untouchable.” The cadre understood all too well that even an implication of racism would end their careers, and the proud, black, disrespectful, underachieving soldier had already demonstrated she was more than willing to play the race card.

Upon joining the private sector, I discovered that racism is alive and well in most diversity programs (atonement for past corporate sins). I am amazed by the venues in which Black Leadership, Black Engineers, Black Economists, and all manner of Black Professionals are singled out and celebrated: whites are not eligible for such recognition. Of course, let’s not forget the not-so-unwritten rules about hiring blacks.

I have been more and more astounded by the somewhat sanctimonious racism rampant and unchecked in the black community. Don Imus was all but burned at the stake, while black rappers and comedians are embraced and raised up. Senator Joseph Biden and once Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro were both vehemently criticized for stating facts while heralding Barack Obama, but Jesse Jackson’s accusations that Obama was “acting white” were barely noted or addressed. While protesting racism, people have actually alleged on national broadcast media that “black people can’t be racist.”

In light of all this, I guess it should be no surprise to me that a black Presidential candidate might be so steeped in such racism; American’s have not embraced Obama’s brand of racism, Obama is simply practicing America’s modern brand of racism.