no shortage of handbaskets

Ummmm…have people been taking crazy pills across the country?  Or is this the real Obama effect – he causes most of America to go stark, raving, …you know.

Last year, people were writing songs for him, making signs all over the world, turning his speeches into musical rallying cries.  This year, other people are calling him a racist, fascist, socialist – showing up to protest with loaded semiautomatic weapons.

I’m just not getting it.  He’s just a man.  Trying to be the POTUS.  Vilified and reified by turns, he still seems to be doing better than that last guy.

I don’t really have more to say than everyone else who has commented on this other than the fact that this is starting to scare me.  I’m not clear on the agenda of the rabid Obama opponents, but it seems like they are rabidly against brown people just on g.p.

see what other folks are saying:

@ Racialicious

@ Shakesville

@ The Root

So yeah, there’s some serious race-based crap hitting the fan right now, but let’s not forget that most of it is ostensibly because of the whole healthcare debate:

Getting less, indeed.

So, I know what the destination is – I’m just not sure which handbasket we’re riding in.

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dancing on the tightrope

The tears are here.

I spent the last two years in thought, in anger, in fear, in prayer, in despair, in faith – with occasional glimmers of hope.  When the nomination was won, I wasn’t all that happy, cuz my girl didn’t win.  I wasn’t surprised – I wasn’t despondent – but I wasn’t crazed, like a lot of people were.

As time went by, I became more convinced that Obama would win.  I had lingering doubts, but I was pretty sure by the time November 4th came around.  I couldn’t help getting swept up in some of the Obamania – like the Yes We Can video, and the pictures from all over the world, of people who wanted Obama to be our next president.  I’d felt ambivalent about Barack for awhile – when I noticed that once the smoke cleared after his inspiring speeches, I never actually had any substance to hold on to.

His first speech that I watched – in 2004 – was incredible to me.  I thought, “Wow!  Who is heHe should totally run!”  That speech was truly inspirational, and gave me hope for the Party.  When he announced his candidacy, I thought – well, hey, that’s great – he’ll get a chance to learn the ropes.  I wasn’t thinking that he had a chance to win.  I wasn’t thinking that I wanted him to.  Part of me did – just for the historicity of it – but mostly, no.

I voted Green.  Because I wanted to.  I stood in the booth, choosing between two black candidates for the office of President (!), and even then, I wavered.  But I did what I’d already resolved to do, go with my heart and vote Green.  Living where I do, I had no illusion that we might end up a blue state.  Certainly not Green.  But I did my part to be heard – to be counted.  And I watched as the votes were tallied by poll estimates.

I hoped.

I stayed up incredibly late, considering I had to go to work the next day, and watched as history was made.  I saw other people cry, but I didn’t.  I was happy that McCain didn’t win.  I was happy that the Obamas would be moving into the White House.  I saw the handwriting on the wall – a friend of mine stated that the only positive thing about the election results was that they proved that racism is over in America.  This, on a grander scale, was what I’d been afraid of.

Nationwide, there has been an uptick in proclamations of a ‘post-racial era’ having been ushered in by our newly elected President.  Today, I watched Oprah speaking with Demi and Ashton about their part in the political process.  They (the Moore’s) have put together a video of famous people taking Obama’s pledge – Demi directed.  In the video, there’s a guy (I don’t know his name) who says that he pledges to think of himself as an ‘American’ and not an ‘African-American’.

Oprah said she loves that.

I don’t.

That’s when I started thinking about this whole thing.  This whole new era that has most certainly been ushered in by the historic events that will continue to take place through this presidency.  It’s a tightrope.

I’ve been afraid to hope, because

  • Promises from politicians haven’t ever meant much
  • Backlash is brutal
  • I wanna at least hold on to the progress that we’ve made up to this point
  • I know that this is gonna be hard. real hard.

So I kept being pragmatic.  At the price of sometimes being labeled a naysayer, or raining on parades.  But it’s true – this is NO time for complacency.

But at the end of Oprah today, David Foster, Will.I.Am, Faith Hill, Seal, Bono, and Mary J. Blige sang a new song.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Download and Watch America’s Song“, posted with vodpod

And I cried.

It is a tightrope that we’re on.  Hope is a thread.  It’s fragile.  It must be guarded.  It must be cultivated.  It requires something of you.  Of us.  If we’re all gonna be out here on the line together, we have a responsibility to keep our neighbor’s standing.  It affects us all.

Tonight, though?  I’m dancing on that tightrope.  In step with the rest of you.  Through the tears – I’m dancing.  May God keep us together.

it begins

Be ever vigilant.  I’ve already heard enough comments that they are beginning to snowball into something that causes me some apprehension.  Commentators [black and white] are already making statements about how Obama’s election demonstrates the end of racism in America.

Watching Obama’s victory speech is interesting, because his opening phrase further reiterates sentiments about the ‘American Dream’…sentiments that seems sometimes eerily opposed to affirmative action.

Otherwise – this speech is very good.  And how cute, that the girls are getting a puppy. [Is there always a first pet?]

And then there was the ‘Yes, We Can’ reprise.  This is the audacity of hope.  Hope that we will continue fixing things – and not neglect any of our citizenry, mislabeling one outstanding achievement as heralding the end of discrimination.  Hope that this path we’re on leads to the brighter days we’ve all been wishing for as we entered the dark night of the last few months.

I will say, though, I am most proud, that we now have Michelle Obama as our next first lady.  I’m excited to see how things will unfold.

Best image to remember?  Two skinheads hugging and crying at the McCain rally.

Best Obama effect?  Congressional victories for the Dems. (control of everything: house & senate)

Thing I’d like to know about Obama, just cuz?  Can he sing.

Person at the rally whose brain I’d like to peer inside? Rev. Jesse Jackson.  I can’t really read his expressions.

I gotta go to bed.  Enjoy your evening morning.

hope you voted – I did

I was in and out of my polling place in about 7 minutes.  I went with a book, just in case there was a line, but there was no need.  Every other time I’ve been there to vote, I was either the only person there, or one of two.  But today, I figured more people would be out.  There were.  I had three people in front of me in line!

No matter if your town is big or small, I hope you voted today.

I’m actually more interested in how things turn out for the senate/house, and what happens on Proposition 8 in Cali, than the presidential race.  Maybe I’m jumping the gun, but I feel like Obama has things pretty sewn up.  Guess we’ll all see, in a few hours [or at least by tomorrow].

Enjoy your evening, fellow civic-minded friends!
(it’s easy being Green)

loaded terms (the n-word for [some] white people)

As the presidential race nears its end, and tensions rise, it has become abundantly clear to most that race is playing a huge role in this…race.

Exhibit A:

A coworker speaks:

America’s not ready for a black president.

and

I just can’t get past his name.

and

He [Obama] is best friends with a terrorist [Ayers] – they’re next-door neighbors!  He [Ayers] helped him buy his house!  And I know he hates America because of his pastor.  His pastor hates America!

and

The reason the stock market keeps fluctuating is that people are afraid Obama’s going to win.  And he’s gonna raise taxes, and all the companies will go out of business.

and

If black people hadn’t gotten all these houses that they couldn’t afford, we wouldn’t be in this mess.

–Just typing this stuff, I could feel my blood pressure rising.  This guy (the same guy I was talking about before) pisses me off so much.  I haven’t been a die-hard Obama fan, but I will say, that given a choice between McCain and Obama for president, I’d choose Obama every time.  Every time.

The thing that gets me, is that this dude wants to say all this crap and then say-

Oh, I don’t have a problem with black people.

If you mention that some of the things he says are racist, he’ll go crazy trying to defend himself.  Making up all kinds of fanciful, far-fetched reasons he believes anything bad he hears about Obama, and discounts everything bad he hears about McCain/Palin.

Exhibit B:

My dad has a friend – they’ve been friends for years – but he’s more like an adviser/sounding board to her than someone to actually hang out with, or whatever.  A long time ago I realized she had some race issues, and it would be better for me to not get close.  Dad can take care of himself.  I, on the other hand, might say something untoward.

So every once in a while, Daddy tells me whats going on with her.  They keep up mostly through email these days, and send jokes to each other.  [My dad loves to send jokes.  And those powerpoint presentations of pictures of some famous person’s house, or a hotel in Dubai, or nature, etc.]  Recently, she told my dad that she felt like things in the country weren’t going that bad.  She’s doing better now than she was eight years ago, so [fill your own expletive in here] everyone else.  At least that’s the message I get when someone says they’re doing ok, so they don’t see why other people think things are so bad.

Anyway, she sent Daddy a couple emails about McCain and how wonderful he is.  So, Daddy sent her this:

How Racism Works Continue reading

in the black

I’m just now realizing how big the intersection between politics and race has become.  It’s like a volcano that’s been puffing for awhile, and is getting ready to blow up.  I knew that there were people out there who couldn’t bring themselves to vote for a black man [whatever the personal cost to themselves], but I didn’t have the expectation that someone I work with would have the audacity to almost come out and say it – to me.

Yesterday, I and another black female coworker were verbally accosted with rumors of Obama being a terrorist.  This guy that we work with has always raised some red flags with me [TNTC, really, but most glaring were his backwards views about gays], but yesterday took the ever-lovin’ cake.  I had just heard about Palin’s accusation that Obama is friends with a terrorist (Bill Ayers) and hadn’t heard any actual facts about it.  So this guy swoops in on the convo and says that he heard they live next door to each other, and they’re friends, and that guy [Ayers] helped Obama get his house [in that neighborhood], and it’s all true.  Because – and I’m quoting here –

they couldn’t say it on TV if it wasn’t true.

::crickets::

Yeah.  For real.  Then he says to me, “You’ve gotta watch Fox News, see?  They’re the only ones that are actually fair.  They have a Republican and a Democrat on Hannity and Colmes.  See, otherwise, you’re just getting one side of the story.  You gotta watch Fox News!”

I thought he was joking.  Really, I did.  I’d never heard anyone say out loud [not even a Republican, and I’m surrounded by them here] that Fox News actually is fair.  And believe it.  I asked him if he was joking.  He wasn’t.

Then he just kept going – he doesn’t think that America’s ready for a black president.  He thinks that all the white people will just think he’s only going to help black people [I suppose this might be due in part, to the fact that most people expect others to be like themselves and then begin to project their own characteristics on others.  In this way, it can be inferred that those white people that assume Obama would only help blacks would – if they were in a similar position – only help whites.]  He was quick to remind me that he wouldn’t have a problem with a black president – but other people might would.

After I’d had all the nonsense I could take, I went back to my desk.  But our friend continued to pontificate, telling my female coworker that this whole financial meltdown happened because – wait for it – the terrorists helped Obama help black people get houses/mortgages they couldn’t afford, and now – since they’re not paying on them – we’ve got all these problems on Wall Street.

Yup.  I know someone who believes that ish.  Or at the very least, said it out loud.

I’m actually amazed at the lengths that some people will go to, to support their racism.  These folks are deluding themselves, choosing policies that will actually hurt them but they figure they can live with as long as a white guy is running the show.  Wow.  Tell me how much has changed?

I wanted to talk about the whole financial debacle in more depth but it’s getting late…I suppose my basic point was this: how can you possibly suggest/promote new programs, or increase funding for current programs, and discuss the raging deficit – and then say you’re not going to raise taxes?

Where the *hell* would the money come from???

To me, that is why McCain looked like a ninny tonight.  Sixteen years later: It’s still [or once again, actually] the economy, stupid.