I was forwarded an article today by Linda Burnham, The Tightrope and the Needle.
"Liberal feminists have every right to spend down their political capital on behalf of Hillary Rodham Clinton. Hard choices have to made; political debts have to be paid. But it will not count as progress if a Clinton win is purchased at the cost of deepening the racial divide. It is inexcusable to support a candidate in the name of feminism while deploying racist argumentation, minimizing the existence and impact of racism, and denying the advantages of inhabiting the racial space called "white." It will not be excused. Nor will it be forgotten."
I believe Clinton is a better candidate.
Period. Pretty darn close between them. They have voted over 90% of the time the same way. very very little is different. I think Clinton's additional term in the Senate is important but not the end all and be all.
I like her health care plan better.
They both suck wind on LGBT rights.
I have read their positions. I have listened to the debates. I have thoughtfully considered each candidate. They both have weaknesses and strengths.
You can call me racist, and that's fine. You can call me the political machine of old and that's fine. Keep bringing it on and I'll keep shaking my head. I don't agree.
Is the only way I can embrace the struggle for racial justice is to vote for Obama? If I don't, I'm reverting "to the primacy of sexism over all other forms of discrimination and oppression. All the tendencies that got feminism tagged as a white, middle-class women's thing are, brutally, back in play."
It can't just be a difference of opinion? Honestly, I wish I had someone to vote for that had Kucinich's politics, Romney's hair, Ann Richard's humor, St. Teresa's police record...
But I don't, do I?
I could go through the entire essay, line by line and argue every point. My blood pressure would skyrocket.
Mostly? It hurts.
I am highly attuned to gender frames. I am highly attuned to homophobia, gender identity, stereotyping, class differences... I live them every day.
And I am highly attuned to race and racism.
The author refers to me- old, white woman voting for Clinton- as "blissfully (willfully?) ignorant?"
That's an insult to all the work I've done in my life, professionally and personally.
I chose a different candidate.
And now that makes me a racist?
Are some people supporting Clinton racist? Yes. And some people supporting Obama are racist, too. No one has played this campaign cleanly.
I believe deeply and strongly that we need to have a discussion on race in this country. We are in a historic moment and we are all spitting at each other and throwing blanket statements in order to elevate our candidate...
What a waste. We should be having this discussion TOGETHER rather than pointing fingers.
We are pulling apart each thread of the fabric of these campaigns- these two democratic campaigns- and scrutinizing every gesture, every word, every supporting cast member...
In the mean time? John McCain doesn't even need to fund raise. Why bother campaigning? He just has to sit back and wait for the bloodied victor from Denver to step forward.
We all have a lot of work to do. The discussion about race- and gender, and class, and homophobia- is essential to creating social change. We must come together for this discussion.
Long after this presidential race is decided, we will all have to work together because a single person in the role of president is simply NOT THAT IMPORTANT.
Are we all war lovin', Republican morons because George Bush has been our president for 8 years?
I didn't think so.
"It is inexcusable to support a candidate in the name of feminism while deploying racist argumentation, minimizing the existence and impact of racism, and denying the advantages of inhabiting the racial space called 'white'"
There has been so much about the political/candidate discussion that I find inexcusable. I could flip that statement right back at the author.
But I know it's not that simple. There isn't a single line to draw to get from A to B with race in this country. This is complex. There are many different things happening at once.
Mostly, though? If we blow this election because we are so busy navel gazing and pointing fingers at each other because we can't see beyond our own rhetoric?
That will not be forgotten.