The Cult of Melinda

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Are We Doomed?

I think so.

I just opened an email from a dear friend upset because he'd been called a racist for opposing Obama. This friend is biracial (Native American/White) and is one of the most non-racist people I know. Others I know who supported McCain, like me, are biracial or multiracial or have mixed race families. Are we racist?

Obama and his supporters have used race as a weapon for nearly two years and I believe, endangered our progress in race relations. They have wielded the race card against people like the Clintons, like my friends, like me, who have spent a great deal of our lives fighting for racial equality. They have set Obama up as THE standard bearer for the entire African-American community, as THE test of racial enlightenment and with that, diminished the struggle. No one person, no one politician should ever be the litmus test for enlightened views on anything.

I understand the great pride and hope expressed by so many African-Americans today. I think I'd feel the same if it weren't this politician at this time, if it were Cornel West up there or Colin Powell or Harold Ford, Jr. I may feel the same if it were a woman or a Native American or a Jew, though probably not if that woman or Native American or Jew had the same negatives as Obama. And definitely not if that person were presenting themselves as the saving grace for all women, all Native Americans, all Jews. Not if that person were presenting themselves as THE test for people's attitudes on gender, race or religion.

So, I worry for the future of a country led by a man who has presented himself as one who cannot be opposed without the opponent being a racist, a man who pretends that he is so beyond fault that race is the only problem anyone could have with him. How about you?

3 Comments:

Blogger sinister_n_evil said...

If he (obama) wants to make a statement about Civil Rights, he should abolish the entire system of labeling by race. By labeling himself as African American, he is denying the other part of himself and denying part of his identity. I don't trust him... I went through a phase in high school when asked what I was, I replied another branch of my family tree and was labeled crazy by my class mates... I have since decided to call myself other because if I cannot claim all of my heritages, then I should not deny any of them either... I should not play favorites, and make my own culture in my own country striving for an education that cannot be taken from me with individual freedoms that my fore fathers faught for and that I will fight for my children to have... whatever race my children will be... Hell.. I think Obama's biggest critics will be the children of mixed heritage... people like us... and we will be persicuted for it...

2:21 PM  
Blogger Melinda Barton said...

Exactly. I was taught that calling myself white was an insult to my non-white grandparents. I tried pointing out the paleness of my skin color, but my aunt said that was just "the Irish coming out in me." She thought I should just say Native American, because I'd never be truly white in most people's eyes. (Many people made sure I knew that growing up. Remind me one day to tell you about how some idiot convinced me to call myself by a racial slur when I was a kid. My family was NOT happy.) I decided on biracial because I refuse to insult my white grandparents either. I'm amazed though at how many people feel they have the right to weigh in on my racial identity.

As for Obama, I agree. But I think emphasizing the African-American part while not going too far to acknowledge actual African-Americans and their experiences was a political ploy. During his informercial, he said "Everybody has someone who came here seeking opportunity." and I thought "No, some people were already here. And most African-Americans have people who came here, not seeking opportunity but in chains." He's a doof.

3:13 AM  
Blogger sinister_n_evil said...

lol... you couldn't have put it more perfectly... lol...

2:13 PM  

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