Friday, February 29, 2008

Real Politik

Lets be honest for a second, the current election is starting to turn into a cluster for the democrats. I guess I should have seen this coming, seen the inevitable embarrassment entailed and the trying to trump each other on who is more or less oppressed or suffering. I guess I should have known.
But honestly I didn’t want to believe it. When people talked about the conflict between women and blacks as to which group represented a more oppressed population, and then using this imaginary criteria to determine whether Obama or Hillary was a better candidate…I didn’t want to believe it. I figured it was hype, just some bull made up by conservatives to make dems look bad. It wouldn’t be the first time that conservatives had managed to make the entire nation believe something was true that wasn’t, remember the “I invented the internet” debacle? What an asinine comment right? Too bad he never said it. I assumed this conflict was the same sort of deal.
Apparently I was wrong. I have now actually encountered people who did not just innocently choose (I think it should be…just cause) but people who virulently felt there was a battle here, between women and black men, or white women and blacks as a whole, or whatever make up they want to use. Regardless, apparently for a surprising amount of people, it actually matters more what these two candidates racial or gender make up is then what they believe or what their records are or what their plans for the nation may be.
This is utterly amazing to me. Just earth shatteringly unbelievable for me. It makes no difference what their make up is, all that matters is what kind of candidate they are. Now I have a preference. A strong one in fact. Yet I would still support the other candidate if it came down to it. I certainly would not allow another war mongering candidate to take office if I could help it. Yet for some, if their particular black or female candidate does not get it, they would rather let Mccain waltz right in and make Iraq even worse then support the other team. Why? Because racism and sexism run that deep, that once you have chosen a side you stick to it. Both candidates are seen as somehow contaminate, due each to the very thing which is then being trumped as not oppressed enough. Thus white male power steps in and sets those it oppresses at each others throats, creating enemies where it should create allies. These identities get played out against each other, and the candidates themselves play into this. Barack prominently features civil rights, and Hillary candidly answers what she will do for women. The very idea that electing one of these two based upon their identity will somehow liberate those who share that identity is ridiculous. There is no possible way.
The unfortunate reality, as much as I like one of these two over the other, is that their policies really aren’t that different. If you were pulling for Kucinich or Ron Paul and you refused to vote cause your dude didn’t get the nod, no surprise their. Talk about two candidates out of the mainstream. But these two are not that different, and in the end that might be actually why these ridiculous side issues take such prominence. It is all we have to distinguish them by really. This is probably the saddest part to all of it, or at least the part I am finding particularly depressing at the moment.
Well whoever you choose to vote for non-existent reader, please do not make your decision on racist or sexist terms, whatever direction that means. The reality is that women and non-whites are oppressed by a system that elevates white manhood to superiority. Let alone class and sexual orientation in their too. This system is not nefarious or explicit, it is ingrained a routinized by social practice that we don’t even see. It can be intentional, but it often is not, and at that point is it the most insidious.
The best person for the job, well I mean Kucinich already dropped out, but the best person left for the job. That’s what matters. As long as those who struggle under the foot of white patriarchy fight each other, we will never achieve freedom.

2 comments:

Mr. Thursday said...

I was more or less with you until the last paragraph. "As long as those who struggle under the food of white patriarchy fight each other, we will never achieve freedom." I think you're misrepresenting politics as The Revolution. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton don't represent a break from "white patriarchy". This isn't Star Wars. They are not the Rebellion.

The truth is that the powers of the minorities and the oppressed have swelled gradually in this country. I think that the fact the the top 2 Democratic candidates are not "Old White Men" is a sign that the country is moving, albeit slowly, away from white patriarchy.

Truly, I don't know what you mean when you talk about freedom.

-TC

master of pain said...

well first off I miss spelled foot

second the point is not that either of these canidates will bring "revolution" as you point out. duh. but the reality is that it is thr very real and very present effects of white male power that people who should be allies use the very categories of oppression pressured unto them against each other. to have black men calling hillary a bitch and white women reffering to obama as a nigger is what i mean, and what i question is that either canidate will change that much. I do not agree that things are getting better. an honest look at the prison system proves they are just as bad if not worse. what I do believe is that this situation is paradigmatic of a much larger problem in the entire country. larger issues are being played out in a the smaller issue of the primary basically. for refference
check out
Racist America: Roots, Current Realities and Future Reparations (Paperback)
by Joe R. Feagin
Private Prisons in America: A Critical Race Perspective (Critical Perspectives in Criminology) (Paperback)
by Michael A. Hallett
Race Critical Theories: Text and Context

Race Critical Theories: Text and Context by Philomena Essed and David Theo Goldberg (