Thursday, June 5, 2008

The inadequate and unprepared black man named Barack

Was Louisville Metro Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh's comments on WHAS-11, yesterday, wrong? The debate was all the rage locally @ The 'Ville Voice and PageOne. It even broke national coverage on DailyKos. Maybe it was a bit of a pile by the bloggers due to a bad paraphrase chosen by reporter Joe Arnold.

You be the judge.

From WHAS-11:

Metro Council member Tina Ward-Pugh says she’s not convinced that Obama has what it takes to be president…Ward-Pugh says she wonders what the nine weeks between now and the convention will reveal about Obama.

Overall Ward-Pugh's comments sound and look like that of a sore loser. Hillary's farewell lettermakes Ward-Pugh look stubbornly bitter. Maybe Hillary supporters are on different schedules or time zones. In the end, Ward-Pugh's comments are mild compared to truculent Hillary supporters like Harriet Christian, who said that Barack's nomination represented the Democrats choosing an "inadequate black male" -- whatever that means

Hillary supporters angry over Barack clinching the nomination are a mixed bag, some legitimately disappointed that their candidate lost and others unwilling to respect, fathom or acknowledge that a black person won. Yes, even among progressive white limousine liberals there's resistance to admitting a black person is at the head of the table in the Democratic Party.

I predicted sour grapes. It was bound to happen in a historic race between the two biggest identity politics movements in American history. No matter who won, the prospect of either the first black or first female president was going to end.

For the second time in American history white women have been passed by with black men going first. Before you applaud, hold on, ladies. When black men were given the right to vote by the 15th Amendment in 1870, we had a few barriers between us and the ballot box such as the literacy test, grandfather clause, poll tax, Jim Crow and Klu Klux Klan to name a few. Don't say we got the right to vote before you as an accomplishment or proof that sexism is worse than racism when up until 1965, all black people couldn't vote without the fear of American terrorism visiting their doorstep the next day. Do not leave out the context of history.

I do wonder, however, when white women bemoan Barack's victory as somehow borrowing from the power of sexism, do black women figure in their equation at all? For whatever reason I never see, hear or read their point of view on the matter.

The best debate on the subject is still from a January broadcast on Democracy Now! between Melissa Harris-Lacewell and Gloria Steinem. Check it out here.


maria emilia said...

thanks philip, or maybe i should say muchas gracias, all the way from argentina. as a latina female, i voted for obama and now that he has won, am very interested in how hilary supporters are taking the loss. and even more interested in the local twist (especially since i interned with twp back in the day!).

Miss Marmelstein said...

to answer your question, mr. bailey, no, white women don't consider black women when they bemoan hillary's loss. apparently it's the end of the world.

i've been wanting to blog about this myself the last couple of days, but find myself too enraged to even put anything coherent on the screen. if this primary season has done one thing, it has proven once and for all that for all their talk of equality and social justice, the white women who lead the mainstream feminist movement and many of the women who follow them have no idea what social justice really is. they have no idea that women can be oppressed on the basis of something other than gender, and they remain willfully ignorant of that fact, regardless of how many times women of color and their anti-racist allies try to teach them.

it is time to expose the fauxgressives that make up this movement as what they are: angry and resentful racists. to prove this point, one need look no farther than the complete disregard on the white feminist blogosphere for the vitriolic racism and misogyny being aimed at michelle obama (which, ironically, mirrors the attacks "messiah" hillary clinton faced in 1992, minus the racism). after a contributer at dailykos posted an image of michelle obama in a red dress being branded, lynched and menaced in an overtly sexual way, women of color blogs were in an uproar. but nary a word has been typed on any mainstream feminist blog until picked it up yesterday. this story has been out there for over 2 weeks. racialicious, jack and jill politics and many other blogs have commented on this, but the white feminists have been noticeably silent. why? i'll leave it up to you to figure it out....

this isn't even to mention the fact that these women who profess to have devoted their lives to feminist causes are proposing either voting for pro-war, pro-torture, anti-choice mccain, or abstaining and, in effect, giving votes to mccain. these women who have voted for white male after white male, many of which have been significantly LESS progressive and feminist than obama, are refusing point blank to vote for him. why? i encourage you all to read tim wise's take on this: