When campaigning for a black man you will face racism…duh

I just read the Washington Post piece “Racist Incidents Give Some Obama Campaigners Pause” and I just have to say DUH!!!  I’m mean really???  Really? People are surprised about campaign offices being defaced and people calling teens the N-word?  Have we all bought into the whole “color blind America” concept?  Really?

The article notes that Obama’s camp hasn’t publicized the racial incidents that have occured.  You want to know why?  You want to the reason they weren’t bold enough to print?  Can you handle it?

Because white people don’t want to hear about that stuff!!! It makes them fell bad.  That kind of news doesn’t make white people want to vote for “Barry.”  If his name is too black, too African/Muslim thus they’ve given him the nickname “Barry”,  then they damn sure don’t want to think about racism and injustice when they think of him.  White folks will not be motivated by guilt, shame, or America’s racism when voting for Obama. That much guilt doesn’t exist in America…ask a segregationist about the civil rights era, they’ll tell ya.  The things that people in Obama’s camp have suffered are nothting compared to things that protesters endured in the Civil rights era.   It took years and years and years of seeing that for white folks to get behind the cause and help move the government.

It’s better that Obama stick with connecting himself and his image to middle of the road concepts…hope…change…etc.  White America doesn’t want to see oppression and the legacy of slavery when they look at a potential candidate.  They want to feel good about giving their “black friend” a chance.

Yes…I said it.

15 Comments

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15 Responses to When campaigning for a black man you will face racism…duh

  1. “White folks will not be motivated by guilt, shame, or America’s racism when voting for Obama”

    I disagree to an extent, I think it is a factor. You’re right: white folk don’t want to hear about that stuff. The question is, why?

    But mostly, I believe his charisma really puts him over the top vs. a cold, calculated Hillary.

  2. This is a comment from a 62 year old white woman who has been involved in civil rights movement since 1962, who has a major in AA studies, who has worked with and on behalf of African Americans in need most of my life, who has had African American friends since childhood, and who has 2 African American grandchildren (adopted through the Chicago welfare system and deemed at such high risk they almost were written off before age 6!); I also have an “unofficially” adopted family in Lesotho where I also helped put a number of kids through school.

    I’ve lost track of marches, letters, groups, causes, etc. as well as the time and energy I put in to the things that I believe in. In the 60′s I witnessed too many people being hated, beaten, killed, burned out of homes, denied dignity, respect, love — and all the other things all of us need — that I saw what hatred does to the hated as well as the hater. I made a conscious, deep choice then to live MY life in a spirit of love. Have I always succeeded? Hell no. (Georg Bush?) But every day, that is what I try to give my best to do.

    There are a lot of alternative ways to seek and find truth about this election, racism in the country etc. It is not hard to do. Knowing the standard “news” sources are sound bites, talking heads and a lot of BS, I seek truth elsewhere and usually find it.

    I don’t care what race, religion, sex, or much else about Obama. I wouldn’t care if his name was Osama. I do care, very much, for what he believes in and wants to do. I care about what the consequences for the world that his believes might bring. I pray that if he is nominated and if he wins (prayerfully he’ll do both), he can find the support he needs to help this country repair a little of the damages done by the current administration. But I can expect him or anyone to raise the dead or heal the wounds. One man or woman in the Oval Office is only going to be able to do some things. Perhaps he or she, black or white, can start with an apology for America becoming the world’s most dangerous country over the last 8 years or longer?

    I don’t give a damn about giving my “black friend” (I haven’t met him) a chance. From what I can tell, he has worked extraordinarily hard to get where he is today.

    I very much care about the President of this country, who ever it is, giving peace a chance, giving civil rights a renewed chance, and finding some damned way to give those of us who live and die in the “trenches” of human despair (I work with HIV/AIDS clients) something to work with and reason to carry on. Hope, dignity, respect… and resources for all the rest. That’s what I want.

    Sorry, but not all white people are what you might think. Some of us (I actually know many) do what we can to “live the dream”, even if it is just through one person, one life, one soul, one heart at a time.

    If today I can share a laugh, give food, get good medical care, find housing, get into recovery or back to school or work, share a little joy or a hug, with a client, coworker, friend — then today is a very good day indeed–whoever my “friend” in the Oval Office is elected. I don’t NEED a president to reach out and do what I can; I just do it. I hope you are doing the same.

    Fight on, take care…
    Cindy

  3. Respectfully, I think you for your open mindedness and activism. However, Black friends, family, degrees, and activism doesn’t make you Black. I live in this dark skin. I live in these United States as a black woman. I know better than you will ever know what Black is. But in the same breath I can say that YOU know White better than I do. So I understand how you could have a problem with me generalizing about White people.

    What I don’t understand is why you didn’t acknowledge how right I am as well as how “wrong” about all white people. You, being such a negrophile should understand the current proliferation and history of racism perpetrated by whites against blacks in this country (especially having a degree in AA studies and having witnessed so much hate).

    When I say “white people” as a generalization of course I’m talking about the white majority as it has operated in America. What history has taught me as a black person about “white people”. What “white people” have shown me personally. What you witnessed in the 60s. What I witness now…a good example is the number of racist white people have visited this blog and left comments. I fell that this form of racism is alive and well in America, and it has raised it’s head from time to time during this presidential election process.

    It almost sounded to me like you were trying to say that you are one of the white exceptions to the rule. That’s cool. I know that all white people are not monolithic and think the same. A generalization is just that…general. As we say in the hood, “Get in where you fit in.” You have a right not to agree.

    Cindy, one of the greatest things I think a white person can do for Black People is to acknowledge that there is racism in the world and that there are white people who are racist. I prefer that to the “I’m color blind” mindset. It would be a wonderful thing if all the non-racist whites who are working to fulfill the dream would work hard to educate and evangelize their white brothers and sister about the institution of racism in the country. I think the work of Tim Wise is an excellent example of that. He makes no excuses and doesn’t try to separate himself from the reality of white privilege or racism. A “I understand what you’re saying” can go a long way.

    I thank you for you comments. It is through dialog , open and honest dialog that we can really understand each other.

  4. Hi,

    Thanks for your comments about what I wrote. You are absolutely right about white racism still prevailing in this damned country! And yes, I am not black! Any yes, I should have acknowledged all of that in my previous note. My “credentials” as a decent white person don’t matter a hoot; included not to brag but for context as you don’t know me. I saw the door to equality open for a spell “back in the day”; in the past 20 year or so and with increasing speed and hositility, I’ve seen it slam shut again. Some days I just get angry. Why? God, I do wish I could understand!

    I witness the sometimes horrific consequences of “living while black” every day. It is sick, disgusting! No matter how much I know or read or think or question, no matter how any “people of color” become friends… I will never really understand the “Why?” — from the horrific centuries of slavery through now… the more I know, the less I understand. Why?

    I am a “what you see is what you get”person. I live an alternative lifestyle so have experienced my own brand of discrimination and disrespect. I do not compare that to what African Americans go through every day. It is just not at all the same; it simply is a gife I can use to help me understand those who suffer from racism and hatred all too often.

    I recall a young, newly diagnosed Black woman who refused to come in to see me for an intake because I am white, until weeks later when a co-worker/friend who is also black told her that I was “OK for a white person.” I worked very hard to build trust, she was so deeply wounded — 2 years into my relationship with her, I called to check in one day (routine). Her response? “I’m so glad you called. I love you so much!” It pleases me she is now doing well and I’m tickled I could have a bit of something to do with that. But it remains: she is the one who did the work and overcame her obstacles. It is never about me.

    One of the privileges of my work is that, if I shut up and listen hard enough and long enough I get to learn what life has been like for others. I get to learn a bit more of what it means to be human. I’ve never met anyone who was not worth getting to know, regardless of race, religion, education, etc.

    I just wish that I had enough time and energy to counteract every act of hate, disrespect and ugliness with an act of love, respect and dignity. I do what I can. It is never enough.

    Shortly after Kyle joined our family at age 5 — (he had been in 21 foster care homes, many psych hospitals and in a family that abused him in about every way possible) — he was riding in the backseat of my car. He said to me, “My spirit is crying”. I about drove off the road! Five years old and his spirit is crying? I asked him why… he said he was crying for his brother Jamal, because “sometimes you love people even if they beat you up and hurt you.” Jamal was really the least of the people who hurt him. He would have terrors and just start screaming uncontrollably and in some other internal world. Now, at 13 he is a very gifted student (brilliant as I always suspected), a great kid. It took too long to get him adopted permanently but when it finally happened he called saying, “Now I’m your real grandson!” “Kyle”, I said, “You have always been my real grandson; now it’s just legal.”

    My spirit is crying as well. I’m sure your spirit is crying too.

    Again, thanks for writing back… I agree with you absolutely.

    Best wishes and good energy. To healing spirits through dialog. Keep writing, fighting. I’m with ya, for what little that is worth.
    Cindy

  5. PS:
    Since your article was in part about the press, thought I’d pass this along, just received from a friend in the International Grail:

    On 15.05.2008 2:55 am, you wrote:

    Dear Friends,

    Last year the Federal Communications Commission pushed
    through new rules that gutted the local
    “cross-ownership” prohibition. This would mean more
    big conglomerates gobbling up our local papers and TV
    stations — which is bad for media diversity and bad
    for our democracy.

    However, the Senate has introduced a resolution that
    will reverse the FCC’s new rules. I’ve just signed a
    petition to Majority Leader Reid and my senators in
    support of this resolution, and I hope you will too.

    In this very important election year, are we willing
    to let a handful of companies continue to control what
    we see, hear and read every day?

    I hope you’ll have a look and take action.

    http://act.credoaction.com/campaign/stop_bi g_media/?r_by=211-778258-FtACmp&rc=paste

  6. I don’t think anyone is saying ALL White people are racist. That is ridiculous. HOWEVER, many folks who are White, say that they have Black best friends, adopted Black kids etc. doesn’t mean anything. I know some folks like that and they still have the same prejudices as everyone else.

    “Cindy, one of the greatest things I think a white person can do for Black People is to acknowledge that there is racism in the world and that there are white people who are racist. I prefer that to the “I’m color blind” mindset”

    Amen Sista, amen.

  7. Hi Shey,

    I thought I’d addressed your concerns in the note I posted earlier today, before your comment was posted. Yeah, I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t have prejudices. I do what I can to own mine and change them as needed. I’m not “color blind.” But that having been said, I don’t arrange my various contact lists by race either. I don’t think, “I want to talk to a black friend (or Muslim or Jewish or Chinese or whatever) today.” I do think, “I think I’ll call (any name).” When someone has been a close friend for 30 or 40 years, it’s not like I don’t know they are black. It is that I think of their whole person, not just their skin color. Being black in America surely has been a huge factor in who they are or are becoming… just as being x y or z has been a big factor in who I’ve become. Issues of race in these relationships have been resolved years ago between us friends….

    I am who/what I am. Whatever you decide to believe about me, I’ll still be that. Hopefully I am more than my age, the color of my skin, my spirituality, my gender or sexuality — as are all of my friends. Some people are “proud” of being Black, some are “proud” of being white; others are “proud” of their proclaimed faith/religion, some are “proud” of their gender or sexual orientation…whatever. If those labels are all we have to be “Proud” of, we are in much deeper doo doo than I can even imagine.

    I live from my heart, my center, my core values. I’m much too old or stupid or whatever to spend much time worrying about being accepted or rejected … respected, trusted, loved? Hell, those take lots of time and energy. A message board ain’t gonna get us there.

    Take care and good energy to you,
    Cindy

  8. I hear you Cindy, I wasn’t referring to you specifically: I don’t even know you and therefore give you the benefit of the doubt.

    My point is I’m weary when people give use those examples (usually as proof that they aren’t racist, again, I’m not saying you are).

  9. Weary is a reasonable response. …

    I forgot to mention, I have white friends too : ).

  10. Thanks for the love Shey

    Cindy, nothing but love.

  11. Thanks for the love .. and love in return.

    I especially love folks who think and are willing to challenge and confront. Having to be weary of white folks claiming they’re racist has to be tiresome. Having worked, lived with primarily African Americans (and having been the minority during much of my work life) sometimes I get not so much weary as tired of almost always having to work so hard to build trust and relationship with those around me. It saddens me to know that all that prejudice, hate, disrespect etc. means that I can make no assumptions (that’s a good thing) about folks that come in. First, just about all of them have been stuck in the systemically (is that even a word?) racist welfare systems, have been ill treated and dissed by mostly white social workers… so why the hell would they want to trust me?

    I tell each one, “You don’t have to like me, trust me or respect me. You just have to give me enough information so that I can help get what you need and give me some ‘propers’. If you decide at some point to like, trust, and respect me for real, that’d be cool.” So on a burned-out day, I just reacted to the article. I wish I had waited until I felt a bit less exhausted and depressed. I just “blew” the first time I wrote, so thanks for bearing with me.

    Ya know folks, everyone who gets an HIV diagnosis (they are getting younger and younger) and has to come in for help is scared, angry, hurt, confused, depressed and more. The mis-information out there and the stigmas attached, make it even more difficult. When you ad to that being poor, un-educated, prison records, being gay, drugs/drinking, prostituting for income, homelesness, mental health problems and distrust (earned!) of social workers and medical insitutions, etc. — it sometimes feels like a mountain of despair with no end in site.

    I have too many clients for whom I am their sole connection to humanity. I am their only advocate. I am the only one they know for sure gives a damn and who believes that their lives count (that counts for every client, regardless of race). If I don’t call or visit, no one does. If I don’t bring food, they don’t eat. If I don’t walk them through the paperwork and welfare systems, they lose their minute benefits ($10 of food stamps for a month? Gimme a break!) Communities, Families and friends can be worse than rejecting and mean. Why? God only knows. It’s just WRONG!

    If any of you can do anything… get the right information out there about HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis A B and C. African American women, mostly under the age of 25, are getting HIV at an alarming rate. Even well-educated, sane, professional people with incomes, insurances and support systems, get HIV. EVEN OLD people are getting infected — thanks in part to retirement communities and Viagra!

    Please, if you’ve done anything that could possibly put you at risk, get tested!!! Use condoms, even if you hate them. Use female condoms. Get really creative when making love. (not that you aren’t : ) )

    Most important: Encourage everyone to get tested! I know it is scary, but knowing is important.

    End of my sermon today. Now need to get to work to put out a few little fires for some of my “kids.”

    Thanks, with love,
    Cindy

  12. whoops..that was supposed to be “white folks claiming they are NOT racist”

  13. Sam

    Interesting blog. “Barack” is from the Old Testament. You can find it/him in Judges Ch. 4 -6 and once in Hebrews 11 (NT). Has anyone some video links of Barack/Barak/Barry shooting hoops?

  14. I’ve never been called a negrophile before. I’ve been called a “N-lover” millions of times and even was fired from a job by an ancient white nun in a catholic hospital for being one, after she ordered me to quit hanging out with the N’s.. and I said, “Them’s my friends, you ain’t” and walked out. (I guess her god’s love wasn’t for everyone?)

    1967. I was suidically depressed for a lot of reasons. I was seriously underweight and seriously alcoholic. I smoked 5 packs of Marlboro’s/day. If not in my white mercyk-nursy uniform, I wore nothing but black, said nothing but “don’t mean nothin” if I said any thing at all.
    Making friends in the black community at that time and in that place is one of the greatest miracles of my life. Hattie, who has been a friend ever since, literally saved my life. It wasn’t so much what she did, but who she was and IS. Her laugh alone was alot towards keeping me going. Her willingness in the land of hate where we both lived to talk about race and recommend books and invite me to the shop she ran with her cousin Joe (records with headphones, even)… changed me and my life forever and for the better. It is very likely I would have suicided without her. She takes no credit. I have no way to repay her or Joe or any of the remarkable black men and women back then who took me in and nurtured me back to some degree of health and sanity.

    I am again struggling with a horrific depression. I need to remember and perhaps to write the above.
    I can never pay back the gifts I was given. I can remember all the I learned, all of the laughter, love, hugs, hours of talk, and getting addicted to greens! (probably the ONLY healthy thing I ate)

    What I can do is pass it on, in love and gratitude.

    You don’t need to know, I need to say.

    I think it is time for me to quite taking up all this webspace. Somehow, I just like writing here.

    I know the white guilt thing is a generalization that doesn’t necessarily include me. Or maybe it does and I’m just not aware of it. But when I’m into guilt, I’m much more likely to be passive aggresive than otherwise. Why I need to write that, I don’t have a clue.

    Thanks if you read or respond.

    Working my way out of the muck,
    Cindy

  15. yvonnjanae

    “Barry” isn’t a nickname being given to Obama by whites who can’t deal with the Africanism of his name. He actually was called Barry throughout his youth, as was his father. That is the Americanism of foreign names and it happens to more than just Africans. Just ask the Jews, Italians, Polish people and Asians who have come to his country and changed their names.
    The people who refer to him as Barry now are trying to insult him, by implying that he once was a good American boy and now he’s a dangerous black man with a Muslim name.

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