Thursday, May 01, 2008

I thought this was funny; on the lighter side

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Election: Are the Dems Being Unraveled?

All of a sudden neither Dem candidate seems happy. Most of the pundits think Rev. Wright to be the cause of the Barack Obama's possible demise as the frontrunner though the figures haven't changed that much. Even Hillary seems concerned that McCain is the only one gaining from the debacle surrounding Rev. Wright and Barack Obama. I never doubted how many folks in this country are racist and ignorant of African American perspectives and religious life. I don't understand what all the fuss is about. Obama is not Rev. Wright. Clinton and Obama have both been weakened by the long struggle for number one. Hillary might catch up but at what cost to her integrity and the country.
Does she have to walk over Obama's still breathing body on her way to losing to McCain?

The future is almost here and it seems unseemly. I supported Hillary and still wish her well ( I sent her money last week) but I am concerned. It is as if both candidates will arrive at the barn door bloodied and panting with no clothes on left for us to look at. If Obama can't make it to the barn will his supporters vote for Hillary. Many won't and will blame her and especially Bill for the mess created not Rev. Wright or any defects Barack himself may have brought to the race in the first place. This is a gloomy assessment and I hope I am wrong. This racism issue is big and it will affect both Democratic candidates. Hillary must reach out to African Americans in a big way if she want to mend fences.If there is any hint of her appealing to white racists she has to end it.

I knew all this white goody goody stuff around Obama was too good to be true. Prick just a little way under the skin and so called new liberal folds like the stuffed shirt he or she is. What a shame. I thought we all could be better. But the reality I know is not an apparition. What is left is a long road ahead that this new generation must walk. It is called working to end racism, classism, and sexism and homophobia.
It will be a long road ahead. Whatever the outcome of the race, we have a long road to yet to go.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Rev. Jeremiah Wright's Dynamic Speech Before the Detroit NAACP Dinner Points Out Differences Not Deficiencies

I was lucky enough via CNN to hear Rev. Dr. Wright's dynamic speech given before a major Detroit NAACP Dinner. He was introduced and given a rousing welcome by the President of the Detroit NAACP Rev. Wendell Anthony. Thousands attended the event. Many political pundits including Barack Obama's own people have suggested that Wright should not have resurfaced so soon after the media lambasted him to the extent that Barack Obama was forced to repudiate and distance himself from some of the statements that were quoted from speeches and sermons that Wright had made over the past 30 or more years.

In one remark, he was quoted as saying "God Damn America" not "Bless America". He also had made some positive remarks about the work of Farrakhan, rather old news in my book. Most people know that Farrakhan was known to make anti-Semitic remarks including Rev. Wright who always seems to include Jewish clergy in many of his causes and inter-faith groups. Obviously, Wright is not allowed to differentiate the good works of Farrakhan from the bad ideas about Jews which I also deplore along with Rev. Wright. It might be true that Wright is not most up to date on his wording when it comes to Jewish Black relations but I don't really know the whole story on this part.

This speech was very entertaining and showed Wright's Renaissance man kind of appeal as it is apparent he knows how to be very humorous while at the same time making very serious points using his musical prowess as well as his linguistic and extraordinary speaking ability. Wright pointed out the double standard concerning Black children's
speech patterns and dialect when it is clear especially the way Wright communicates it that no American speaks English but everyone uses a form of American dialect from President John Kennedy to Lyndon Johnson and Ted Kennedy. Rev. Wright received lots of positive reaction from the crowd when he asks (referring to John Kennedy when pronouncing the famous words in his Bostonian accent "EeAsk not meaning in plain American "Ask Not...,) what does Eeask mean? He also pointed out Lyndon Johnson Texan dialect when pronouncing the word American as Amoricans. He asks what is an Amoricon? I think the O is as funny as the emphasis on the long A from what I remember. In spite of these truths, it was Black children not white Presidents and whites in general who were picked on for their normal linguistic peculiarities.

Wright also analyzed the different ways Africans and African American children learn in comparison to their European and European American counterparts treading on perilous territory that could easily be taken out of context and used by racists to reinforce their views that "Blacks are inferior intellectually to Caucasians". On the other hand, Wright kept reinforcing the emphasis that "Different does not mean Deficient" and he made his points in a humorous and enlightening way giving many examples from the musical world that appear to highlight these differences. There certainly are cultural differences among groups in terms of learning cultures; however, Wright attributed these differences to dominant right vs. dominant left
brain theorizing, which I am not certain has ever been substantiated by scholars in the scientific community who study how the brain works, although it certainly has been pointed to as the cause of the difference between male and female brains in humans when learning math vs. more humanistic pursuits.

My thinking is that there may be a culture of learning that is different but I doubt it goes to basic biological schism in the brain but I could be wrong. Certainly, there could be a tendency to prefer one side of the brain that could be reinforced by inbreeding but first of all this does not affect all individuals or even most based on race since race has been shown to be such an illusory and racist notion in the first place.

Did Rev. Wright hurt or help Barack Obama by making himself so visible so soon after the pot had been stirred concerning his spiritual role in Obama's life and spilling over into Obama's political existence? Obama has to be careful to not alientate the Black community that like and respects Rev. Wright and at the same time must keep assuring his more conservative (not necessarily just Republican: Dems can be conservative too on race) white audiences that he is not someone to be feared as some seem to fear someone who "Tells Truth to Power" an expression I dearly love to hear but these folks probably do not understand or like to hear.

Actually, I think Hillary can help herself more than Obama can if she would only speak in a way that would convey her deep respect for Rev. Wright. But does she have the courage or deep feeling or need to do it? If she doesn't embrace the African American community and she just continues to sit on her laurels in that respect Hillary will slide down a notch or two in my opinion of her. If she completely loses touch with Black people in America, she is a goner. The Dems need the African American voter and I think the Black voter needs both Hillary and Barack Obama to move closer to where they are rather than the other way around. The remark Hillary made about what she would do to Iran, if Iran nuclear attacked Israel must have made her very popular in the institutional mainstream Jewish community in America. As a Jew, it did not make me happy but I took it with a grain of salt hoping against hope that she meant it as a deterrent. Now it is up to her to make a bold statement that puts her front and center in the African American community.