Saturday, June 14, 2008

Fallen Giant

I awoke this morning to some unfortunate news: Tim Russert, moderator of Meet The Press passed away at age 58. If your not into politics, you may not know exactly who Russert is (even though you'll probably recognize his face) or how important of a journalist he was, but he was one of, if not the, premiere political journalist of our time.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Finally, Something Almost Good

Finally, it seems that the media is being slowly awakened to at least one form of hidden racism. Check out this clip from MSNBC:

Yes, Pat Buchanan just called Obama "exotic." What you just witnessed was the early stages of the soon-to-be vast, ugly smear campaign against Obama. This republican assault will use code words such as "exotic," "foreign," or "unknown" as well as meaningless "associations" to thinly vial their real campaign of fear. This is fear not that Obama is unequipped for the office of President, or that he is a secret Islamofascist terrorist seeking to infiltrate the United States and destroy it from the inside out. It is not a fear that Obama will be weak in the face of terrorism or that his well-intentioned policies will destroy the U.S. economy. No, these are all masks. The real fear is one of the few constant factors in this country from our colonial days until now: the fear of black men. In all of our nation's history, there has been perhaps no greater villain than the immoral, shiftless, disrespectful, uppity, ignorant, and oversexed black man who roams the earth in lazy unproductivity, seeking white women to rape and white men to disrespect. The black man, who, it is feared, once endowed with political power will seek revenge on pure America, white America (and, yes, the same America that refuses to admit that there's anything to seek revenge for). The black man who doesn't share "American," "middle class" values because he has no values, because he is a savage beast that must be controlled. The black man: the mentally feeble, intellectually incapable moron turned out of touch Harvard elitist, a transformation made possible only by an anti-American affirmative action stunt. Yeah, that black man, the one that doesn't exist, but that RNC will (likely quite effectively) attempt to use to raise fear and gain votes.

Well, as one would expect, when Buchanan invoked all of this, he was immediately pounced on. This should come as no surprise, but it did, given that the media has been inexplicably reluctant to call out the racists. It took this outlandish statement to make people go "wait a second, something's not as it should be here," and even still, there was obvious hesitation in criticizing Buchanan. No one wants to accuse the racists of racism. No one wants to use the r-word. No one wants to acknowledge the fact that the entire republican strategy this election, the REAL republican strategy, is predicated on racial hatred and fear of the "unknown" young black man.

But at least yesterday someone got close.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wow, sexism sucks

First of all, many apologies for the long absence. Between switching operating systems and preparing to teach this summer I haven't had much time to write.

However, I felt it important to post a video that a friend sent me that addresses the issue of sexism in the media. For those of you who think it doesn't exist, trust me, it does.

I felt it important to share this because in previous posts I have complained about cries of sexism in the presidential elections that seem to, in a very offensive way, ignore the historical and present significance of race and racism. I will continue to make that argument. However, after watching this video, I felt it inappropriate to make such an argument without also displaying the way that sexism has infiltrated our national duologue. I am convinced that sexism and run-away gender socialization permeate our collective psyche below the level of the superficial in a way that is quite detrimental to our society. Although I believe that racism and sexism operate in different ways and intersect in ways that are complex and quite uncomfortable for many to discuss, these are issues that we must confront. So, here's the video, thanks Will: