Illegal Jesus

Posty McPosterson Returns: Post-Baiting.

Posted in personal, political, the personal is political by indiegoddess on October 11, 2008

I want to hash the message out some more, the overall campaign that I think the McCain/Palin campaign has been waging.

I’d like to talk a bit about WHY it is racist, since it seems that everywhere I go, McCain/Palin supporters are alleging that every time they point out a flaw in Obama/Biden, they are accused of racism. That therefore any political commentary or speculation is racist. I don’t allege that that is true. I’m not naive enough to suppose that there aren’t Obiden supporters saying this very thing, but I’m not supporting their ideas.

The fact, though, is that there is a serious culture, an underground current, a cultural NARRATIVE, with its own respective tropes, of racism in this country, and a lot of those tropes have been used in this campaign, and have been used to the point that it is evident to anyone who has taken a sociology class that this is what is happening in a lot of areas, and increasingly the actual campaign has been stoking these fires.

Michelle Malkin (I refuse to link to her blog) is one of the people asserting that allegations of racism are bullshit. It makes me cringe, a lot, as a white person, when Persons of Colour are brought in by white talking heads, esp. on the part of the Republican party, to assert that racism is not prevelant in this campaign and their supporters. I cannot think, as I see these explicit signs, that they honestly think that this is true. I wouldn’t assert that they’ve been brainwashed… but I know that, as a woman, I’ve spent many years of my life blind to the cultural effects of misogyny and sexism in this culture. To the extent that I supported them in insidious ways that undermined my own agency. As a disabled person, I have perpetuated ableist language, myth and laid blame on myself for not fitting into an ableist society. As a poor person, I have perpetuated the class bias against people of similar economic status, thinking that if I just worked harder, I would be able to “climb up,” to “pick myself up by my bootstraps” or whatever bizarre Horatio Alger myth it is that I am encouraged by this culture to believe.

So, I’d like to try to lay out how I think these things tie together to create a larger picture that paints the Obiden ticket in an obviously racist, anti-black, anti-Arab way. I’d like to try to put something out there that I can point to when I try to explain the wider existence of these narratives. I’ll be trying to do that in the next few days.

Of course, many people have done it much better than I have, or can. Particularly people of colour who live with this explicit bias in their lives every day (and God bless them for it, because even to the small extent that I am able to recognize it, I know that it is far more insidious than I, with my white skin, will ever be able to adequately understand). The privilege that I have to do this is galling to me. Please help me as I try to see this more clearly, recognize tendencies in myself and our culture, and eradicate my complicity to the best of my ability.

As a society that still benefits in huge ways from both insidious and obvious racism, sexism, ageism, ableism, heteronormativity, cis-sexism, culturalism, christianism, and millions of other intersections of isms that wound us more than they help us. And by us, I mean all of us. Even the white, empowered, rich, abled, young, privileged, heterosexual, educated, and male.

We all have privileges and we all benefit from the oppression of those who do not benefit from our same privileges. And it’s our responsibility as people of privilege to see it in ourselves, seek out those who will point it out in us, point it out in our friends, and to keep our ears, minds, eyes and hearts open. I honestly believe that change is possible. But it starts with acknowledging our faults, and acknowledging our favour, and honestly attempting to stop rationalizing how we benefit from these divisions and demonizations and stand up to our pride and ego when confronted with the truth.

And now I’ve just made a longer post that I had even imagined to explain WHAT I PLAN ON POSTING ABOUT IN THE FUTURE. Sweet cracker sandwich, Indie Goddess, do you have a succinct bone in your body? /Joe Biden 3rd-Person-ish-ness.

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