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A Mostly Center-Right Place For Those With Irritable Obama Syndrome and Diversity Fatigue

Women and Politics: Are We Strong to the Finish? February 9, 2010

Although I am a Republican, I am African American and can relate to the significance of the election of Barack Obama. Whether I like it or not, he is the first POTUS of color and as a country we have been forever changed because of it.  I do not agree with his character or policies but as far as the collective memory of this nation, he is here to stay.

I am not a mother and I probably never will be. Sure I fantasize about it, the feedings, the PTA meetings.

Would my failings as an adult and lapses in judgment cause irrevocable damage to the quality of their life?

Is it possible to be a great mom when my own childhood was so dysfunctional?  When I was raised by a single mom who collected a monthly pay check from Uncle Sam? There was no significant male figure in my life, save for a brother living military life  in Europe most of my life.

What about politics?

Someday this child will want to go out and vote or at least I hope they would want to contribute to the political process.

I also wonder if I were a mom, what would I say to he or she about Barack Obama?

Would I take a copy of Dreams of My Father, hold it in front of my child and say “Bad Man…S O C I A L I ST” ?

Would I yell idiot at the television every time Obama’s image pops up? That would be every day.

You may be surprised at this but my answer is no.

For example if my child arrived from school with a homework assignment about Obama. They have to answer five questions about Obama’s impact on our coutry.

For argument’s sake let’s pretend that the text book is full of liberal embellishments: “Obama is a great man”, “Obama saved our country from the brink of financial Armageddon, “Obama is the greatest president since FDR.”  “Racism almost kept Obama out of the White House”…

How would I handle this situation without passing on my own prejudices against the man?   This is the first president of color we are talking about.   As any good archivist/ historian, I would teach my child to do rigorous research on it’s own.  I would say that while I did not agree with Obama’s policies and I did not vote for him, his election was a pivotal moment in history for all Americans but especially for African Americans.   If the child is very young, there is no need to discuss the motivation and behavior behind Barack Obama.

Afrocity mom would bust out the”Great  Black Politicians in  History”  flash cards which hopefully have cardboard representations Colin Powell, Condeleeza Rice,  Michael Steele,  along with Barack Obama, Jesse Jackson and other prominent black Americans.  Let’s save the Obama and Bill Ayers stories  for middle or high school.  Obama was the first black president and I will not steal that moment–the very significance of it, away from my child.   If I wrote Obama off as a simpleton, say as many liberal women  particularly feminists do Sarah Palin, what would I really be teaching my child?  I just marginalized an important historical figure at the expense of my child’s freedom to choose their own heroes.

The "Fernie Swastikas" A Canadian Women's Hockey Team. In 1923 they defeated the Vancouver Amazons. What would you say to your daughter about this picture today?

Every group or identity politic has memorable stories that endure the harshness of forgetfulness.  Stories that we reiterate to each generation over and over again.  I accept that Barack Obama will be one of them.  His legacy will be held to redefinition over the years. Historians will carefully examine his accomplishments and  spin new interpretations  on Barry-O but still he will never go away.

The same can be said for women’s history.  We can be Republicans or Democrats, Independents, Tea Partiers but we still are women.

What if Sarah Palin did win presidential election in 2012?  What would women, liberals in particular say to their daughters?   “Sarah Palin is a CUNT” ? would they hang her and Piper in effigy over the local Planned Parenthood center? Or would they say: “You know what, I do not agree with this woman’s stance on abortion or gay marriage, but her getting elected to the highest office in the nation is a pretty damn big step for all women”?

As it stands now, we have all this unfolding discourse on how qualified Sarah Palin is. She must prove herself. Over and over and over again like a broken record.   No matter how many speeches Sarah gives, she still must prove herself.

I was somewhat upset with Geraldine Ferraro during this FOX NEWS interview with Megyn Kelly.  Again with the Sarah must prove herself.

I wanted to jump into Megyn’s fancy new studio and say “Hey, Gerry…I was a kid when you ran on the DNC ticket and really I think Sarah Palin gave more interview’s and is under far more media scrutiny than you ever were.”

After a year of fumbles and corpse-men, Obamatons are still chanting “All we are saying, is give Obama a chance”

Would they do the same for Sarah?

I will close this post with one of my most memorable moments in Afrocity once watched cartoons history.  Precious and is this episode of Popeye the Sailor Man.  Olive Oyl imagines herself as being President of the United States of America.  She fights sexism and partisan politics, she has a male secretary. Please watch and I am sure you will be equally entertained and frightened that this antique film reel still captures the underpinnings of a woman’s struggle in politics today. It will take a helluva lot more than a can of spinach to get a woman in the White House sowing the seeds of legislation and real change instead of organic arugula.

Autographed Letter Signed,

AFROCITY

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23 Responses to “Women and Politics: Are We Strong to the Finish?”

  1. yttik Says:

    Beautifully written Afrocity.

    You’d make a great mom, you already get it. I have to warn you though, if you ever have kids you’ll never have money of your own again. : )

    I think a lot about children and the impact politics is having on them. I do think about what it must be like to finally see a black man in the presidency and to finally have a black woman as a fashion icon, a first lady. This country has never really seen that before.

    As to girls in general, what they’ve seen over the past couple of years is atrocious. They’re learning that sexism is alive and well, that equality has not been achieved, and that no, not anybody can grow up and become president. Please Sarah Palin, prove us all wrong.

  2. WMCB Says:

    Beautifully written, afrocity. And yes, there can and should be a separation between approving of the person and being glad for a milestone achievement. Especially when giving hope and inspiration to a child.

    About the only thing that got me through inauguration day was the genuine gladness I felt (despite my disgust at who it was) that a black man had been elected POTUS, and that line had been crossed. I see no inconsistency in feeling both the disgust and the gladness. Two different things.

  3. ugsome Says:

    What WMCB said, who always says it better than I.

    My son’s father, a liberal Obot, is teaching my son hate–to hate Republicans and Sarah Palin. It is anguishing. Both of them know how bitterly I resent it.

  4. soupcity Says:

    Wonderful, Afrocity, thank you. (and I still think you would make a most excellent mom)

  5. Janelle Humbert Says:

    “This is the first President of color” we have had. All the shades, hues and variety keep this country moving. And you are talking about race?

    • afrocity Says:

      Yep. President of Color.

      • Janelle Humbert Says:

        Don’t you ever take a moment to just flat out enjoy our shades?
        Just the picture of you brings it home to me, You are breathtakingly beautiful.
        No different color in the world would be boring.

      • afrocity Says:

        “Of color” I believe is a wonderful term as it means the opposite of “black” which is the absence of color. African American, Afro-Caribbean, Jamaican, Asian,Latino, Indian, Native American, all fall into the “of color” spectrum. To take it literally that means Caucasians are not of color is short-sighted. Obama is the first U.S. president of color.

      • yttik Says:

        I used to have a friend who said she was not a woman of color, she was a colorful woman. She always said being colorful was a verb, an action you had to take, and you had better be uppity about it, LOL. For her being uppity was a great compliment, a term of endearment.

  6. Janelle Humbert Says:

    That’s an excellent clarification, Afrocity! I’m a little perplexed about how you regard people who are of mixed heritage.
    And I loved the cartoon the first time I saw it and appreciate your showing it again, decades later.

  7. roofingbird Says:

    Really nice post AC.

    I’m not familar with the photo of the Canadian Hockey team. Considering the date of the photo you might be right about the inference of the Swastikas. However, it’s angle and the location of Fernie makes me think it might have been a First People’s symbol appropriated by those blue eyed ladies. I know you collect antiques, perhaps you have seen the symbol on some of the older blankets.

    Even so, your point is valid.

    • There are old Jewish temples in the Middle East that have them. People used them as good luck charms because the represented man sort of like an X does. Two arms two legs sort of thing. In WWI the Boy Scouts used to make patches with a blue swastika on it as a good luck charm. The Nazis like the symbolism of it and rotated it a bit and used it as their symbol and basically destroyed it forever. They have the symbol on a lot of Japanese shines, on many maps it is the symbol denoting that a shine in at the location because that’s what they always did. Now I’m not saying we should bring it back but we need to understand the history behind it.

    • afrocity Says:

      I once saw a quilt with swastikas at an antique market. The symbol was very popular until it was co-opted by the Nazis.

      The women in the photo had no idea what the symbol would come to mean,

  8. I always wanted a black man to be President, but that’s because I always wanted and still want Thomas Sowell to be the President. It has nothing to do with race it’s the fact it’s Thomas Sowell. I don’t like the idea of a “woman President” or a “black President” or and “(fill in the blank) President” only because I don’t like the identity politics, yes I know it’s something we have to live with but that doesn’t mean I am going to shut my mouth about it.

    I might be bucking the trend here but I don’t think Palin is ready to be President, I like her and thought she would be a good vice-president (she wasn’t my first choice but I didn’t think it was a bad one) but I don’t know if she is the one to be backing on 2012. I don’t know if she can win, maybe I’m a pessimist but that’s what I think. And this isn’t “Concern Trolling” if anyone what’s to bring that one up.

    • afrocity Says:

      Letters, I did not say I thought she was ready either. But if she ran I would vote for her because she is more ready than Barack Obama. Personally I think she should be Secretary of Energy or hold another cabinet position. She is still young.

    • yttik Says:

      What I wanted in a president was Hillary Clinton, a woman with vast experience and wisdom, had visited 86 countries and knew many foreign leaders on a first name basis. We missed that opportunity and the whole country suffers because of it.

      When I look at the field, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, President Obama, Palin is more then qualified. What amazes me is that the left called Bush a chimp, the epitome of stupid, and Reagan was evil, senile etc. You cannot say those things in one breath and then turn around and say that Palin is not qualified. Well, people can say whatever they want, but i call BS. When Palin is not qualified to play on the same field as an alleged chimp, sexism is at play. There is a stereotype, a part of our programming that says women are unqualified, incompetent, stupid, not quite up to the job. And when will they be up to the job? Never. If you do find a hugely qualified woman, we simply change the rules, now the people want fresh and new, change. The fact that the guy is unqualified becomes part of his charm. He’s one of the people, she’s a shill, part of politics as usual.

      Palin, for all her alleged inexperience, has managed to accumulate incredible power. That takes smarts and leadership. She doesn’t have a team behind her or even a political party. Palin doesn’t have an Axelrod or a Rahm. She’s built her movement by herself. That’s not easy.

      • I’m not trying to take anything away from Palin, I like her, I think she would be better in the VP role. To be honest in the last Presidential election I was voting more for her than I was for McCain. She was also the only person in the running that had any executive experience in that election. I thought it was a joke that people tried to say she was unqualified to be the VP but somehow Obama was qualified to be President. I like her she just isn’t my first choice.

  9. Me Says:

    I respect your view but I am a black woman who doesnt see Obama as a black American. His father is from Kenya his mother is white and he is not culturally American to me. Isnt that something he is proud of? His indonesian experiences, ect. If a black American, a descendant of African slaves had become president that would have been a wonderful thing for me to see.

    • He’s culturally American, but a certain type of American, one who doesn’t seem to want to look very “American”. He even admitted in one of his books that he had to try to “learn” how to be African-American.

      I do understand what you are saying, had someone that was the descendant of slaves been elected President they could have used that as a hammer to really destroy the identity politics that are way too prevalent right now.

      Think about it like this though, we had our first “black president” so now we can move on and have just a president, unless we still need to worry about our first Asian, Hispanic, woman, Italian, Indian, Native-American, ect, ect president?

  10. Scott Brown ran a extraordinary campaign. He got out there and did what anybody campaigning for political office should do – he spoke to individuals, but more significantly, he listened to them. He went to the urban centers, the suburbs and the townships, all through the land. He ran a good cause. He spoke to the issues that involved the masses of Massachussetts. Never mind that the people already have healthcare…that worked in his favor for sure, but it wasn’t the only thing on peoples’ minds.


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