- "Voters of Color: Unsung Heroes of the 2008 Election" (Joe Feagin @ Racism Review)
According to the CNN and ABC exit polls, white Americans overwhelmingly wanted John McCain to be the next US president. The white vote was lopsided for McCain at 55-43 percent. If the 2008 electorate had the same demographic character as any before about 1980 (that is being nearly 90 percent white), Senator John McCain would currently be the president-elect. But as we know that did not happen, because the electorate this time was only 74 percent white, and those voters who were not white voted very heavily for Senator Obama.
- "Good and Now Back to Work: Avoiding Cynicism and Overconfidence in the Age of Obama" (Tim Wise @ Racialicious)
If you are incapable of mustering pride in this moment, and if you cannot appreciate how meaningful this day is for millions of black folks who stood in lines for up to seven hours to vote, then your cynicism has become such an encumbrance as to render you all but useless to the liberation movement. Indeed, those who cannot appreciate what has just transpired are so eaten up with nihilistic rage and hopelessness that I cannot but think that they are a waste of carbon, and actively thieving oxygen that could be put to better use by others.
This election does indeed matter. No, it is not the same as victory against the forces of injustice, and yes, Obama is a heavily compromised candidate, and yes, we will have to work hard to hold him accountable. But it matters nonetheless that he, and not the bloodthirsty bomber McCain, or the Christo-fascist, Palin, managed to emerge victorious.
- "A Butler Well Served by This Election" (Wil Haygood @ Washington Post)
For more than three decades Eugene Allen worked in the White House, a black man unknown to the headlines. During some of those years, harsh segregation laws lay upon the land. . . .
The issue of race bedeviled this White House, even amid good intentions. In February 1963, Kennedy invited 800 blacks to the White House to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. Louis Martin, a Democratic operative who helped plan the function, had placed the names of entertainer Sammy Davis Jr. and his wife, May Britt, on the guest list. The White House scratched it off and Martin would put it back on. According to Martin, Kennedy was aghast when he saw the black and white couple stroll into the White House. His face reddened and he instructed photographers that no pictures of the interracial couple would be taken.
- "An Open Letter to Barack Obama" (Alice Walker @ The Root)
I would further advise you not to take on other people's enemies. Most damage that others do to us is out of fear, humiliation and pain. Those feelings occur in all of us, not just in those of us who profess a certain religious or racial devotion. We must learn actually not to have enemies, but only confused adversaries who are ourselves in disguise. It is understood by all that you are commander in chief of the United States and are sworn to protect our beloved country; this we understand, completely. However, as my mother used to say, quoting a Bible with which I often fought, "hate the sin, but love the sinner." There must be no more crushing of whole communities, no more torture, no more dehumanizing as a means of ruling a people's spirit. This has already happened to people of color, poor people, women, children. We see where this leads, where it has led.
- "Morning in Obamerica" (Ishmael Reed @ Counterpunch)
What does this promise land look like? This Obamerica? Shortly after Obama is sworn in, the police, instead of subjecting blacks and Hispanics to capricious traffic stops, will only stop them to offer free tickets to the policeman’s ball. Throughout the country, they will address blacks and Hispanics as sir and ma'm. The overcrowding prison problem will end, because all of the blacks and Hispanics who’ve been sent there as a result of prosecutorial and police misconduct, -probably half- will be set free. And all of those police who have murdered unarmed blacks only to be acquitted by all-white juries will be retried. Blacks will have the freedom to shop in department stores without being watched.
Jesse Jackson will be appointed lead editorial writer for The Wall Street Journal. and Al Sharpton will assume duties at The National Review. Rush Limbaugh will inaugurate a series called “Great African American Inventors.” Spike Lee will be invited to run Columbia Pictures and Amy Goodman will take over at NBC. The Newspaper Society of America will apologize for the lynchings and civil disturbances caused by an inflammatory media over the last one hundred or so years. A choked up Rupert Murdoch will read the statement on behalf of his colleagues.
- "If A=B and B=C but C is not equal to A, then . . . WTF?" (nojojojo @ The Angry Black Woman)
Let me tell you--when I talk with my parents about this issue, they get pretty vehement. Not about the immorality of alternate lifestyles--neither of them really cares about that--but about the arrogance and gall of LGBTs for “riding on the coattails” of the black civil rights struggle. Keep in mind that people of my parents’ generation have witnessed other groups do the same thing and benefit from it: c.f. white women, who were the primary beneficiaries of Affirmative Action, and Asian immigrants who arrived after the 1965 Immigration Act, many of whom were praised as a “model minority” and thus used in an attempt to bludgeon other PoC (including unsuccessful/activist Asian Americans) into silence on issues of racism. In my parents’ lifetimes and in their respective cities--Mom lives in the Deep South, Dad’s in NYC--black and Latina/o neighborhoods have deteriorated or gentrified since the Civil Rights movement, while gay neighborhoods now thrive. And of course, they’ve seen people like Jacobs equate “gay” with “white” for years. So is it any wonder that now they shake their heads at yet another group of white people (e.g., poor whites, white women) who seem to forget that white privilege still benefits them, however much their other identities suffer oppression?