Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Racism, Slumbering Masses, and Obama

I think it is safe to say that much of the US masses slumber on and don't devote much time to analyzing the world and politics, let alone their own take on it.

I was once one of these semi-conscious folks. I looked for and bought into that which reinforced my own ignorant perceptions of the world. I based a lot of my own thoughts on my subconscious assumptions and stereotypes of others without reflection, but this form of non-thought didn't always settle as easily for me as it did for others. I felt the blinders restricting my visions. I just knew there was a broader world out there. I joined the military to get out into that world and ended up going to war in Iraq.

Desert Storm was a brief squall, but that stint taught me much about this world. I as a naive young white person thought that racism was only among the Archie Bunkers of the world, but in the pressure cooker of war ugliness is often revealed. It revealed that racism thrives and has many underhanded ways to infect those that slumber. When my black friends were called "Uncle Tom" just for being my friend and my white friends from the South called blacks "Niggers" when they weren't around.

It was difficult at times to deal with these different perspectives and people. I found myself trying to deal with this by gaining more understanding of it. Yet I couldn't completely wrap my head around it, but didn't fall back on my own assumptions that all these people were evil. That would have been too easy. I could see good in many of them and ended up coming to realize that they, when questioned, often didn't even agree with their own statements. They would say racially charged things, but then act completely different than what you would expect. It made me realize that the subconscious is a powerful residence for what is worst is our species. It is the place where unexamined bigotry and racism resides... and is perpetuated.

I think it fair to say, especially after PA, that there are way to many closet racists in this country and that many are looking for any excuse to not vote for Obama. They want to either paint him as a Muslim or some kind of threat because of subconscious stereotypes that black males are threatening and dangerous. These portrayals make it easy to be against him without really looking at their reasons. The stereotypes about black males exist and many people don't want to acknowledge that they are the reason they don't want to vote for Obama.

Racism is alive and well in this country, but that is not the only reason people are not all flocking to Obama's banner. That probably explains some of it , but it is much more complicated. I do, however, think that the electability question often comes down to race. Rendell said PA will not vote for a black person and I think people are afraid that this is true for the rest of the US. They should feel reassured as Barack has widespread support with more votes, delegates, and states won.

Also, the polls show that since the Democratic primary began there has been a shift from 50 to 70% of democrats saying that the race of a candidate does not matter. This is encouraging and may be a sign that more people are giving genuine thought to this issue of race. It may be that the issues of race, as it has been raised, has wakened many in America to the understanding that their own subconscious stereotypes and misperceptions about race are flawed.

Barack Obama challenges people to think about a lot of things. His candidacy challenges people to reflect upon their own internal state and to waken from their slumber. It is for this reason he has garnered the more educated electorate and that he struggles with getting the support of those who only want to slumber on. It is not a surprise that this challenge is too much for people such as I used to be and that many will not rise to face their own internalized demons, but they need to be reached.

The hope of a more just and conscious society is genuinely American and something worthy of consideration and striving to achieve. The pursuit of Liberty may be not only from the oppression of others, but also from our own internal subconsciousness.

Monday, April 28, 2008


We have an ongoing struggle between Corporations and the People. That is the state of our political process. The Democratic Party is not supposed to the Party of Corporate America, but sadly it has moved in that direction under Bill Clinton and Hillary would further that agenda. She can talk all she wants about her blue collar roots, but she hasn't been in that world and lives far from it materially.

The soul of the Democratic Party is at stake in this Primary Election. That is what needs to be talked about. Who controls the government? Us "The People" or Them the corporations who own just about everything. Even our houses and cars that we pay all that interest on.

We have to take back our country. It really isn't ours right now. Corporations and their money rule it. Not us. As I see it you have to judge the candidates on who takes the least corporate money. That would be Obama. He takes no PAC money. I have to hope that he will stay beholden to all of The People who pay $50 a month to his campaign.

Hillary, as a representative of Corporate America, will sabotage Obama and try to destroy him. He represents a New Democratic Party that is far different from where Bill has taken us as the leader of the party. Obama represents a grass roots movement that threatens the Corporate control of the government. Hillary would rather destroy him and win in 4 years than allow the Democratic Party to be under the control of somebody besides Bill and his backing by Corporations.