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Michelle Obama - Extended Interview by Soledad O'Brien

April 18th, 2008

Obama supporters, feminists, young voters, Hillary Clinton | Salon Life

Obama supporters, feminists, young voters, Hillary Clinton | Salon Life

Interesting article. I notice the absence of women of color in the interview pool. How would the presence of women of color impact this discussion?

What do you think?
April 15th, 2008

Yale Black Men's Union honors Black women

I love this! I'd like to see more of this happening on college campuses across the country--not only black men honoring black women, either. I wish we had been so enlightened when I was there. But it just goes to show that change is incremental and it may take years before you see the change you are working for today. xo

April 9th, 2008

Feminist Law Professors

Feminist Law Professors

Hey people!

Here are some interesting perspectives on yours truly.

What do you think?
April 6th, 2008

The Spring of Hope

Since my last post, I've been thinking about the challenges of talking about race in our country. As someone who believes that all human beings are suffering in one way or another, how to honor the specific wound caused by racism?


I don't know how else to speak to it other than to say that I love people. The ones hurting today, the ones hurting tomorrow. My hope is that each person can find the means to release their anguish and find hope in the moment, and the will to believe that healing is within their grasp.


Samantha Power, the protector of human rights who stepped down from the Obama campaign after making unfortunate remarks about HIllary Clinton, spoke to the cruelty of this time, pointing to an era in which a child begs a man wielding a machete not to kill him by saying, "I swear, I will never be Tutsi again."


At times it seems healing is impossible. That to try to heal is to embark upon a journey of futility. But that is the time to remember all of those who suffered before and were not turned back by feelings of doubt and uncertainty. We can remember those who met the blade and even then believed that another could have a change of heart.


This belief is what is stolen from us in the midst of the carnage and destruction that appears ever present. But it is exactly what we have to hold on to when the odds appear to be overwhelming, and the demons of anger and disregard for humanity seem to have an almost supernatural power.


If we can continue to touch the place in ourselves that is always there, buried beneath the rubble of hurts, ideas, and misconceptions, our species will thrive. If not, we will continue on, causing unnecessary suffering wherever we go.


Today is a good day to remember. A good day to move from the spring of hope rather than the confusion of fear.


Love,

Rebecca

April 4th, 2008

International Museum of Women - Story

International Museum of Women - Story

Hey everybody! I've been hard at work and neglecting the blog. Also reflecting on the rough political waters of the last weeks and how easy it is to be pulled in by the rhetoric of the day.

But I'm back with a really interesting article about fashion, power, leadership, and women--four things I wouldn't want to be without.

Of course it's in a larger piece on power put on my the International Museum of Women, my favorite on-line international resource.

Peace and love,
Rebecca
April 3rd, 2008

History of Feminism in the United States - A Short History of Feminism

History of Feminism in the United States - A Short History of Feminism

How honored am I to be included in this list? Truly.
March 27th, 2008

Being Biracial: Curse or Blessing?

Being Biracial: Curse or Blessing?

An article I'm in today. What do you think?

March 21st, 2008

Brain Chemistry Influencing Mental Health : NPR

Brain Chemistry Influencing Mental Health : NPR

Hey blog family--here's a show I did last week on mental health. I thought Dr. Bell was excellent and we had a nice vibe. Farai was in top form, as always.

More soon.

March 21st, 2008

Barack Obama's Speech on Race - New York Times

Barack Obama's Speech on Race - New York Times

I read this before turning on the news, in order to experience it for myself. It mirrors everything I have been making speeches on for the last fifteen years: the need to end divisiveness, to move toward openness, to cultivate the resource of empathy. To truly change rather than follow the same tired back and forth of battling oppressions.

I think I won't turn on the news today. I will just sit with Barack's hopes and dreams, and refuse to listen to a political machine laying in wait to slice them to pieces.

Hope you are all thriving.

Peace and love forever,
Rebecca

PS The gray words are always links--so the speech is accessible from the top of the page.
March 18th, 2008

Miriam Makeba - Oxgam {Studio Version}

 

It is so important for us to be ourselves, to shine. Especially in the difficult moments, when we are called upon to navigate complex socio-cultural realities and feel weak, this is when we must remember our strength.

Remembering who we are, letting ourselves be big, moving forward with surety: this is the way human beings express our essential beauty. With intention and self-respect we create our own inimitable style. In the face of tremendous obstacles, we move with our own, unshakable grace.

If we feel fear, we do not let it win.

March 16th, 2008

Olbermann Slams Clinton in Special Comment

Olbermann Slams Clinton in Special Comment: "You Are Campaigning As If Barack Obama Were The Democrat And You Were The Republican" - Media on The Huffington Post

I found out today while doing an NPR interview and listening to Mary Frances Berry on air that Ferrarro said the same thing about Jesse Jackson when he ran for President.

It would behoove us to remember Rove-ian tactics and not have our heads in the sand re: the dems. Make no mistake: Hillary wants to be president and she will play the political game like the master players she and her team are. The issue of race is one play in a thick play book.

The question is whether Obama can recognize the level of the game afoot and win at it, while staying true to his aspiration for new politics (and not becoming completely demoralized). The people he's running against are doing old politics, and the world is watching to see how he manages it. He's going to have to beat politicos in his own backyard, or else how will he outplay them on a global stage?

A tough but exciting place to be.

The key is strategy, strategy, strategy. Obama needs his A Team.

P.S. Just turned on the television: Now it's the pastor. What next?
March 13th, 2008

1443 Rockdale Dr. Jackson, Mississippi

1. Great talk tonight at MTSU. Warm campus, smart students, beautiful faculty. Had a great time, especially seeing my old friends Denise and Kimberly, who drove from Pensacola to see me. How lucky am I? We talked about Third Wave Feminism(s), creativity, spirituality, Empire, and new masculinity, among other topics.

2. So amazing to see Obama winning in Mississippi. He campaigned in Jackson, MS, where my parents married against anti-miscegenation laws. My father stayed up at night on our porch with a shotgun because the Klan threatened our little mixed race, segregation-challenging family.

It is incredible to see, in one generation, a mixed race person running for President and taking the state in the primary. I can't be prouder of all my parents did to help birth this moment. I'm also proud of the evolution of a mixed race view of the world that began way back with Frederick Douglass, and runs through Bob Marley--both of whom were mixed race.

3. I can't believe Geraldine Ferraro had the temerity, or unmitigated gaul, to suggest Barack is where he is because of his race. Didn't I already address this in my response to Gloria Steinem's Op-Ed? Didn't I address this in my critique of white, status quo Second Wave Feminist leadership? Sigh.

4. Come check out my new blog on theroot.com. It's called SEEDS, and I'll be posting on parenting twice a week.

5. Peace and love forever and ever.

Rebecca
March 12th, 2008

For Hillary's Campaign, It's Been a Class Struggle - washingtonpost.com

For Hillary's Campaign, It's Been a Class Struggle - washingtonpost.com

Very important article about the role of class in this election. Important to consider, though I think there are many reasons women of all backgrounds might vote for Obama.

For starters, black women of every class may feel there is a better chance Obama will challenge the prison industrial complex currently criminalizing and incarcerating so many African-American men. Rich white women may be voting Obama because they don't want to see their sons shipped off to war, a modality Hillary has supported and Obama has not.

Really, there are so many other factors here than whether or not Maria Shriver has nice hair or the Obamas live in a nice house.

This article was sent by "Cardozo" who commented on the Feminist Infighting post about the rampant misogyny Hillary's been hit with during the campaign, and how Obama seems a distraction from real issues facing women.

My response:

I agree with much of what you've said here Cardozo--I was stunned last month in Pensacola when I shared the elevator with a man whose t-shirt had a picture of Hillary on a bucket of chicken. The caption? "Two small breasts, two left wings, and a pair of fat thighs." I was so shocked by the vulgarity, I couldn't respond in the moment.

The issue raised in my post is that Feminism has failed to countermand this misogyny by building a devoted, diverse, mainstream base through its us vs. them, often short-sighted and divisive dynamic.

The issue of whether Obama can address the specific concerns of women, or even make good on half of his promises, is an important one. And yet, we cannot deny the potency of his open approach to the issues, the incredible team of advisors he has put together, and his ability to relate to many around the world for whom whiteness in either gender still stands for colonialism and exploitation.

One thing is for sure, and I know this from personally traveling from Kenya to Thailand and all points including Iceland in between, the US is in desperate need of a makeover, substantively and superficially.

In a truly global world, the people of every country have a stake in this election, and from what I hear, Obama's their candidate.

It's an interesting place to be.

March 4th, 2008

The Rag & Bone Blog

The Rag & Bone Blog

Here's a post in which we've got both ART and POLITICS. Thanks to the fabulous Flygirl, I found these amazing Obama posters.

I hightailed it to CRO and bought "Tell Your Mama, I'm For Obama," which the Print and Photo Department of the Library of Congress has added to the national collection.

Brad Kayal generously offers his to download, print and staple to your nearest spot for free.

Note to HRC campaign: it is now and always about the artists.
March 3rd, 2008