Rebecca Walker
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Sunday, July 13, 2008

The New Yorker Cover

 

Here's the interview with David Remnick, editor of the New Yorker, on his decision to run the cover. And here's a very good piece from Alternet on the subject.

What do you think?

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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Seeds : The Political Mama: Five Questions for HRC

 
Seeds : The Political Mama: Five Questions for HRC

Hey! Here's my root blog for the day--my favorite response so far:

"Your CNNPolitics.com commentary (Best Woman for the Job Could be a Man) was spot on. It was one of the best comments on the Democratic Primary that I have read or heard. It's too bad that many of the folks who wrote in think you are a feminist Obama apologist. I think that a huge part of Clinton's problem is that her politics are a generation too old. It is a politics of division (women versus men). Obama offers a vision of women and men working together. Second, old school feminism continues to ignore its own internal racism. It is very middle class and college educated. One does not hear much from or about lower income, less educated, or women of color.


All of this came out in the comments by baby boom feminists against you and Obama. Your article (like Obama's rhetoric) publicly credits Clinton for her huge accomplishment. You articulate a post-gender feminism of inclusion that the baby boom feminists -who are divisive- attack as apologist. They lost because people who are different are into working together instead of apart. Rather than consider your on time observations, those pro-Clinton, anti-Obama, pro-McCain feminists choose to cling to the 20th Century and attack you. Remember the angry white male? America, don't be confused. The angry white female finally came out of the closet!"


Here's the strangest and most disturbing:


"i have no idea who you are and i wager most americans haven't a clue either, i do know that men and women, gays and straights, transgenders, all colors, all economic backgrounds have voted...18 million of them for a woman. they did not vote for a guy who made it a prime point to tell everyone he was black.


if this interloper had come on with experience and truth that he could actually bring people together maybe we would care for him. he has divided families, races, friends, communities. his followers act as thugs all over the country. they seek to deny delegates for hillary their place at the convention. they are abusive if you say you will not vote for obama. i have spoken to hundreds in dozens of states and have heard the horror story of the obama vols as they threatened any who opposed obama. this man is scary and we definitely do not want him as president. he offers ice in the winter. he can't keep a promise, he has an inordinate capacity for disloyalty. he is a control freak. one has only to research and learn how he denied any opposition to his personal appearances across the country. very nazi like. now, after selling his brand of snake oil to gain his position he is now changing it pell mell.


change? obama puts forth change that will be injurious to the people of this country. he is to be avoided. thus, as a core democrat, i will vote for a republican for the first time in my life."


Wow.


I'd love to hear your thoughts, here or on theroot.com.


xo



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Tuesday, March 18, 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.

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Saturday, March 15, 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.



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Thursday, March 13, 2008

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

 
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?


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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Strike One for Team Hillary

 
Running on my Huffington Post Blog Today:

The Fence


As a bi-racial, Ivy-League educated, thirty-something feminist who campaigned for Bill Clinton, the election has me squarely on the fence. I love Barack's vision and know intimately the mosaic of ideas and experiences that helped shape it. I also feel a profound loyalty to Hillary who, after much sacrifice, has the chance to shatter the glass ceiling once and for all.

Gloria Steinem's op-ed in the NYTimes didn't help Team Hillary [full disclosure, GS is my godmother]. It crystallized for me that Hillary, no matter how symbolically potent, runs the risk of being seen as a Second Wave candidate. She's one of the first women to gain power and access, and may be one of the first with power and access to ignore the criticisms of women of color, progressive men, and many young women, all of whom have been sending clear messages to Second Wave feminist leadership for well over a decade.

Messages like:

Women are not only victims, but active participants in the shaping of their lives. It's not Hillary's gender that may keep her from winning this election, it's her lack of preparation. If she had an inter-generational, multi-racial, digitally savvy, globally inclined machine behind her, crafting electrifying rhetoric like The Audacity of Hope and The Power of Now, she'd be swept into the White House by a landslide. Hillary wasn't forced into the number two position in Iowa, she made decisions that put her there. New Hampshire is a case in point; she made different decisions and got different results.

Racism and classism are as definitive as sexism. Did Steinem insinuate that Barack's gender, and not his talent, put him in the top spot? I thought black men were capable of performing at his level without an irrationally granted advantage. And the idea that black men always reach the Promised Land before white women? Forty per cent of black men don't finish high school in America, and one in four are incarcerated. Hillary, and her feminist supporters, are not going to win this election by glossing over the realities of African-American men.

Men are not the enemy. Steinem claims that sexism is responsible for Hillary's loss in Iowa, implicitly accusing men-at-large of devaluing women, while many of them may simply be more inspired by a candidate who happens to be a man. This type of divisive discourse that judges and alienates the many men who support the women in their families, communities, and the civic sphere every day is not only bad for women, it's bad for Hillary's campaign. Obama is running as a uniter. Hillary needs to avoid re-inscribing historical divisions in order to gain ground.

And, finally:

Young women are not stupid. The idea that young women are too naive to realize the pervasiveness of sexism is an old Second Wave trope used to dismiss and discredit an entire generation, many of whom now support Obama because he doesn't insult them. As a result, there are a few women lining up behind the "feminist" placard, but many more running in the other direction.

Far from being ungrateful or unintelligent, these women know that confrontational political labels and a religious fixation on gender aren't productive. They, rightly, choose to enjoy the rights they should have had all along, and find other, more complex approaches to righting the rampant injustice in the world. Hillary's gender is not enough to win their vote, and she needs to show them that she knows it.

So while there's still plenty of time for Hillary to win me over, Obama is looking pretty good at the moment. He's listened to what many of my generational peers and I have been saying for the last decade, and his momentum proves it.

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