Rebecca Walker
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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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Sunday, March 02, 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.

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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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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Benazir Bhutto 1953-2007

 

Hello everyone,

Like you, I am devastated by the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. She stood as one of the very few woman leaders with the political power to make lasting change on behalf of women, families and humanity at large, especially in this charged political environment.

After losing her father and brothers to military extremists, Bhutto continued to believe in the democratic process, and continued to draw strength from her belief as a young woman that she could, in fact, become Prime Minister of her nation.

While in office, Benazir Bhutto brought electricity to the countryside of Pakistan and built schools all over the country. She made hunger, housing, and health care her top priorities, and spoke with determination about continuing to modernize Pakistan. While she was clearly not without controversy, her intellectual brilliance, passionate pursuit of human rights, and fierce optimism will be her enduring legacy.

I deeply hope that her death will not be in vain, and that leaders and cultural workers everywhere will be emboldened to follow her lead of unwavering faith in the good of humanity in the face of tremendous evidence to the contrary.

I also hope that in the coming reflections on her life, the fact that Bhutto was a woman is not overlooked or downplayed. Her assassination is a clear sign of mounting aggression toward women leaders who believe in a humanitarian --and not purely militaristic-- response to unfolding events.

I hope that female leaders everywhere will use this opportunity to continue to articulate and further the struggle for the global empowerment of women. Bhutto's assassination marks a critical moment, not only for the stability of the modern world, but for the safety of women at large.

I send love and continued hope to Benazir Bhutto's children and extended family, and to the women, men and children of Pakistan. And of course, to all of you.

Rebecca


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