Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Divisive Political Talk

Context: I like debate and dissent. Conflict doesn't bother me. So maybe I'm more open to these topics than the rest of my stoic state?

So, over the past few days I keep hearing Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama apologize for bringing race and gender into their political campaigns. It's not about race, he/she or their spinners say. Let's not talk about gender.

Well, folks, how do you think you got here? A frank, uncomfortable, heated, controversial, dynamic, tense, liberating, revelatory, decades-long national conversation about race and gender helped this country move toward an intellectual and social space in which a black man and a woman could emerge as a Presidential candidate. Or President.

I'm not advocating voting for someone solely on the basis of race or gender. I'm not sorry to see the rigid identity politics of the eighties and nineties critiqued and fading. But I'm all for keeping the conversation going and acknowledging that race and gender (and class--but that's rich white man Edward's truck to fuel, I guess) matter.

6 comments:

another mary said...

In a brief polital discussion regarding Obama with some younger, suburban-dwelling (Democrats non-religious) relatives, the young woman said, "yea, I just hope it doesn't become a race thing." They really have no contact with any "race things" out where they live. This country definitely has a "race thing" going on and I may be dreamin but perhaps electing Obama, in and of itself, would be a first step toward healing.

Annie said...

I am all about "duck and cover" when it comes to political debate. All that arguing makes me so uncomfortable, but I could watch those Huckabee/Chuck Norris ads all the live-long day.

Cheri said...

Amen to that! (Whoops, now religion got in the door.) Seriously, well said, MM!

Melissa said...

Amen, my sister. Let's unpack the dialogue!

Lisa Milton said...

I grew up hearing folks jabber about politics; I wish it wasn't so taboo.

I like debating for the sake of debating, working through ideas.

I'm right there with you. Let's pretend and hide.

Angie said...

Bravo - couldn't have said it better.