Thursday, March 06, 2008

This Black Woman Supports Mr. Barack Obama...and she ain't afraid to say it!!!

Can anyone tell me where these political pundits get off with this assumption that because I am a black woman who supports Mr. Barack Obama's candidacy for president, I am simply delivering my support to him because of the fact that we both happen to be black?

  • I have never, ever voted for Jesse Jackson for any reason...I wouldn't vote him dogcatcher; oh and btw, he's black too.
  • Before this election, I have never voted for any black candidate for the Presidency of the United States and I was black in all the previous elections in which I voted too.
  • I have voted for many white candidates for any number of offices even in some instances when there was a black candidate running as the opponent; but I guess they probably assumed I punched the wrong chad.

If you are able to answer that question, let's try another one. Please explain to me (slowly as you must realize that as a black woman my ability to comprehend is limited at best and you may lose me if you go too fast **smh**) why it is that the converse is not the case; meaning that when a white male or female votes for Billary or McCain or any other of the multitudes of available caucasian candidates the same assumption is not made?

  • I suppose white folks vote the issues because...why again?
  • It reminds me of an incident that occurred on my last job where this brother (i.e. African-American colleague) would not join me and the 3 other black co-workers in our division for lunch in the corporate lunch room for fear he would be seen as "only cavorting with blacks". First of all, I don't cavort; however, if I choose to start, why I ask you must we be concerned about such things when white folks find that they can sit with/vote for whomever without racial assumptions being drawn. I say, "I'll sit wherever and vote for whomever I damned well please and anyone who has a problem with that can kiss my....!"

Now that you're all warmed up, I'm sure you will be able to knock this one out of the park for me! Why is it that the fact that I CHOOSE to support the candidacy of Mr. Barack Obama MUST BE all about race when the fact that some caucasians CHOOSE not to support him MUST BE about anything else BUT race?

  • Because the fact of the matter is that it is NOT POSSIBLE that white folks in American would choose not to support for president the perfect man to take the reigns of this country based on one reason, BECAUSE HE IS A BLACK MAN...

Tired yet? You should be, 'cause believe me when I say, "I most definitely am!" I AM TIRED! Tired of having my intelligence be considered suspect because I have chosen to support the candidate I BELIEVE best aligns with what I consider to be the most urgent needs of this country: GETTING THE HELL OUT OF IRAQ YESTERDAY and ELECTING A PRESIDENT WHO ACTUALLY REMEMBERS THAT THOSE WHO WORK THE HARDEST DAY IN AND DAY OUT TO MAKE THIS COUNTRY THE AMAZING PLACE IT HAS THE POTENTIAL TO BE (yeah I said it dammit, **POTENTIAL** 'cause we damned sure ain't there yet! So bring it on, I can take it just like Michelle!) DESERVE A PRESIDENT WHO WILL WORK ON THEIR BEHALF TOO!

I'm tired of folk who don't even know me and who can't begin to relate to what my experience has been trying to tell me what MY ISSUES are. All this talk about Obama supporters being conned by his eloquent speeches makes me wonder if these so called "political analysts" have ever listened to a word Mr. Obama has spoken. Please someone tell me what part of "I plan to withdraw our troops from Iraq within a year and a half" isn't about the issues facing this country. What part of "I have a plan for Universal Healthcare that does not involve garnishing an individual's payroll or blocking his/her ability to secure gainful employment" is not about the issues facing this country? At what point does "Instead of giving no-bid contracts to companies headed by the President's former campaign manager, we will make sure that rebuilding benefits the local economy. I have worked across the aisle in the Senate to crack down on no-bid contracts, and to make sure that emergency contracting is only done immediately after an emergency. When I am President, if there is a job that can be done by a New Orleans resident, the contract will go to a resident of New Orleans. And we'll provide tax incentives to businesses that choose to set up shop in the hardest hit areas. " fail to address one of the major issues facing New Orleans and the the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina which even now, more than two years later is still virtually a devastated wasteland. In this world of political pundits dictating for us what our votes mean and/or say we believe I ask you why does this perspective "Each year, as we watch the State of the Union, we see half the chamber rise to applaud the President and half the chamber stay in their seats. We see half the country tune in to watch, but know that much of the country has stopped even listening. Imagine if next year was different. Imagine if next year, the entire nation had a president they could believe in. A president who rallied all Americans around a common purpose. That's the kind of President we need in this country. And with your help in the coming days and weeks, that's the kind of President I will be." not receive more airtime? I don't know about you, but I have not had many phone calls or pieces of literature mailed to me by the republican candidates appealing to me to forget party alignment and work with them to realize this country's promise. Does the fact that Mr. Obama spoke out very specifically against the accepted politics of getting things done in Washington D.C. in this passage, "It's a game where lobbyists write check after check and Exxon turns record profits, while you pay the price at the pump, and our planet is put at risk. That's what happens when lobbyists set the agenda, and that's why they won't drown out your voices anymore when I am President of the United States of America." fail in some way to elucidate his stand on the issue of the power of Washington lobbyists and large corporations?

Most of all, I need it to be known that I resent with every single cell in my body when I am beat over the head and ridiculed for what most draws me to this particular candidate...our (his and my) shared belief in this:

"Now when I start talking like this, some folks tell me that I've got my head in the clouds. That I need a reality check. That we're still offering false hope. But my own story tells me that in the United States of America, there has never been anything false about hope."

and this:

"But we always knew that hope is not blind optimism. It's not ignoring the enormity of the task ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path. It's not sitting on the sidelines or shirking from a fight. Hope is that thing inside us that insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it, and to work for it, and to fight for it. "

See, the truth of the matter is that I was raised on hope! I was fed it at least 3 times a day and then my feedings were supplemented with more hope for snack times. It is my belief that in a world full of folks who want to believe that they have all the answers, the only smart thing to do is to find the one who offers hope along with his/her answers as nothing else much matters once they find out that their answers were not necessarily the solution to what ails us. When that point is reached, once the answers have run dry, the only thing left to fall back on is a good dose of hope; it enables one to brush oneself off and try again. Lack of hope results in stagnation as one becomes stuck wherever one is...sounds like the State of Our Union today doesn't it? We have no hope under the current administration and are all just trying to "tread water" until someone/something comes to rescue us. This one thing I know for sure, we are our own rescue squad and by voting to bring hope back into the politics of America, we can not only rescue ourselves, we can rescue our country. One of these days, those candidates who ridicule the hope offered as a primary platform in the Obama campaign will find that their answers (like the answers of so many before them and maybe even the answers of Mr. Obama) are NOT the solutions to the problems we face that they were expecting them to be. When that day comes, I hope their address is not 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue; because if indeed that is the case, we as a country will be faced once again with the perpetuation of all the issues that currently plague this nation and at the same time, find that we are doomed yet again to another long, painful season devoid of hope. I can't promise you that Mr. Obama has the right answers, but what I can promise is that if he finds that he doesn't, he will have the one key ingredient necessary for staying the course and trying again. How many of the other candidates in this electoral process offer anything similar to that?
This IS THE ONLY TIME YOU WILL EVER HEAR ME SAY THIS...but please, I beg of you, take Bill Clinton's advice...


(obviously said while campaigning for Kerry...still no less true today!)

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Obama is a unifying force. Can we please leave race out of it? I would take seriously this post if we left race out of it. you are a black woman voting for Obama. i am a white woman voting for Obama. And one of the reasons why i am doing it is because it's a "colorless" plataform. This kind of post does more damage than good. IMO

Sharon said...

@ anonymous: If this is truly your opinion, then you should read this post again as the fact that Mr. Obama is indeed a unifying force is my entire point! The fact of the matter is that there is no such thing as a colorless platform, if there were no differences keeping us apart, there would be no need for unification. Race is but one of the differences that divide our society, but I assure you that there are many others that simply don't cause the discomfort that comes with discussions about race. The colors of the rainbow are what make the rainbow itself such a spectacular phenomenon; likewise, the fact that I am not voting for Mr. Obama based on race but based on his stance on the issues and his offer of HOPE is what makes my decision to support him as valid as your decision to support him or anyone else's decision to support the candidate of their choice.

I would point out though since you mentioned the fact that you are indeed a white woman who has chosen to support Mr. Obama that in this colorless platform of which you speak, your decision is automatically ASSUMED to be based on valid considerations while MINE as a black woman who has chosen to support Mr. Obama is ASSUMED to be a show of racial solidarity when in fact, you and I are quite probably of the same accord as it relates to why we choose to support this particular candidate.

THAT my friend, was the point of this post; and for the record, the reason race is such a polarizing issue in this country IMO is that so many of us are so afraid to have an intelligent discussion about our differences that we can't possibly ever find our way to the things that we have in common. I CHOOSE TO CELEBRATE ALL OF OUR GIFTS...THOSE THAT MAKE US DIFFERENT AS WELL AS THOSE THAT MAKE US THE SAME! Believe me, both do indeed exist.

Thank you for your comment and please come again as I believe we both have much to learn from each other! Next time, please introduce yourself to this community as well as we would all love to look up and welcome you when you walk in much the same as Norm was welcomed into the bar on CHEERS!

CapCity said...

GURLLL, as my great aunt used to say: "Don't talk after a FOOL!" I refuse to justify what I do, why I DO or HOW I do! I just make it DO what it DO, BABEEEE! LOL!

I love the family post u put up over at CapCha'd in Luv! U r da TRUFF (have I told u that lately?;-).

BIG hugz to ya!!!

Lovebabz said...

SAHRON FOR VICE PRESIDENT! SHARON FOR SECRETARY OF STATE! Sharon there is no convincing in love. No matter what you say, assumptions will be made and they most always are unfavorable and insulting. So I say: SHARON FOR VICE PRESIDENT!

lea78 said...

Girl why did I do a post about the day I voted for Obama here in St. Louis, and a jackass asked me if I voted for him b/c I am black. I was like hello asshole am I not a woman? I think Hillary is a woman and I still didn't vote for her. oh well i guess their feelings of "all niggers stick together" still exists

Safa said...

Great post Sharon...very insightful as usual.

Sharon said...

@ CapCity: I definitely feel your point on this my sistah; however, I tend to believe that it is somehow one of my purposes in life to participate in these types of dialogues when possible in order to get issues of this kind more out in the open. Not to worry though, you know that I know where and for whom I stand ;)

@ Lovebabz: You are the second person who has encouraged me to run for office since I began blogging! The first was That Johnson Boy who asked where he could sign up as a campaign volunteer in the comments of a post I did around this time two years ago. Hmmmmmm, I might just have to consider a run one of these day...heck if Jesse pulled it off, I can run too, can't I? ;)

@ Lea: I hear where you are coming from my sistah, and though I know that is a valid point, I just wish that folk would accept that just maybe we vote based on something other than race same as other races! Damn! I'm so tired of being associated with the so-called race card that I simply don't know what to do. It would be nice to be just like everybody else in the ballot booth, free to be me, whoever and whatever that may be!

@ Safa: Thanx sweetie! and as always, thank you for gracing this place with your presence!

Anonymous said...

They don't hear you though, Tete!

I have encountered these same challenges day in and day out and I, also, am sick and tired of people insulting my intelligence and implying that because I'm black and Obama is black, I'm voting purely on emotion. Thanks for drawing attention to how white voters are never questioned on whether or not their votes are cast in the name of racial loyalty.

- A certain curly haired lurking Obama supporter

Anonymous said...

And I would also like to point out that TO ME this whole process has been much like a job interview: Hillary and Barack have the same resume. On paper, though their experience is different, it is substantial and they are qualified to do the job.

But Barack showed up in a nice clean suit, smelling good, gave good answers to all the questions, eloquently explained what he planned to bring to my company and followed up with a thank you card the next day. Whereas Hillary showed up in jeans acting like she already had the job in the bag and asked "When do I start?"

I believe in one of our talks, you so eloquently explained how at this point, experience is moot because honestly, John McCain has both of them beat, ESPECIALLY in matters of foreign policy (I'd love to see Hillary talk about her "35 years of experience" with John McCain!). So you have to rely on other things to make your judgments and I have seen Barack think outside the box in terms of reaching people/campaigning, work across party lines to get things done, stay above the fray and refrain from attacking her even when she did it first, singlehandedly bring out more youths to the polls than ever before in history, etc. I could go on!

Hillary, on the other hand, arrogantly assumed the nomination was hers for the taking and didn't even bother to set up campaign operations in other states after the first Super Tuesday, loaned her campaign $5 million of her personal finances as a result of this faulty assumption (and we wanna give her access to the Treasury?!), sent Slick Willie to South Carolina to campaign for her and both of them engaged in race baiting that was unacceptable for a former President and his wife, launch smear tactics against a candidate in her OWN party that she should be reserving for the Republican candidate, etc. And now she's talking about she'd welcome a joint ticket but ONLY IF SHE WAS THE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE? Last time I checked, she was losing!

I mean, really! Is there even a question? Do I need to say more?

- The Curly Haired Lurker

Xavier Pierre Jr. said...

:-)

I'm choosing not to discuss politics (for now) but this was a great post. Not that I would expect anything less from you.

Peace and Love,
Alizé

Sojourner G said...

Well said Sis. Well said! At times like these when stakes are this high, a lot of true colors come out...as does a lot of ignorance. No persson in this country would get elected if they had to rely soley on the black vote. For Obama to be leadin' the chase, that means that A LOT of white folks have to be supporting him. I wonder what da hayle THEY are thinking about. Either they are voting for him because he's black (so then what would be the problem with black people doing it) or they are voting for him because they appreciate his stance on the issues (so then what would be the problem with black people doing it).

We need to give ignorance a holiday.

Lance said...

i am a white woman voting for Obama. And one of the reasons why i am doing it is because it's a "colorless" plataform.
- anonymous

you been watching too many care bear/we are the world cartoons ....need to shift dem damn gears and watch boondocks ...

what kinda shit is this?! (;-(

Anonymous said...

Ahhh Politrcks, you gotta love it!