Mixed Links – 2008-10-22

Jeff Chang just posted a fascinating interview with Immortal Technique about the election:

[Immortal Technique:] We always talk about building unity among the races but a lot of the times there’s not unity within the races themselves. I think the people who are most racist against one another are the people who look kind of like one another. I know when you’re uneducated to another culture, it’s kind of hard to see the difference between an Indian and a Pakistani person. Or Korean and Japanese. And at the same time, these are individuals that when you go back in their recent history they had the most drama. They do not like one another. 50 years ago Peruvians and Ecuadorians hated each other, but at the same time, they’re the same people and that’s the craziest part.

I don’t think it’s something that’s going to happen overnight because unfortunately the curriculum that we are taught in school doesn’t go back that far, it doesn’t want to deal with those specific issues. And those workshops are not being replicated on the street level to those individuals who need to be brought into the discussion. This doesn’t just need to be a discussion that just happens in some elite intellectual arena but it needs to be public domain. You know, education shouldn’t be a privilege but it should be a right.

By way of VivrLatino, I find out that local (well, blogosphere local) favorite brownfemipower has been named as one of Utne’s 50 Visionaries who are changing your world. Congratulations!

The Vigilance blog brings news that “ex-gays” are being persecuted and discriminated against, and they want the same protections under the law as gay people. According to commenter Mike, they “filed a Petition for Review of Agency Decision.” Reminds me of the people who seek protection against reverse racism.

Breeze Harper over at Vegans of Color asks how do people in the USA feel about Thanksgiving?

A friend pointed out to me that he practices veganism as a way of compassion, anti-cruelty and harmlessness. Hence, celebrating Thanksgiving to him is “cruel”, simply because of it’s link to Native American genocide in the USA.

Reading Scott Westerfeld’s blog, I found out about a cool new project – YA for Obama. Leading writers of YA Literature came together to write their appeals for an Obama presidency. Here’s an excerpt from Scott’s post “Do the Math.” (Note – all his references, sources, and calculations are above what I just posted.)

You know how Republicans always say they’ll lower taxes? Well, they do. But they don’t lower spending. So they have to borrow all that money, which sucks capital out of the economy.

And by the way, you know who has to pay that money back that the Republican’s borrow, right? You do.

By you, I mean Americans who are teenagers now. You’re the ones who’ll have to cough up the roughly $300 billion dollars Bush borrowed every year. And until it’s paid off, you’ll be paying interest on it every time you get a paycheck.

You may be too young to vote, but you’re not too young to get hosed.

And for the Gossip Girl fans, Cecily von Ziegesar is fabulously herself:

Is Barack Obama a Nate, a Dan, a Chuck, a Serena, or a Blair?

Barack Obama. First of all he’s adorable. You know his older daughter’s friends all have crushes on him, as do his wife Michelle’s friends. Okay, as do I. Actually, I have this little fantasy where Barack I go to Barneys and right away he’s mobbed by the gay men in Cosmetics so he’s wearing Carolina Herrera cologne and a Kiehls cucumber eye masque. He buys me a sweet little gold Me and Ro bracelet before we head into the men’s department to get him a new suit. Of course he already knows he looks best in dark gray and he picks out a pink shirt which make me love him even more and then he picks out the most unboring pair of shoes they have because his taste is impeccable and oh where did they find this guy because he’s just… perfect!

In sum, Barack + Blair = BFF in the Gossip Girl World. Go forth, rot your brain out.

In other news, Melissa Harris Lacewell over at the Kitchen Table thinks there will not be a Bradley Effect. Her reasoning?

Listen people Barack raised $150 million in September. That money did not all come from black people! White people are not just claiming they will vote for him, they are budgeting so as to make sure they have $50 to send his campaign. They are not going to go in the voting booth and suddenly have an attack of racism. There is no Bradley effect for Obama.

Rob Schmidt passes along a piece that made me cringe and gasp within three paragraphs – Hate Groups Mostly Quiet in Election.

“Right now,” said Mr. White, the head of the American National Socialist Workers Party, “we’re facing the potential of a half-black candidate financed by Jewish money going up against a white candidate financed by Jewish money, who are both advocating the same policy. So you’ve got two terrible choices.”
[...]

In one sign of shifting mores, James Knowles, a former Ku Klux Klan member who was convicted in a 1981 lynching, said in a Discovery Channel documentary by Ted Koppel that Mr. Obama was a potentially acceptable candidate. “People need to vote for him because of his ideas and the veracity that he displays in what he does, and not because he’s African-American,” Mr. Knowles said.

Read the whole thing. I swear the news these days is stranger than fiction.

Renee of Womanist Musings writes an interesting mediation on the real meaning of “cool:”

We live in a society that does not promote individuality; conformity is what we learn from the beginnings of our socialization. Coolness gives black men another identity option but it comes with the same sort of limitations as any other social identity and we should not be blind to this. It is as binding as a straight jacket and limiting to the potential of the individual.

Reader Zazel sends in a great link by John Ridley, with a critical deconstruction of the “Powell just voted for Obama because he is black” meme and a deconstruction of the falsehoods:

And what about Sharpton? Shouldn’t he be the closest comparison to Obama in terms of blacks just “giving him” their votes? Sharpton, too, gives a good speech and he ran most recently.

In 2004, in the District of Columbia primary, Sharpton came in second to Howard Dean. D.C. at the time was 70 percent minority. Sixty percent black. Yet the minorities and the blacks “gave” their votes to Dean. In South Carolina, only one in five blacks voted for Sharpton.

Clearly — more important, factually — most blacks don’t vote for blacks just because they are black.
This should have been evident in the early stages of Obama’s campaign, when Sen. Hillary Clinton initially out-polled Obama among blacks, to the surprise of everyone except people of color, who knew going in we weren’t a monolithic voting bloc. Should’ve been evident when blacks and liberals had to ask the inane question: “Is Obama enough?” Even Michelle Obama was reduced to saying that one day black America would “wake up and get it” with regard to voting for her husband based on race.