4/18/2008

Two Political Posts Coming Up...

I've been out of the political blogging game for a long time now and intend to keep it that way. But, a couple things have been nagging at me and I want to talk about them a bit.

Hillary Vs. Barrack

First, Hillary Clinton and the vagina patrol. I keep running into people in the GLBT community who are just falling head over heels for Hillary. This is particularly true of Lesbians. The refrain I hear is that "it's time" for a woman President and how much of a "role model" she can be for women and girls.

Let's consider this for a minute. First of all, if you're gay a Clinton is not your friend. Let's not forget Bill in '92. All of us worked like dogs to get that man elected. I spent 12 and 14 hour days campaigning in a completely solid Republican state and handed him one of the closest races for a Democrat in 20 years! I took a huge amount of abuse for this guy. Then, he becomes President and once the party ends he quietly works out a compromise with the GOP to enact the horrid "Defense of Marriage Act" thus telling all of us that we're never, in his eyes, equal to him or anyone else. Do you really think Hillary - the ultimate political insider and power broker would be any different? Look at her backbone on Iraq!

As for being a role model. How much of a role model is she? Her husband has carried on notorious and public affairs. He has dragged her reputation through the mud along with his. All the while she's stood by him and put on a good wifey face. Is that a role model? Perhaps to some of the folks in the Religious Right community who think a wife's duty is to grin and bear it no matter what the man's shortcomings. But really, is that the message we'd prefer for girls - no matter what your guy does just put on a happy face and keep going.

Now, I'm not saying Obama is any great catch either. I like the fact that he seems to have a mind and use it. He says truthful things even when they might bite him in the ass. But, his record on equal rights isn't much better than Clinton's. However, he does say things directly and truthfully. Something I'm not sure Hillary Clinton has ever considered a possibility. She tells anyone anything they want to hear basically. So, given the alternatives I'd take Barrack Obama any day of the year.

Brown is the New Black

I have discovered that in Arizona it does not pay to have brown skin. It appears that people in Arizona are as fearful of Hispanics and particularly Mexicans as anyone in the South ever feared African-Americans. The rhetoric heard here is almost exactly the racist stuff from the 1950's in the South.

Recently, the Arizona legislature passed a bill that would make it illegal for schools to teach any subject that "opposes democracy". First of all, not only is it a direct violation of the first amendment, it also just isn't about democracy. The whole impetus for the law came from a course in a Tucson public school that teaches Hispanic heritage and culture.

And Rep. Russell Pearce, (R-Mesa) said some of the teachings amount to "sedition" by suggesting that the current border between the United States and Mexico should disappear, with Mexico — and Hispanics — taking over the American Southwest.

Tucson resident Laura Leighton had specific problems with a text titled "Occupied America," a book touted by its publisher as examining Chicano history from the coming of the Spanish in 1519.

She read one line that said "kill the gringos." Another talked about a plan to take back the U.S. Southwest and deport all the Europeans.

Leighton, however, said she and others who reviewed the course work believe it is unacceptable.

"We find hate and revolution is being taught in their books," she told legislators. "We found a denigration and disparagement of American values, and a subversion of our history."

Ridiculous as it seems, people here buy that kind of stuff. I'm simply stunned.

Of course the line that required a whole new law to rein in those "uppity" brownies is from a radical organizer back in the early part of the 20th century. There was, around 1915 a movement by original Hispanic settlers of the area to take back the land from the United States and once more become part of Mexico and was pushed by the Mexican government. It was never much of a threat and the ring leaders were quickly rounded up after a few minor acts of violence. Nothing huge. But it is part of history and part of the story of Hispanics in the USA.

Yet, to hear people in Arizona talk about even mentioning this in a classroom brings to mind the panic of white Southerners after the early slave revolts like the Vessey Uprising and Stono Rebellion. Those prompted the Whites to enact the Slave Codes that prevented teaching certain things to slaves.

It would appear that in almost 200 years little has changed in the way white Americans react to people of other races or cultures. What did Arizona do in 2008 because it fears "hate speech" which might lead to "violence" against whites? Why they take a page for the Old South and prohibit the teaching of certain subjects to Hispanics.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. I suppose no matter where you go you just trade one brand of racism for another. Funny though, they always seem to be led by Republicans. Guess that changed in 200 years!

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