Tuesday, June 3, 2008

What other people are saying…

Happy birthday, Miss Irene! Mac Daddy at Daddy Be Strong celebrates the life of an oft-forgotten heroine of civil rights:

Ms. Morgan Kirkaldy, an African American woman, refused to give her seat to a white couple on a Greyhound bus in 1944, 11 years before Rosa Parks. When the arresting officer put his hand on her, she kicked him in the groin and said she
would have bitten him, but he looked "too dirty."

She took her case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and won. The lawyer who argued her case before that august body? A young Thurgood Marshall, a lawyer who would later be appointed to that court. The court banned segregated busing on interstate travel; and set a precedent for the dispensation of discriminatory cases in
travel. Morgan Kikaldy's success also motivated what was called "The Freedom Rides," where young people rode in the front of buses to test the new law. One of the leaders of this movement was Bayard Rustin, who would later be an adviser to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the chief organizer of the march on Washington.
Why are we sexualizing American girls? (Hat tip to Gina at What About Our Daughters) The Nation of Islam’s Final Call has published an excellent article, “America’s sex-mad culture,” that discusses how “corporate drive for profits is damaging girls, women and eroding healthy relationships.”

The oppression and misuse of women is not new to America, or American culture, but many see a crisis of misogynistic and racist elements that are damaging the soul of the nation and hurting children, women and men in the process.

Black women, in particular, have historically been portrayed as sexual objects to justify slavery, rape, sexual abuse and denial of respect and opportunity, advocates and scholars say. Negative messages solely concerned with “hotness” and sex appeal are also being pushed on adolescents and younger girls in a dangerous way, advocates warn.

Adolescence is the time when girls form an identity based on messages from society, said Professor Dines. If the messages focus on physical attributes and access to men, the young girls are not growing in a healthy way, she said. Professor Dines will be featured at “The Sexualization of Childhood” symposium, June 13-14, at Point Park University in Pittsburgh.

The American Psychological Association, in a study released last year, reported that girls and young women suffered intellectual, psychological and physical problems as a result of messages that push sexualization, which is defined as a “person’s value coming only from his or her sexual appeal or behavior, to the exclusion of other characteristics; a person is held to a standard that equates physical attractiveness (narrowly defined) with being sexy; a person is sexually objectified—that is, made into a thing for others’ sexual use, rather than seen as a person with the capacity for
independent action and decision making, and/or; sexuality is inappropriately imposed upon a person.”
Top 100, Baybee! I’d like to thank by mommy and daddy, my boo, my dog…(tears up)…and all of YOU, loyal readers and supporters. Electronic Village has released its monthly ranking of black blogs and What Tami Said is at number 91. Check out the list and let Villager know if you have a blog that needs to be added.

Your liberal privilege is showing. I have been a subscriber to Salon for nearly five years, but lately I have grown weary of its overwhelming-white, entitled, classist form of progressivism. Who assembles a group of all-white talking heads to discuss the impact of race on the 2008 Democratic primary? Why Salon, that’s who!

Oh well, I was feeling a little too hopeful with all the predictions about Obama crossing the finish line tonight and Clinton conceding. “What role did race play with white Democrats?” at least served to angry up my blood and get me back in fighting spirit.

Sample this quote from Sean Wilentz, HRC-backer and author of a recent love letter, I mean book, about Ronald Reagan:
I think very differently. Race has primarily played a factor to help Barack Obama. Not only with the African-American vote, which is fairly clear, I mean it's obviously clear, but with some white voters as well. I think that the idea that Hillary Clinton has suddenly gained a lot of support from racists, which we call "low information" voters, things like that, is just a myth. I mean, in fact, if you look over the exit polls, she's done much better in the votes since March, in fact, most of that support can be accounted for over the last three months, for greater support among upper and middle income white voters. It's not [these] mythic Appalachian, racist whites. That's a very small percentage of her pickup over Obama over the past three months. So I just don't buy it. I think certainly there's an element of that there, but I think that it's very, very small.


New Black Woman said...

I could never get into Salon.com. I always was weary of their commentary.

AJ Plaid said...

Brava, Tami, for getting into the Top 100! You earned it, friend!

bradski said...

Wilentz is a scumbag. Did you read his article on Huffingtonpost.com wherein he declared the history of the modern Democratic from the 1840s(!!) to today as being the working class party and decried the white flight and failed coalition of blacks and liberal whites.

Okay, history check: The Democratic Party in the 19th Century through the mid-20th Century was racist. Did I forget to mention racist? There was a reason why most African-Americans voted Republican until JFK & LBJ rebuilt the party.

Wilentz does not see the immorality of the old Democratic Party. Instead, he constructs a mythical party that was always there to defend the working class (as long as it was white). The moral depravity of Southern Democrats who fought against the Civil Rights laws means nothing to him.

Unsurprisingly, the article, titled "The Unmaking of the Democratic Party by Barack Obama," does a poor job of hiding its tacit approval of racism:

"Under those pressures, the Barack Obama campaign and its sympathizers have begun to articulate much more clearly what they mean by their vague slogan of "change" - nothing less than usurping the historic Democratic Party, dating back to the age of Andrew Jackson, by rejecting its historic electoral core: white workers and rural dwellers in the Middle Atlantic and border states."

Andrew Jackson? Jackson? This is the same Jackson who was not only pro-slavery but was also responsible for the barbaric Trail of Tears forced expulsion of Native Americans and their black Indian relatives from the southeast to Oklahoma. Old Hickory, as he was called, should be burning like his namesake for the thousands of death

Wilentz then goes on to say with a figurative straight-face:

"Out with the Democratic Party of Jefferson, Jackson, F.D.R., Truman, Kennedy and Johnson, and in with the bright, shiny party of Obama - or what the formally "undeclared" Donna Brazile, a member of the Democratic National Committee and of the party's rules committee, has hailed as a "new Democratic coalition" swelled by affluent white leftists and liberals, college students, and African-Americans."

Somehow, I think Kennedy and LBJ, the latter in particular, deserve better than to be compared to Jackson or even Jefferson given his intellectual dishonesty and grotesque treatment of his common law wife Sally Hemmings and their children. LBJ as flawed as he was cared about making America a better society for all people. He wasn't just concerned about the working class whites but all people. He slugged it out to get the Civil Rights legislation through the Congress.

Wilentz ability to redefine the modern Democratic Party to Jackson instead of FDR and Truman shows a contempt for non-whites. How can Wilentz morally justify the shabby treatment of non-whites by Democrats prior to Truman? FDR, while a progressive, didn't care about African-Americans. His wife was the one who cared.

If the contemporary Democratic Party is in unraveling, that has more to do with the rapacious ambition of Hillary Clinton and her enablers, like Sean Wilentz, who have injected GOP-style divide and conquer using race to win votes.

The naked attempt by Wilentz to ignore the transformation of the Democratic Party and its success because of the African-American voting bloc and other people of color, and other segments is mind-boggling.

Hillary Clinton's cynical use of race and gender has done more damage to the Democratic Party than John McCain could have dreamed to have done. Karl Rove must be dreaming of sugar plum fairies not having to dream up schemes for taking down the Democrats in the fall.

Wilentz pretends that the Democratic Party can succeed without black voters. Good luck with that.


PS I seriously dislike Andrew Sullivan for his support of the "Bell Curve." The last few years have seen a major shift in his thinking and turned from his conservative perspective somewhat.

Sullivan accurately remarked of Clinton and her minions like Wilentz are all for black voters as long as they give them their votes and did want anything else. I think Wilentz' article proves that point.

Tami said...


Do you mind if I craft your comment into a post? (Giving you credit of course)You perfectly explained what I haven't been able to articulate: Why I call BS on all the rending of garments and pulling of hair, as people wonder why the Dems are "alienating" the Blue Dogs and Dixiecrats.

NOLA radfem said...

MYTHIC RACIST WHITES who won't vote for Obama because of his race, no matter what?

My mom - mere myth?

My aunts - mere myth?

My grandparents - mere myth?

Wow, what with my whole family being mere MYTH, I guess it's a frickin' miracle I'm sitting here at all.

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Hello Tami!

I am EXCITED and DELIGHTED to hear this news! Congratulations!

You definitely give the new blogs inspiration to keep on producing excellent material!

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!


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