Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Race and THE RACE

And In The End, The Race For President Will Be About
WHAT RACE the Voters Are For!

Today I was tutoring my good friend April, who is minoring in African American Studies at Berkeley. I love doing it, because she helps give me a different perspective on the subject.

Tonight is, of course, the vice presidential debate between Sarah Palin and Senator Joe Biden. No doubt, foreign relations will be discussed - that being the main issue, since both sides have tauted their V.P. picks as having experience.

However, it would be great if there were a question concerning race, or one concerning immigration. We already know that Biden, as the head of the Senate's Foreign Relations Committee, has experience, while Palin crows about the proximity of Alaska to Russia. But since Dick Cheney has seen to it that vice presidential powers have been expanded, the position will be held accountable on domestic issues as well.
So how do Palin and Biden see race as a factor of domestic policy? Do both of them admit that race will be a factor in voting? How much "experience" do Biden and Palin have in dealing with race?

The Native American factor and the African American factor cannot be reconciled: they are incredibly different in size and scope. Joe Biden's state of Delaware has a larger population than Alaska by about 150,000 people. Over 20% are African American, most of whom reside in Wilmington. By contrast, Alaska's African American population is below 2%, while the Native American population makes up about 15%.

As a social demographic, Alaska has the highest incidents of rape in the United States per capita, of which Native American women are at high risk. The two most serious problems facing Alaska are alcoholism and domestic violence. Wilmington, Delaware has a crime rate higher than the national rate, but it is the only city in the country to have its entire downtown put under video surveillance (enacted just last year).

Can Palin answer questions on race sufficiently to satisfy city Republicans? I doubt it. And since she will never be given the chance to speak spontaneously about the subject of race, we can be sure that all answers will coincide with McCain's formal statements.

W.E.B. DuBois

Parrot more than puppet.

Parrots talk and have brains -bird brains to be sure, but brains none the less.
Thank you, April, for giving me a new perspective on the campaign. And as far as perspectives go, The Talented Tenth article by W.E.B. du Bois is worth looking at today: it represents one African American man's expression of success. Click below to see the Wordle I created so you can see for yourself which themes were stressed.

It isn't difficult to see that education stood out in the mind of duBois. How many African American citizens have been saying the same thing since then? Just a thought.

The Wall of Separation Between Sarah Palin and Reason

The way Palin makes up quotes
makes her more gaff-prone than Joe Biden!

There should be a wall of separation between Sarah Palin and Political Ambition. When the two come together, the results are disastrous. She makes up quotes and then tries to tie them to what she means and comes up with nothing:

Katie Couric: Thomas Jefferson wrote about the First Amendment, building a wall of separation between church and state. Why do you think that's so important?
Sarah Palin
: His intention in expressing that was so that government did not mandate a religion on people. And Thomas Jefferson also said never underestimate the wisdom of the people. And the wisdom of the people, I think in this issue is that people have the right and the ability and the desire to express their own religious views, be it a very personal level, which is why I choose to express my faith, or in a more public forum. And the wisdom of the people, thankfully, engrained in the foundation of our country, is so extremely important. And Thomas Jefferson wanted to protect that.

So, the wisdom of the people equals rights, abilities and desires to express their religion? She's missing several pieces there. Wisdom of the people. That's very debatable. "Never underestimate the stupidity of people" comes to mind, but "wisdom"? No. Many people have tried to find that quote, BTW, but have come up empty handed. I don't think Jefferson ever said. it. Jefferson and the Founding Fathers were thinking of a plutocracy when founding this "democratic" nation. Only men with property could vote. That left out about 85% of the country's population (women and slaves could not vote) And only the U.S. Senate could vote for President (Lincoln was one of the first Presidents to be elected by popular vote).

Have you noticed that Palin's reasoning (if you can call it that), seems to zigzag all over the place and leaves you stranded somewhere trying to figure out what she actually meant? I will say it again: Gracie Allen was more logical and a great deal funnier.

Joe Biden is easier to follow him than Palin. Please note that his first statement was NOT included in most of the "transcriptions" in print. Was this censorship of a sort?

Biden:The best way to look at it is look at every state where that wall is not built. Look at every country in the world where religion is able to impact on the governanc. In almost every one of those countries there's real turmoil.

Look, the founders were pretty smart. They had gone through, you know, several hundred years of wars - religious wars. And they were in the midst of religious wars in Europe. And they figured it out: The best way to do this is to
keep the government out of religion. They took religion out of government. But they didn't mean religion couldn't be in a public place, in the public square.

Keeping government out of religion is easy. However, these days, keeping religion out of government is difficult: the pulpits want more power and the best way to do that is to legislate their forms of morality.

I posted an article about the 33
churches that agreed to "go political" last Sunday and tell people to vote Republican:

All told, 33 pastors in 22 states were to make pointed recommendations about political candidates Sunday, an effort orchestrated by the Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund.

Wayne Besen's astute comment on this event:
In America, there should be no special privileges given to elitist clergy who think they are better than the rest of us. If they can’t play by the rules, they should be taken out of the game. The IRS should move swiftly to ax the tax exemption from these political action committees posing as churches.
At left is a thoughtful take on the whole situation. Many "Christians" believe in the "freedom" to torture. They voted-in the death penalty. And they want to be free to discriminate against all other ideologies and religions.

So this may be the way it will come about:

Republicans want the votes of the Christian Right. They pander to them by giving them Palin on the ticket. The Christian Right will call in their debts after the election. McCain and Palin will have to pay those debts. Palin, of course, will become an obedient servant. She will endorse laws against abortion, laws for censorship, laws against same-sex marriage, even laws that smack of theocracy. She will do these things because "It is God's will."

I know it all sounds outlandish. But it's possible. It's possible.

Just a thought.