Tim Wise: Your Whiteness is Showing

Tim Wise: Your Whiteness is ShowingI'm sure that others have linked to this before me, and I'm coming late to the party, but --it's fun.And rings true.See for yourself.

This is an open letter to those white women who, despite their proclamations of progressivism, and supposedly because of their commitment to feminism, are threatening to withhold support from Barack Obama in November. You know who you are.***First, for those of you threatening to actually vote for John McCain and to oppose Senator Obama, or to stay home in November and thereby increase the likelihood of McCain winning and Obama losing (despite the fact that the latter's policy platform is virtually identical to Clinton's while the former's clearly is not), all the while claiming to be standing up for women...For those threatening to vote for John McCain or to stay home and increase the odds of his winning (despite the fact that he once called his wife the c-word in public and is a staunch opponent of reproductive freedom and gender equity initiatives, such as comparable worth legislation), all the while claiming to be standing up for women...For those threatening to vote for John McCain or to stay home and help ensure Barack Obama's defeat, as a way to protest what you call Obama's sexism (examples of which you seem to have difficulty coming up with), all the while claiming to be standing up for women...Your whiteness is showing.

Go.  Read.  Laugh.  Think.

A Post about America

Now.Let me say that, unlike many of my countrymen, I'm not addicted to the American election. Put very simply, I am not American. The Obama/Hilary competition is more important to my mind for its symbolic value than for anything that it means to me as a Bahamian.For one thing, I don't think for one moment that a Barak Obama presidency is going to mean to us what it will mean to Americans. Not in practical terms. In fact, Obama's worldview is quite likely to do us in The Bahamas less good than we might think -- he's accepted the realities of the 21st century global economy, and we still have no idea what those are. We're not even engaging in the discussion -- we're still talking in ways that are fundamentally obsolete. Our leaders (political, religious, what-have-you) have not demonstrated the consciousness that will enable them to meet Obama on his terms. Strangely enough, if Obama becomes President, our best route to the Americans will be through the much-despised Caribbean.But that's by the way.The race for the Democratic nomination is symbolic because from the beginning it ensured that the next Democratic contender for the American presidency will not be a white man.Tonight is symbolic because the black man won.In America.Let us all take off our hats and stand in awe.But it's also symbolic because the election was a truly democratic one. Forget the spin and the punditry and the experts; nobody has a real clue which way this election is going to go, because nobody has figured out how to translate the discussions that are going on in cyberspace -- and that have driven Obama to his victory -- into votes. The people, for the first time in what seems forever, are driving the candidates and the spinners and not the other way round.What saddens me, though, is that we Bahamians have yet to invest our hearts and minds and interests in our own political campaigns and drive those people who imagine they have the right to lead us. While I admire Obama and know I am watching history unfold, I am still angry that the quality of the discussion,  analysis,  thought, of simple plain sense that we Bahamians are demonstrating in our support of Barak Obama was nowhere in evidence last year this time, when we were voting for the people who would actually make the difference in our lives. And it's still nowhere in evidence as we move forward, negotiating waters of free trade and trading blocs (can we truly remain isolated in a "free-trade" world? I wonder). Every viewpoint I hear expressed is dated.Come on, fellow Bahamians. Let's the minds we've honed this past year watching Obama become the Democratic presidential nominee and turn them on ourselves.Please.