02 November 2008

Don't be afraid, gringo

I read a great book back in the late 80s or maybe early 90s called Don't Be Afraid, Gringo.

It was the story of a Honduran woman who was fighting against poverty and corruption in her native country.

Whenever I hear people talk about how "scary" Barack Obama is, I think of that title. To me, Obama has been labeled "scary" by white people because they see him as different, as something other than "us." I want to tell them "Don't be afraid, gringo" (and I mean that in the nicest possible way).

I made a whole list of the names Obama has been called and posted it over at Linkateria with all the links.

Looking at it all together, it gets pretty ridiculous. The man is, after all, a United States Senator, a Harvard law school grad and a former member of the University of Chicago faculty, not some wide-eyed Fidel Castro clone.

I keep seeing news clips of white people saying how they don't think a black man can represent "us." They wonder how anyone can believe in him. I think that the people who believe in him are tired of "us" versus "them." We are ready to work shoulder to shoulder with other Americans, Americans that we don't see as a collection of demographic traits but as people who want the best for this country and who believe that, working together, we can do anything.

Ok, I'll shut up now. Watch:


Gordo said...

If nothing else, I think this campaign has done something very important: it's reminded those of us who can think critically that racism still abounds. There's usually a thin veneer of civilization covering it, but if you give it a scratch, the ugliness explodes into view again.

Black, brown, green or blue, Obama is just a man. Nothing scary here, keep on trucking. I hope he's able to effect the change that he's promised, though. The US needs it desperately, as does the rest of the world.

As the US goes, the rest of us follow.

Mandajuice said...

I'm terrified of Obama, but it has absolutely ZERO to do with his race. I'm afraid of his POLICIES. The implication that fear = racism is divisive and inflammatory (and offensive). I think the number one sentiment I hear as a Republican (and thus, someone who other republicans feel comfortable confiding in) is that Obama only has a TWO YEAR record in national government, a record so liberal and partisan that there isn't a single US Senator to the left of him. OF COURSE we're afraid!

Sorry, Suebob, I normally don't get all defensive and political, but I wholeheartedly disagree with you. I think a black man CAN represent us, just not Obama.

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

I feel like so much of the attacks that have been made against Obama would never have been made if he were white, and that's scary to me. Of course it's offensive to have people say that fear = racism. Racism is offensive. But so many people are being racist in this campaign, that it would be ridiculous to not admit it. Just as the Republicans used race against John McCain in 2000, smearing him by saying he had an illegitimate black child, people will say horrible things in order to win. I cannot support John McCain, not only because he doesn't represent my views, and his policies are dangerous, but because took that slanderous beating in 2000, and then he went on to kiss the rings of the people that did it to him. Any man that will not stand up for himself and his family, will not stand up for his country or his constitution.

For all of that, he cracked me the hell up on SNL. Did you see it SueBOB? http://www.nbc.com/Saturday_Night_Live/video/clips/mccain-qvc-open/805381/

Day Dreamer said...

I've actually heard several people here in Oklahoma say that they won't vote for Obama simply because of his name.

His name?

Brilliant. Why didn't I think of that? ;)

SUEB0B said...

@mandajuice What policies are so scary?

Here's a little analysis of that "most liberal" thingy: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/748

Gwen said...

I do agree there's crazy amounts of racism involved. I don't believe that any thinking person really equates not voting for Obama with racism per se. But all the crap that's been tossed out surrounding him seems predicated on the idea that different=scary (not the thinness of his resume; that's not crap; that's reality).

I've found this whole socialism angle that's been floating in earnest these past few days fascinating, like watching a train wreck. If all else fails, go for the fear, I guess.

gael said...

Looks like you need to keep talking because what you have to say needs to be heard. C'mon peepul... Here's our chance for a new nation. Diplomacy. Intelligence. Fairness.

Or like the Red Stapler says: "We are ready to work shoulder to shoulder with other Americans, Americans that we don't see as a collection of demographic traits but as people who want the best for this country and who believe that, working together, we can do anything. "

Nothing less than beautiful. Gael's READY!

Major Bedhead said...

I cannot wait to vote tomorrow. Cannot wait. I long for change, with every fiber of my being. And, in my opinion, this nation needs a dose of the far left.

Mandajuice said...

It's his tax plan, Suebob. I'm an extremely pro-business, pro-corporation voter who would happily pay more taxes if it would alleviate the tax burden on businesses. (I'm radically and totally against corporate taxes of ANY kind). We need to stimulate, not stifle business.

Redistribution is the opposite of the American dream, which has always been and should always be about WORK. Working hard gets you ahead and if you can't work, I believe the system should be there to help you out, but Barack Obama plans to write checks to people just because of their income level, which is an inaccurate measurement of need. I think that's the worst possible thing for this economy. People need jobs, not handouts.

I have no problem with Barack Obama, the man. I just disagree with his ideas for what will help our economy.

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