11 March 2008

Considering politics and religion

It is really amazing how people are so uninformed and do not care. How people can live in such a diverse place and still not embrace the diversity. How people can live and work around you and you really cannot tell that they believe things completely against you and might even despise people like you. How there can be people who still cannot support a candidate who is of color even if that person may support your beliefs and support actions that would better your life.

I ramble. I have been looking at articles recently, considering diversity issues. And thinking of what is going on in my life and with people's lives close to me.

Some things on my mind:

This whole election campaign. And the low digs people are taking on all sides. How is it that race is still an issue. An article on Sunday said that
Obama's strong support from blacks made it easier for some whites in Ohio and Texas to vote for Clinton...

Eighteen percent of white Ohio voters said race was an important factor in their decision
I'm not saying brown people should vote for him just because he looks similar to them, but you should definitely not NOT vote for someone because he is a certain color.

Supporters are blaming his success on his race.
Geraldine Ferraro who sits on Clinton's finance committee and has spoken at her rallies, sparked the firestorm when she was quoted by a California newspaper as saying: "If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position."
This completely negates the progress and the work he has put in to get to where he is, to prove himself through his actions in office, and his research into developing ideas as to what will work if he becomes president.

And it goes both ways on the Democratic side. How are you going to be talking with a reporter and try and tell them some negative shit about your candidate's opponent and not expect them to publish and make public that statement.

There is also the issue of what campaign workers do to keep people from voting in ways they do not want them to vote. From an interview on Democracy Now! in January:

AMY GOODMAN: Talk about the phone calls that you were having made in New Jersey, using the voice of, as you put it, “a ghetto black guy” calling households to ask them to vote Democrat.

ALLEN RAYMOND: Yeah, that’s an automated call, and again, the design was to tap into what might be there. I’m not saying, you know, every white household has racial bias, but the intent there is to tap into something that might be latent, something that might be within that household that drives them to, again, either stay home or vote against their best interest on other issues. So, again, this is all about motivation, persuasion. And, you know, it’s powerful stuff.

AMY GOODMAN: I was thinking about Ed Rollins, who according to Wired was named the campaign manager of Mike Huckabee or the national campaign chair of Mike Huckabee. Go back a lot of years, about fifteen years, to when he was boasting as campaign manager for Christine Todd Whitman about spending something like half-a-million dollars for “walking around” money from the state Republican Party to depress the vote in urban, heavily democratic areas, to pay, for example, black ministers not to urge people in their congregations to go out and vote, to suppress the black vote. Now he’s being resuscitated.

ALLEN RAYMOND: Right. I was actually in New Jersey that cycle running the reelection campaign for two assemblymen, Steve Corodemus and Tom Smith, and ironically in this case for me, you know, Tom Smith, who served with great distinction in the Assembly, was African Americans, and I was running the campaign for both gentlemen, and both were outstanding assemblymen, great public servants. And I remember that, and I also remember—and, you know, for the record—that Mr. Rollins later came out and repudiated his statements about this walking around stuff. I think some of that’s bravado.

But I’ll tell you, I mean, you know, my experience in working in New Jersey politics was—you know, now, this goes back a long time, and laws have changed and things don’t operate the way they used to, but there was such thing as walking around money, and it did get spread around.
Are you serious?! I don't know if I am more disturbed by the fact that they disguised their voices to sound like "ghetto black guys", or the fact that they did it to make sure people realized that they were going to be voting the same as someone who spoke that way and therefore would change their vote, or not vote, or the fact that this was likely a well thought out strategy, or the fact that this strategy likely worked for a lot of people.

I'm sure that some people got off the phone and said, "Damn, that guy was super ghetto. I cannot possibly have the same beliefs as him. What would that make me? I better not vote, or I better vote Republican."

And bribing churches with money to get them to not urge their congregations to get out and practice their civic duty of casting their ballots.

Why is it that it is ok for McCain to accept support from a radical religious person, but not for Obama? Why does Obama have sense to denounce such support, but McCain doesn't? Could it be that many people believe what televangelist John Hagee says? I don't know, I would not put that one too far off your mind. It is really likely.

On a different note (but still tied to politics) even though homeboy is linked to a $5,000-an-hour prostitution ring, he is still trying to push some legislation that according to JoAnn Smith, the president/CEO of Family Planning Advocates of New York State, says will "guarantees every woman a right to choose or refuse contraception or birth control and choose or refuse abortion. It very clearly puts choice where it belongs: with the individual charged with making that choice."

Going back to religion, the Vatican and the Southern Baptist Convention have announced that they are going to take a stand on environmental issues. Though in the same statement, the Pope says that genetic manipulation is bad, so if you are Catholic, I guess you will never be able to select the eye color, sex, or brain capacity of your child.

Finally, this video is a bit old, but, please, watch it and help me understand how people can view this and hear this and want to join Tom Cruise and his people.

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