Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

2G2K Circus :: Anti-Black Racism and My Alleged Cynicism

For the many of you who are coming to my blog for the first time, welcome! The HuffPost version of my last post has drawn lots of you in to our little neck of the interweb. Stick around if you like.

Normally I don’t feel a great need to respond to objections to most stuff I say–OK, I know, it doesn’t stop me–but there are two themes that are developing that I wanted to comment on.

The first emerges from the piece I did on Clinton, Obama, and Latino and Asian American voters. Many are criticizing me for downplaying or ignoring anti-Black racism amongst Latinos and Asian Americans. Um, let me just say, mercifully: you can spare your bytes trying to lecture me. You might instead use your bandwith searching through this blog for any of the zillion posts and discussions that we’ve had here over the last 4 years on the topic of interracial relations, or as the MSM likes to call it, Black-Brown-Yellow tensions. Shoot, pick up almost anything I’ve written over the past 20 years. (I seem to recall a whole chapter in a book I did once that talked about the issue.)

My post was a reaction to the knee-jerk MSM question asked of Latino and Asian American politicos beginning on NPR this morning–some version of “Well, gee, doesn’t this show that you all are just as racist as whites are?” I think that’s ridiculous. It’s a self-serving question, and much less revealing than it is presumed to be.

I doubt Michelle Obama and the Secret Service worry about Latino or Asian American extremists. I haven’t seen a Latino or Asian American leader or activist pull the race card during this campaign season. Happy to be proven wrong, but I haven’t seen it. Clearly, though, some parts of the press have had no problem pulling the race card. And look how easily we can get caught up in it. It’s the American way.

Let’s turn the question around: did Obama voters vote against Hillary because they’re all misogynists? And has this question been asked by any pundit of any male? Who are these questions serving, hmmm?

I don’t live in hippie la-la land. (Well OK I live in Berkeley but I’m saying you know metaphorically and shit.) There’s more than enough racism, sexism, and discrimination to fight on the daily. So ease up and just let me hold up a simple standard, the kind of standard that one might hope could raise discussions, instead of lowering them: bring on the evidence and then let’s talk. In turn, I’ll remain fully accountable for what I write.

I wrote a piece that offered a theory based on what I can report, what I can show, and what I can prove. Now I’m no diehard empiricist. I realize the blogosphere is a wonderful place for wild speculation, and I’m guilty of it (ex. South Carolina), and I’m staying in the blogosphere. But I’d like to think I can draw the line at becoming a tool for people who get a kick out of seeing folks fight over non-issues. I mean there’s plenty of real issues we’re already fighting about, no?

My point is not and has never been to deny the existence of anti-Black racism, or just as important, to deny the need to fight anti-Black racism in my community or any other. I think I have been consistent and honest and open on this issue. My point is: let’s call it where we actually see it, and let’s fight it on our own terms and our own turf.

The other theme that’s come up here some are angry/sad/disheartened at the thought that after writing a glowing piece about Obama in Vibe, I’ve turned “buzzkill” and “killjoy”. All I can say is that I don’t think this is a game, or mere entertainment. Candidates recognize they turn into used cars when they declare a run for office. Voters are gonna come in and kick the tires. So if I’m a bit moody or excessively sober or allegedly cynical, well, someone’s gotta be. And, uh, I guess I’m the one I’m waiting for.

Thanks for stopping by.

posted by @ 8:02 pm | 10 Comments

10 Responses to “2G2K Circus :: Anti-Black Racism and My Alleged Cynicism”

  1. O.W. says:

    “Let’s turn the question around: did Obama voters vote against Hillary because they’re all misogynists?”

    If Obama claimed male voters 3-1 or 3-2, I think that’d come up as a question.

  2. Zentronix says:

    Huh. Well, here’s the exit polls in South Carolina:

    Obama won the male vote by an over 2-1 margin.

    You think that might have come up as a question?

  3. Zentronix says:

    Meant to add: I’m wondering when the pundits start asking if the youth vote is sexist and misogynistic because they vote overwhelmingly against Hillary and enjoy hip-hop.

    OK, I’ll stop.

  4. O.W. says:


    I follow your point – I really do, especially in terms of how this is being framed but it’s not as if accusations of sexism HAVEN’T been discussed throughout this campaign. Especially if the race ends up being Clinton/McCain, you can bet all the “does race matter???” will swing back to “does gender matter???”

    Also, I can’t tell if you’re being facetious with that last comment but here’s a future headline (meant facetiously) for you: “Rappers call Clinton “a Cave B—-,” urge urban youth to vote Obama instead.”

    Takin’ it back to 92!

  5. Zentronix says:


    Point taken, and I think some (but certainly not all) of that discussion is utter crap. I’ll take Gloria Steinem’s opinion seriously, but not milquetoast NPR reporters trying to be faux-edgy for an Upper East Side audience.

    Actually, I was being ironic about the misogynistic hip-hop youth vote dig but I wasn’t being that facetious. The NY Post has already beat you to your headline, on January 14 to be exact. Hold on to your jaw:

    My point is that some discussions in this historic election have been very revealing and helpful about unfinished business progressives and this nation need to take on re: sexism and racism.

    Most, like this Post post and a proliferating number of posts these past 36 hours or so, are absolutely not.

  6. O.W. says:


    I see you your NY Post and raise you one t-shirt design someone posted on a message board:

  7. Zentronix says:

    You win! My brain would curdle trying to top you.

  8. Paula says:

    The “99 Problems” thing was alarming when I first heard it, but I think that it’s been mostly repudiated, esp. by the presence of a Youtube video showing the Obamas coming in with a decidedly un-bass-driven song in the back.

    Also, how stupid would he have to be in order to let anything remotely offensive in that way in his venues?

  9. donnadarko says:

    Let’s turn the question around: did Obama voters vote against Hillary because they’re all misogynists?

    If Obama claimed male voters 3-1 or 3-2, I think that’d come up as a question.

    There’s been a lot of talk about racism this season and much less about sexism except on the feminist and a few women’s political blogs. This conversation needs to happen.

  10. donnadarko says:

    I mean in the spirit of fairness and “democracy.”

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