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gender & sexuality | government selection 2008

FUCK Barak Obama

I will NOT stand aside and wait my turn. Not anymore.

I held no illusions about Barak Obama. I did not think him to be the rock star that the media has played him up to be. Because I have actually heard him speak. An entire speech, not just the slick little sound bites and the shot-from-below-the-chin shots in all his commercials. And to be honest, he just ain't all that. He's pretty, but he's empty. And I have been through all this before. I know the Democrat is always supposed to be different... and never is. No, I was not excited about what Barak Obama might do for the nation. But I confess, deep down inside, I was excited by the idea that finally, after more than two centuries of white, male rule, the next president might actually be something other than the White Guy.
This year, for the first time ever, both front-running candidates were something new. There was Hillary Clinton, the first woman who actually seemed to have a shot at the presidency. And, there was Barak Obama. A Black man who might actually find himself in the White house. I don't care what any white guy says about how it shouldn't matter to me what color or what gender the candidates are. It DOES matter. It fucking well does. For those of us who have been erased from history for virtually all our lives, it fucking well matters. And for those helpful, radical males who will lecture me on how foolish I am to be taken in by the Blackness or the Womaness of candidates who are both essentially sell-outs to the same corporate interests that all our choices have sold their souls to? Well no shit. But you cannot possibly have a clue, brothers. You cannot have a clue. If you are a white man in this country, you have not the slightest hint of what this means to those of us who might finally see someone who looks like us, and not like you, running the show. That doesn't make us stupid, naive, foolish. That doesn't mean we don't see how corporate interests were creating Barak Obama (TM) years ago, fixing to roll him out and down our throats. We know. It doesn't mean we have forgotten Hillary Clinton's vote for the War, or her opportunistic support for Israel. It does not mean we would fall down on our knees in supplication to either of them. But those of us who grew up on white, male newscasters explaining how "America is just not ready for a woman president," for those of us who remember when racial epithets were freely issued forth from highest offices, it fucking MATTERS that for once, our race and our gender will be the ones represented in the white house. You just can't know how much that matters.

So, while I tried to hang back and not care about the election, I could not help but care anyway. Even as I watched one corporate-sponsored and carefully vetted campaign speech after another, I still felt the lingering spark of excitement somewhere deep down in a place that no election has ever stirred me before. It did not matter to me which one of them won the nomination. What did matter, very much, was to see that wall break down. I wanted to see a face like mine in the White house, I confess. I wanted to see two hundred years of tyranny wiped away. It was time. As rumors of the possible "dream team" grew, in which the one that won the nomination chose the other as the VP, I found myself wanting that very much.

So when Obama won, I waited. Growing more impatient with every calculated day, I wanted to scream at him that he HAD to choose a woman. I imagined it would probably be Clinton, but really, it could have been another woman just as easily. There have been so many talented women waiting, crushed together, just below that glass ceiling. (Cynthia McKinney would have been ideal.)((Nancy Pelosi, not so much.) And then? And then Obama began to make strange noises. I felt it long before I saw it. In that insufferable way, he started sniffing around "safe," middle of the road, candidates. In other words, he started mining the bottomless pit of White males in Washington. I really think he meant to choose Edwards, the little fuck. I think Clinton saw that writing on the wall too, and perhaps her campaign is where the little bird came from that alerted the tabloids about Edwards' sordid personal failings. Suddenly, the clean, white, pretty boy did not look so "safe" after all. So Obama went sniffing off. And, out of all the qualified candidates the nation had to offer, he chose... the White Guy.

Joseph Biden??? What the fucking FUCK.

Joe Biden. Is that the best he could do? A passionless white person, un-coincidentally dangling a penis, whose support for the State of Israel is almost as staunch as his mediocrity on the environment. What a fucking slap. I honestly feel slapped in face. I really do. In spite of my strong contempt for the American political circus, I let myself be caught up just enough to whisper support for this man, because I really believed that, finally, the symbols of highest power in this country might actually come in MY colors. In MY shape. It did not mean that I believed Obama and Clinton would behave much differently than any of the other thoughtless, greedy, opportunistic asses that manage to scramble up the political ladder. But you cannot underestimate the power that is inherent in centuries of rule by White, Male, "masters." You cannot underestimate the balm to the psyche we would feel, those of us who were not represented in those first two centuries of domination, to see the elected leader of this nation looking more like us.

And then Obama picks the white guy as his running mate. The "safe" choice. As if one of those uppity women standing there beside a Black man would have been just too much for Average Joe voter to handle.

More than a century ago, as woman suffragists -- both Black and White -- stood side by side with Black men demanding the right to vote, women were famously asked to stand aside, and let the men have their turn. Even Frederick Douglas, long a supporter of women's right to vote, simply felt that not all of us could get through that golden door together, and he wanted his turn. He promised that, when he and his brothers arrived, he would come back for us. So Black women and White women were asked to take the gallery, and play cheerleader as Black males moved toward the voting booth. And in 1860, Black men finally won the right to vote. It wasn't an easy victory, to be sure. It took blood and sweat and fiery speeches, and it took the support of a lot of very strong women. And then? ...It took another generation, more than sixty more years, before women ever gained the right to vote. A dozen years after Black men gained the ballot, Susan B Anthony was arrested in her living room in Rochester, New York, and hauled away to jail for, of all things, daring to vote in America. How uppity of her. It would not be legal for her to do so in her lifetime. Susan B Anthony died in 1906. Women did not gain the legal right to vote in this country until 1920.

Is this what we are being asked for now? Are we being asked to stand aside again? Will it be another generation before America is "ready" for a woman in the White house? I say No. That is not good enough. I will NOT stand aside. I will NOT be a cheerleader. I have had enough of that. I am 51 percent of the population of this nation. How is it possible that there has NEVER been a woman president? And how is it possible, in this year of upheaval, that Barak Obama chose to ignore me, my gender, yet AGAIN?

I could not be more pissed at Barak Obama. I will NEVER cast a vote for him if he sticks with this sickening choice of running mate. Yes, I would still dearly love to see a Black person in the White house. But not one who would sell me out the way this vapid shithead just did. Not one who would imagine, for one moment, that choosing yet another mediocre white guy, over an enormous pool of talented women of all colors just waiting for a chance, is the "safer" choice. Not one who would take me, my support, my gender, for granted like he just did. In an election where womens' votes are going to be the tipping point, he actually gambled on his face and his party being enough. He actually chose to court Average White Joe, over me. Over all those generations of women who have been waiting, and wasting away waiting, for a turn.

FUCK Barak Obama.

I mean that. I would sooner throw my vote away than vote for him. I will NOT vote for Obama. He sold me out, and it should cost him. Men who feel they can "safely" ignore the demands of women should pay for that mistake.

. 24.Aug.2008 19:00

.

Hillary Clinton may wrest away the nomination from Obama on the convention floor. Now that Obama is behind in the polls she has some leverage.

Get mad 24.Aug.2008 19:04

But you are not getting even

The conservative right wing crew in this election and all other important elections need only wait for progressives to self destruct, coming apart as they do every single time two months before a vote. This is why we will once again see a republican president for the next four years. This is your decision because the VP has a dinger dang? You go girl!

V 25.Aug.2008 08:29

S

Obama has no say over who is VP... he is a puppet. It is the system of entrenched power that makes the choices.

Me too. 25.Aug.2008 16:43

PISSED as you.

I feel you, girl. I was going to vote for him, but now I won't.

And FUCK the stupid tard liberal-ass dickhead who completely missed the whole point and lectured you, as you knew he would, on how you should vote for Obama anyway. FUCK you tards.

I'm also pissed at the IMC for putting this on the selection backwater, when it is not about the election, it is about tyranny and misogyny and it deserved to be heard.

NObama.

NO MORE DICKS IN THE WHITEHOUSE.

Whatever... 25.Aug.2008 17:21

.

Hillary Clinton would do as much good for women as Margret Thatcher did for the UK. Clinton could prove that a woman could be elected president of the US but, more importantly, that there is absolutely no reason to do so. Who cares which imperialist stooge is selected to run a corporate political party? Fuck Clinton. Fuck Obama. Fuck McCain.

Now, if you really want to vote for a woman, then Cynthia McKinney is your only choice. She also has the benefit of not being a corporate imperialist like Clinton.

You go, sister! 29.Aug.2008 16:54

Shy Virago

Great points here and well written.

It's been a long time since I've heard a woman speak up on indymedia, and what you're saying is hardly radical.

I am tired, too. The only goods thing about giving the nomination to Obama (he did not win it, she did) is that now I can freely vote for McKinney. HRC is not my ideral candidate but it would have been an important symbol for all women and girls to have a woman running for president.

I wonder about the hatred of HRC, how so many in the Obama camp blasted her with sexist remarks, slurs and images. It seems like the Obama candidacy gave men, even young and self-idientified progressive men a free zone to bash women.

Of course, Cynthia McKinney is the true progresive here, and Rosa Clement gave a wonderful interview to the SDS, which we'll never hear.

But I feel you, sister. I am tired and I'm getting older, and I thought by now something might have changed.

I challenge all the men reading this to stand up to sexism!