aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Saturday, February 09, 2008
Race transcended or transformed?
From a piece in the NYTimes today, The Tightrope of Promising a Genuine Transformation, on Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s state of the city speech:
It was a reminder that Mr. Obama, for all the extraordinary elements of his campaign, is hardly a solitary figure in American politics, but one representative of a new generation of young black politicians that includes Mr. Booker, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty of Washington, Representative Artur Davis of Alabama and former Representative Harold Ford Jr. of Tennessee. It reflected the way race hasn’t been transcended, it has just been transformed. While Mr. Obama has to prove to voters nationwide that he’s not “too black,” Mr. Booker has had to convince voters in Newark he’s black enough. The multi-ethnic America of today is not the black and white world of the past.
Most of all it was a reflection of the delicate tightrope traversed by politicians promising something genuinely transformative. It’s powerful stuff, but it’s dangerous, too, because the only thing worse than failing to offer hope is to offer it and then be unable to deliver.
SEE ALSO: Cory Booker, The Color of Polititcs.
Sticks & Stones
My sensitivity to racist and sexist language comes, in part, from growing up gay. Verbal bullying is common for people perceived to be gay.
In 1990 I made this video to raise awareness of the problem. That year 4 in 10 gay teens attempted suicide. Ten years later it was 3 in 10, still four times higher than heterosexual youth. The problem has not gone away.
RELATED: Here Hillary Clinton addresses a question on gay teen suicide.
Don’t just share information, collect it
We’re really excited to bring you forms! Create a form in a Google Docs spreadsheet and send it out to anyone with an email address. They won’t need to sign in, and they can respond directly from the email message or from an automatically generated web page. Creating the form is easy: start with a spreadsheet to get the form, or start by creating the form and you’ll get the spreadsheet automatically.
Responses are automatically added to your spreadsheet. You can even keep a closer eye on them by adding the Google Docs forms gadget to your iGoogle homepage, created by software engineers Valerie Blechar and Sarah Beth Eisinger (in her first month at Google!). It lists your recent active forms, with new responses highlighted…
At Google, we’ve already been using it for signups, surveys, and miscellaneous mischief. And we can’t wait to see what you do with forms in Google Docs.
Coded racism v. coded sexism
So the other day…
Obama...seemed to have Clinton in his sights when he said, “You challenge the status quo and suddenly the claws come out.”
Homunq suggests “gloves off,” not “claws out:”
I support you, and I’m a white male. But I do not tolerate coded racism from your opponent, and I do not tolerate coded sexism from you.
This is sexist code language, Hillary is the cat. It is subtle and most people will probably say “awww, he probably didn’t mean it that way”. I give you more credit than that, you know exactly how to use your words.
Please do not do it again.
Thing is, I’m not real sure that works out for us, or Obama, in the end. How many “likable enough” moments does he need to learn?
LATER: Melissa McEwan found not one, not two, but three examples of sexism being used against Hillary in her inbox yesterday. The claws comment was among them:
Someone speaking about Obama being the underdog, outsider candidate-which, by the way, once someone gets Democratic monument Ted Kennedy’s and former nominee John Kerry’s endorsements, is a meme that needs to die-says: ”You challenge the status quo and suddenly the claws come out.” Certainly this was a reference to Hillary, whom the Obama campaign has been long painting (and not without reason) as the establishment candidate.