Revisiting White Privilege and the Hillary Supporters

Last night I had a chance to catch Michelle Obama’s speech at the DNC convention, all I can say is wow! I swear I like her better than her husband, she appears to be authentic, I look at her and see myself and so many other Black women in her.. she represents well.

So I went to bed, feeling warm and fuzzy since between that emotional speech and those 2 gorgeous daughters, I was feeling good that I actually had the chance to catch the happenings last night.

Well the bubble was busted this morning when I woke up to my usual dose of NPR and the coverage about last night’s happenings at the DNC and they were discussing the Hillary factor, and had a couple of die hard Hillary supporters being interviewed. Let me just say they pissed me off, both women were clearly white, one described herself as an academic, the other a professional. They both spoke of how passionately they believed in Hillary and just needed proper closure before they could even consider supporting Obama. Wait! Hold the fuck up… you need closure. Um, newsflash, your candidate lost, time to move the fuck on.

Then it hit me, what has been bothering me most about the Clinton supporters who cannot let go and those that have  expressed the fucked up thought that they would rather vote for McCain over Obama (um, that’s not even logical but what the fuck does a little black chick from Maine know?). I think what bugs me most is that every time I hear these women speak, I am hearing them speak from a place of white privilege yet none of them would dare call it that. Oh, no, its coded in such a way that it sounds good, they use deep words, very emotional and moving language that while passionate, what they are really saying is  that losing to a nigger was never part of their expectations. I rarely use the n-word here but this is one time it feels fitting.  No, white privilege is predicated on the very false notion that whites are better than lowly people of color? Now, I admit I am not going to take the academic route here but white privilege is real and I sincerely believe the reason Clinton supporters can’t let go is that losing to a man of color is just not acceptable. When one operates from a place of privilege they in essence are able to look at the world through rose colored lenses, as I have written before white privilege allows one to make assumptions and not ever have to think about it, as I posted once before its simple shit like literally shitting where you want.

I have been Black all my life and its been my observation that whenever a Black persons bests a white person in something, no matter how trivial, the average white person gets uncomfortable. I won’t say all as my spousal unit is white and I know some good white folks but the vast majority only pay lip service to wanting to be equal.. in the end, for many white privilege comes into play.

At this point I feel like white privilege is too deeply ingrained in many Clinton supporters (where were these women when Hillary was being made to look like a fool while Bill was having not real sexual relations with Monica?), then again maybe just as I see bits of myself in Michelle Obama, perhaps these women see bits of themselves reflected in Hillary. Staying with a man, you really want to throw hot grits on when he has publicly humiliated you.. yet you stay because through him you can access power. However at the same time staying in a soul-less partnership drains you but at the end of the day, much like Scarlett O’Hara you believe there will be a better tomorrow, after all you are woman.. hear you roar. That was until that interloper aka Obama showed up. Ok, I admit I am getting goofy..not enough coffee yet.

Really though, the bottom line is that for me I believe white privilege is playing a large role in why some of the Clinton supporters cannot or will not support Obama. The pundits love to say Obama cannot close the deal, well unless the brotha gets a vat of white paint to give himself a makeover, with some folks he won’t close the deal and the sooner he accepts that and focuses on those he can convince to support him, the better off he will be.

Not so sure about Obama..my thoughts on the O-man

Not that Barack Obama gives a damn what a sista in Maine thinks about him or his campaign, but the beauty of this country is that for the most part I can say what I want and blogging allows me the chance to share it with others. Regular readers know I generally steer clear of talking about politics but this being an historical week and all, I feel the need to add my two cents to all the many other voices out in the blogosphere.

Where oh where do I start? Truth is back last year when I heard Obama was running, I wasn’t all that jazzed about him (I believe I have spoken about this a while back), I am from Chicago but didn’t really have an  opinion one way or the other. Honestly, I was more of an Edwards or “shudder” Clinton supporter. However around the time Obama won Iowa early this year, I jumped on the Obama bandwagon like a whole lot of other folks, after all and I am  adult enough to say that I was being rather simplistic but the fact that the cat was Black pretty much lured me in. Since after I spent several hours looking over his policies versus Clinton’s, the differences between the two were negligible at best, besides being self-employed, Clinton’s mandate that folks would have to buy insurance pissed me off. So for me the scales were tipped by the fact that Clinton had way too much baggage and Obama was a smooth talker and he was Black and shit like a lot of other Black folks, I think it would be nice to see someone who looks like me in charge of this bitch for a change. Granted after years of the Bush-Cheney regime, a 1 legged elephant would be an improvement.

Now as the primary season went on and the other Democratic hopefuls dropped out like dying leaves on a tree on a crisp fall day, I truly was getting pumped for my man. I loved his swagger, and the brotha could give a speech… shit, that speech he did on race was fantastic. Yet at the same time, as he started throwing folks under the bus like ole Rev. Wright, I felt a gnawing internally wondering what is this man all about? Then there was the the thing about his speeches, they felt so good but what does it all mean? Seriously, can you break down this change and this hope in a step by step list?

No, as time and those speeches went on, I was reminded of a paper I did several years ago in grad school on the subject of knowledge management. See, I did a large paper on the subject of knowledge management, basically a lovely abstract paper that to this day I felt was bullshit after all I am very good at getting abstract when it comes to academics but framing it in such a way that it sounds deep and meaningful. In fact my professor a man, with not one but two PH.D’s urged me to have the piece published… thankfully I chose not to since if for a million bucks you asked me a specific question on KM, I would not get the cash. No, Obama reminds me of that paper.. sounds so good but Negro, what are you really saying?

Anyway his O-ness became the presumptive nominee after her Highness realized the math did not break for her no matter what she did. So I was cool, but the O-man started getting too cocky, too full of himself and honestly started making folks like me ask what is goings on here? All this leads up to his choice for a VP, Joe Biden. Now I know a lot of folks think he did good picking BIden, but me, if I was the O-man, um, no…

Seriously, back when Biden was running he talked pretty greasy about Obama and personally you say I am clean and articulate (sorry the paraphrase, too lazy too look that up) but I remember that shit. Words like that tell me a lot about how you feel about me and guess what I don’t forget. I don’t know but if he was gonna go with someone who talked greasy about him, I feel like damn, maybe he should have picked Hillary who it turns out he never really had on the short list so I heard this morning.

Don’t get me wrong, Hillary is a world class bitch, but she is a bitch that had a lot of supporters, many who are still frosty as hell at how things broke for their girl. Making her #2 would be fraught with issues, since clearly she and Bubba are a package but right now if these polls are to believed the distance between Obama and McNasty is not that great and before Obama and Michelle start thinking of the move from Hyde Park, they are going to have to convince a lot of folks to vote for them.

No, Obama in my two cent opinion is not nearly as different as he lead many folks to believe, the change is that he is Black. At the same time, that Blackness means he needs to work twice as hard to convince Joe Six-Pack to vote for him, Joe “hate niggas” Six-Pack would rather have more wars and more instability in this country than to see a Negro in charge. Granted I don’t think Obama will be able to do as much to change things as he would have us to believe but we know if McNasty wins, he will make Bush-Cheney look like the opening act to the madness that will rain down upon us. I believe if McNasty wins, we will be wishing for George “Bumbling” Bush and his evil sidekick.

So while say  Biden will help him win over that crowd, well I just don’t know since the problem is now all the kids who got geeked riding the Obama love-train are feeling like O was  perpetrating and not being truthful since picking a guy like Biden does not say change.

Guess the problem for me is that ultimately while Obama tried to make us feel he was sincere and different at the end of the day, he feels likes the same old, same old just dressed in a different package. That said history is in the making this week, so that is a change.

Checking out early.. we don’t live long

Its starting to feel like every time I go on-line, I am hearing about another Black person dying, generally someone who is in the prime of life. In the past week and a half, both Issac Hayes and Bernie Mac died, within a day of each other. Today, I saw a report that LeRoi Moore, saxophonist and founding member of the Dave Matthews Band had died, he was only in his 40’s. Then a few hours later I saw a report that Stephanie Tubbs-Jones congresswoman from Ohio had died after suffering a brain aneurysm and she too was fairly young, only in her 50’s. I must admit I am wondering who next?

Then again, I don’t have to look far to see folks dying young, my own beloved Mama, died 4 days after turning 50 from a 8 month battle with cancer; her dad, my Paw-Paw was barely in his 50’s when he died. Thankfully there are some folks in my bloodline who live to old age but I must admit the older I get, I do wonder if I will live long since statistically the odds in my family favor checking out early, which is a damn shame since this is one instance I want to run on CP (that’s colored people time for readers not familiar with that term)  time, not regular time.

All jokes aside though, statistically on average Blacks die earlier than whites and while we know there are reasons for it as far as the inequities in the healthcare system, even when factoring for socio-economics, middle class Blacks still die earlier so its not just po folks with no money to see a doctor. Even when we have the resources our illnesses are detected later, a year ago Mother Jones magazine did a piece on this where the author, a Black man spoke of his own father dying in his 50’s and he was a physician. Shit, that’s scary when you think about it… you mean Black doctors don’t even live long?

Now we all know about the dangers to the young, especially  young Black men, but the folks dying young that truly trouble me are folks 35 and up who I don’t expect to die young. I find myself wondering what can I do? What can we do to stop Black folks from dying early, personally I do try to watch what I eat, thanks to the internet while I am by no means a doctor, I can read up on things. Truthfully though I must confess I have one bad habit I struggle with and that’s smoking. For the past decade I have wrestled with quitting, I have gone anywhere from 1-3 years where I quit but then something triggers me and I fall off the wagon. Right now I am off the wagon, but thankfully I smoke less than I ever have before in part because I don’t smoke in the house, car or around the kids which doesn’t leave too many places to grab a butt. I recently had my annual physical and everything came back good, in fact I was bothered by how surprised the doctor seemed that my blood-work was good… damn, Black folks in good health can’t be that rare? Then again, I know if I don’t quit smoking for good that may not always be the case.

I sometimes wonder is it the food today that has us all fucked up? Seriously, what is it that keeps us unhealthy? I guess I got no answers on this but I say join me in commiting to good health, for me that will entail quitting the butts once and for all and truthfully I can stand to increase my activity level a tad more. I am not sedentary but I would like to be more active.

After all when it comes to reaching the end of this game called life, this is one time being late to the game is better than being early.