Monday, August 25, 2008

There Is More To Race Than Black and White

I know that this is a little shameless self promotion but I have a piece up at GlobalComment. This is the first time I have been paid for my writing and I am thrilled. The following is a little teaser...

In the current American presidential election, race has become a pivotal issue.  Obama is the first African American man to have a legitimate chance of becoming president of the United States.  Blacks and whites vacillate between a celebratory end of the racial divide, and the further entrenchment of racial hostilities.   The post racial world debate has gone mainstream giving rise to conversations that are long overdue. While we are continually refining the discourse surrounding race, what has become patently obvious is that the term people of colour stands for black.  The United States has a historical legacy of black disenfranchisement that clearly needs to be addressed. Slavery, Jim Crow, lynchings, and the rape and sterilization of black women have left a lasting legacy on the social psyche; however this should not erase other bodies of colour from our social conversations.  Neither of the candidates, nor mainstream media has made an attempt to specifically address the needs of Muslims, Native Americans, Asians, or Latinos. The aforementioned are the bodies that have become erased. Colour cannot and should not be solely represented by blacks. 

Read  the rest of it here.

11 comments:

Ojibway Migisi Bineshii said...

Great piece!

Native American people are invisible, silenced, unheard and unseen. This is one thing that bothers me about this election, this country and the mainstream news. Lets perpetuate the annihilation of Native Americans and not talk about what happened and never report on anything in the mainstream news. I constantly find articles and reports where Native American people are not included.

We need to collective dialog among everyone to have this country move forward and heal. We are only hurting ourselves and the land if we do not address these wounds, hurts and pain in us all. I believe that despite all of this pain and wounds we have a gift in our hands to move forward and create a world without hate, racism, sexism, classism, greed, envy, jealousy and excess.

This quote is on my blog but it sums up what has been going on for a long time...

"well its a small world, you don't have to pay attention, its the reservation, the news don't give it a mention, its a small world..."-Jim Boyd-Small World

Danny said...

One things I've noticed is how the Latin community has been mentioned in this campaign. From what I've seen they have not been left totally invisible, silenced, unheard, and unseen like the Native Americans (as Ojibway Migisi Bineshii points out) but instead have been reduced to "the Latino vote". You don't hear too much what a candidate is doing to address the issues of the Latin community but often they are only mentioned in a sense of "winning the Latino vote" or "gaining/losing the support of the Latino community". Its as if the only value they have to the candidates is their vote but they don't care about how to actually go about earning their vote. Which is why you usually why all you get from the mainstream media are a few soundbytes and quotes about the Latin community but almost no indepth look at what they want.

J. C. said...

This is a brilliant analysis. I would certainly agree with the opinion that for the wounds to heal it's necessary to speak openly and to bring it all out. I think that with Obama there is a great chance for America.

Tammy said...

I clicked the link and read the post. Wonderful!!! I left a comment over there.

Megan Bayliss said...

Congratulations to you. Your writing deserves remuneration and a wide audience.
I support that the voice of people needs to represent ALL people of ALL colours, race, creed, age and gender. For too long the dominant discourse has been accepted as the right way, the consensus.
I love that blogs are giving marginalised groups a voice, a presence, a platform.
Keep up your great work Renee. Your voice is being heard.
Megan from Down Under

Cooper said...

Excellent piece.

I've read mostly Ali Eteraz over there, since he gave his blog, up but hopefully you'll be seen there more often.

PassionateGreen said...

Interesting ideas. Someone said to me today that if we had worked with the Native Americans instead of against them we would be the most eco-progressive nation in the world. Makes me wish I had a time machine; I would love to go back and right so many wrongs. Congrats on your first paid piece!

mzbitca said...

But Renee...getting paid for your writing...isn't that participating in capitalism......just joking. Great article your unapologetic telling it like it is style is awesome.

Symphony of Love said...

To quote something which Mao Chairman of China said before, "Regardless whether it is a black cat or a white cat, as long as it catches mouse, it is a good cat." To me, what is most important is the demonstrated ability of the person and his/her characters and that have nothing to do with race, religion or color; one that speaks for all will have the power to unite the nation.

Charity Childs-Gevero said...

In response to your title...yes...there IS more to race than black and white! I'm Eurasian and I'm beginning to feel a little left out in all this! :-) And I'm not even residing in the States!

If our president turns out to be white, isn't he president also of the other races...black and not black? And if our president turns out to be black, isn't he president also of all the other races...white and not white?

Hmmm...maybe in all of this, both blacks and whites are only seeing just that...in black and white!

pizzadiavola said...

Congrats on being published!

I liked how you called attention to each group in turn while also emphasizing that ethnic groups are not monolithic. Usually the discussion of "hey, there are other ethincities out there" stops after a line or two of lip service, so your more detailed analysis was a refreshing change.