Trivializing Racism

You’ll have to excuse me if I’m unmoved by the keyboard jockeys claiming racism for those who are not supporting Obama. I don’t have to justify my race relations credibility to anyone. You just have to ask those who know me, about the group I helped start at the medical school I’m affiliated with to address the needs of minority students including recruitment and retention or the broader activism on a university wide level. (Ironically, when I requested a couple years after the group’s founding to include women’s issues like pregnancy, I was voted down.) Go ahead, ask about my constant consternation aimed at the local parties (leaders of which support Obama) for ignoring the nearby African American communities. Whatever.

I have received unsolicited email from strangers that claim the only reason I got into grad school was because my name was “Rodriguez” (exact word in one such email) and have been refused a job because of my skin tone. I know a thing about discrimination and the racism that still exists in this country. I have much to say about this topic, but that’s for another day. Suffice it to say that I’m unconvinced and unmoved by references to my supposed racism because I just don’t trust Obama to be president.

There was a reason why civil rights pioneers fought hard in the courts as well as in the court of public opinion. While we may never be able to fully root out the remnants of individual bigotry, we can root out the institutionalized racism in this country. I even wrote a little about it two years ago. All these absurd claims of racism and calling the Clintons racist because they are opponents of Barack Obama trivializes the institutionalized racism in our country and makes the struggle for institutional equality much harder.

There is also institutionalized class discrimination. In fact, I’m a believer in the Poor People’s Campaign as I think it goes hand in hand with institutionalized racism to a certain extent. It would be nice if we could discuss these real issues instead of throwing out lame charges of racism on our opponents.

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14 Responses to Trivializing Racism

  1. Peace Out For Unity says:

    It has little to do with the color of skin tone and it is about who is more qualified to run the country. Hillary Clinton ! Racism is ignorance of mind,body,heart and soul. It is unmoving and I agree !

  2. Peace Out For Unity says:

    One nation under God and that means all nationalities ! So the ones that use the race card and play it hard ? Well,it is the year 2008 and we do have the Declaration of Independence !

  3. Peace Out For Unity says:

    I was the only white teacher in an inner city school and saw no color of skin tone and guess that makes me color blind ! You see from your heart and mind !

  4. Diane says:

    I’m tired of it, too. Interestingly, one of the reasons I cannot support Obama is because from everything I’ve seen, he himself is a bigot.

    Having said that, I am nevertheless saddened by the ignorance of racism and I do not like to see Obama as its victim.

    If only people cared about the victims of misogyny, sexism and gay-hating.

  5. Gilbert Martinez says:

    There’s individual racism and institutional racism, I want to make that clear. The spurious charges of racism ignore the institutional racism that I think is the bigger problem.

    I personally don’t think Obama is in any way racist himself. Nor are most of his supporters. But some are trying to make this a race war. The media and the blogger boiz are big perpetrators. Obama is benefiting from it without trying to put a stop to it. I think that is wrong. I also think it sets back the cause since it trivializes the real problems we face.

  6. coldH2Owi says:

    Shakespeare had a phrase for what you just wrote, but I don’t really want to type it in, I might get banned. However, Mr. Gilbert, Sen. Clinton is completely clean in all of the race talk, that’s for sure.

  7. apishapa says:

    While in college, I was convinced to take a semester off and go break colts in Utah. I was poor and dependent on money I earned riding to pay for school. I was sexuaally harassed from the moment I got there. I was just 21 and did not know how to cope. I had never been treated like that before, because my Mom would kick the crap out of anyone who demanded me to trade sex for a job. But she was 700 miles away and I was afraid to tell her. A wonderful friend finally contacted a different trainer, and that man and his wife called me and told me pack my bags right then and to get down to St. George. They saved my sanity. I was really grateful for those friends. I do not know what I would have done without their help.

    When I graduated, I went to work at an oil refinery. One of six women in a workforce of about 500. I was told every day that I took a man’s job. I was taking food off the table of a man’s children. I just told them I had a kid to feed too and I wasn’t going anywhere.

    Women are victims of a much more dangerous kind of discrimination than men of any color. This does happen and anyone who thinks it is a joke to ridicule a woman who sometimes fears her coworkers needs a reality check.

  8. Cold

    Ban you? Why would I do that? Who would annoy me as much as you do?

  9. apishapa

    Thank you for sharing your story here.

  10. coldH2Owi says:

    Pamela:
    Thanks. I’m feeling better about you as well.

    I’m visiting my twin grandbabies today, down in The Cities. We had to go to the doctor this a.m., since one has a pretty bad cold & was up most of the night. My child & her husband are part of the apparently hybrid driving elites that have taken such a beating on the pro-Sen. Clinton blogs lately. I guess they are creative as well. The babies will be OK, just a bad cold the Doc said. The point of this is that everyone ought to able to get that kind of quick care in America. In fact, they called the Doc last night at home & actually talked with her. Of course, they live in the middle of the country with a lot of coffee houses like the May Day Cafe, where you can go get free WiFi & lattes if you want. It’s two blocks away. & since they drive a hybrid, they are also, apparently, condemned to irrelevance, even though most of their decisions are based on their carbon footprint. I also know that someone’s carbon footprint means little if they are hungry, or jobless, or sick. But deriding those that are able to do that & also elect progressives to local, state, & national office ought not be made fun of by those folks who really, really know better. So I’m happy the babies will be fine, I’m happy to be visiting with them all, & I hope that next Mother’s Day, you won’t be constrained by the ruling class from being able to be with your daughter. I agree with you that we need to keep our eye on the prize, to steal that praise, although the man who wrote it is pretty pathetic these days.

  11. Cold

    Glad the grandbaby is okay. You could have spared us the whine however about the beating hybrid driving elitists for Obama have taken on Clinton blogs — because there are far more Obama supporting blogs than Clinton supporters blogs and the Obama supporting blogs have had a heyday dissing uneducated working class voters.

    That said, I think these working class voters supporting Hillary Clinton feel that she will do more for them economically and thus they might one day be able to afford a hybrid and a latte at the coffee house. Exit polls have shown she has more trust from voters on the economy.

    For me personally, as a small business owner and only parent, I feel that Clinton is stronger on economic issues and will do more for folks like me, including providing a better healthcare plan.

    I’d love to buy a Hybrid, FYI, and hope to trade my small SUV which I need for my biz for a Hybrid SUV next year. As for lattes… I make a mean cup of coffee and all my friends rave it’s better than Starbucks. Maybe I should open my own coffee house!

    Finally I wasn’t aware that the ruling class kept me from seeing my daughter this Mother’s Day. Granted the cost of traveling 6 – 7 hours factored into it, but also time and business constraints.

  12. AAD says:

    Yes, and while we are at it we need to redefine all these isms anyway:
    Sexism, racism, agism – well I think I am sexist, racist and agist. as I am a HUMANIST – YES I AM PRO HUMANS.
    and that means I am pro all sexes, all races and all ages!!!

    the spin given all these terms is just one more tool for control of what you say and t hink.

    WAKE UP – RE-DEFINE IT!!!!!

  13. coldH2Owi says:

    Pamela:

    Thanks for accusing me of whining, I wasn’t. I thought I was trying to build a bridge to you, but apparently, I have failed. Too bad for all of us.

  14. Cold

    How pray tell are you trying to build a bridge when you complain about Clinton bloggers?