Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Arizona State Legislature Waxes Racist

Apparently, the Arizona State Legislature thinks it's fine to ban affinity groups and other groups who promote unity in cultural values. Did anyone else see this? My better half brought this to my attention today. It's kinda horrifying.

From the Arizona paper who first reported it, with some choice quotes from state representatives. Big Brother hates your culture.

Wouldn't It Be Nice...

I saw this photo in a New York Times article about the Giants at the White House and I thought to myself, Wouldn't it be nice if President Bush showed this much joy and lovey touching with, oh I don't know, someone other than a professional football player? Maybe someone poor? Wouldn't it be nice if he cared about others as much as he cared about pro sports?

I mean, I guess I should cut the guy some slack. Who wasn't rooting for the Giants in the Superbowl against the 18-0 Patriots? Everyone but those from Boston, I suppose...

Still, I think there are many other heroes out there more deserving of a pat on the back from the President - particularly those who make under $15 million a year. At least the President is consistent: he has stuck with his policy of only appreciating the company of those in his income bracket.

Now, on to more important things. I must admit I'm relishing the recent comments about Barack Obama from the now infamous Reverend Wright and Obama's sharply worded response. I think I just enjoy watching Senator Obama squirm. Now, I'm not one to put up a poster of Hillary Clinton on my wall and light a candle for her every night, but I think a healthy dose of petty media reality can't be bad for Obamaniacs.

The real test will be if his loyal followers stick with him when the going gets tough and he has to fight his way out of this completely overblown scandal. Before, white racists had to cower and pretend they would vote for a black man running for president. Now, they can come out and say they're not because he has a racist pastor. The irony is overpowering.

I don't know how this whole thing is going to come out in the end. I do, however, think it was ridiculous for anyone to think that one man could escape divisive identity politics in this country. Every woman in the country knew that Senator Clinton could never escape her gender, that some people (hopefully, those old ones who will be dead in fewer than 20 years) would never vote for a woman, but many actually thought that Obama could somehow rise above race. The fact is, he cannot. He did not run as a "black" candidate, talking about racial injustice, the crisis in the black community, systemic discrimination that has created a bleak world for young Black Americans, and some saw this as his advantage. He could speak to everyone because of his bi-racialism, but many thought he could hide the black part of that identity. Really, that's what being a unifier means: ignoring the tough facts about why we are as divided as we are.

I appreciated the speech he made about black resentment and poor white hostility and economic injustices that create polarization, but I wanted him to have made it sooner. I felt like one could not claim to be a candidate of unity and ignore half of one's identity. That is not to say that he should only speak about race issues because he is black; everyone who wants to talk about fixing the country should be talking about race, and he should talk about other problems, too. However, I do think that he could talk more about taking on racial injustice, which is inseparable from economic injustice, and that then he would be saying something new.

The same goes for Senator Clinton. I really wanted her to respond to Obama's speech with a bit of a lesson in feminism or women's rights, or sexism and how damaging it has been, what kind of society that has created... but the truth is, she would have been sunk.

Virtually everyone, according to a recent poll, think it's OK to be sexist. Sexual harassment, wage gaps, that's all de rigueur. The recent Supreme Court case, which ruled that wage discrimination cases much be filed within 180 days of the alleged discriminatory act, basically codified pay discrimination, and Republicans are trying to prevent a legislative fix from being passed. See, it is OK to be sexist; Congress says so.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ripping Off Better Titles

I consulted with a family friend today about my complete and total confusion about what to do with my life, what career to undertake, and other little insecurities. What if the right job isn't out there for me? What if I start losing myself in the midst of cover letters and drafts of my resume?

He told me to make my own job. The verdict's still out on that, but I've decided in the meantime to try out writing. Thus, my first post on my new blog. In a few months, I'll be taking a trip across the country to embark on a new chapter in my post-college life, a mere year after turning the page to the first. I want to meet lots of people, take lots of pictures, enjoy the ride, and make it to Los Angeles in one piece, emboldened by a new love for driving, countryside, and life away from the "right" coast. Stay tuned for interesting posts before then as I take on the blogosphere.

I wanted to call this post "A New Beginning," but I figured there was some novel or movie that had previously nabbed the somewhat hackneyed phrase. I haven't googled it, but I'm sure that's the case.

As far as my blog title goes, this was a shot in the dark. I wrote a piece for the winter Class of 2007 alumni newsletter entitled, "Acceptance is Key," and I realized I should be practicing what I preached in those 500 or so words. Unfortunately, I am experiencing difficulty with it and find myself fighting a losing battle with accepting the unpredictability of life after college. Thus, the contradicting terms: Acceptance and Rebellion. I hope to expound more on my personal rebellion at many later dates (read: I hope I have enough rebellion to write about).