Identity politics in the age of Obama

Christa - posted on 06/04/2009 ( 18 moms have responded )

3,876

14

209

This is a very interesting article on CNN.com today.



(CNN) -- Some of us thought the election of Barack Obama as president might signal a fading away of the old identity politics.



The assumption that fundamental lines of division in politics are set by race and ethnicity would seem to be a bit passé when 43 percent of white voters cast their ballots for a proudly "post-racial" African-American.



But the president himself has made identity politics front-page news with his selection of Judge Sonia Sotomayor as his Supreme Court nominee. She played an important role in the New Haven firefighters' case (Ricci v. DeStefano) now awaiting decision by the Supreme Court.



Sotomayor and two colleagues simply brushed aside the important constitutional and statutory questions raised by the city's decision to discard the results of a race-neutral test given to applicants for promotions within the department. Too many men of the "wrong" color had passed it -- that is, all of those who scored highest were white except for one Hispanic.



Those firefighters had worked hard to get the test results they did; the lead plaintiff, Frank Ricci, is dyslexic, but he had been on the force for 11 years and was determined to become a lieutenant, so he paid an acquaintance more than $1,000 to read textbooks onto audiotapes and make flash cards. Ricci gave up his second job in order to study long hours -- and aced the test.



President Obama, in his famous Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, race speech during the campaign, said that when whites hear "that an African-American is getting an advantage in landing a good job or a spot in a good college because of an injustice that they themselves never committed ... resentment builds over time." Yes. And when firefighters are denied promotions they earned simply because they are white, resentment builds. Discarding that test has struck many as an instance of racial preferences run amok.



Will the real Barack Obama please stand up? Did he mean to imply in that Philadelphia speech that the "empathy" he claims to celebrate extends not only to minority victims of injustice, but also to whites? And is he a man who remains eager to move beyond identity politics, as he suggested numerous times in the course of his campaign -- or not?



Questions abound. He has tried to downplay Sotomayor's now infamous declaration that "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life," suggesting that it was nothing more than a poor choice of words.



But in the same speech, Sotomayor wondered "whether by ignoring our differences as women or men of color we do a disservice both to the law and society." And, most remarkably, she stated: "Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences ... our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging."



"Inherent physiological or cultural differences"? Can the president possibly believe that Latina women -- and indeed minority women in general -- are born to see questions of law in a different and better light than white men or even men of color? It's in their physiological and cultural makeup. A fact of nature. If indeed the president believes in such disturbing racial determinism, weep for our nation.



Either the president is a man of many parts, untroubled by his own conflicting views, or he is an immensely skilled and coldly calculating politician who is eager to court the Latino vote and knows that few senators are likely to vote against a "first."



Identity politics is on the line in Ricci and also in another forthcoming Supreme Court decision, a key case involving minority voting rights. Later this month, the Supreme Court will decide whether in 2009, black candidates for public office can win running in majority-white settings.



At issue in "Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District No. 1 v. Holder" is the constitutionality of a key, temporary provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that was renewed for the fourth time in 2006 on the theory that voting discrimination had just become "more subtle" than it was four decades earlier.



The renewal meant that the Justice Department could continue to insist on districting maps that were carefully racially gerrymandered to elect black and Hispanic candidates. Legislative quotas have been the remedy for persistent racial exclusion -- seats reserved for candidates who are the choice of minority voters.



But is America still a nation steeped in the muck of old-fashioned racism -- the results of the 2008 election notwithstanding? Are we condemned to identity politics in choosing firefighters for promotion, in drawing districting maps for legislative bodies (from school boards all the way up to congressional delegations), and in a multitude of other spheres into the indefinite future?



Sonia Sotomayor's nomination suggests that the answer will be yes. A sad thought.



Thoughts??

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

18 Comments

View replies by

Brandy - posted on 06/20/2009

54

5

2

I hate the fact that so many minorites think feel that only whites can be racial. when in fact every person no matter race, gender, or beliefs can be. it still angers me about the blow up dolls around Halloween. Where the white guys in KY got arrested for hanging a doll up like BO where the gay couple in Cali didn't get in trouble for their Palin one.. To me it's the same.. the gay couple was being sexiest and should have gotten in trouble just the same.
Maybe I was a little biased because like you ladies.. I liked Palin. I saw her as someone unafraid of the wolves in sheep clothing in D.C. Someone who would stand by her beliefs til the end. (One reason I liked Bush lol, he stood by his decision even when most americans seemed to hate him) I saw Palin as a mom, an average person, who would understand average peoples needs.. not some millionare who doesn't understand what it means to be middle class..

Vanaye - posted on 06/19/2009

14

1

2

Quoting Lindsay:



Quoting Vanaye:

I am a black woman married to a white man...you can imagine what my family and friends are saying about me. I've sold out...I'm just following my hubby...all kinds of stuff. What is so interesting is that when I was eighteen I voted for Bush, yep he was the first president I ever voted for and I voted for him because of his stand against abortion. Likewise, I voted for McCain...well Palin because of thier stand. McCain barely had us then he chose Palin...golly she's so great...My family couldn't understand why I liked her and I would respond...SHE'S JUST LIKE ME. A devoted and loving wife and mother that is super HOT. She stands for everything I stand for, of course I like her. For some reason that always ended our conversations. ;)






Bush was the first president i got to vote for too, and thank God he won.  What would have happened to us after 9-11 if Gore has won? 






I love Palin.  She is a normal mom.  I always found it funny that the liberals were bashing her for being a working mom when thats what feminists have wanted for so long.  Oh but she's not a woman because she isn't a close minded liberal lol give me a break.  I hope she runs again without McCain this time.





I pray she runs withou McCain as well. I would certainly vote for her. Liberals...they are all confused and don't know what to stand for. If don't know what do stand for...you fall for anything.

Traci - posted on 06/12/2009

2,158

2

102

It was my first time voting, too. I'm 29. When I was younger, I really wasn't interested in politics or anything. The whole Clinton Lewinsky thing went down when I was a senior in high school and I remember thinking how utterly embarrassing that was for our country, but didn't really have an interest in politics until 9-11 happened. I paid attention for awhile, but then got too busy raising my little ones. In 2005 I really started paying attention to what was going on and really came to evolve in my political beliefs. I've read tons of books, and really try to understand how things work and the history behind things now. It is fascinating to me now!

Lindsay - posted on 06/12/2009

379

41

36

Quoting Vanaye:

I am a black woman married to a white man...you can imagine what my family and friends are saying about me. I've sold out...I'm just following my hubby...all kinds of stuff. What is so interesting is that when I was eighteen I voted for Bush, yep he was the first president I ever voted for and I voted for him because of his stand against abortion. Likewise, I voted for McCain...well Palin because of thier stand. McCain barely had us then he chose Palin...golly she's so great...My family couldn't understand why I liked her and I would respond...SHE'S JUST LIKE ME. A devoted and loving wife and mother that is super HOT. She stands for everything I stand for, of course I like her. For some reason that always ended our conversations. ;)



Bush was the first president i got to vote for too, and thank God he won.  What would have happened to us after 9-11 if Gore has won? 



I love Palin.  She is a normal mom.  I always found it funny that the liberals were bashing her for being a working mom when thats what feminists have wanted for so long.  Oh but she's not a woman because she isn't a close minded liberal lol give me a break.  I hope she runs again without McCain this time.

Rebecca - posted on 06/11/2009

220

5

22

Quoting Vanaye:

I am a black woman married to a white man...you can imagine what my family and friends are saying about me. I've sold out...I'm just following my hubby...all kinds of stuff. What is so interesting is that when I was eighteen I voted for Bush, yep he was the first president I ever voted for and I voted for him because of his stand against abortion. Likewise, I voted for McCain...well Palin because of thier stand. McCain barely had us then he chose Palin...golly she's so great...My family couldn't understand why I liked her and I would respond...SHE'S JUST LIKE ME. A devoted and loving wife and mother that is super HOT. She stands for everything I stand for, of course I like her. For some reason that always ended our conversations. ;)


I voted for the first time this past election. I voted for Mccain as well. He was not who I wanted , I really liked Huckabee, but I really liked Palin as well. But my vote was, and will always be based on who I think wil most protect the rights of the unborn. I could care less what color they are. Palin would be a great leader because she is not afraid to buck the good ole country boys, and she is an every day person, wife, mother and shares the same values I do.

Vanaye - posted on 06/10/2009

14

1

2

I am a black woman married to a white man...you can imagine what my family and friends are saying about me. I've sold out...I'm just following my hubby...all kinds of stuff. What is so interesting is that when I was eighteen I voted for Bush, yep he was the first president I ever voted for and I voted for him because of his stand against abortion. Likewise, I voted for McCain...well Palin because of thier stand. McCain barely had us then he chose Palin...golly she's so great...My family couldn't understand why I liked her and I would respond...SHE'S JUST LIKE ME. A devoted and loving wife and mother that is super HOT. She stands for everything I stand for, of course I like her. For some reason that always ended our conversations. ;)

Rebecca - posted on 06/09/2009

220

5

22

Quoting Jeannine:

Hi ladies,

A few years ago, I was helping one of my old co-workers who was visually impaired fill out his absentee ballot. My old co-worker is Hispanic. It was interesting to see that he was showing preference to the candidates with Hispanic last names. I asked him if he knew anything about these individuals or their views on the various issues, to which he replied that it did not matter. He said that what matter to him was that he was voting for a Hispanic.

This made me so mad. I know that when I go out there to vote, I don’t look at whether the person is white, black, or purple for that matter. I care about where they stand politically.


I believe that is exactly what happened in the last election. I ran into many first time(many elderly voters) that happened to be black. I was a first time voter as well. They knew very little about Obama but all wanted to give him their vote. I do not understand it. I think people should get educated before they vote. They need to see what the canidates have done in the past, what they stand for. I also think that many of the white voters who voted for him,  were just drawn in by the "hype". They wanted to be a part of something big as well.

Jeannine - posted on 06/09/2009

43

0

3

Hi ladies,

A few years ago, I was helping one of my old co-workers who was visually impaired fill out his absentee ballot. My old co-worker is Hispanic. It was interesting to see that he was showing preference to the candidates with Hispanic last names. I asked him if he knew anything about these individuals or their views on the various issues, to which he replied that it did not matter. He said that what matter to him was that he was voting for a Hispanic.

This made me so mad. I know that when I go out there to vote, I don’t look at whether the person is white, black, or purple for that matter. I care about where they stand politically.

Christa - posted on 06/09/2009

3,876

14

209

That's a pretty stereotypical comment, you don't know if that was the case. He's been turning on the repubs since he resigned from Bush's cabinet.

Rebecca - posted on 06/06/2009

220

5

22

Quoting Traci:



Quoting Shannon Cassidy-:




Quoting Rebecca:





Quoting Shannon Cassidy-:

I love how everyone says that if we didn't vote for Obama its because where Racist, I love that one. I have three Malado Nephews who's father is right from Barbadose , Malado that is exactly what Obama is. I was a victem of Racisim at a store in Brocton Ma. Black women were calling me " F**king White Bitch" " Get out of here you white Bitch " you don't belong here . That hurt I was minding my own business just looking at some pants there was no reason for them to say that. I never experenced that before when I look at a black person , I just see a person not the color of their skin. So ya ractisim works both ways . I am not Racist I did not vote for Obama because I don't like him , not because of his skin tone.









Exactly. I have mixed great-nepews and nieces. I would have voted for a bi-racial or black person if they would have had the same beliefs  and stood for the issues I think are important. It is insane that people call someone racist just because you don't agree with them and it is terrible that people are treated so badly in this country. I have experienced racism from blacks in the state I live in, but not to the extreme you have. It is crazy that whenever a black person is killed all you hear is racism,hate crime, etc. etc. What about when it is the other way around. Murder itself is a hate crime and anyone who commits it should be punished no matter the color of the victim or killer. That is common sense.












Its true if you kill a white person and your black, it should be brought to peoples attention, not for a split second either.  And vise verse if a black person is killed by a white person it should be televised  the same way   , you here about it constantly if a white person does it..  The Al sharpton and Jess Jackson gets in on it and it becomes a big mess. I would have voted for Collin Powell or Condalisa Rice if one them ran in a second.  But not Obama because I did not and still do not like him.









I liked Colin Powell----before I knew where he stood politically!  He is prochoice and for affirmative action.  That doesn't sound very conservative to me.  Just because you are a General doesn't make you a conservative.  That being said, I'd rather have him than BO





I liked Powell as well, before he stood by BO during the election and betrayed his own party. For him to be pro-choice is disgusting. Some of these people are just masquarading as conservatives. It's sickening.

Traci - posted on 06/06/2009

2,158

2

102

Quoting Shannon Cassidy-:



Quoting Rebecca:




Quoting Shannon Cassidy-:

I love how everyone says that if we didn't vote for Obama its because where Racist, I love that one. I have three Malado Nephews who's father is right from Barbadose , Malado that is exactly what Obama is. I was a victem of Racisim at a store in Brocton Ma. Black women were calling me " F**king White Bitch" " Get out of here you white Bitch " you don't belong here . That hurt I was minding my own business just looking at some pants there was no reason for them to say that. I never experenced that before when I look at a black person , I just see a person not the color of their skin. So ya ractisim works both ways . I am not Racist I did not vote for Obama because I don't like him , not because of his skin tone.







Exactly. I have mixed great-nepews and nieces. I would have voted for a bi-racial or black person if they would have had the same beliefs  and stood for the issues I think are important. It is insane that people call someone racist just because you don't agree with them and it is terrible that people are treated so badly in this country. I have experienced racism from blacks in the state I live in, but not to the extreme you have. It is crazy that whenever a black person is killed all you hear is racism,hate crime, etc. etc. What about when it is the other way around. Murder itself is a hate crime and anyone who commits it should be punished no matter the color of the victim or killer. That is common sense.









Its true if you kill a white person and your black, it should be brought to peoples attention, not for a split second either.  And vise verse if a black person is killed by a white person it should be televised  the same way   , you here about it constantly if a white person does it..  The Al sharpton and Jess Jackson gets in on it and it becomes a big mess. I would have voted for Collin Powell or Condalisa Rice if one them ran in a second.  But not Obama because I did not and still do not like him.





I liked Colin Powell----before I knew where he stood politically!  He is prochoice and for affirmative action.  That doesn't sound very conservative to me.  Just because you are a General doesn't make you a conservative.  That being said, I'd rather have him than BO

Gina - posted on 06/05/2009

1,710

29

248

It's sad that so many people I feel voted for Obama because of his skin color. Most black people have put their values to the side and have blindly voted for Obama. Glenn Beck did a poll, and did find a few black people who didn't vote for him, and they said they felt like a minority to be black and not vote for him. It is sad, it just seems to me that most white people are not racist at all anymore, yet the blacks can't forget. I understand that they went through hell, but that was our ancestors that treated them that way, they need to forgive and forget.

Rebecca - posted on 06/05/2009

220

5

22

Quoting Brenda:

It's only the start of the discrimination of white, Christian, conservatives. I know it's going to get worse


Much, much worse I'm afraid.

[deleted account]

It's only the start of the discrimination of white, Christian, conservatives. I know it's going to get worse

Shannon Cassidy- - posted on 06/05/2009

434

21

34

Quoting Rebecca:



Quoting Shannon Cassidy-:

I love how everyone says that if we didn't vote for Obama its because where Racist, I love that one. I have three Malado Nephews who's father is right from Barbadose , Malado that is exactly what Obama is. I was a victem of Racisim at a store in Brocton Ma. Black women were calling me " F**king White Bitch" " Get out of here you white Bitch " you don't belong here . That hurt I was minding my own business just looking at some pants there was no reason for them to say that. I never experenced that before when I look at a black person , I just see a person not the color of their skin. So ya ractisim works both ways . I am not Racist I did not vote for Obama because I don't like him , not because of his skin tone.





Exactly. I have mixed great-nepews and nieces. I would have voted for a bi-racial or black person if they would have had the same beliefs  and stood for the issues I think are important. It is insane that people call someone racist just because you don't agree with them and it is terrible that people are treated so badly in this country. I have experienced racism from blacks in the state I live in, but not to the extreme you have. It is crazy that whenever a black person is killed all you hear is racism,hate crime, etc. etc. What about when it is the other way around. Murder itself is a hate crime and anyone who commits it should be punished no matter the color of the victim or killer. That is common sense.





Its true if you kill a white person and your black, it should be brought to peoples attention, not for a split second either.  And vise verse if a black person is killed by a white person it should be televised  the same way   , you here about it constantly if a white person does it..  The Al sharpton and Jess Jackson gets in on it and it becomes a big mess. I would have voted for Collin Powell or Condalisa Rice if one them ran in a second.  But not Obama because I did not and still do not like him.

Rebecca - posted on 06/05/2009

220

5

22

Quoting Shannon Cassidy-:

I love how everyone says that if we didn't vote for Obama its because where Racist, I love that one. I have three Malado Nephews who's father is right from Barbadose , Malado that is exactly what Obama is. I was a victem of Racisim at a store in Brocton Ma. Black women were calling me " F**king White Bitch" " Get out of here you white Bitch " you don't belong here . That hurt I was minding my own business just looking at some pants there was no reason for them to say that. I never experenced that before when I look at a black person , I just see a person not the color of their skin. So ya ractisim works both ways . I am not Racist I did not vote for Obama because I don't like him , not because of his skin tone.


Exactly. I have mixed great-nepews and nieces. I would have voted for a bi-racial or black person if they would have had the same beliefs  and stood for the issues I think are important. It is insane that people call someone racist just because you don't agree with them and it is terrible that people are treated so badly in this country. I have experienced racism from blacks in the state I live in, but not to the extreme you have. It is crazy that whenever a black person is killed all you hear is racism,hate crime, etc. etc. What about when it is the other way around. Murder itself is a hate crime and anyone who commits it should be punished no matter the color of the victim or killer. That is common sense.

Shannon Cassidy- - posted on 06/05/2009

434

21

34

I love how everyone says that if we didn't vote for Obama its because where Racist, I love that one. I have three Malado Nephews who's father is right from Barbadose , Malado that is exactly what Obama is. I was a victem of Racisim at a store in Brocton Ma. Black women were calling me " F**king White Bitch" " Get out of here you white Bitch " you don't belong here . That hurt I was minding my own business just looking at some pants there was no reason for them to say that. I never experenced that before when I look at a black person , I just see a person not the color of their skin. So ya ractisim works both ways . I am not Racist I did not vote for Obama because I don't like him , not because of his skin tone.

Rebecca - posted on 06/05/2009

220

5

22

Prejudice is not always one-sided. There is plenty of discrimination going on against whites, conservatives and Americans in general. The main reason I believe Obama even got elected was skin color. Many people voted for him that knew little or nothing about him, they fell into the hype, many wanted just to see history made. They worship him but do not even know what he stands for. Skin color and race should not matter when deciding promotions it should be the better the job performance. You should progress or fail based on your own performance not just because your a minority. That is stupid and extremely unfair.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms