I have written and rewritten a response to the Ferraro comments so many times it's actually starting to drive me nuts... You may notice that I have not been able to post ANY of the blogs I've written because RAGE is just not a good mood to be in when writing for the general public. So I have been silent not out of having nothing to say on that mess, but because what I have to say is so bad, I can't publish it... I can't even find enough non-swear words in the english language to articulate my thoughts.
The alternative then is to post a brilliant article that I found in my email box today. Mr. Miranda is a friend of mine and we (along with a group of enlightened African Americans and Latino/as in Milwaukee) are committed to trying to bridge the gap that exists between our communities recognizing that the best strategy for all of us to get nothing productive done is for us to all be fighting each other instead of uniting to solve our common issues.
Divide and conquer is just what Hillary has done in this race. She is dividing old from young, black from latino, women from men, and minorities from the general white population. It's not the race itself that is creating these divides... I put the onus squarely on the Clinton camp for a series of inflamatory statements that have caused great pain to one community while playing on the prejudices of another. The community she's talking to dictates the community she's bashing and if you go back, you can see it over and over. It's stunningly unDemocratic and she no longer deserves the nomination.
Obama has one consistent and clear message on Hillary. He never sways from it even when so eloquently answering her baiting attempts to draw him into a fight he refuses to engage in...
Obama's message is: Hillary Clinton has bad judgement.
It's that simple and every day for the last 6 weeks, she's proven that fact again and again.
For now until I calm down a little, this is the most I can muster to write on this issue. In the meantime, please read the beautifully written and brilliant piece my friend Robert wrote and blessed me with this morning.
My answer to Robert is that it's long past time for us to build this coalition, and right here, right now, it could make the difference as to how this country is run in 2008 and for decades beyond.
I'm ready to do the hard work that needs to be done. Who else is in?
Black and Brown Coalition Discussion Destructive, Simplistic and Separatist
by Robert Miranda
Milwaukee Spanish Journal
March 12, 2008
Hispanic and Black separatists have been spearheading national debate on the issue of Black and Brown coalitions. The debate has become intense now that Barack Obama has become the democratic front runner for President of the United States.
As the election season continues, separatists will develop more reasons for creating divisions between African-Americans and Latinos, and it will be fueled by each side’s elementary point of view of the other. We compete against each other in the oppression Olympics in order to position ourselves at the place on the table where we think the biggest crumb will go.
Hispanics claim that Blacks are one-upping them if Obama wins the presidency and Blacks charge that Hispanics are getting more than their fair share. Such Tomfoolery only perpetuates division and continues segregation between the groups, who by and large, have no real political or economic power in this country.
I’m not naive to believe that tossing in the red, white and blue will bring us together as a people, so professing that we are Americans and that we should simply move forward as Americans in the best interest of America would only put the elephant in the room out of sight. In fact, White America continues to treat Black America differently, so the notion of a united America can be argued is a myth as well. If we are truly dedicated to stabilizing our communities and doing, as Barack Obama professes, and that is to change America, why then promote gender and racial differences?
White liberal democrat and former vice-presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro, a former member of Sen. Hillary Clinton's finance committee, recently exposed her racist sentiments when she boomed for the public to hear that Obama is only where he’s at because he’s Black. Not because the guy is brilliant. Not because he has leadership traits that make him a formidable presidential candidate. He’s winning because he’s Black is what Ferraro wants the general public to believe.
Such talk coming from a leader of the dominate culture in this society resonates with the uneducated masses and separatists' movements that continue to deteriorate the ideals of liberty and principles of justice this nation should uphold.
But those ideas and principles become lost when individuals like Ferraro open up their mouths to espouse profound words of ignorance. Obviously, these words are then taken as proof positive by many under-educated people in the public as truth.
Hispanics tend to gravitate to these kinds of messages. Just like Blacks tend to gravitate to the idea that Hispanics are taking their jobs. The reality for Black and Brown people is that we have no control of this country’s financial institutions nor do we have any real power in Wall Street or the federal government. As consumers we have some leverage, but not even there do we get respect from Corporate America, which dumps inferior products into our communities.
Obama’s candidacy is being pointed to as an example of the myth of Black and Brown coalitions. In fact, I have yet to see any real organizing taking place across the country to build a Black and Brown coalition in support of Obama.
So, if there is no Black and Brown coalition being organized, then how is it that it can be argued that such a coalition is a myth? This is not to say that we should organize around any issue, indeed, we should come together around issues that benefit both communities--working with those who are recognized community leaders.
Obama won the Hispanic vote in his home state of Illinois, albeit by a small margin. There was no Black and Brown coalition established to make that happen. It happened because Obama was fairly known in the Latino community of Illinois.
The vote for Obama could have been better, but as Illinois Rep. Luis Gutierrez pointed out, Obama’s campaign lacked cohesion in reaching the Hispanic voters in Illinois.
Without outreach and organizing, there will never be cohesion in building a Black and Brown coalition; but then again, that’s probably what the separatists and nationalists on both sides leading the debate today would prefer. If so, will this lack of cohesion help build a united America, or continue down the path of self-destruction?
Robert Miranda, a frequent contributing columnist to HispanicVista.com (http://www.hispanicvista.com/) is a national award winning columnist, Latino community activist and Editor-in-Chief of the Milwaukee Spanish Journal. Email at: firstname.lastname@example.org