October 20, 2008

Obama effigy hung from tree

Ohio resident, Mike Lunsford, claims that the United States is a Christian nation and that only white Christians should run the country. He also stated that Barack Obama is not a “full-blooded American.” As a public statement, he hung an Obama effigy from the tree in his front yard reminiscent of the Obama effigy hung from a tree at the Christian College, George Fox University, in Oregon this past September. Read full story here.

October 19, 2008

Colin Powell endorses Obama…

…and his reasons are righteous. I appreciated the fact that someone finally spoke to the Obama-Mulsim thing and pointed out that, no, Obama is not a Muslim but followed that up with, hey, many Muslims are Americans. It’s time to cut the shit and stop dividing ourselves on this small-town/city, white/everyone else, Christian/everyone else diatribe that the McCain/Palin ticket has been promoting. I also appreciated the fact that he pointed out that it is important to have a president in office that is articulate and intelligent. What a concept, huh?

“I come to the conclusion that because of his ability to inspire, because of the inclusive nature of his campaign, because he is reaching out all across America, because of who he is and his rhetorical abilities — and you have to take that into account — as well as his substance — he has both style and substance,” Powell said. “He has met the standard of being a successful president, being an exceptional president.”

“Those kinds of images going out on al Jazeera are killing us around the world,” he said. “And we have got to say to the world, it doesn’t make any difference who you are or what you are, if you’re an American you’re an American. And this business of, for example a congresswoman from Minnesota going around saying let’s examine all congressmen to see who is pro America or not pro America, we have got to stop this kind of non-sense and pull ourselves together and remember that our great strength is in our unity and diversity. That really was driving me.”

Read full story here.

October 15, 2008

Yup, I do love Keith.

This comes from Keith after more shouts of, “kill him” at at a Palin rally on Tuesday. Tonight could be interesting.

October 10, 2008

JUST RELEASED: Barack and Curtis: Manhood, Power and Respect

October 9, 2008

Oh, Jon.

Masculinities, race, class and politics: raw footage

Tomorrow marks the release of Byron Hurt’s new documentary, “Barack and Curtis.”  Byron Hurt has been releasing select clips that did not make the final cut. Featured in this clip: Chuck Creekmur, CEO of Allhiphop.com; Jackson Katz, scholar, activist and ant-violence educator; Asere Bello, community organizer; C. Nicole Mason, Ph.D. Executive Director of the Women of Color Policy Network at New York University.

October 2, 2008

Black masculinity: raw footage

Byron Hurt’s documentary exploring black masculinity in “Barack and Curtis” will be released on October 10.  Until then, Byron Hurt has released several clips of raw footage that did not make the final cut.

Check it out:

October 1, 2008

Whoopi questions Hasselbeck on why Palin would make a "good president"

Posted today at the Huffington Post:

“The View” heated up over politics again Wednesday morning, specifically around the subject of Sarah Palin’s readiness to be President.

“She doesn’t know anything about it!” Whoopi Goldberg said, which set off co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

“In terms of experience, she’s actually been leading a microcosm of the United States of America,” Elisabeth responded.

Things heated up even more after Elisabeth took a swipe at Joe Biden, prompting Barbara Walters to say, “Every single day you never ever say, maybe there’s another point, so this is your chance….Tell us now why you think that Sarah Palin would make a very good President.”

Elisabeth’s response? “Tell me why Barack Obama is qualified to be President.”

Click here to view the clip.

September 18, 2008

Spirituality and Politics: Deepok Chopra, Obama and "the Palin Effect"

My friend, Liz, forwarded me an article posted on Deepok Chopra’s website from September 5.  As Chopra points out, most people don’t welcome the views of spiritual leaders on political issues.  That is unless, of course, that spiritual analysis/reflection hails from the Christian right. Considering the fact that only ONE spiritual leader, Reverend Rick Warren, was able a to question the presidential nominees in a formal venue last month, I thought I’d post excerpts from part 1 and part 2 of Chopra’s articles on “Obama and the Palin Effect.”

PART 1, on Palin’s “deeper appeal”:

“She is the reverse of Barack Obama, in essence his shadow, deriding his idealism and turning negativity into a cause for pride. In psychological terms the shadow is that part of the psyche that hides out of sight, countering our aspirations, virtue, and vision with qualities we are ashamed to face: anger, fear, revenge, violence, selfishness, and suspicion of “the other.” For millions of Americans, Obama triggers those feelings, but they don’t want to express them. He is calling for us to reach for our higher selves, and frankly, that stirs up hidden reactions of an unsavory kind. (Just to be perfectly clear, I am not making a verbal play out of the fact that Sen. Obama is black. The shadow is a metaphor widely in use before his arrival on the scene.) I recognize that psychological analysis of politics is usually not welcome by the public, but I believe such a perspective can be helpful here to understand Palin’s message. In her acceptance speech Gov. Palin sent a rousing call to those who want to celebrate their resistance to change and a higher vision

Look at what she stands for:

  • Small town values — a nostaligic return to simpler times disguises a denial of America’s global role, a return to petty, small-minded parochialism.
  • Ignorance of world affairs — a repudiation of the need to repair America’s image abroad.
  • Family values — a code for walling out anybody who makes a claim for social justice. Such strangers, being outside the family, don’t need to be needed.
  • Rigid stands on guns and abortion — a scornful repudiation that these issues can be negotiated with those who disagree.
  • Patriotism — the usual fallback in a failed war.
  • ”Reform” — an italicized term, since in addition to cleaning out corruption and excessive spending, one also throws out anyone who doesn’t fit your ideology.

Palin reinforces the overall message of the reactionary right, which has been in play since 1980, that social justice is liberal-radical, that minorities and immigrants, being different from “us” pure American types, can be ignored, that progressivism takes too much effort and globalism is a foreign threat. The radical right marches under the banners of “I’m all right, Jack,” and “Why change? Everything’s OK as it is.” The irony, of course, is that Gov. Palin is a woman and a reactionary at the same time. She can add mom to apple pie on her resume, while blithely reversing forty years of feminist progress. The irony is superficial; there are millions of women who stand on the side of conservatism, however obviously they are voting against their own good. The Republicans have won multiple national elections by raising shadow issues based on fear, rejection, hostility to change, and narrow-mindedness

Obama’s call for higher ideals in politics can’t be seen in a vacuum. The shadow is real; it was bound to respond. Not just conservatives possess a shadow — we all do. So what comes next is a contest between the two forces of progress and inertia. Will the shadow win again, or has its furtive appeal become exhausted? No one can predict. The best thing about Gov. Palin is that she brought this conflict to light, which makes the upcoming debate honest. It would be a shame to elect another Reagan, whose smiling persona was a stalking horse for the reactionary forces that have brought us to the demoralized state we are in. We deserve to see what we are getting, without disguise.”

PART 2:

“My post a few weeks ago on Sarah Palin acting as Barack Obama’s psychological shadow triggered a lot of people. I thought it would be worthwhile to talk about how one deals with the shadow once it breaks out and begins to disrupt things. But first a short recap: The emergence of Gov. Palin wasn’t simply startling — it was inexplicable. How could 20% of women voters suddenly turn toward her when Palin stands for erasing forty years of feminism? How could the mentality of a small-town mayor morph into a potential President making global decisions? To explain her meteoric rise, I offered the idea that each of us harbors a shadow, a place where our hidden impulses live. By appealing to fear, resentment, hostility to change, suspicion of “the other,” and similar dark impulses, the Republicans have been the shadow’s party for a long time. Sarah Palin put a smiling face on feelings that normally we feel ashamed of.”

“The bottom line is that the 2008 election isn’t about change versus experience or a noble candidate who may lose to one who plays dirty. This election is about consciousness. Since the Reagan revolution, consciousness has been sleepy and dull in politics; ideals have been tarnished by cynicism; inner decay has sapped the party in power of its original purpose, leaving only a pointless morass of defensiveness that expresses itself in negativity. If the majority of the electorate wakes up and feels inspired to turn the page, that will happen. Obama has sounded the call; few people missed the message. Now it’s a matter of dealing with a phase of fear and resistance before we discover if stuck consciousness is ready to move ahead.”

September 16, 2008

COMING OCTOBER 10: "Barack and Curtis: Manhood, Power and Respect"

Film-maker, activist and lecturer Byron Hurt (creator of the documentary, “Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes“) has completed his short web documentary, “Barack and Curtis: Manhood, Power and Respect.”

Byron Hurt’s intention is to examine masculinities.  Plural.

As Feminsting pointed out in June, Barack Obama has come under attack for not being “masculine” enough.   Obama was and is criticized for his lack of “masculine” hobbies such as hunting and  his “effeminate” values (peace? diplomacy? ) and “effeminate” charateristics (not shooting moose? caring for the environment?). Note: During her speech at the Republican National Convention, Sarah Palin criticized Barack Obama’s emphasis on the environment by stating, in her characteristic mocking tone, “What does he actually seek to accomplish after he’s done turning back the waters and healing the planet?”

Susan Faludi, in the New York Times, noted disparaging comments directed at Obama that referred to him as being “a kind of wuss.”

In line with anti-violence educator, Jackson Katz, who is best know for his documentary, “Tough Guise,” Hurt seeks to move beyond our narrow, one-dimensional notions of what it means to be a man in our culture.




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