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Friday, April 18, 2008

Caldonia on Charley and George...

Here is an insightful analysis by Caldonia ABC's debate. RGN

Send Charley Gibson and George Stephanopoulous to Fox News--That's Where They Belong
By Joyce LadnerWhen I was a child, we took great pride in being "American." The reason: I lived in segregated Mississippi that did not conform to the American values of integration and equal protection (for blacks) under the law. I wrote essays in social studies on the importance of living in a democracy even though Mississippi still displayed the Confederate instead of the American flag, and the Ku Klux Klan lynched black men. Somewhere between then and now--over half a century later--the politics of this nation have taken a lot of twists and turns including the passage of civil rights and voting rights laws. Gender politics, like racial politics have come front and center in the current presidential campaign. Barack Obama cannot hit back like white male candidates because many Americans still harbor subliminal stereotypes about "aggressive" and "threatening" black men.The worst part of these changes is the dumbing down of American politics that diluted and destroyed critical concepts and principles. In their stead are crass and trite symbols imbued with the venal Karl Rove and Lee Atwater brand of slash and burn politics. Instead of substance and fair competition, we now look to trite symbols, "gotcha" questions where candidates are placed in small steel cages, categorized, defined, and defiled, based on negative campaigning.Last night, Barack Obama was pummeled by Hillary, Charley and George. They turned him every way but loose as they played "gotcha," "disloyal" American, "disloyal because he allegedly associates with disloyal people (a former Weather Underground member, and Rev. Jeremiah Wright), etc. If there were ways for these three people to make Obama twist and turn, fidget, stammer and be unsure of himself, they tried to do it. No matter how often Obama tried to elevate the discussion above the level of gossip and innuendo, he tried to do it. But he had little to no help for this gang of three were united in their pursuit to bring him down.I was angry because I could hear in Barack the ancient voices of black men before him who had also been jostled, pushed and pulled, knocked down and kicked when they stepped outside the prescribed boundaries. As Barack said today, "it's okay because this is politics. If it wasn't these issues, it would be others." What he didn't say is that he is in an uphill fight to prove each day that he deserves to be where he is. No matter how often others want to ask him "Who do you think you are, you ingrate, unqualified?" he has to keep pushing forward.

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