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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Khalfani on Family Values, Race, and Politics

Monday, September 8, 2008

Telling the Truth about Family Values and Race in America Politics

It is about time that there is a person of African descent and a woman running and nominated for President and Vice President in the United State. It is shameful that it has taken this long. I applaud the American people in the Democratic Party for nominating and affirming Obama's candidacy. Likewise, I applaud McCain for selecting Palin as his running mate.

However, here is where the differences begin to become clear. Although Senator Obama has asked his staff not to address personal family issues of his opponents, I have to take a different stand as a sociologist who studies, teaches and writes about social problems and race relations.

The Mc-ites and Bush-ites have been talking about family values for the last 10 year as though there was nothing more important. For goodness sake, they impeached former President Clinton on the issues of family values. But Bush has not been impeached on war crimes. Something is wrong.

It is time to standup to the double standards of the so-called "Right," that is so often very Wrong. Wrong on the economy; wrong on the wars (still no WMD); wrong on health care; wrong on Maat (truth, justice, righteousness & balance). We need to identify, document and publicize all of the Wrong of the "Right". In fact, we should begin to refer to the "Right" and the "Far Right" as the Far Wrong. The Republican Party is just the wrong Party.

All of a sudden, McCain and Palin's family structure and portrait of family values are now good old American standards. Give us a break. McCain married Cindy, his current wife, one month after divorcing Carol, his previous wife. He met Cindy in 1979 while still married. Are these the family values we want to teach our children? Are these presidential family values. Is this not similar to the reason the Republicans wanted to impeach Bill Clinton.

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As the Palin candidacy and legacy becomes unveiled we see more about her and her family. Here is a person with little experience being presented as having great experience. Furthermore, you have a Vice Presidential candidate who has a 17 year old daughter who is pregnant. This situation has suddenly come to be presented as the typical American family situation. We often do not want to talk about the ugly side of America, but if Michele Obama's daughter was 17 and pregnant the presidential campaign would be over for Barack. The racial double standard is that since Palin is European (White) the rules of what constitutes acceptable family values can change. This change is embraced by the media, the wRong Party (I mean Republican Party), and many Americans. However, if we are honest and transparent about these differences, we could agree that racial disparities exist that need to be confronted.

We need to point out the hypocrisy in the McCain/Palin campaign. The Mc-ites suggested that Obama was pulling the "race card," but no one said anything about Palin pulling the "woman card." The reality is that each candidate must run on his or her strengths including being a woman or African in America, a father or veteran or any other role that one plays in society. This does not suggest that someone is pulling some card it simply reflects who they are in this complex world.

Let us not be tricked by double standard. We must face racism in our society and we must call the wRong Party to task every time we see hypocrisy.

Obama has been more transparent and presents a more favorable example of family values than either of the Republican candidates.

Hotep (Peace),
Akil Kokayi Khalfani, Ph.D.

Dr. Khalfani is a sociologists and bestselling author of The Hidden Debate.

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