Tuesday, November, 11, 08

there does need to be change

Filed under: a moment in my head — theradishpress @ 12:31 am
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by theradishpress

I have been thinking a lot about President Obama. I have to admit that I was more surprised and excited than I expected to be at discovering his victory. No, I did not vote for him. I did not vote at all. And yes, I expect him to keep his promises and there are certain things, like his very vocal support of the state of Israel, that I cannot get behind.

That being said, I am still in a pleasant shock that this country elected an African-American man as president. And now that Barack Obama is president it is time not only for him to fulfill his promises, but for his supporters and for everyone in this country to be an ally to him.

Having a black man as president does not negate this country’s past, nor its current state. The truth is that this country would not be here if it were not for the slaves who built it. The truth is that James Byrd was dragged to his death merely for being African-American. The truth is that in Jena, Louisiana a white student was allowed to get away with blatant acts of racism while the six African-American students who defended themselves were accused of violence. The truth is that right now black voters are being held accountable for the passing of Proposition 8. Any person who claims that racism has ended is lying and ignoring the truth.

The election of Barack Obama is an opportunity for all USers to come together as allies and work together to fight racism. We can open communication. We can bring about true change. While some may say this country was founded on freedom and equality, others note that it was also founded on genocide and enslavement. This is a chance for true democracy, for all of us to hold this country and ourselves accountable.

Now, this does not mean that we blindly follow our leader(s), in fact, we never should. After all, this country was also founded on revolution. This does not mean that President Obama should not be held accountable for his decisions either. But this also means that we need to really examine the media, politicians, and ourselves. How do we react to President Obama and his decisions? Perhaps Dave Chapelle’s skit “Black Bush” should be watched a few times by all of us.

When African-American men were given the right to vote they came together in their communities and decided as a community who to vote for. In my own Iranian and Muslim communities I have seen this same method. Voting is not an individual act (as is choosing to not vote) rather something done for a larger community. And so we as a country can learn from this. We can learn from the need that those people in marginalized communities have faced, the need for true democracy.

I expect great things from all of us.

Friday, September, 5, 08

Palin, Biden, Obama, McCain…

Filed under: a moment in my head,what do i know — theradishpress @ 11:39 am
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by theradishpress

I do not have television, nor have watched DNC and RNC speeches online. I have read the transcripts. Palin definitely knows what to say and based on the words, how to say. They all do, let’s be honest.

This is like casting for a giant blockbuster film. Put your make up on. Memorize your lines. Lure people in, not with what you say, but HOW you say it. The Bush blockbuster has been a major action film with some serious comedic and tragic moments. Sometimes the tragedy has been comedy and vice versa. But it’s not just Bush. It’s the US blockbuster. It’s not as if Clinton refrained from dropping bombs. He was bombing Iraq too. Oh, but he gave them a break in Ramadhan. I mean, they’re fasting anyway, why kill them. Maybe with all the sanctions against them, Iraqis will starve quicker during that holy month.

Obama and McCain are not talking about ending war. Sure, sure Obama talks about pulling troops from Iraq, but within the same breath he mentions the “issue” of Iran and protecting Israel. Do listeners not ask: Why protect Israel specifically? What is the deal here? Apparently not. Apparently protecting Israel is just part of “our” (the US’s) job. And Obama did not elaborate on the “issue” of Iran, nor did Palin, nor has anyone.

Does Obama mean to pull troops from Iraq and then send them to Iran? Does McCain mean to send troops to Iran with those still in Iraq?

A friend once told me, when I said that Kerry would instill the draft, that there already is a draft; the poor draft. This is true. What options are given to people? None. Joining the military is not a choice. Not when death is part of that choice.

And I am still not voting. I refuse to select the lesser of two evils. Listen, it’s not two evils anyway, it’s all one giant evil with two heads. And voting did not matter when Bush was running either. There has been extnsive research done and some documentaries made on the “elections” of George Bush. The decision has already been made. If Obama is to be president, or McCain, that vote does not matter. Whoever has been selected as the next leader will be in that office, dropping bombs and serving the elite and ignoring the poor and spreading democracy one death at a time, whether they got the majority of votes or not.

And I will be one of the first to admit that I have not been out there protesting. I was not by Amy Goodman when she was arrested. I was not with those at the RNC who were attacked by police. I was not at the DNC demanding truth. Silence speaks volumes, and my lack of protest and the overall lack of protest from those of us who are in a state of terror as a result of this government, is our compliance. The only good that would come from the draft is that suddenly those who have been silent or too afraid to speak or too busy or too whatever, will fight back. And maybe that is why it won’t happen.

I am amazed at the inability to see through the illusions and allusions presented by these candidates, by these supposed “everyday” people. I am not like Obama or McCain or Palin or Biden. Trying to sell me your childhood or your marriage or whatever aspect of you and make it seem like we have something in common is not going to work. Maybe all we have in common is that we breathe the same air and are made of the same matter. I cannot relate to a woman who calls herself a dog or a man who uses his pain and suffering to win the votes of people, or a man who has counted himself among the elite at a university. I cannot relate to their privilege or their distance from reality. Maybe theirs is reality. Maybe I am living the lie. Maybe I am taking this deeper than I intended.

Tuesday, April, 22, 08

elections and lies

Filed under: a moment in my head — theradishpress @ 10:31 am
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I do not like Obama distancing himself from Pastor Wright. That is proof that he is like every other politician, only trying to save his own ass. Maybe he really does disagree with Wright, but to refer to him as his “former” pastor in regards to what Wright said, just seems like Obama is acting as is expected.

Frankly, I do not see what is wrong with what Wright said. One of the biggest problems with this country is the lack of accountability. Take some fucking responsibility for the atrocities that have taken place. Own up to them. Why was I not officially taught about the prison camps Japanese were put in to until I was a junior in high school? Why was I taught that people like Columbus, De Gama, Cortze, etc were heroes? Why was I taught that groups like the Black Panthers and American Indian Movement are terrorist groups? Thankfully, I was getting better history lessons at home. I recently watched The Good Shepard and that movie confirmed for me that I am not crazy. I do not trust this government, and there is no reason I should. I was born into enemy blood and am at risk.

Why. That is the question that this country fails to ask. When I say “this country” I mean the government and those citizens who refuse to ask questions and take accountability. Let’s ask why Pastor Wright said what he said? Why is he angered by the United States? Why? I believe he was sharing his truth. (Also, if at this point people watching TV are not aware that things are edited and distorted…idiots.)

The US government has failed to ask why with regards to the September 11th attacks. And in so doing, encouraged US citizens to ignore that question as well, while this government wages war, more like enacts genocide, upon Afghans and Iraqis. Don’t worry North Korea and Iran, you may get your turn soon.

“Why” is an important question. But it is not encouraged at all. Ever. I remember as a child being told not to ask too many questions. Well, sorry fuckers, I always have and that is *why* I am not voting. That is why I do not trust anyone. That is why I used to have nightmares that this government took my father away and imprisoned our whole family. Not just me and my siblings and mother, extended family as well. (Yet again, Good Shepard confirming a lot of those fears).

I was watching some of the Clinton/Obama debate the other night. First off, I could not help but think of Black Bush from Chapelle’s Show when he keeps saying “you’re skirtin’ from the real issues.” So much time of the Clinton/Obama debate was spent on discussing things each of them has supposedly said about the other, lies about their past, Pastor Wright, etc. They were not being drilled on issues like the war, education, health care. Maybe they got around to that. My blood was already boiling. I will say this, Obama at least tried to move conversation away from personal attacks. Clinton seemed to really relish the opportunity to talk shit, particularly in regards to Pastor Wright.

Again, what is wrong with what Wright said? Of course he is being called anti-American and racist. White people love to call non-white people racist. They love to find the opportunity for some sort of mistreatment by an African-American or Asian or whoever, just so they can pull the classic “reverse racism” bullshit. First off, let’s not forget that there are African-Americans alive today who lived through the whole “separate but equal” crap. Let’s not forget that slavery did not end that long ago. Let’s not forget that 10 years ago James Byrd was dragged to his death in Jasper, Texas. Let’s not forget the Jena Six. And these are only a few of the things done against only one group of people by the United States. Would you care for me to go on about acts committed against the Sioux, Navajo, Pawnee and other tribes? Would you care for me to go on about United States colonialism past and present?

White people do not like to be called out on their racism. They do not want to discuss the things of the past as if they are still relevant to the present and future. But they are. And anyone who has suffered any sort of trauma knows that. Why, for example, did I fear that my family would be imprisoned and my father taken away? I was raised with the knowledge that this country had abused Iranians and Muslims and that we were not welcome here. I was raised with the experiences of my parents. And then, of course, I got a taste for the hatred myself. I was discriminated against by other kids and adults. Maybe because they were also raised with the experiences of their parents. These cycles have to stop. Educating ourselves is one way to do that. Though, I mean this in regard to passing on hate. Passing on mistrust of the US government and passing on mistrust of white people for people of color is not necessarily a bad thing. It is necessary for all of the Others to be able to navigate in this society and survive. And in order to do so, being educated is key. Mistrust is one of the things I was educated in. And maybe, ultimately, in order for there to be true change, this also needs to stop. But I need to see a greater effort from those in places of privilege. I need to see reason for me to let my guard down.

And I have. I have met some truly righteous white people in my life, who work to end racism, classism, and all the isms that have made this country the hot mess of empirialism that it is. And I know that there are some white people who are going to read this and get upset and say “that’s not me!” Well, if it’s not you, ten great. But that is one of the mistakes made by white people, myself included (let’s not forget, again, I am half-white, even if throughout my whole life I have not been treated as such). We distance ourselves from other white people, from those whose ideas and ideals go against our own, particularly when they enforce white patriarchy. But white people cannot keep turning their backs. White people need to stay in the conversation, as NCBI loves to say. Racism is not just an issue for people of color.

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