20 8 / 2012
This is not a ‘DON’T VOTE FOR OBAMA’ post. Vote for him if you want, don’t vote for him if you don’t. Voting is a personal decision and people shouldn’t be browbeaten into being ‘proper citizens.’ As long as you aren’t voting for Romney or aren’t decrying Obama for dumb stupid and racist reasons, I have no beef with what you do in the ballot room.
This is not a post that apologizes for the brutality and the sins of the Obama administration. This is not a post that placates to the simplistic thinking of liberal, establishment politics. This is not a far-left critique that undermines what this administration has meant for women, people of color, and other marginalized folk— nor does it ignore the REALITY that bargaining with the establishment is essential for hundreds of million of people. This post also doesn’t misunderstand How Politics Work— when I say ‘Obama,’ I don’t mean the man, I mean the institution of the American presidency. One man cannot and does not do much.
What I want to do here is talk about the myopic way we criticize Obama and his imperial ventures, and the apologetic way we discuss his presidency w/r/t people of color. But the brunt of this critique is not on marginalized people who are responding to real changes in their life— whether good changes (affordable birth control) or bad changes (families getting deported, homes getting bombed).
It is more about the conceptual space where we interact with Obama and evaluate him as good/bad/unworthy/fantastic, and how we can better understand the limits of such a space.
03 8 / 2012
"When I want to know what misogyny is, I don’t ask a man. When I want to know what racism is, I don’t ask a white person. When I want to know what homophobia is, I don’t ask a heterosexual. When I want to know what transphobia is, I don’t ask a cisgender person. When I want to know what ableism is, I don’t ask an able-bodied person. The contours and definitions of oppression are best articulated by the oppressed."