Monday, June 02, 2008

White vs. Black/Women vs. Men in Politics and the Workplace

This post is kind of my stream of consciousness on White women, race, politics, and the workplace.

On Friday, I created a blog called No Black Vote in ’08 (http://noblackvotein08.blogspot.com). This blog was inspired by the numerous White women I’d heard complaining on TV and in print that they will not vote for Sen. Barack Obama in November because he beat Sen. Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries. Now, I understand that some people are always going to be sore losers. But, it’s more the tone of what I was hearing and the undercurrent of racial resentment towards Sen. Obama, who some White women feel has ROBBED Sen. Clinton of something by beating her fair and square for the nomination.

It is that racial resentment, being disguised as general feminism, which has sparked my personal outrage. It has been said, by some White women, that Sen. Obama’s candidacy was infuriating to them—from the beginning—because it made Sen. Clinton’s candidacy “less special.” In other words, having a woman (White) run for President wasn’t as special with a man (Black) running for President. There’s been a growing resentment towards Sen. Obama and a sense of competition for the crown of “who has it harder…a woman or a Black person.” Many White women/feminists believe that White women have it harder than a Black person. Carrying that logic forward, it’s interesting that White women never acknowledge that or applaud Black women for surviving and having it harder than they do (again, by their logic). You see, Black women are often subjected to intersectional discrimination based on gender AND race. But, White women don’t care to talk about that.

Sen. Clinton has said, and many of her supporters believe, that sexism is a greater issue than racism because it is easier to engage in gender discrimination/misogyny than to discriminate or launch attacks based on race.

Well, someone ought to tell the White women I’ve worked with about that!

IN MY EXPERIENCE (notice the capitalization)…IN MY EXPERIENCE, with very rare exception, every race-based incident that I was involved in, witnessed or was told about involved a White woman getting into some race-based problem with a Black person. Of course, I am speaking about my experience in an office/corporate environment. More often than not, a White woman ended up in a race-based dispute with a Black woman! If a dispute started on race-neutral grounds, it could still morph into a race-based problem just based on the basis instinct everyone has to stick with, support, defend, and to protect their own kind.

This is not to say that White women are always to blame. However, I think (BASED ON MY EXPERIENCE) that this is an issue worth noting. I would love to see statistics on this. But, in an office environment, I have seen White women and Black women repeatedly getting into these often escalating race-based problems at work.

What listening to Sen. Clinton’s White, female supporters and surrogates reminds me of is the venom that often comes out in the workplace, when White women and Black women get into it.

Hearing White women resort to these overly emotional arguments, using threats and intimdation in arguing for their position, working to get a group together to denounce, ostracize or attack a person, and vowing to launch their complaints with higher authorities, is similar to what I’ve seen and heard in the workplace.

IN MY EXPERIENCE, White women, who run into issues with Black women, will go out of their way to complain to a Black woman’s supervisor and/or Director and/or Human Resources and/or other higher-ups at a company. This was done not so much to get a resolution to a problem, but to get the Black woman in trouble (written up, etc.). There is rarely any move to work things out between the two parties. There is often simply a rush to escalate events and to get others to side against the Black person.

IN MY EXPERIENCE, the White woman has often portrayed herself as a victim, has cried and used other emotional ploys to gain sympathy from other staff and management, sought attention based on her so-called victimization, and became vengeful—very eager to settle a score. I HAVE SEEN THIS MANY TIMES ON DIFFERENT LEVELS!

This is why what I am seeing and hearing on TV and in print is resonating so strongly WITH ME! I have seen what a White woman’s determination to settle a score with a Black person, who she feels has wronged her, has led to. This could be a very serious problem for Sen. Obama, if these women are as determined to do him in as the women I’ve worked with have been determined to do in whoever was in their cross-hairs. I’ve been in those cross-hairs…

This is why there continue to be so many problems. Preexisting racial tensions and sometimes gender clashes play such a big role in how people interact with each other in the workplace and in life, in general. I will admit that I am sometimes suspicious of certain White women, who remind me of negative experiences I’ve had. So, these preexisting problems just poison the atmosphere in the workplace, in politics, and in general interactions.

Very few people want to talk honestly about race because that means everyone has to own up to their bulls*it! People tend to want to blame others and hold others accountable, but never want to reflect on how they contribute to a problem or even benefit from certain circumstances. That is whether you are talking white vs. white, black vs. black, husband vs. wife, etc. It’s easier to complain about and point fingers at other people.

I’ll end with this, for all the White women determined to bring down Barack Obama:

White women need to remember that strives by Black people to ensure the equal rights of African Americans and, therefore, all Americans, have served to benefit them greatly. Women have benefited greatly from the strives of Blacks! They should rethink these sour grapes and conduct themselves like loyal Democrats—if that’s what they have previously claimed they are. When it comes to protesting and boycotting and undermining—two can play that game! If Sen. Obama is intentionally railroaded, sabotaged, whatever word you want to use, by White women…you can forget about this Black woman just going ahead and supporting the Democratic party. I have been a loyal Democrat, since I was 18 years old. I vote in mid-term elections and other elections, not just for President. Not voting goes against my core beliefs. But, sometimes you have to attack from your source of strength. I think people need to understand that White women, blue-collar voters, etc. aren’t the only ones with POWER in the Democratic Party. Whether we vote or not, Blacks can use our LARGE AND LOYAL Democratic vote to ensure equity and unity from other so-called loyal Democrats!

Two can play that game! Don’t think you can continue to take the Black vote for granted or to marginalize our contributions to the success of the Democratic Party. Everybody needs to get in line behind our nominee! Period!

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Josh said...

What I want to know is where were all these feminists when Carol Moseley Braun ran in 2004?

8:39 AM  

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