Implicit Racism and Sexism in Politics

condi_and_ayaanThe rejection of two black females to give convocation speeches at university graduations cannot help but demonstrate the  depths of embedded racism in the US. Both Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Condoleezza Rice were rejected by students and faculty for supposed immoral reasons, one liberal, one conservative. Michael Curtis.

The biased protestors, a combination of aging radical leftists still fighting the Vietnam War and extreme Islamists fighting any hint of criticism of their religion, triumphed in two battles in their war against two extraordinary women who happen not to be leftists. In this age of professed multiculturalism and obeisance to the ideology of diversity, the very vindictiveness of the opponents of these two accomplished and dignified women with exemplary life stories is astonishing. One leader of the protests against Ms. Rice called her a “war criminal.”

The question has to be asked: why are these aging leftist radicals and the Muslims so vehemently opposed to honoring intelligent, accomplished, self-made black women who embody moral authority by their conduct, but with whom they disagree? Is their intolerant attitude a denigration of women in general, or is it evidence of a still-embedded prejudice against blacks, and persistence of racism, that emerged in these instances? Neither of the two women fits the stereotype of the politically correct white radicals that typecasts blacks as automatic liberals who must agree with their leftist agenda. Both of the two women are in fact conservatives and defenders of western values, freedom of expression, and the rights of women.

Add to that recent reemergence of the slut factor of Monica Lewinsky being shamed and unable to resume a normal life after an affair with a president while the president continues to gain importance shows just how deep both sexism and racism are still present. It’s as if conservatives were right that it was the lying and not the philandering that was at question, as if she deserved what she got and so did Bill but for different reasons? It’s Ok for men in power to mislead women and allow themselves to be engaged in predatory sex while women cannot. It’s Ok for men to be engaged in hard ball politics but women cannot. It’s Ok to be a person of color but don’t make expect to make changes.

The irony of the discourtesy and political bias towards Rice was made even more bitter by the announcement, on the very day that the Rutgers-Newark faculty voted against Rice’s commencement appearance, that Nancy Pelosi, who is not black and not conservative, would speak at a future campus event in Newark.

One wonders if the Rutgers protestors are interested in anything of real importance in the world, especially abuse of women. At the time of their outbursts against Rice a more imperative incident affecting young black women was occurring. At least 276 schoolgirls, 16 to 18 years old, who are mostly Christians but including some Muslims, girls eager to become teachers or doctors, were kidnapped from their school, an all Girl’s Secondary School in Chibok in northeastern Nigeria, by a fanatical Islamist group Boko Haram, a murderous group with a five-year record of atrocities, that is strongly against the education of women. The intention of the group is to sell the girls into sexual slavery to Muslims in Chad and Cameroon. The women Muslim students at Rutgers have not at this point registered sit-in protests against this barbarism.

I am beyond liberal. I am an old liberal which means a liberal that is off the map theses days. I am embarrassed at my neoliberal cohorts.

We see the a similar thing in the atheist movement. Atheists spit and splutter that social justice issues are a distraction to the movement yet they miss that being atheist does mean to follow the evidence and that evidence does mean racism, sexism, and xenophobia have no place in atheism. Further, atheists wish to make a bigger tent of inclusiveness, especially a secular public space, and somehow think that endless arguments and proofs of god’s nonexistence is the issue people really care about. The only reason anyone cares about god is because he, she, it has been used to make lives worse. It’s all about what makes lives better and not whether god really, really exists. If god were as harmless as the Tooth Fairy the atheist movement would be dead in the water. It has always been about justice and how fantastical beliefs do not lead to justice.

Atheists say they want people of color they just don’t want to talk about their issues. Idiots. That’s what you do when you include people you talk about their issues too.

survey shows the strongest percentage of male rights activists are in the Nones and Atheist categories. These relics of patriarchal paternalism have no religion to appeal to but cannot shed their chauvinism. They lose their religion but keep the culture. Like mental plaque in hardening of the categories you can stop the growth but the crap is still there.

It’s in these groups that you can find aid and comfort for the idea that the oppression of women is not only good and right, but it’s got some kind of veneer of scientific respectiability! Fundamentalists and hardcore conservatives may complain all the time about the “feminization” of society (otherwise known as “the increasingly equal status that women strive for, and sometimes succeed in getting”), but they are aiming this criticism largely outside their own in-group; they’re criticizing the rest of the world of godless feminists and wussified libdems. But the MRA movement — well, that’s what you get if you want to claim the mantle of atheism, or even “humanism” (after a fashion) but you have no other outlet where you have any hope of being taken seriously.

Just when I think the young students are the positive future this kind of shit happens and you have to wonder at how they too can be just as blind as their parents, liberal or not.

If the atheism movement is to have a chance of showing following the evidence really does make humans better we need to clean house.

Young Turks covers the caning of a woman who was raped by 8 men who said she deserved it because she was preparing to be having an affair and you have to wonder.

We don’t beat sluts openly in the US, we just ignore them and publicly ostracize them into oblivion. As Lewinsky was told her reputation just made her too distracting to hire, distracting or rejection of women as sexual beings too able to be predated on by men in power? Yet, Clinton rolls on in happy, oblivious infamy. She insists it was consensual; she was in love. What the hell was Clinton doing? He should have shut that down immediately knowing such things are impossible; he had all of the power and advantage; no doubt confident that men can slut around with impunity but women cannot.

Sexually open liberals said it doesn’t matter if presidents have affairs when it comes to being president, look at Kennedy and others–isn’t more women a reward for fame and power? Well, not for women clearly as liberals weren’t hiring Lewinsky either and certainly didn’t admire her. It was all about the lying Clinton and the seductive slut.

And she was white. Imagine if he had gone for a person of color.

Jim Newman, bright and well

About Jim Newman

Jim Newman is a philosopher. When I was young I wondered what was the ultimate truth. How should I behave? What makes it all work? I was intensely curious to know what it all means. It was enlightening to realize there is no ultimate truth, but nevertheless sufficient and necessary turth, and that meaning was a meta analysis of living one’s life. In this sense my work has been living large. Living and experiencing life has made me learn many things. Building boats, motors, houses, electronics. Raising animals. Teaching. Writing. Photography. Drawing. Knitting. Sewing. Cooking. Music. Painting. Hiking. Aboriginal living skills. All material aspects of reality that seem irrelevant until you realize they allow you to experience more. My epiphany came when I read Christopher Hitchen’s “Letters to a Young Contrarian” and I felt vindicated in my many meals of sacred cow.
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