On politics and why I haven’t been blogging them lately

So when ABW invited me to become a regular contributor I did so with the understanding that I would blog about the political scene that had her so disgusted. At the time I was absolutely engaged in the process and watching news coverage of the primaries and caucuses like a fiend. Now, I can barely stomach reading the results, much less listening to the pundits going over the same ground from week to week.

Somewhere between the uproar over Rev. Wright and the lack of uproar over McCain’s connection to Rev. Hagee I find myself disheartened by our political process. I know that McCain is not Hagee and it seems so does most of America (assuming of course they’ve ever heard Hagee’s rhetoric), but that same courtesy isn’t being extended to Obama. There’s a lot of talk about his campaing floundering courtesy of his association with a “controversial” preacher as though his entire life is defined by the church. Funny how that standard only seems to apply to him in this election. We all know my laundry list of issues with Hillary’s campaign so I won’t bother to dig into why there’s not a word being said about her religious affiliations despite that Mother Jones article linking her to The Family* last year.

Lately I’m in a place where I feel like much of America has lost sight of the reason we hold elections. So, where do I go from here? I don’t know. I’ll vote in the fall one way or another, but I think our process is broken and needs an overhaul in the worst way. Unfortunately, the people in a position to overhaul it are often too caught up in sound bites to wonder why the people providing those clips aren’t focused on the actual candidates or the issues and are instead busy derailing the political conversations from where they should be, to places that have nothing to do with who is the best person for the job.

*Also known as The Fellowship, The Fellowship Foundation, and The International Foundation they are a Christian political organization led Doug Coe for the last 40 years. They are not the same group as The Family led by David Berg that was also known as Children of God.

Karnythia is a writer, a historian, and occasionally a loud mouth. In between raising hell and raising kids she usually manages to find time to contemplate the meaning of life as a black woman in America. Her posts on any topic can be found at her Livejournal.

31 Responses

  1. As a Catholic, I’m quite fascinated by the lack of attention to Hagee in the campaign.

    I believe this is because in the USA, Protestant vs. Catholic is considered an in-fight between white people. This is likely the legacy of so many Irish in the USA–in the British Isles, Prot vs. Cath is largely a “white” thing, although the British historically aligned the Irish with the other (dark) colonized natives throughout the world, as in the famous signs reading “No dogs, no blacks, no Irish”…

    In other words, the Hagee/McCain thing is regarded as some kind of family quarrel, so is treated that way. Rev. Wright is regarded, by contrast, as an outsider and interloper, not unlike Obama in some quarters.

  2. Hang on, hang on – in my lexicon, “The Family” refers to The Family International the group which used to be called The Children of God and has been called a cult, not to mention being involved in very serious allegations about child abuse in the past.

    I am British and mostly not following the details of the US presidential contest but I was so stunned by this apparent connection that I jumped to read the article – and found that it’s apparently not that group at all, but some sort of prayer network, which seems to be more properly referred to as ‘the Fellowship’. Am I missing something? I’m not suggesting that Clinton’s actual religious beliefs or connections should not worry anyone, but it looks to me like the connection I made is false and I wanted to check if I had misunderstood somewhere.

  3. ::delurking::

    That Mother Jones article is absolutely terrifying. Reminds me of my pentecostal upbringing. Prayer warriors….::shudder::

    ::relurking::

  4. Seriously.

    I think Daisy’s on to something there. It seems like Wright is treated as more proof of Obama’s otherness.

    And yes, I blame the media.

    Last semester, I dug into the Kerner Commission report from 1967 on the state of race in the media. Our assignment was to see what had changed from then to now.

    And obviously, the answer is ‘not friggin’ much.’

    The media still treats black people as if they aren’t really Americans. I got really angry at the “Conversation with Black America” that CNN decided to have on the anniversary of Dr. King’s death, as though black America is somehow this other country that we have to go visit and interview rather than part of the same society as white people, with the same concerns and the same problems.

    I want to scream every time I watch the TV news.

  5. I agree with daisy. Also, I am of the opinion that the Hagee issue isn’t more of an issue because the majority of The Majority(whites) don’t disagree with him. Are we really expecting the Lunch_bucket Democrats (aka Regan Demeocrats) to take issue with the idea of the decimation of Blacks as divine retribution against gays?

    The Wright issue brings to the forefront that white America is always – ALWAYS- looking for justification for viewing us with suspicion and fear and desires no attempt to amend the regime of white supremacy .

    I’m done with the news and political coverage for a while. *smh*

  6. [ "Somewhere between the uproar over Rev. Wright and the lack of uproar over McCain’s connection to Rev. Hagee I find myself disheartened by our political process." ]

    For what it’s worth (less than 2 cents, presumably, in the debased U.S. currency), I’ve had the same reaction.

    It’s the freakin’ media, so-called journalists. For the sake of sanity, I just sorta retired from all this bombast about nothing. Except they are doing their best to make it be something. However, the heartening fact is that no matter how much hot air and smoke is being blown from all these quarters, the hard facts are that this hasn’t effected Obama’s standing hardly at all. So the fight goes on until June, while the insane dorks in D.C. are getting ready to attack Iran!

    Well, that will at least take their energies away from their other dear desire, to start shooting in the Caribbean and South America — get out that Big Stick again, which was retired for awhile. In the meantime, of course, the dorks still haven’t noticed the world, and that includes the Caribbean and South America, are not what it was even 8 years ago. The U.S. is no longer powerful number 1 in any area, except for its capacity to deliver death and destruction upon civilians and infrastructure from the air. That’s about all we matter to the rest of the world by now. But by golly you can bet on it that big parts of the world will continue suffering from this capacity for a long time yet, if politics here continue as they have.

    Love, C..

  7. I agree wholeheartedly with the post. I’ve been so tired of this Rev. Wright controversy I could puke. it is just proof that society still views non-white Americans as not fully Americans.

    No one seems to be bringing up the fact that Hillary’s pastor got caught on molestation or that Bill and Hill invited Rev. Wright to the White house for a prayer. No one’s noticing how “elitist” it seems when Hillary goes to pump gas for a photo-opt, and says “I haven’t done this in years”
    What about balance. in the mean time no one is focusing on the important issues ( like the fact that McCain admits to having a poor understanding of the economy and that’s one of our top issues right now)

    I’m just getting discouraged wit politics.

    http://brownsugapages.wordpress.com

  8. Taimatsu,

    The group has gone through several names here in the U.S. including The Fellowship, The Fellowship Foundation, and The International Foundation as well as calling themselves The Family. I know the group you’re referring to (they had the whole flirty fishing approach right?) and I forgot that the could be conflated by someone that didn’t know about their name changes. I’ll edit the post to reflect the existence of both groups.

  9. I have been disheartened, though perhaps from another place. I am a UCC member (though not Trinity UCC), and many of the sermons we hear, that represent part of the mission of the church, are intended to make us THINK, make us uncomfortable w/ our complacent lives…

    We may not always like what we hear, we may even disagree after we think about it, but we aren’t meant to walk away patting ourselves on the back for being righteous.

  10. Oh, and I just realize I wasn’t clear…and so, this uproar, to my mind, also mis-represents what the church, and to my mind Rev Wright, are trying to do…and maybe also what it was that drew Senator Obama to the church in the first place.

  11. Seriously, all this stuff goes on with each election; it is why good people never want to run. But somehow and someway we have to get the best leader we can for this job. That part is OUR job and yes, it sucks and it is hard and it can make US feel like we are sh**, but it is a big planet, it is OUR planet and we have to do the best we can. Our job doesn’t end when the election ends, this, now, is just the beginning and sorry, but it doesn’t stop until we die. So we can bitc* about this and blame that, but WE can also work our rears off to keep trying to make things better for everyone on his planet. I think MOST of us are tired of the Rev. Wright issue and polls (ugh-polls) show the majority of voters DON’T CARE. God, I don’t want to know what Mother Jones wrote about Hillary or who McCain prays to, we have serious issues to live with to FIX—health care costs, jobs lost, countries hating us, a broken educational system, isms(race/sex/age/fill in the blank), a housing crisis, is New Orleans back yet?? Bloggers have power. Let’s put it to use on issues that matter. Let’s build a new world one brick at a time.

  12. Actually Daisy the place of catholic irish within the 18th, 19th and 20th century imperialist racial theories of both the british and american upperclasses was as a sort of biege untermenschen – which meant that they were placed in the same category as the other catholic american groups, such as italians, germans and of course the pre-existant spanish communities that were one of hte two main obstacles for southern and westward consolidation and expansion.

    And as a brief moment of wiki-vu just reminded me, while there was a constant stream of hate speech and racism designed to keep irish against italian against german again french and again spanish, to keep immigrant catholics from uniting in solidarity with each other and the spanish descended catholics, it occasionally failed and led to things like the St Patricks Battalion, who defected from the USA during the mexican-american war.

    Of course the reasons why contemporary anti-catholicism is made so invisible is a mixture of A) It’s a handy “subtle” way to attack immigrants, who are predominantly catholic, B) it appeals to the several hundred year old hisotry of anti-catholic theology central to the anglican descended protestant churches that have such disproportionate influence in both the media and government, C) Rev Moon hates catholics and the papacy (which controls a communications and organisational medium, the priesthood and related church infrastructure, that cannot be consolidated or co-opted by his personal empires) with a fiery passion, and his religious support relies on it, so he does encourage and support anti-catholic hate speech via his media empire and his influence within the growing network of evangelical protestant churches he was crowned the “messiah” to a few years back.

    In turn Rupert Murdoch’s media empire is built around supporting rightwing political groups in australia, america and britiain, which means that he can’t really touch any of the anti-catholic stuff, and thus works to bury it because it’d make his in roads into catholic countries (not to mention the membership in one of the catholic knightly orders he bought) problematic.

    So it’s allowed to fester below the surface, as such funguses tend to.

  13. Disturbing as this is I am much happier to read this than “Hillary takes a shot” , or ” Obama doesn’t wear a flag pin”, or the worst of all ” Obama scratched his nose with his middle finger and flipped of ___in the audience”.

  14. I only expect the most bigoted, insanely ridiculous religious affiliations from the political right wingers.

    I hold Democrats to a higher standard. Bill Clinton was in office and I don’t recall being offended in the least bit by their religion which I think is Lutheran? I don’t recall the Clinton’s as particularly religious. I know they are Pro Choice and have worked for GLBTQ rights, so, they have established themselves as not governed by Christian religious dogma.

    Being from Detroit, the Afrocentric Views turned Afrovictim Conspiracy theory of Rev. Wright are not new to me. However, I expect folks to stand up and speak out or leave a church or religious leader they disagree with (as I did at age 12). Especially if they are liberals, especially if they are activists and yes, even if they are politicians.
    And that is what Obama did, though it seems a bit late for someone who is claiming to pave a new way.

    My main problem with what is happening in the press that is pro Obama is that so many are forgetting the difference between an activist and a politician. Obama is a politician.

    I was pissed the first time Clinton’s wardrobe choice was made an issue in the press and so many of us shrugged and said, “Well, yeah, it’s sexist, but, we can’t do anything about it.”

    I ask myself if I would vote for him if he was white and her if she was male and the bottom line is-

    I’ll vote Democrat regardless of who ends up running.

  15. T, what part of that speech was “conspiracy” besides the AIDS part? Considering the experimentation perpetrated particularly on poor minorities in the US even now, it is incorrect, but not wildly off the mark. K has a recent article on toxic sludge put in the backyards of families with children.

  16. I don’t think K is forgetting that Obama’s a politician and not an activist – I don’t believe pointing out the difference is a sign of naive idealism. Rather than conforming to our politicians, which is fairly messed up, why not stay committed to one’s critiques?

  17. I just discovered this blog and I love it!

    Just wanted to address briefly something Foxessa’s said:

    “So the fight goes on until June, while the insane dorks in D.C. are getting ready to attack Iran!

    Well, that will at least take their energies away from their other dear desire, to start shooting in the Caribbean and South America.”

    I really admire how many South American peoples and governments are standing up to U.S. hegemony and its rapacious economic practices, but somehow, especially as an Iranian woman, I’m not comforted by statements like Foxessa’s. I sense that a lot of people are treating the intensification of U.S. threats against Iran almost as a joke (“There goes Bush again!,” “That Hillary with her ‘I would obliterate Iran’ mantra!,” etc.). I think we all really, really need to take this situation more seriously than we do, it seems to me.

  18. Oh, I forgot to say how I found this site (to give credit where it’s due!).

    I ended up here via ginnysthoughts.wordpress.com and writeoussisterspeaks.wordpress.com.

  19. It also angered me to no end that while we heard all about Rev. Wright, a lot of people don’t even know about Rev. Hagee and John McCain. I’ve done a lot of posts on McCain and not so many people knew much about McCain at all and there are so many people who still believe he’s a moderate! It’s ridiculous, really. People have most definitely looked to more into politics to see all the shit the media can get on politicians and not for the reason why we have elections at all–And that is to elect the best person to run the country, but now that seems so far from people’s minds and people only tune into CNN now to see what scandal comes up next.

  20. Oh, okay, so it’s not The Family with Alan and Eric Leeds for whom Prince writes the majority of their material that has lyrics.

    Well, that’s good. What a relief. :D

    Figured you would catch the Rev. Hagee thing.

    Underexposure, overexposure, racial inequities in the media, distraction from the imploding economy.

    Carry on.

  21. Well between Women’s Voices, Women Vote attempts at disenfranchising people of color in 11 states and counting and the back door brokered convention deal Clinton has in place with the super delegates who support her your vote may not amount to much.

  22. Well between Women’s Voices, Women Vote attempts at disenfranchising people of color in 11 states and counting and the back door brokered convention deal Clinton has in place with the super delegates who support her your vote may not amount to much.

    What’s the Democratic Party about if not backroom deals?

    I’m just getting discouraged wit politics

    Yeah, I’m so burned out on an election which won’t really do much, except show further how messed up things are. On some feminist sites, you can’t discuss anything without Hillary Clinton being interposed into it. It’s like she’s the prism through which women’s issues are examined through.

  23. One thing I learned from this campaign is that there are still racist catholic homophobic people in the U.S. Obama’s win last night brought some hope and it’s all over for Hillary. She can stay in the race until August and this will build up the Democrats voter data base but Obama has the nomination. I’m looking forward to getting the vote out for him. I was shopping in the barrio that I used to live in and Obama has a big support among the Spanish (people whose families that have lived in New Mexico for over 500 years. They told me that they don’t like to be called Hispanic).

  24. I think Daisy’s on to something there. It seems like Wright is treated as more proof of Obama’s otherness.

    And yes, I blame the media.

    That’s who deserves the blame. It wouldn’t be a story if they hadn’t made it one, and the proof of that is that Hagee still isn’t a story. Hagee is hundreds of times worse than Wright is, and Hagee’s not the only one McCain has been kissing up to–Rod Parsley, for example, is quite a piece of work, and didn’t McCain give the commencement address at Liberty University recently? But McCain is the maverick, or some such bullshit. What he is is white, and so is most of the media, so he gets a pass.

  25. rahimeh — In no way do I take these insane people’s desires to go to war with Iran as a joke. This is anything but a laughing matter no matter what angle you come at from. I’m terrified that they are going to manage to do this before needing to roll up their bully pulpits and go to Crawford and CNN and Time magazine, etc.

    The deal is, that before 9/11 provided them their excuse they were really ratcheting up a triangulation of war on Cuba and Venezuela via Colombia. The Cubans I know (in Cuba — not Miami) all said with great seriousness and sadness that “every bomb that is falling on Baghdad is the bomb that didn’t fall on us.”

    Love, C.

  26. Wow, I went back to my “liberal” political blogs, and was almost in tears. People telling Hillary to quit, people telling Barack to be gracious, it was all a little nauseating. I think I’m to the point of either writing in my mother again, which I did during the Clinton years, or playing “Pin the Vote on The Ballot.”

    We have lost sight. I don’t even know if I want to study political science anymore. Yech! I need a shower. And a drink.

  27. Foxessa,

    My apologies for misreading the tone of your comment. In fact, you and your friends are right: if the bombing and imperialist and colonialist expansion weren’t being carried out in the Middle East right now, they would be directed at the Caribbean and South America, not to mention that African countries are being bombed by the U.S. as we speak: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7378502.stm

  28. rahimeh — Oh, no offense was taken, believe me! Which is why I tried to explain what was really behind the way I had phrased it.

    I should have phrased the declaration a little differently. I tend to forget in these matters that everybody doesn’t know exactly where I am coming from, and how could they?

    Love, C.

  29. holy crap! that “Family” is even scarier. And she has connections, does she…?

    wow. and yeah, I want to talk more about McCain’s dodgy connections too; there’s also Rod Frigging Parsley.

  30. Between the immigrant bashing that has sprung up in a county supervisor race and what’s been going on in the democratic primary process, I’m almost tempted to tear up my voting card.

  31. Please don’t tear up your voting card.

    Not voting is exactly what the evil-doers want.

    Voter repression is their ticket to eternal power.

    Love, C.

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