We've been talking about these racial and gender loyalty litmus tests everyone keeps attempting to apply to voters in this year's presidential primary season. I've complained about about the loyalty of Black women being questioned repeatedly. Turns out, NONE OF US ARE IMMUNE. Even one of the richest Black women in America is feeling it. Oprah declared that she is not a traitor. It is a sad day in a America when any of us would feel the need to make such a declaration.
"You know, after Iowa, there were some women who had the nerve to say to me, 'How could you? How could you?'" she said, with mock indignation. "'You're a traitor to your gender.'"
The crowd booed.
"Yes, that's how I feel," she said, adding a little later, "I say, I am not a traitor. No, I'm not a traitor. I'm just following my own truth, and that truth has led me to Barack Obama." SOURCE
Thank you Oprah Winfrey! This election has revealed a very scary side of America that we cover up really well. We aren't nearly as evolved as we like to think we are. We've become so polarized- so personally offended by other people's choices. Perhaps it is because people are living vicariously through the candidates. As much as we would like to think otherwise, this race has become all about identity politics. But if the candidate that you IDENTIFY with does not win the nomination, that isn't a rejection of you. Stop using this election as some kind of indication of whether this country loves you or not. I get it. I really do get it. Sure we say the right things about how this Democratic nomination isn't about race or gender, but as one of my Afrospear Google Group members pointed out, so what if it is?
I can't remember an election where the supporters, as opposed to the candidate themselves, have been so demonized-- "traitors!" "Sell outs!' and its not just the Obama supporters either, the National Organization of Women has completely lost its mind as well. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are candidates for office. Although their rallies may feel like religious experiences, the candidates are not Gods. Support of one over the other isn't blasphemous. Sure, we've done the whole red state vs. blue state thing into the ground, but this political season we've taking things to a new highs and LOWS. People won't even weigh in and participate honestly in the political discourse because they don't want to weigh in for fear of committing a high crime or misdemeanor. If you aren't free to offer your opinion. You ain't free.
Consensus vs. Dissent
If someone disagrees with you politically, it does not make them the devil. It makes them a human being with a functioning brain. You do not want to live in a country where everyone thinks exactly the same. In fact the founding generation intended that there would be disagreements. They actually wrote it into the Constitution. In their minds, dissent produces a better product. Vetting and testing are good. Through compromise as opposed to consensus. Consensus is never consensus anyway.
Consensus is not the reflection of what is in the best interest of the group, but what is in the best interest of those who were invested enough to speak up. Diversity is good. Dissent is good. I actually like people who disagree with me in a respectful manner. TRUST ME-you would rather have a friend who openly challenges you and confronts you than someone who pats you on the back and praises you right over a cliff. Dissent is good!
Feel free to dissent with my opinion in the comments section today. Let's try to be civil to each other this week. It is the diversity of opinion that makes us strong. Just because someone disagrees with your opinion in the comments section, does not mean they are evil. It means they care enough and are brave enough to want to wade into the discourse. The people who respectfully disagree with you are actually paying you a compliment because it means that they care enough about what you think to want to force you to think MORE. In other words. I am cracking down on the comments section- this includes myself.
PS. Do not be alarmed by the change in template- it is the original WAOD template. I will explain everything tomorrow.