Archive for category Political Dirt
Muntadhar al-Zeidi, our favorite shoe throwing activist, celebrated his 30th birthday on January 17, 2009.
Mhm mhm mhm, what an act to do before your 30th birthday. What a statement to be able to say you threw your shoes at George W. Bush. Reports have come in that a few of the guards brought in a birthday cake. I hope it was in the shape of one large shoe. I’d eat the entire thing myself. A vanilla sole. Strawberry shoelaces. Swirls of icing for the knot.
Don’t forget to wish Muntadhar al-Zeidi a happy belated birthday as you throw your shoe on Tuesday. (Original post and instructions here.) Get your shoe selected. Pump up your throwing arm’s bicep because it’s going to be a big day! Let there be cake!
Muntadhar al-Zaidi, the original shoe thrower, sent his footwear into flight in the name of “widows, orphans, and those killed in Iraq.” Hurling much more than his shoes at Bush, the shoes, I believe, carried the unfathomable pain of those who have survived eight years of Bush foreign policies. Not just in Iraq, but all over the world.
For whom are you throwing your shoe? Let the world know on January 20, 2009 when Bush officially steps down as the leader of the US government. Take a picture of your shoe. post of your site or blog. Link back to the original post for participation round-up. If you do NOT have a blog or site and still want to participate, send me your shoe (don’t throw it, just hand it to me via email firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll post (throw) your shoe on my blog. Don’t forget to send in a small bit about you, your shoe, and for whom your throw is dedicated.
Having problems deciding for whom to throw your shoe? Mhm, I agree, it is a large task. Eight years of blowing up our fellow nations, instigating our violence in the name of anti-terrorism, basically handing our planet over to Darth Vader, and leaving our economy in the gutter leaves a shoe thrower with much to contemplate.
But be specific.
After all, you only have one shoe. Make it count.
Here is my dedication:
I throw my shoe for the poor who are living off garbage mountains, literally. I throw my shoe for the stranger who yelled in my face, after learning I was an American citizen in his land, that his garbage mountainside community has been terrorized and threatened by the Philippine government in the name of the “US charge against terrorism.”
These people, who scour the mountain everyday for food or anything they can sell for a peso, have centered their lives on survival, not violence. They are the poorest of the poor – eating inedible food, trying to sell what is no longer useful – and yet they are repeatedly targeted and harassed, their youth kidnapped for days and tortured, under the blanket of “anti-terrorism” laws initiated by the US after 9/11.
My shoe will fly for this man who who repeatedly yelled in my face, “I am not a terrorist! Do I look like a terrorist to you? I am too small, too skinny to do anything but survive.”
In essence, he is dying. And our president, our country’s allowance of Bush’s post 9/11 reaction, have quickened the death of his friends, family, and freedom. The re-election of Bush in 2004 continued the reign of terror in unheard, unspoken communities in the darkest corners of the world where no one dare visit or bother to know.
My shoe will be for this man who screamed his pain into my eyes and I, with the humble privilege of life and blogging, will throw as hard as I can.
When two shoes were thrown at George Bush by a journalist who had seen enough dying children and blood spilled on his country, I watched in disbelief.
What stunned me further was how people debated – in detail – if this man should be imprisoned or punished. Let’s see what would happen if we could turned the tables. Suppose another country invaded our land in the name of democracy and freedom, and through years and years of violence, shed blood on the bones of civilians and children who were never officially counted or reported about in the news. Might you, filled to the depths of your soul with death and injustice, throw your shoes?
From my view, I saw a reporter, an alive being, but filled with death. He was filled with the death of his country and the violence inflicted upon it by the hand of George Bush and our country. For all that has been done to their people, a shoe – or two – seems hardly a reason to beat and imprison him. It was a gesture that, some have argued, is perfect.
Two recent public incidents have caught my eye and I’m stuck on one question someone asked me, “What do you think is appropriate punishment?”
He is referring to ex-girlfriend actress Elisha Cuthbert is reportedly now dating Dion Phaneuf of the Calgary Flames. Another former girlfriend of Avery, model Rachel Hunter is reportedly now seeing another NHL player, Jarret Stole of the Los Angeles Kings.
Avery, with a history of making inappropriate remarks to stir controversy was suspended for six games and has been described as a “disturber, an agitator” by Barry Melrose, ESPN NHL analyst.
Even more recently, the chief speechwriter of our President-elect, 27 year old Jon Favreau, has made his own headlines when a picture of him was displayed on Facebook that showed the newly minted talent groping the right breast of a life-size cutout of the new Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton. In the picture, there is a friend tilting a beer to her lips, offering a kiss, and grasping the top of the cutout’s hair, all together disturbing and disasterous.
These two separate incidents are, in one sense, hardly newsworthy when you consider the severity of the actions: offensive statements and thoughtless sexist actions caught on camera. But what makes these kinds of incidents so compelling is the reaction of the public and the organizations they represent. To date, Avery was suspended for six games and Favreau, according to the Washington post apologized to the former First Lady, but received no punishment for his boorish pose. Even more maddening is that Clinton camp simply called it good-natured fun and Clinton is “pleased to learn of Jon’s obvious interest in the State Department, and is currently reviewing his application,” despite her reign on the sexist parade the past two years.
So, let me make this clear in my head: the NHL suspends Avery for his disrespectful comments toward women (albeit, he had already established a history and his reputation preceded him) but the Obama administration has nothing to say. Clinton herself, who rightfully pointed out the sexism spewed on her during her campaign trail, has now gone cold on calling out sexism and sings pleasure of his application to the State Department. Favreau, the leading mind behind Obama’s public vernacular merely hangs his head as he is carded the newest “Facebook victim” and nothing more.
The lack of any kind of response about the Favreau incident is off-putting. Which brings me to the question: What is the appropriate response for offensive behavior done off working hours but contradict the image what you work for? Does the punishment fit the crime? In Avery’s case, yes. He reportedly had been warned in the past and to carefully watch his mouthy steps. Favreau though, with all of this verbal sophistication, looks like he will not even receive a tap on his once roaming right hand. If firing him is not the correct measure, then what? Suspending him for six speeches? I don’t think so, but his thoughtlessness warrants something in between losing his job and Clinton’s spokesperson sweeping it under the rug.
Momentarily putting aside the commendable and rare response of the NHL, the sad reality of these two incidents is not the six-game suspension or public shaming of “Favs.” The maddening component of these behaviors is how easy it is to dismiss sexism, however public or lewd. Any weekend in any bar – glorified city or unknown small town – on any given Saturday night gathering, you can find an Avery or Favreau disrespecting women either in word or gesture. The most common character though is the person who makes light of it all; you can always find a Philippe Reines nonchalantly waving it off as funny or a trivial matter.
I just never thought I’d ever have to compare the NHL to the Democratic party for their reactions to sexism and then applaud the former for taking some form of action. At the very least, they recognized it as unacceptable and sent a stiff penalty to Avery with a kindergarten lesson attached, “That’s not right and you can’t say something like that.”
And since the Dems seem to be suddenly ignoring the impact of a sexist action gone internet crazy, I take it upon myself to give a kindergarten message made especially for Jon Favreau, “Stay in line and keep your hands to yourself.”
Cross-posted at Bitch Magazine.
Posted by Lisa in Political Dirt, The Philippines Filipino Culture Philippine History on October 1, 2008
TweetWhen I was in the Philippines this summer, I could not even tell you how many Filipinos were engaged in political discussions about the US presidential election. They were fiery dialogues too. The Philippines and the United States are like step siblings, a lot of love, a lot of bitterness, and too much history passed between them.
TweetMelissa Harris-Lacewell, a womanist and professor at Princeton University engages with Gloria Steinem during this recording about the intersection of gender, race, and political issues. You’re not going to hear much better ass-kicking than this, folks.
The beginning 10 minutes is all news stuff, but THEN the awesome stuff hits. It’s 37 minutes total and WELL WORTH it. I played it while I cleaned my apartment. Random “WHOOHOOO!” and cheering erupted from my dusting as I listened to this brilliant Harris-Lacewell dominate the 2nd wave feminist icon, Steinem.
Steinem basically says that if a womyn had Obama’s credentials, she would not be given the same weight due to gender. True dat.
That’s not what I have a problem with. “What worries me” is this statement: “Gender is probably the most restricting force in American life…” but then asserts, “I’m not advocating a competition for who has it toughest.”
Spoken like a true 2nd wave White mainstream feminist “icon” from the New York Times the morning of the New Hampshire primary.
She argues with the following:
“Black men were given the vote a half-century before women of any race were
allowed to mark a ballot, and generally have ascended to positions of power,
from the military to the boardroom, before any women…”
Right. Because the right to VOTE being given to black men over a century ago proves that gender overwhelms race. Yes, let’s focus on how White women were restricted the right to vote while ALL Black slaves were restricted the right to live. Let’s focus on the few men of color who have “ascended into positions of power” and not the holistic picture of how race and gender interface for all communities of color. There may be some gende/race arguments for the political scene, but that is quite different from making a statement that gender is the most restricting force in America.
Look, I’m not going to go head to head with Steinem and argue what is most pressing for womyn in America – race or gender. What I do know is that as a US womyn of color living in this country is that the two are so inexplicably interlaced that I resist ANY individual that pitts once against the other, especially a White mainstream feminist. What I find most often, too, is women like Steinem (White liberal women) call gender over race. Let’s rally all the women together once more because we’re all being denied the right to vote and the men of color are making it into the boardroom before any of us are.
There’s a reason why I use the word gender/ace as one entity. I cannot separate the two. But, I’m a womyn of color, my opinion probably doesn’t fare well next to Steinem. Once again, gender is the tool being used as the great equalizer among women.
Let’s look past the military and the boardroom, which Steinem quotes as two examples of Black men’s ascension into positions of power. Let’s look at economics among women. Take a look at the US economic standing between white women and compare to the womyn of color. I think that tells you everything you need to know about the power of race and gender.
When womyn of color are not the suffering majority from poverty, illiteracy, poor health and education; when I witness White womyn truly listen to womyn of color and learn how to be true allies; when feminism and gender is not used as a big umbrella to bypass issues of racism – THEN I will read the New York Time article again and consider her points. Until then, I find it ludacris to make such statements as Steinem. If you wanna talk gender/ace issues, let’s talk about it in the real way that real people experience them. But, I guess for this conversation, we’re focusing on the privileged – Clinton and Obama – and ignoring the real gender/ace dynamics of the marginalized.
TweetLast week I attended an Obama rally.
I was bit by the OBAMA BUG because when I left, I felt fired up. I felt good.
It’s a week later and I still feel fired up.
What felt so good?
I don’t know. Maybe it was when he said, “Most politicians count on you on not believing. They bet you on being jaded and disinterested. They want you to be apathetic. This way you feel so disempowered you don’t want to do anything. This enables them to sound like they’re going to solve your problems and when they can’t, claim the issues are too large for one person.”
Let’s be honest. It’s all about perception in politics. But I’m looking to cast a vote for someone that I actually believe in and holds that miniscule possibility of doing some good for this desperately seeking country.
H/T to Angry Asian Man for the heads up.
Obama’s campaign created Asian American and Pacific Islanders National Leadership Council and where some notable AA and API folks are endorsing this presidential candidate. Read more on his site here.
What else can I say? I was swept away by the debates, his rally, and this newest piece of news.
I’m shameless too. I can’t help it. I think he’s quite dreamy.