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Monday, February 11, 2008

Barack, Hillary, and Mixed Me

My Brown and Black family and friends want me to vote for Obama. My feminist friends, white, black, yellow, and otherwise want me to vote for Clinton. One of my Black feminist colleagues stopped to accost me the other day with the opening line, "You're voting for Obama arent you? Or am I gonna have to write you off as a friend?"

I am not answering any queries regarding my voting decisions this year because as a mixed race, multiply-positioned, radical, anti-racist feminist poet, I know better. There is no right answer. Barack could be my black daddy, Hilary could be my white mama and I still wouldnt be able to choose the best candidate for the job. Why? Because as mixed me I am always lurking in the shadows-- I am always running back and forth across the battle lines with plates of food and flowers. I like them both. But I know neither side represents me.

I have one fist raised in the air in a Black Power salute and my other hand is holding the latest draft of the ERA. I don't think I am alone but there is no guarantee I won't be taken out by those who perceive me as a singular trecherous crazy zebra lady. I think I will keep moving.

I want a candidate who will withdraw the troops yesterday. I want a candidate who will pass gay marriage legislation the day s/he gets into office. I want a candidate who is not afraid to talk about race- someone who is ready and able to begin writing anti-racist legislation designed to pick up the slack where affrimative action failed. I want a president who will make a formal and unabashed apology for slavery, and hold nationwide conferences on reparations.

I want a presdient who will pass a bill for universal healthcare. I want a president who is not afraid to call him or herself a feminist and to confront anyone who calls a woman of stature, whether it is Dr. Rice or Senator Clinton, out of her name. I want an openly pro-choice, pro-emergency pill, pro-birth control president. I want a woman or man in office who considers the rape and murder of thousands of women yearly by their boyfriends and husbands a crisis worthy of being declared a state of emergency.

I want a president who is going to destroy all the nuclear plants, nuclear weapons, and coal-burning plants in the US and begin a government-sponsored green energy, solar power retrofitting project for the nation. I want a president who is going to end poverty during my lifetime, abolish the debt of all the third world countries, and make it his or her goal to bring world peace during his/her administration.

I want a president who is going to take medicine making out of the hands of pharmaceuticals and put it in the hands of people who care about healing the planet.

I want a woman of color in the Oval Office. A gay woman of color preferably. Lets get one who grew up poor while we are at it. She should be radical, a feminist, a womanist, a woman who speaks more than one langauge- a kick-ass woman. She should be angry. She should be passionate and loving- unafraid to cry or laugh or yell in public. She should be a woman-dientified woman. Someone who can appeal to as many of the disadvantaged, oppressed, and marginalized Americans as possible. Someone who believes justice is the greatest goal.

I think my sister should run for office. I think she is the only one qualified to address all the issues that matter to me.

My woman is not running for office....yet

In the meantime, I wish both Clinton and Obama the best.
ABB
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