Other than Black and White

While I was trolling youtube tonight for brain numbing effect, I came across the song above. A lot of people put the “Yes We Can” song/speech on their blog; I avoided posting it because as much as it moves me, I wanted to avoid giving you video that supports a single candidate without a larger reason. My larger reason now is to remind that no ethnic or racial group is a monolith. We will vote according to who moves us, whether that is a democrat or a Republican, Hillary or Barack, etc. And the divisive discussions of Latin@s vs. Blacks or “Asians don’t count” conversations the media has been perpetuating not only undermines our diversity but also our coalition building capacity.

Again this post is not an endorsement of any candidate.

George Lopez recently came out in support of Obama as well after having been initially invited by the Clinton campaign and then Obama and saying he had to better think through the issues first. I am going to outline his key points because the sound quality is bad. He talks about what it means to have the political machine turn itself on Latin@s every 4 years and then ignore them for the rest. And how working class Latin@s see through pathetic attempts at speaking Spanish or touring the border and want a candidate that can understand they are more than undocumented workers & immigrants (though that is part of their history and possibly their families present), who will help them meet their basic needs, who will care about their success instead of towing the line. He also says the “bush-clinton-bush-clinton” line that seems to sway so many, I don’t care who is president as long as they represent the marginalized and end pointless wars.

As I have said, my point in sharing these videos is to show that the dominant discourse that all Latin@s vote one way is statistically untrue and we have to ask ourselves why the media is invested in perpetuating that image. It seems as though they are trying to foster animosity and conflict amongst us in order to stop our voting or talking to one another. Should they succeed in creating divisions where the reality, especially for the youth vote, has been discussion amongst groups that traditionally may not be talking to one another often enough, they will have had a lasting effect on the growing base of people of color in this country.

In the interest of balance, this Democracy Now debate between Latin@ H. Clinton and Obama supporters lays out some of the important issues for both sides of the Democratic decision.

Asian American votes are also being presented in varyingly destructive ways, primarily as voters who don’t count or people who don’t vote and don’t count. As the election in Texas comes closer however, this is changing. Austin local news says Asian American voters favor Clinton 3 to 1. They also argue that Asian Americans may not come out to vote for her because of her overwhelming emphasis on courting the Latin@ vote in Texas. Instead of questioning a political strategy that elevates one group of voters over another, be it because of location or ethnicity or something else, the media once again spun this strategy into a Latin@ vs. AAPI issue, once again pitting one group against the other. I am unable to embed their newscast here but you can see it by clicking: here.

The video below also talks about Asian American votes for Clinton on the West Coast, in California and Washington state. Their vote here, like in Texas, is significant because as the newscast points out AAPIs make up a large number of the population in western states. This is the most thorough clip I could find on you tube not produced by supporters of one candidate or the other, so I want to apologize in advance for posting something that has an anti-Asian joke about the way one Asian American respondent speaks English. Gary Tuchman, the reporter, can be contacted by clicking his name. Let him & CNN know that those “jokes” are not funny & they demean the very group he to which he is trying to provide media voice.

In the report below Asians for Obama show a woman discussing what she thinks is important about H. Clinton and why she thinks Obama is the better candidate. Her major compliant is that H. Clinton is “a great manager but not a great collaborator.” Obama’s actual record has shown that he collaborates on certain bills but that he has been no more successful in collaborating on bills and issues than any other mainstream Democrat. (Sadly this video also shows how white male power works since her interview is invaded by a UNLV student asif her work and her voice is less important than his.)

Another video starts with the cult of personality but delves into issues 1/4 of the way in. There are some interesting comments about racial healing in the nation, issues of immigration, and Obama’s voting record. I think this video is also important because it highlights the excitement of the youth vote and how it really is being galvanized by the idea of hope and change. (I am not galvanized by either of those things because I am a jaded & cynical, but you know, I still feel them.)

Ok, I’m just giving you this one because I love Margaret Cho:

I also believe that she reminds us, democrats, what the best part of this election is which is that we will be free from the current administration. I think we have all lost the joy and hope that fact gives us as Democrats and Independents.

One of the saddest parts of the primaries for me has been watching old wounds be torn open anew and new generations throw up their hands in disgust at the ways identities are mobilized to silence other identities or experiences.  At the same time, the message of hope at the youth vote level really has been opening spaces for dialog amongst groups, between generational divides, and amongst those who have never felt the franchise was meant for nor aided them.  I am not sold on soundbites, but I am moved by the number of videos I saw when trying to put this post together with first time voters being really excited about the potential to have a voice and about a myriad of people coming together for their candidate.

No matter who your candidate is, do not let the media convince you your vote does not matter or that you should hate on any other group because somehow our political views are “diametrically opposed.” When this is all over, the legacy of the election can be that we talked to one another more fully and developed lasting coalitions or it can be that we were once again duped by divide and conquer.

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