Friday, July 23, 2010
She is suing for the right to say she is,
"NO white man's b*tch!"
Well, well, well whoever said politics is dull and uninteresting has not heard of Ieshuh Griffin, the African American, socio-political activist from Milwaukee, Wisconsin who is running as an independent candidate for a legislative seat in her state. She says she is "NOT the white man's bitch," and wants all voters to know this by having that statement included under her name on the ballot paper. Although as an independent candidate she is entitled to a five word ballot slogan, her phrase has been rejected by electoral authorities as obscene and racially offensive. She is taking them to court over that decision. (Read here, here or here, for more details).
Unlike the Wisconsin 's Government Accountability Board, I have a concern that extends further than the debate about whether or not the phrase is pornographic, obscene, or publicly acceptable. While those are valid and important issues to flag, I am also unimpressed by how worldwide, the racist and sexist cards seem to be played for political mileage. Yes, politics has no fixed rules and can degenerate into a dirty game, but the time has come for these low-blow moves to be treated with the contempt that they deserve.
As a black man, I really have no respect for black people who think that they always have to measure their worth by showing just how much they can stand up to the whites or other races for that matter. If analysed closely, this mentality actually spells the opposite. It implies an inferiority complex that stems from a belief that there is a racial benchmark measured against another racial group, that one must reach to be deemed worthy of acceptance by that racial group, as well as one's own. Similarly, I am of the opinion that women who have to prove the flavour in their salt by making aggressive, misplaced declarations that they are not male pushovers, are not worth our time of day.
The adage, "Actions speak louder than words," still rings true today as it did in yesteryear. Let your constituency see that you are not ANYONE'S pushover, Ms Griffin, then you will see the votes come in thick and fast. Obama did not get to the White House by shouting from the roof tops that he is not a white puppet, take a leaf from his book. As it is, some people are already asking whose bitch you are indirectly suggesting you are. The black man's? Either way, you have just given a multitude of people the licence to greatly disrespect you and not take you seriously.