Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Wow, never saw that coming.

Some time ago BitchPhd posted about Obama being the first presidential candidate to visit an Indian reservation since Columbus ran on the Franciscan ticket. In comments, I was prompted by my inherent distrust of gringos to comment that I thought it might have merely been a response to the Clinton machine's moves in Indian country.

Now this:
Obama hasn't fulfilled pledge for tribal town hall

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Illinois) skipped Prez on the Rez and it looks like he might skip another tribal leaders forum being organized by Democratic activist Kalyn Free, Indian Country Today reports.

. . .

Free, a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, is a superdelegate to the Democratic National Convention. She supported Obama in part because he agreed to attend the forum.
I'm shocked. Shocked, I say.

Another commenter at BitchPhd apparently read my blog at the time and said that my criticism of Obama seemed to center around him not being black enough, which is the second dumbest thing I've ever read in my life. My criticism of Obama is that, for all the talk about him being black, multi-racial, the son of an immigrant, whatever, none of that is reflected in his policies. Nothing distinguishes Obama's policies on affirmative action, immigration, and minorities in general, from that of other candidates.

And now this. Obama talked a big game on Indian policy when he was fighting for the Democratic nomination, but now that he has it Indians can apparently go fuck ourselves. Obama is seemingly possessed of the same Democratic arrogance I've commented on before, that Indians are going to vote for a democrat by default just because any republican would be way worse. I'm sorry, but for reasons I've gone into before regarding Indian policy, that simply isn't true.

When I previously said that Obama would be the first black president in the same manner that Powell was the first black Secretary of State or Alberto Gonzalez was the first hispanic Attorney General, what I meant was that those two did absolutely nothing to advance the causes of minorities in general, or their ethnic groups in particular, while they held office. I could care less whether they were "black enough" or "hispanic enough," whatever those dumbass quantities represent, what chaps me is that their backgrounds apparently impacted their policies in no discernible manner, they instead simply exuded what made conservatives love them as "minority" Republicans--they toed the party line and protected the status quo. And status quo is what fucks over minorities.

A number of months ago I was on the receiving end of a mass email from an associate of mine, who was gushing over Obama and declaring:
"I want a president who has experience being biracial, and who has spent his entire lifetime trying to figure out just where he fits into our country's landscape. I want a president who has experience living a portion of his life in a 3rd world country, who has seen real poverty and struggle. I want a president who speaks another language (yes, he speaks basic Indonesian). I want a president who is the son of an immigrant to this country--someone who understands that immigrants often must prove themselves in order to be accepted in this country."
That's all great, but what I want is a President whose policies reflect those experiences.

I read an article in Newsweek a couple of months ago where they devoted several pages to trying to tease out Obama's position on affirmative action. Punch line? Nobody knows. Yeah, I'm excited.