Your Whiteness is Showing

An Open Letter to Certain White Women Who Are Threatening to Withhold Support from Obama in November

By TIM WISE

This is an open letter to those white women who, despite their proclamations of progressivism, and supposedly because of their commitment to feminism, are threatening to withhold support from Barack Obama in November. You know who you are. (paragraph 1)

First, for those of you threatening to actually vote for John McCain and to oppose Senator Obama, or to stay home in November and thereby increase the likelihood of McCain winning and Obama losing (despite the fact that the latter’s policy platform is virtually identical to Clinton’s while the former’s clearly is not), all the while claiming to be standing up for women… (paragraph 5)

For those threatening to vote for John McCain or to stay home and increase the odds of his winning (despite the fact that he once called his wife the c-word in public and is a staunch opponent of reproductive freedom and gender equity initiatives, such as comparable worth legislation), all the while claiming to be standing up for women…(paragraph 6)

For those threatening to vote for John McCain or to stay home and help ensure Barack Obama’s defeat, as a way to protest what you call Obama’s sexism (examples of which you seem to have difficulty coming up with), all the while claiming to be standing up for women…(paragraph 7)

Your whiteness is showing.

folks have a bad habit of wanting to shoot the messenger for the message skedaddle on over to Tim Wise’s place and argue all night with him, because these are just excerpts there’s more.

TIM WISE: Your Whiteness is Showing – An Open Letter to Certain White Women Threatening to Withold Support from Obama in November

Tim Wise is the author of: White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son (Soft Skull Press, 2005), and Affirmative Action: Racial Preference in Black and White (Routledge: 2005). He can be reached at: timjwise@msn.com

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4 Comments

Filed under Barack Obama, hillary clinton, John McCain, Race in Politics

4 responses to “Your Whiteness is Showing

  1. Cayetano

    I agree with your comments that race and gender have played a significant role in the election, and people are just looking on the outside of the covers, rather than focusing on what the candidates can do for the country and looking at their qualifications. It is a shame that race and gender have such a huge impact in politics, especially when our country is in the situation that is in right now. We really need to get off of race and gender issues and start looking at what the candidates want to accomplish out of the election and what they can do for us. This in not the time to be playing the color cards or making feminist judgments based on traditional stereotypes. Where this is now 2008 and we are moving towards the future, we also need to move ahead with race and gender. It actually bothers me that we still classify people by races today in the 21st century when it has been nearly 150 years that slavery ended and almost 50 years since people drank out of separate drinking fountains.

    The fact of the matter is that we are all human, and are from the same planet. Something I have observed in my life is that as newer generations of white people are born, racism is fading more all the time and people from different ethnicities are being accepted and appreciated for their culture. The problem is that many blacks and people of other races still seem to hold grudges because of the treatment of their ancestors. I am not saying that they don’t have the right to be upset, but if we cannot let go of the past, then we can never move past racism, prejudice and discrimination and those problems will continue to remain for a long time. This also holds true with both racial and gender stereotyping.

    Nevertheless, getting back to the topic, although race and gender have impacted the political race, we cannot say all people of color only support Barack Obama and that only white women support Hillary Clinton just because of race and gender. There are many blacks, some of which I have talked to who supported Hillary and other candidates. There are also many whites I know who support Obama, so we cannot conclude that race and gender are completely responsible. However, we need to focus more towards political values, as I think our society has gotten carried away with race and gender in making their voting decisions. We definitely do need a black or a woman president at some point in time. Perhaps that would be the beginning to putting an end to all the bigotry and moving us into a different society that will quit classifying people as races keeping all of these old stereotypes bottled up inside. It’s time for a change!

  2. Hello Cayetano,

    These will be my first comments, what you read (as noted) was a repost of “Tim Wise’s” thoughts & writings – an Open Letter to certain white women.

    aving an African American or a Woman president won’t end racism bigotry nor misogynous and hatred feelings or actions. Hopefully, it will curtail it, though. And from the looks of it – that’s a big hope.

    If a person can’t reach inside of themselves, where goodness and love for all mankind, should come from, then….

    “We definitely do need a black or a woman president at some point in time.” —

    LOL, at some point in time – The sometime should have been long ago. Our country, our government doesn’t belong to one race of people.

    “The problem is that many blacks and people of other races still seem to hold grudges because of the treatment of their ancestors. I am not saying that they don’t have the right to be upset, but if we cannot let go of the past, then we can never move past racism, prejudice and discrimination and those problems will continue to remain for a long time.” —

    This is true there are African Americans who must let it go, just as White’s who still try and keep that past history in which you speak part of the present.

    When a day to day question for serious discussion becomes “Is America Ready For a Black President?” America has a major problem – and it really is simple as this – I was never ready to eat my vegetables, but my mother said ‘oh yeah you will’. I found that the vegetables were good for me and not only that – I began to love them. So ready or not it is coming – and it is a long ways past due.

    And, I wholeheartedly agree with the original author of my repost – ‘Tim Wise’. If anyone of Hillary’s supporters strongly stood on what she was fighting for – then to walk away pouting – running straight to McCain’s camp – you might need to check your motives, because McCain does not represent the changes, which was being sought by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.

    And, for my brother and sisters of the LGBT community who has lost Senator Clinton as their presidential hope – to stomp their feet – and throw their support behind McCain – who makes it known He could careless about an LGBT civil right or human right. They just might want to rethink this and check their true motives.

    Thank you for commenting and come again.
    VickiLynne

  3. Peg

    This primary was so different, in so many ways. It was a primary of passion for both sides.

    In other primaries, throughout my life, I can only vaguely recall who I may have supported before the nominee was finalized. (Although I distinctly remember voting for Shirley Chisholm, I knew that she hadn’t a chance.)

    These candidates were so outstanding, and, so many of us had the opportunity to see ourselves represented for the very first time. Just the possibility of the first Black or Woman President to come along at the same time was thrilling!

    Can you ask yourself how you would have reacted if Barack had lost? Could you get over it? How long might it have taken? The disappointment and sadness might have stayed with you for a long time. I’m certainly not excusing the threat to vote for McCain. The counter-productivity of that sentiment alone, is completely foolish as well as childish. I’m just trying to understand.

    Obama has been as gentle as he could be with Hillary supporters. We (Hillary supporters. And I do count myself.) need to recognize and appreciate his overtures. It’s time for us to make amends, not him.

    I’m counting on Hillary supporters, not just to come to their senses, but to transfer that sense of wonder and loyalty to a really wonderful candidate. It’s time to leave the sour grapes behind and make some history!

    Best regards!
    Peg

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