Clueless White Woman

July 4, 2008

German toy maker is ultra-clueless

No, really, it\'s Obama

No, really, it's Obama


Präsidentschaftskandidaten Barack Obama has a new commemorative doll. Made in Germany. And this is what it looks like.

Feel free to exclaim, “Wait, what?!?

It’s not just the skin tone. It’s the combination of skin tone with the childish fat cheeks. Put dark skin with a baby face and “pickaninny” is what will come to mind for a lot of Americans. (Even if they don’t know what a pickaninny is, which I actually didn’t until recently, they’ll recognize it as how black people were caricatured for years and years…)

And he gave it a flag pin.

A good friend of mine is a political scientist in Germany who specializes in analyzing neo-Nazi groups and looking at bigotry trends. So I figured, hey, who better to ask about German racism than a German who studies racists? His response:

You know, first I read only the article and thought, huh, what is the fuss about? I mean, some guy is making money with selling stupid stuff, and he wasn’t able for whatever reason to get the colour right. Who cares? But then I actually had a look at the pictures and thought, well, now I can understand why someone could find this quite offensive.

I dunno, I’d say that this is primarily cluelessness, but one would have to talk to this guy to really find out. I think racism against black people is not really a hot topic amongst german bigots anyway. They’ll tell you that blacks can dance so well and that they admire that and stuff, but leave it at that, as black people are not something they are really interested in. The colonial past of this country is more or less forgotten, since Germany lost all of it’s colonies (and it never had many colonies anyway) already in WWI – and as a result there are only few black people living in Germany, unlike in France or the UK, which had kept their colonies longer.

So it’s possible that Offermann was being a snickering bigot. And it’s possible that he was being clueless and bumbling. Looking at the other dolls he’s made, I think it’s the latter. Try to guess who this one is…

Guess Who

Guess Who


Give up?

It’s Lady Diana. Blond and Caucasian and in a white dress equals Princess Di.

He’s just really bad — or not bothering — to create a resemblance. He’s dressing stuff up in symbolic clothes and calling it commemorative. (Ratsinger, for example, is identifiable only because he’s dressed in papal regalia and is labelled “Pope”.)

All the kerfuffle and intricacies shown in American media is apparently absent in Germany. What they know there is that a black man is running for President. And how do you show that? A pickaninny in a suit with a flag on his lapel. Obviously.

At least he didn’t show Obama breakdancing.

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June 25, 2008

Durrr

Oh, Nader, Nader, Nader. Come on. As a consumer advocates, you’re helpful. But what is this bullshit?
Durrr

The number one thing that a black American politician aspiring to the presidency should be is to candidly describe the plight of the poor, especially in the inner cities and the rural areas, and have a very detailed platform about how the poor is going to be defended by the law, is going to be protected by the law, and is going to be liberated by the law… Haven’t heard a thing.

Nader also says Obama wants to show he’s not “another politically threatening African-American politician. He wants to appeal to white guilt. You appeal to white guilt not by coming on as black is beautiful, black is powerful. Basically he’s coming on as someone who is not going to threaten the white power structure, whether it’s corporate or whether it’s simply oligarchic. And they love it. Whites just eat it up.”

So black people (aka poor) care about payday loan crooks and white people care about white corporate and oligarchical strength. Way to lump us all into categories. (Let me guess — Jews care about Israel, Hispanics care about immigration, Asians care about China…)

I’ll confess that part of my white self’s comfort with Obama is that he feels like somebody I could have a conversation with. He’s reasonable, intelligent, articulate, and open-minded. No, he’s not threatening. But I also don’t believe that if he was talking about “black issues”, I’d feel particularly threatened. (Seriously, “oppressed white male”, are you that afraid you won’t measure up if you’re judged only on personal merits instead of skin color? Must suck to be so lacking in self-confidence…)

If you’re going to bitch about a lack of attention to issues for the poor, don’t make it about race. It muddles your point and makes you look clueless, but then why would you stop making yourself look clueless now after all these years…

June 16, 2008

Really, it is time to let go, NOW…

Filed under: 2008 election,racism,sexism,white privilege — by clueless @ 12:59 pm
Tags: , , ,

I learned a sad little lesson from reading Your Whiteness is Showing: An Open Letter to Certain White Women Who are Threatening to Withhold Support From Barack Obama in November

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…

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…

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…

Your whiteness is showing.

Seriously, ladies — I am fucking shocked that there would be anybody thinking this way. You’re planning on protesting sexism by voting for McCain? You’re planning on protesting sexism by not voting at all?!?

Refusing to participate in the process can not improve sexism. The Republican party would have been just as full of sly sexism — and indeed, they have been throughout this race, if you’d bother opening your eyes and looking past the primaries. But they didn’t even need to bring their sneering up to full force, since Clinton and Obama were hashing things out without the GOP’s help.

Is this a race problem? Yeah, I’ll agree it is — not a blatant one, perhaps, but yeah, it’s racial. If you’re so damn blind to reality that you can’t consider the greater good, then you do have a white privilege problem. Will defeating Obama make your life better? Will it make life better for the average woman — black, white, or whatever? Will it teach anybody a lesson about gender equality, or will it make you look like a lot of spoiled hardline women?

Electing a president is about more than just one issue. It’s about four years of leading a fractious, struggling country. I think that Hillary Clinton could have done a good job, and it’s sad that sexism was present, but sexism is not what defeated her. Nor should feminism be the force that defeats Barack Obama. If you disagree with the Democratic party, THEN vote for McCain.

Personally, I actually am going to give some serious thought to Cynthia McKinney, because I think Obama can win without my vote and she looks promising 😛

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