• DOUBLETAKE 08: “Taking a second look at race and racism in the 2008 presidential elections”

  • Campaign Events

    Sat, October 25th, 3-6:30pm
    The Ballot Box and Beyond
    UCLA Labor Center
    675 S Park View St [map it]
    Los Angeles, CA 90057

Reject the Hate in ’08! – Don’t fall for the racist tactics.

Dear Readers,

The past week has revealed a startling amount of hatred and racist prejudice
emanating from the McCain/ Palin campaign and their supporters.  This is a
pivotal moment for the history of this country and for racial justice.  Its
important we are able to look back at this time and say that the people of
this country did the right thing – expose the Right’s tactic of racist
appeals and reject it!

The following video contains an important message that we need to get out to
communities (especially white communities) across the country.  WE NEED YOUR
HELP!  Please forward this video link to ALL your contacts.  Youtube videos
can take on a “life of their own” and go “viral” (i.e spread exponentially)
if forwarded enough times…  This is a video that all of the country needs
to see:

The video was produced as part of AWARE-LA’s “The Ballot Box and Beyond”
campaign and was created in collaboration with an allied multi-racial
organization, Community Coalition.  Visit www.DoubleTake08.org for more info
about the campaign.

No matter who you are voting for on November 4th…. REJECT THE HATE IN 08!

In Solidarity,
Active Resistance/ AWARE-LA

The “Obama as Muslim Terrorist” Problem

There’s been a LOT of anti-Muslim and anti-Arab rhetoric throughout the election season this year. The idea that Barack Obama is a “Muslim Terrorist” is spreading rampant throughout right-wing circles, and countless photoshopped images of Obama in Arab garb can be found in a quick google image search. The implication in these images, of course, is that being a Muslim or being Arab MUST mean he is also a terrorist. Even if Barack Obama WAS Muslim, which he is not, what’s the problem? But anti-Muslim/ anti-Arab racism is so deeply held in this country, that using the term “Muslim” has come to be code word for “evil.” Check this image…

Senator John McCain’s campaign has done little to offset these stereotypes. In fact, in some instances, the Republican campaign reinforces or encourages this racist thinking. For example, Governor Sarah Palin last week suggesting that Obama has been “palling around with terrorists,” referring to a long-ago and vague connection between the Senator and former 60’s radical William Ayers

Or in this clip here, where a woman at a McCain rally says “I don’t trust Obama. He’s an Arab,” and John McCain responds: “No, ma’am, he’s a decent family man and citizen.” As if being an Arab and a decent family man and citizen are somehow mutually exclusive! The rage at McCain rallies in the last week often centers on this assumption that Obama is connected to terrorism and that he is a Muslim.

Don’t fall for these racist tactics and rhetoric. We at AWARE_LA encourage everyone to reject the hate in 08. No matter who you vote for, we must stop this racist rhetoric and thinking.

Fortunetaly, others are working on this issue. A non-partisan organization called FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) has launched an important campaign to look at anti-Muslim rhetoric in the news media.

Continue reading

Remember the “Terrorist Fist Jab?” What about the “White Power Grab?”

Earlier this summer, Fox News reported on a simple gesture between Barack and Michelle Obama on stage. It was a fist bump, but the Fox News reporter questioned, “A fist bump? A pound? A terrorist fist jab? The gesture everyone seems to interpret differently.”

Fox News’ coverage of the Obamas’ fist-bump raises serious questions about the implications of such coverage. Why do we need such an elaborate analysis of, what essentially amounts to a goodbye/ good luck send-off gesture? Do we do the same thing when it comes to handshakes?

Of course we don’t because handshakes are the primary greeting among white folks, so therefore they are normal, but “the fist bump” is something that, within the lens of whiteness, is odd or peculiar: it is outside whiteness. More accurately, it is cast as something specific to black folks; not something the majority of white folks would do, much less understand.

Fox’s report sets up the experience of black folks as foreign to what is normal, where normal is equated with whiteness. And the assumption that whiteness is normal is thoroughly racist.

We made this video to point out what it would look like to flip the script on the racist assumptions of Fox’s report. While there are some subtle critiques of white supremacy, we primarily wanted to point out how patently absurd Fox’s coverage of “the fist bump” is, not to mention have a little fun in the name of white anti-racism!

The Ballot Box and Beyond: Community Event in Los Angeles on Race in the Elections

We are one day away from this important community event! If you are in Los Angeles, please join us!!

Come one, Come All! Join AWARE-LA, the labor Community Strategy Center, Community Coalition, Youth Justice Coalition and more TO MAKE RACIAL JUSTICE HISTORY!

This election season has brought us a historic opportunity to take the conversation about racial justice to the next level. No matter who wins on November 4th, the real work for change is in organizing our communities!

Join AWARE-LA for workshops and a community panel in how race and racism is REALLY playing out in our communities and on the ballot…. and how we sustain the excitement to “make a change” beyond election day.

See you on October 25th!!

“Polls Indicates Racism Will Reduce Obama Vote by Four to Six Percent”

Two recent polls both indicate that white racism will significantly reduce the number of voters for Obama in the November 4 election. The polls were conducted by AP/Yahoo (Aug. 27-Sept. 5) and the other by CNN/Opinion Research Corp. (Aug. 29-31), but the results were publicized only on September 22 by CNN.

The AP/Yahoo showed that 6 percent of voters will not vote for Obama because of racism, while the CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll demonstrated that 4 percent of Democrats who will vote for McCain were persuaded by racial factors. Both polls indicate that racism will tilt the election against Obama by a margin larger than the margin of victory in the 2004 presidential campaign.

The Celebrity Factor

News Analysis by Organizer JB

Comparing Obama to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton is racist? To many folks, at first blush, the silly McCain ads may not have seem racialized, but NY Times columnist Bob Herbert sheds some interesting perspective of how White America still is “…freakishly hung up on the idea of black men rising above their station and becoming sexually involved with white women.”

Mr. Herbert also makes astute observations on the broad racist overtones to the Right’s response to Mr. Obama’s campaign:

The racial fantasy factor in this presidential campaign is out of control. It was at work in that New Yorker cover that caused such a stir. (Mr. Obama in Muslim garb with the American flag burning in the fireplace.) It’s driving the idea that Barack Obama is somehow presumptuous, too arrogant, too big for his britches — a man who obviously does not know his place.

Here’s a news piece on the “Obama Celebrity Ad” for those who missed it.

Black ‘Issue’ Hangs Over Presidential Polls

“How many voters will ultimately decide they can’t vote for an African-American?” Republican pollster Frank Luntz says, “It’s definitely a factor.” From an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

News Analysis By Organizer KD

Thanks Frank. Giving further insight, Frank later goes on to say, ‘The moon is not made of cheese.’

The article discusses how race is a factor in this election and how deceiving pre-election polls can be when they pertain to black candidates or affirmative action.

Later in the article Sandra Cichon, a 60-year-old Democrat from Spring Hill, who originally identified herself to a pollster as an undecided voter, recently told a reporter, “I can’t imagine having a black president, and I think he’s inexperienced.”

Sandra then asked the reporter if s/he would like a fresh batch of “Obama Waffles.” …That’s sarcasm… for those who missed it.