Saturday, March 15, 2008

Obama links for the weekend

A few links for the weekend about Barack Obama. Since the Democratic presidential primaries haven't been settled, yet, both he and Clinton are continuing to make headline news--especially over the increased ugliness in their campaigns.

So a few links to articles/videos I found compelling/provocative/or just humorous.

The New York Times
(click here) has a very thoughtful piece about Stanley Ann Dunham Soetoro--Obama's mother. She sounds like a really incredible woman: unconventional, open-minded, curious, and caring. Someone who wanted to make the world a better place and who seems to have instilled this desire in her children (Obama's sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng is quoted liberally in the piece). The piece ends by commenting on the strong women in Obama's life, like his mother and his sister (as well as his wife, Michelle) and I like that. Strong women are important to running the world, and we should celebrate them more.

And for more on his sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, here is a video made by the Obama campaign that shows her talking about their childhood together, some great family photos, and her opinions about his candidacy and capability of being president.

Video Podcast: Maya Soetoro-Ng, Barack's Half Sister

[It sort've bothers me that people continue to describe her as "Barack's Half-Sister" (The video is called that by whoever put the video link together, and not by me)--I mean, I know it's accurate, but does it really matter that they share half-parentage rather than full parentage? At a time when many of us claim our family not based on genetics (like adoptees and children who are folded into families through re-marriages and other joinings) or even familial alliances (like your friends who feel more like family) then it seems saying that they are "half" siblings undercuts the strength of their family bond--and I wonder to what degree race also plays a part in this--the fact that the bond that they share, racially, is a white one?]

Racialicious has a provocative post about Geraldine Ferraro's gaffe (at least I see it as a gaffe) where she is quoted as saying:
If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman (of any color), he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept.

Go to the Racialicious post (click here) for some insightful analysis of Ferraro (and others) (mis)beliefs that being a black man is a big advantage in American politics. I was listening to NPR yesterday when Juan Williams was asked what he thought about Ferraro's comments, and he said something to the effect of "Well, you know, as the generations of black American presidents demonstrate, being a black man in this country gives you a clear advantage in running for the executive office."

Finally, a humorous look at the racial politics involved in this primary season:

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