Time to Turn Off The TV?

I think I need to re-institute my tv news-watching ban. I just can't take it. I really can't. It's story after story about what a disappointment Barack Obama is because he's not ten points ahead of El Mummy, John McCain.

The talking heads usually point out how our economy is in the crapper, a small box of cereal is $5, everybody hates George Bush, Republicans get caught having sex in all the wrong places, and most Americans think this country's on the wrong track... BUT Obama's not running away with this thing! Heck, things are so messed up, Obama shouldn't even have to campaign. He shouldn't have to do anything other than park a lawn chair on a free-throw line and shoot baskets all day at a picture of Bush hugging McCain.

Of course, what gets conveniently left out is how maybe, just maybe Barack Obama's blackness might have a teensy-weensy something to do with him not being a slam dunk. Not that his campaign can't mess stuff up because they sure can, but I firmly believe that there are plenty of Americans out there who'd rather die than see a black man in the oval office.

This is not to say I think folks can't have their legit reasons for not casting a vote for Obama. And not just that they truly believe that more war and Reagonomics part deux is what this nation needs. However, I definitely believe there are people who are incredibly bothered by Obama's blackness, even if they can't admit it.

I'm not just talking about followers of Rush Limbaugh either. No, there are those who call themselves liberals, Democrats or progressives but they are happy to identify themselves as such as long as the "other" stays on the other side of the city. Everything is all good as long as folks only have to fund raise for a cause or argue at cocktail parties about the cause. However, they don't want the cause coming and moving across the street, actually being competitive for spots at top universities or getting the job they wanted for themselves.

But, I guess now that the primaries are all finished we can't even mention how race may still be playing out in the campaign process. It seems to be a non-issue as far as the media is concerned. And it makes me want to strangle somebody when I'm watching those crazy talking-head news shows. I guess if it gets brought up though then that's playing the supposed race card.

Well, I'm not afraid to talk about how racism still freakin' exists! I mean, if cabbies in liberal New York City don't want to pick up black men am I really supposed to believe folks just disagree with Obama on policy issues?

Yeah, right.


Anonymous said…
Yeah. It's our choice and we'll have to suffer if enough people act like fools! And Stephanie Tubbs Jones died. Life is truly too short.
Shiona said…
Ugh! I know exactly what you mean Los Angelista. I was watching Hardball and they kept talking about that stupid poll and talked to a guy from BET who kept talking about how the Obama campaign wasn't "stepping up their game" and attacking McCain. What does he need to step up anything for? Why is stuff like this even an issue? And if I hear about patriotism anymore I'll just scream. *grumble*
Nerd Girl said…
Join me, won't you? I haven't watched news in so long that I think gas is still .98 a gallon, Bill Clinton is in office, and the Lakers are NBA champs!!!
thailandchani said…
I'm totally with you on the TV news. Most of it has no substance and is so biased, it's hardly worth the time it takes to push the button on the remote.

Fox News has got to be the worst offender.

Unknown said…
While I would LOVE to join you on that ~ TRUST ME ~ I would, BUT hearing all of that has made me so mad that I am out talking to people...especially women.

We have to stay on top of this, get mad and do something. Anything...I for one am sending post cards throughout the country. We take for granted that some folks are educated and informed...many are just sitting there watching that tube thinking its real -- We have to take this door to door, computer to computer...I have no intention of living in an El Mummy :0) America for 4-8 more years...Can anyone say "draft"? Cold War? "Roe v Wade"? These will be the first things "El Mummy" tackles...then "Afterschool", "Affirmative Action", and grants/school loans/scholarships...we'll be back in the stone ages bare-foot, pregnant and cooking in the kitchen while all the men-folk go off to war. NO WAY!
Anonymous said…
I'll echo that - Yeah, right. I'm de-lurking to recommend a similar-themed piece on Slate.com called "Racist like me." It's at http://www.slate.com/id/2104994/ Apparently it was posted in 2004, but it's clearly still relevant.

The author points out that once one person labels another as a bigot, the first has an excuse to end the conversation that so much needs to be had. After pointing out that class conflict makes more sense, she ultimately advocates that we learn to forgive ourselves and talk to each other.
Liz Dwyer said…
So sad for her family. I wasn't a fan of the stuff she said on TV this spring but I thought it was ridiculously unprofessional how the media was reporting her as being deceased hours before it actually happened.

It makes me want to scream too. Patriotism in a post-9/11 world has sort of lost its meaning. But it's all about spinning that Obama sucks and now he supposedly needs to pick someone for VP who'll help him grow a pair and fight back against McCain. It all gives me a headache because it doesn't help anybody live a better life.

Nerd Girl,
Ha! That's funny. I don't have any regular shows that I watch other than Project Runway, but I do like to watch movies and I have an on-again off-again relationship with the news. We might be breaking up again.

There was a telling moment yesterday when someone said something about "media narrative" and gosh, that's exactly it. They have a story they want to tell and it doesn't have a whole heck of a lot to do with the actual truth. It drives me crazy that these folks almost seem to see it as a game but the consequences for real people are no game at all.

He's crazy talking about bringing back the draft! What in the world? And it so seems like some in the media are eager to paint Obama as an elitist, the uppity negro. I can't even imagine what the ongoing drama will be if the man gets elected.

Glad you de-lurked to recommend such an interesting article! Our society definitely shies away from the conversation instead of wanting to open up. I do think class conflict is quite relevant but I sometimes think folks use a discussion about class to further avoid talking about how race may be playing out. There may be commonalities across economic lines but I do think someone who's wealthy and black still is going to face stereotypes and discrimination because of their blackness. When they're walking down the street no one knows how much money they have but they sure can see their color.
Mango Mama said…
Thank you Los Angelista for writing what I've been struggling to put in to words, but I agree houseonahill, we must engage in dialogue every chance we get, because most folks are cool with mediocrity and will fall for the okey-doke, and yes, we live in a racist nation. John McCain is a dangerous man and he is spreading outright lies, I do agree that Obama's campaign needs to be a bit more aggressive.
Liz Dwyer said…
Mango Mama,
It definitely is important to talk to people about the issues. Nobody's going on the candidate's websites to read their policy papers or research what they're really about. All folks do is listen to the sound bites and what these talking heads say. It's like our nation has Stockholm Syndrome or something.
Unknown said…
I'm turning off the tv completely. I've been using it to unwind when I get home and it sucks my evenings away like some sort of electronic vampire.

I took the tv in our bedroom and put it away (mostly because I heard that couples without tv's in their bedrooms have more sex) and you know life is a little sweeter. I read more and get more shit done.

I can get what I need from blogs I trust and the radio on the ride to work.

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