Tag Archives: election

Scheer says Trudeau admires China’s ‘basic dictatorship’ in reference to 2013 remark

Scheer was seemingly referring to comments made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau several years ago, suggesting that China’s authoritarian political system had contributed to its economic success.

ANALYSIS: Near-record ‘incumbency disadvantage’ is yet another headache for Jagmeet Singh’s NDP

Global News calculates that 32 per cent of New Democrat MPs who won in 2015 will not be on the ballot in 2019. Chief Political Correspondent David Akin says that’s a huge “incumbency disadvantage” that will be a factor in how the 2019 campaign plays out,

Trudeau government leaks support in wake of SNC-Lavalin, Wilson-Raybould matter: Ipsos poll

A new poll, providing exclusively to Global News, finds Trudeau’s Liberals have fallen back of Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives in the wake of one of the worst political crises to bedevil the government since taking office.

Obama’s symbolic “progress” was never enough to liberate Black people. Let’s not fall for it again

By Gyasi Lake

During the 2008 presidential campaign, my family was among the millions of americans enthralled by the young, charismatic Democratic candidate Barack Obama. He particularly appealed to my mother, who not only saw her son in the presidential hopeful, but also the endless possibilities of having a Black president in office.

My mother thought highly of the eloquence of Obama’s speeches, a byproduct of his Ivy-league intellect that had the ability to showcase itself through quick-witted humor and measured clap-backs at pundits. His overt devotion to his equally impressive Black family was icing on the cake. Politics aside, he was of the mold my mother wanted me to grow into.

On the night of November 4th 2008, at the age of twelve, I saw my mother cry for the very first time. With monsoon eyes she looked earnestly into my soul and said, “Never let them say you can’t do anything.” I went to bed that night gleeful, knowing that history was being made and anticipating the future. But I woke up the next day with the realization that I was only ever told that Obama’s election would bring change, never how that change would happen or what it would look like.

My mother was born in 1970, two years after the Civil Rights Movement had ended but once its ideology had been crystallized in the minds of many Southern Black people like my grandmother. My grandmother raised all eight of her children in a strict Baptist household, imbued with respectability politics and the yearning for economic gains, while passing down the philosophy that we have to “work twice as hard” for half of what white people get.

My mother took these lessons and applied them at every possible turn. She excelled in the classroom and willed her way into a high school program that sent “gifted” city students to suburban schools to better “intellectually stimulate” them. She graduated early (becoming the first and only in her family to graduate high school), attended college, got married before having her only child, and eventually became a highly respected church secretary. She achieved the social and economic status my grandmother had dreamt for her.

I was raised of the same ilk as my mother. She passed down “work twice as hard.” We were also a Baptist household, and she taught me both the old and new sets of respectability politics. In the fourth-grade, we moved from the city to the suburbs so that I could apply these lessons at a more “intellectually demanding” school, just as she once had. For years, she filled my ears with affirmations about my wildest dreams being possible if I just worked hard enough, and Barack Obama was the proof.

But my mother was also an instrumental figure in developing my voracious reading pattern, a catalyst that sparked the consistently high marks I received in school. Through my relentless reading, I found my spiritual soulmate in Malcolm X at around fifteen years old. His autobiography and speeches floored and forced an awakening within me. I devoured his “Message To The Grassroots” speech, and sat heavily on his distinction between the Negro Revolution and the Black Revolution. He explained how the Negro Revolution began and ended with the advancement of African Americans within the existing system of the United States, while the Black Revolution was internationalized in demanding the liberation from oppressive forces.

I was forced to evaluate my indoctrination of the ideas of “working twice as hard” and “respectability.” It slowly became clear to me how I was becoming a soldier for the Negro Revolution and perpetuating the validity of white supremacy. I only “worked twice as hard” because I wanted to showcase my “otheredness” amongst my own people in hopes of deserving humanity through the white gaze.

Through X’s words, I was also able to frame Obama as a leader of the Negro Revolution, those who want to “change” the system from within yet still reap the benefits from it existing. This method of “change” that was promoted by Obama is unworkable because it suggests that the system is broken, when in actuality it is operating as it was always designed to.

In the 2020 presidential campaign, there have already been two recently announced “diverse” Democratic candidates who have been generating mainstream buzz and equal scrutiny from the left, in similar ways to Obama in 2008 and 2012. California Senator Kamala Harris’s memoir The Truths We Hold takes ample time to justify her support of increasingly punitive forms of carceral punishment, ranging from opposing criminal justice reforms so that the state would not lose “prison labor base,” to criminalizing truancy, essentially targeting low-income Black families. She labels herself a “progressive persecutor” (a contradiction made more evident in the age of mass incarceration and Black Lives Matter) as a way to reframe the narrative.

New Jersey Senator Cory Booker has noted Wall Street allies and has been aligned with Betsy Devos for his support of school privatization and school vouchers, both tactics notorious for creating a greater divide between the education received by wealthy white students, who are overrepresented in private schools, and poor Black people. On February 9th in Iowa, Booker frames himself as a leader on this country’s turbulent history of race in a talk that seems rather performative after a video leaked of him failing to condemn 45 for his alignment with white supremacy. “I don’t know the heart of anyone, I leave that to the Lord”, he said. For Booker to only tentatively suggest that 45’s words and likeness have been used by neo-nazis is further proof that he doesn’t want to ostracize himself from white liberals who view more overt condemnations of white supremacy negatively.   

Intentionally or not, Obama laid out the blueprint for Black presidential candidates, and both Kamala and Cory are trying to execute on it. Utilizing social media to showcase their accessible personalities in order to capitalize on viral content. Double dutching in and out of their Blackness to attract Black voters but still not alienate white liberals.

I’m tired of inauthentic diversity. The type of diversity that just has a more palatable cohort of leaders but who operate the same U.S system of imperialist, white supremacist, capitalist, patriarchy. Diversity in appearance devoid of diversity in politics. That diversity panders for our votes then leaves us high in the euphoria of broken promises while we actively look for scapegoats to rationalize the failings in the candidates’ moral compass.

Since the Civil Rights Movements heyday, Black political representation has continued to climb without realizing Black freedom. According to research by Princeton political scientist Martin Gilens, as support for a policy rises within the Black community today, the odds of it being achieved actually declines. Regardless of the level of representation and visibility of members of our community and our issues, the needs of the Black community remains unanswered.

When I told my mother that I didn’t vote for “the lesser of two evils” and withheld my vote entirely in 2016 because “Democrats and Republicans are different sides of the same ideological coin of oppression; we just tend to choose the blue side more,” her rebuttal employed the use of ancestral trauma that has become common for Black political mobilization. She stated that my decision not to vote was a “disservice to the legacy of our people before us who were humiliated and died for this right.” I argued that this same political machine suppresses votes by restrictive-voter laws and disenfranchisement, how my uncle hasn’t voted in over 20 years because of his record, and how we are only living in the illusion of democracy.

My mother responded unwaveringly in her assertion that I squandered my opportunity to make a difference. I had to live with the current climate, she said, and walked out of the room visibly upset. We are conditioned to be committed to these principles of respectability and representation, and for her son to challenge her on those principles, principles she raised him to uphold, is to shake the foundation of all her long-held beliefs. But I have to put community before feelings. We must critique previous and existing ideologies that aren’t inclusive, even when held by the ones we love the most. Even when held by ourselves.

Suggested Reading:

Millenials Are Killing Capitalism, “Some Thoughts On Voting & Bourgeois Elections“, 2018

Angela Davis, Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement, 2016

James Baldwin, Notes Of A Native Son, 1955

Gyasi Lake is a student currently attending university in buffalo majoring in sociology and minoring in english. He primarily writes short stories, poetry and essays.

The post Obama’s symbolic “progress” was never enough to liberate Black people. Let’s not fall for it again appeared first on RaceBaitr.

Federal government announces $141M for social sciences, humanities research

With the Agnes Etherington Art Centre at Queen’s University as a backdrop, federal science and sports minister Kirsty Duncan announced $141 million for social sciences and humanities research. 

California Billionaire Steyer Criticized For Impeachment Campaign

RENO, Nev. (AP) — A California billionaire urging the impeachment of President Donald Trump denies suggestions that his efforts are helping Republican politicians including Nevada Republican Sen. Dean Heller running in the upcoming elections.

Democratic megadonor Tom Steyer spoke in Reno on Wednesday as part of a 30-city “Need to Impeach” town hall tour, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported.

So far, he’s collected about 5.4 million signatures in support of the impeachment campaign, Steyer said. The campaign is also backed by 66 congress people and “plenty of celebrities.”

Although he knows there is no real chance of impeaching Trump any time soon and many fellow Democrats believe he should stop, Steyer plans to continue with his effort.

“It’s about giving the American people a chance to raise their voice on (impeachment), because I think it’s the most important question in front of us,” he said. “That’s really the only thing that elected officials will listen to anyway.”

Democratic leaders fear Steyer’s campaign will only fire up pro-Trump voters who they hope will stay home during November’s general elections.

U.S. Rep. Jacky Rosen’s campaign said in a statement Thursday that Rosen does not support an impeachment campaign because she wants special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia-focused election meddling investigation to continue without any political interference.

She is running against Heller for his seat in the Senate.

“This isn’t about politics or party labels, it’s about doing what’s right and that’s exactly what Jacky fights for every day serving Nevadans in Congress,” the statement said.

The San Francisco-based hedge fund tycoon is also funding $2 million millennial-focused voter turnout effort against Heller and Republican Attorney General Adam Laxalt, who is running for governor.

Laxalt and other state Republicans have called Steyer’s efforts an example of the California’s creeping influence Nevada politics.

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