These days, amid mounting work and pressure, I find myself reflecting back to the era that brought enormous change in our country. My room was painted red, oh yes, red on every wall. Red carpet, red canopy atop my bed, a red, upholstered rocking chair. One black strobe light adorned a nearby desk, the first of my forays into the "coolness" of the next decade which brought me to Studio 54, The Limelight, and other such venues of debatable repute. Hey, it was de rigeur to be "hip", and in the 60's, I was too young to be hip, but I was keenly aware of the political and societal landscape surrounding me. Too old for my body, my soul had been here before. After school, the ritual played out daily, with my mom picking me up from school, a snack, a few moments to talk, then click: the familiarity of those television faces peered at us. Walter Cronkite was awash in black and white, and perhaps I could attribute my affinity for the journalistic sciences to him. When Walter spoke, we ALL listened.
"They were the best of times, they were the worst of times." That quote will always summarize the "60's for me. For every memory of silly sitcoms, head shops, incense, seeing a real hippie across the street ( oh, how I longed to be her), the British invasion, hukapoo shirts, driving with the family for Sunday outings, I will vividly recall the etching of hell that emblazoned my little tv. I was in the second grade when JFK rode into Dallas. Psychological trauma, to be sure. Caroline and John John, saluting daddy's flag draped casket. Racial tensions exploded in our cities. Martin Luther King, gunned down after predicting his fate on The Tonight Show. City projects were dens of rape, murder, and drug dealers. Watts. The pretty colors of psychedlic hues were smeared with the blood and violence of the civil rights movement. We were a nation divided. I was a child, confused. By the time I got a bit older, I was allowed to ride the NYC subways, but always with a stern warning concerning safety. Back then, New York was crime riddled and a haven for racial tensions. However, many of us lived in the nearby suburbs, and found it to be a treat to spend a day visiting the greatest city, ignoring the steaming undercurrents. Mayors came, mayors went, decades went by, and we all managed to heal.........or so we thought.
Some say ignorance is bliss. I used to tell a dear friend of mine, that I had wished to be born in a trailer, appreciating the merits of a keg of beer and some fireworks for the fourth. Didn't happen. My sense of social justice and enlightenment never leaves me, and boy do I want a vacation from it. The late 70's were purely hedonistic for me. Dare I say in a public forum? No, I'll pass. The 80's brought marriage, surge of career, extensive travel, inner turmoil, wanderlust, and the realization that the world around me affected me more than I would have liked. Enter the 90's. Offspring, suburban bliss, Saab and Volvo, the picture perfect snapshot. Everyone seemed happy in my little world of denial. No troops were being sent to war, economic hardship had not found me, and I played the Stepford role with a bitten lip. Inside, utter and complete turmoil. And yet, it seemed as if America had settled in for a good snooze. No assassinations ( perhaps an attempt or two), June Cleaver was put to bed, and I had no cognizance of racial tensions within our shores. Perhaps, it was a time of silence, after earlier turbulence, the success of the civil rights movement, affirmative action, and what I perceived to be, equality between the races.
Enter, "THE ONE." The unifer, the One who will end the divide amongst black and white, rich and poor, dumb and dumber. I don't know about you, but I have daily flashbacks to the 60's everyday. I flip the remote, and every single day and night, there before us are the very images that ignited riots decades before. The invoking of race, subliminally and overtly, has become a pasttime for Sen. Obama. Despite his claims to the contrary, the 2008 campaign is about race. I am going to be clear, because it is now tantamount to treason to deride "The One", but I assure you, my disdain is not about color. Give me a qualified and less fraudulent black, female, asian, native american, or alien candidate, and I would support that politician without question. To claim that race has no part in this election, is to ignore the FACT that over 90 percent of African Americans support Sen. Obama. Do we really believe that is due to his legislative accomplishments? And, why is the mainstream media now peppered with pundits never before known to the public, of African descent, who mostly worship the messiah? Am I a racist for acknowledging what many of us want to but don't? I am brave and disgusted, not racist. Why is it acceptable to deride a female candidate for President, tell her to iron shirts, stop wearing pantsuits, cease the phoniness of ONE watershed moment when she was human? In short, WHY IS IT ACCEPTABLE TO MOCK AND ABUSE A MOST ACCOMPLISHED FEMALE ,WHILST A NATIONAL DISGRACE WORTHY OF THE HAGUE, TO QUESTION THE LEADERSHIP, RISE TO POWER, AND ETHICS OF A BLACK MAN RUNNING FOR THE LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD?
I will not accept this. I will never forget this. We, the women of The United States of America, have found our "NEW" voice. SHE is Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. Qualifed does not discriminate. It simply proves itself.
This following excerpt illustrates what is an increasingly growing discord , thanks to Sen. Obama's "call to arms."
1. Tom Brokaw Angrily Denies NBC Racism Charge
NBC’s “Meet the Press” interim moderator Tom Brokaw has responded sharply to a charge that the network is racist for hiring only white males to host the show.
The charge came from Scott Pellegrino in an article carried by CounterPunch, a mostly left-wing newsletter and Web site.
Pellegrino, a veteran talk-radio producer, pointed out that there have been nine permanent hosts of “Meet the Press” since 1953 — “all of them white and all of them male, as though the civil rights and women’s movements never happened.”
He then initiated an e-mail exchange with Brokaw, asking in his first e-mail to Brokaw’s assistant if the veteran newsman thought it would be “appropriate” for NBC to hire a person of color as the next “Meet the Press” host.
Brokaw responded in an e-mail disclosed by Pellegrino that he is “not in charge” of selecting the next permanent host following the death of Tim Russert. But he stated that there are many men and women “of all colors and backgrounds who are on the long list of possibilities.”
Pellegrino, president and CEO of PopDebate and CollegiateDebates — which tout themselves as “the Web’s premier portal for stimulating intellectual exchange among the globe's sharpest minds” — replied the same day. He said that while Brokaw is not in charge of picking the next host, he more than anyone else at NBC has the “gravitas” to influence the choice.
When Brokaw did not respond for six days, Pellegrino ratcheted up the vitriol in an e-mail with the subject line “Mr. Brokaw, very disappointed in your cowardly silence,” asking: “Where is your conscience? Is your life nothing more than an exclusive white-male country club?”
Brokaw angrily responded: “What kind of self-aggrandizing stunt is this?” He went out to document his long career reporting on issues of race and “advocating racial fairness and justice,” citing among other works a “prize-winning documentary called ‘Separate and Unequal’ about the economic and social consequences of the continuing racism in America.”
He called Pellegrino a “cheap shot columnist looking for an easy headline.”
In a later e-mail Brokaw wrote: “If I say publicly that NBC must choose an African-American as the new host and then NBC management decides on an African-American man or woman based entirely on merit, what do you think the reaction will be? Oh, he/she got the job simply because they’re black.”
In his next e-mail Pellegrino called NBC a “racist” media company, along with several other media entities he named.
At that point Steve Capus, president of NBC News, sent an e-mail to Pellegrino stating that “Tom has finishing communicating with you,” adding that Pellegrino is “more intent on pathetic cheap shots and deranged rants.”