Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Some Issues Left and Right

While reading DailyKos today, I was astounded by a fair number of racist and anti-Semitic comments made in response to this post about Colin Powell's resignation from the State department chief and Condi Rice being tapped for the role.

I was extremely dismayed by some of the ignorance displayed. No, white liberals, it is not okay to use racial slurs against my brothers and sisters on the other side of the aisle. Talk about Colin Powell's ineffectual term as Sec'y of State. Talk about Condi Rice's complete and utter lack of nuanced thinking. Do not talk about how loyal or disloyal they are to the race. Do not make crude country-club jokes about them and sexual relations and the president. You do not have that right. And you really do not want to remind African-Americans that we've only been Democrats for a couple of generations... or about this party's sordid history.

Anti-Semitic discourse on the left bothers me as well. The question "why are the Jews universally despised in every nation?" is as hateful as it is untrue. And while I disagree with the many documented Israeli atrocities against the Palestinian Arabs, I am a fervent supporter of Israel's right to exist. As a dispossessed descendant of the African diaspora, I find the hagiographic tale of Israel's founding as a dream come true. Would to God that my people could return to the Africa of 500 years ago--an Africa that will never exist again. Our mother continent has been so raped and traumatized until it will take us another half millennium to recover.

As an evangelical, I definitely believe that the Jews throughout history have been God's chosen people. My faith mandates that I pray for the peace of Jerusalem. My faith also tells me that the friends of the Jews--the righteous Gentiles, as it were--prosper. We ought to beware of anti-Semitism's ugly head whenever it rears.

The other issue I'm concerned with is the notion that there are two types of Christians: literalists who voted Bush and liberals who voted Kerry. I'm a Bible literalist--as in, I believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, from cover to cover--and yet I enthusiastically voted Kerry.

This site -- -- perhaps summarizes my views best.

It is because I believe the Bible is literally true, and God still speaks, that I voted for Kerry. Social justice is at the heart of the faith. It reminds me of an anecdote I heard about a homeless woman at a missions event at church: "I'd be able to listen to what you had to say about Jesus if I had something in my stomach." Yet with our harsh and unforgiving doctrine, we embody this Scripture: "These people praise me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me."

The unfortunate thing is that Dems are in danger of losing their Christian base--those of us who love the Lord but also believe in establishing his kingdom on earth by showing mercy and lovingkindness. We're the Christians who don't have to talk about our faith... we're too busy doing it.

Yet the insults keep... on... coming.

If the Dems are not careful, soon they won't have the luxury of being a coalition between diverse interests. They will be what the Republicans accuse them of becoming: coastal liberal elites, mostly white, mostly of means, who look down their noses at the rest of us.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love you.

Really. Really really really.


Ah. That is, I'm glad someone's talking about liberal anti-Semetism. I'm half-Jewish and pretty much a liberal and believe me, it hurts. It's enough that you get to feeling that you're not a good liberal if you believe in Israel--or at least no one will consider you to be one.

Anyhow, I'm just glad you're talking about these things, Ebony. Someone needs to.

~Becky (biichan on lj)

November 17, 2004 at 2:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you're doing this blog, Ebony. I wish all the thousands more people like you would speak out too! It's ridiculous that the conservatives seem to be better at getting past the internal differences within their movement than we are on the left.

Like the above commenter I too am concerned about anti-Semitism from the left, as a leftist Jew. I would think better of liberals than to equate an entire ethnicity and religion with the actions of one government. Why can't the left understand that just as so many of us in the US both love America and want to change its behaviors, so too do many of us Jews and even many Israelis love Israel and want desperately to change its policies.

November 17, 2004 at 11:04 AM  
Blogger Apolla said...

Hey mate, good to know that SOMEONE is talking about things other people won't. I have been rather out of the loop in terms of news (no net at sucky new job) and frankly, I'm suprised (but not shocked) at what white liberals have been saying. When are people going to realise that internal strife will destroy a party FAR more than the 'other side'?

More than that, if someone has to resort to racial slurs to insult someone, they're NOT TRYING HARD ENOUGH. It astounds me that they're doing so with people so easy to attack. People the world over need to realise that being 'ironic' does not make things automatically all right. They should also remember that when they make a joke, if the other side doesn't laugh then it isn't funny.

Way to fulfil exactly what the Republicans say you are, Democrats (some of you, anyway).

November 17, 2004 at 5:55 PM  
Anonymous mortgage broker said...

thought-provoking, mootable pv. just my thoughts, well anyways gl & be chipper is what i say

December 20, 2005 at 8:02 PM  

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