Thursday, February 21, 2008

Uganda: Nothing Wrong With Identity Politics -

Anne Mugisha

An astonishing election political campaign have unfolded in United States over the last two months. It have left many African-American women of the Democratic Party lacerate between loyalty to gender and loyalty to race.

The trouble of choosing between Edmund Hillary Bill Clinton and Barrack Obama have given many 'sistas' a batch of grief.

Whether to 'betray' grammatical grammatical gender and favor race have not been an easy determination and at a pre-election mass meeting in California, billionaire talk-show host Oprah Winfrey revealed her ain battles with the issue when she told an audience that she was being accused of betraying her gender by picking Obama and candidacy for him vigorously. Her response: She had to follow her ain truth and her truth led her to Obama.

Oprah is an influential mass media personality and her Midas touching looks to have got swung many open achromatic women in the South where 64% of African American women voted for Barrack Obama in the states of Heart Of Dixie and Georgia. United States Democrats are pensive about a primary election that have personal identity political relation written all over it. The mass media is focusing on ethnicities (Hispanics for Clintons, African Americans for Obama, White aged women for Bill Clinton while little achromatic women with a college instruction prefer Obama).

Barrack Obama's political campaign have got laboured to project him as the campaigner that incarnates alteration because he is a American Capital foreigner and makes not have the luggage of the babe baby boomer coevals (born 1940 - 1960) which have extended their college cabinet room bashes to American Capital political relation for nearly two decades. Obama stands for the novel and had intended to interrupt racial barriers that have got kept achromatic people at the fringe of American Capital politics.

His top failing and one that Bill Bill Clinton have used to maintain a clasp on women electors (especially aged women) is that he misses experience and is not ready for the challenge.

Late last month, as the Democratic conflict for South Carolina heated up up, a new baleful tone of voice entered the political campaign led none other than Bill Clinton - race. Bill Clinton's remarks that drew comparings between Obama's political political campaign and Jesse Jackson's were interpreted as an underhanded effort of making race the issue of the campaign. His innuendoes rubbed the Kennedys the incorrect manner and they endorsed Obama.

The election have also shattered some myths about who acts upon present twenty-four hours vote patterns. The Jack Kennedy dynasty that acclaims from Bay State endorsed Barrack Obama as did Toilet Kerry the former Democratic presidential campaigner from the same state. Well, Bill Bill Clinton took MA.

Maria Shriver (another Kennedy), the Gubernators wife, and First Lady of CA, jumped onto the household bandwagon and endorsed Obama and yes, you guessed it, Clinton took California. So much for dynastic endorsements! Oprah could have got swung more than ballots for Obama than all the Kennedys set together.

But race is indeed is a vote-builder and many Americans are riding the 'feel-good-about-yourself' wave of supporting a coloured adult male running for the peak political office. The campaigners cognize that Hispanics and African Americans volition vote as a block and they place their political campaigns in a mode that will be contributing to those block votes. A strategian who disregards that world makes so at their ain peril.

I reflected on these political kinetics in a democracy that is more than than two centuries old and wondered why anyone wonderments why political leadership of our immature state frisson at the reference of tribal sentiments when personal identity political relation is a world even in the great American thaw pot. There is nil inherently incorrect with associating on the footing of cultural golf course as long as integrity respects co-existence with other personal identities and is for the intent of advancing a legitimate docket of development and self-sustenance.

Our family, clan, national, and even spiritual associations are built along those very principles. Our natural inherent aptitude of self-preservation widens to preserving our personal identities in cultural and spiritual groupings.

Problems get to emerge when one grouping presumes a superior claim for its ain sort over others and hence the demand for norms, regulations and laws to guarantee equality.

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Our battles as a state and as world have got always been about ensuring that no single grouping entrenches itself by ascendant all possible chances -economic, political, social, for their own. Sectarianism as a law-breaking therefore is not the desire for groupings of people to associate in conformity to lineage, culture, or gender, but the desire of one grouping to predominate all countries of human enterprise to the exclusion of others.

Once we see it that way, we will cognize that those who ought to be in the dock for law-breakings of denominationalism are the same 1s promoting the law-breaking and persecuting guardians of our freedom to associate.

The writer is a Particular Envoy, Office of the President, FDC.

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