Can A White Person Successfully Give Up Their Privilege?

I was reading this post at the anti-racist parent blog about White Noise, a Minneapolis-based group of “white parents with white children” who want to end white supremacy. The name sounds a bit too similar to militia/supremacist groups which is why I initially decided to research them. I was going to write about this the other day but the Sodini shooting took precedence. Speaking of which – his merely thinking he could lose some privilege was enough to incite violence. 

Let’s ask those teabaggers and birthers how they feel about the prospect of having less power even when it’s the perception and not something that has come to pass. This kinda proves my point and informed by initial response. There are certain rules that govern a society. Smart groups focus on dominance for their survival – amongst other things. Who voluntarily tries to step back from the meat brought in from the kill while they examine how it got there and whether they should cut off a piece to give away?  Others aren’t going to wait around, they’re “hungry” and will eat it. They may also decide to get rid of the ones who aren’t grabbing for it because it might cause the group to be weakened beyond repair. So all in all I think the premise is a bit ridiculous!
It hit me while I was still pregnant. Standing there at the Mall of America, looking up at the huge rotunda of bright lights and countless stores, I realized something. This baby I carried inside of me, at this point no bigger than a knucklebone, was going to be privileged with a capital “P.” And with that awareness, I entered a place of contradiction. You see, I could already feel the mama-self growing in me; that place where my bear claws would live, where the desire to do anything to make this child safe, make this child whole, would growl as it grew stronger. That mama-self doesn’t feel like a choice. It’s in there, hooked around my mitochondria and woven into the DNA.

But there’s this other self; sometimes called the political self or the activist self or the stand back and pay attention self. It knows that my child — white and raised by white parents in a family where the adults have the gift of education, have choice about their work, and own their own home — is a privileged child. Every gain my mama-self wants to support my child in making will be on the backs of other children, children with mother’s whose mama-selves are just as fierce as mine but who have to fight against real monsters like hunger or violence.

I know. I know. I bet some of you would have thought I’d applaud the efforts and say, Right On! No. This isn’t Utopia. In the real world groups fight for dominance. In the real world said groups change the rules all the time at their leisure and apply them discriminately to retain an advantage. Even the definition of whiteness shifts – and will continue to do so for the ones they chose to grant “whiteness” to. Black people will never be allowed to be white. That one drop rule will always apply. So everybody else can get a crack at it but not us. Not even after you’ve declared yourself Cablasian. Not even after you marry into and immerse yourself in the proximity of whiteness. At least half the people in this country who identify as white weren’t considered white at some point in our history. For the purposes of elevation they had to pit themselves against the more obviously non-white peoples to step into their whiteness.

That’s not to say I don’t appreciate the efforts of the benevolently privileged in examining their power infrastructure. Men can be feminists after all. Blacks can be racist. Which is also my point. People who’ve been given the short end of the stick can and do find someone else weaker to pick on. Like how some black men take out their frustration at not being able to successfully complete against white men as a collective and bash black women and abandon their children. Like how some black people use religion as an excuse to bash LGBTs and say it’s about “following God” as if other people don’t have a spiritual practice of their own. 

So the white mother in that post mentioning having a “partner” versus a “husband” caught my attention. I wonder how much her orientation (if I was reading between the lines correctly) has something to do with her efforts. Again, orientation alone is no guarantee of being equitable. Part of the response I got to my initial critique in the comment section was that these parents are focused on what’s going on today. That they’re not trying to deny having cultural and ethnic pride nor do they want to insist their children attempt to make up for historical wrongs.

Well….if that isn’t examined properly and in context to what they’re trying to accomplish perhaps I’m missing the point to this initiative. Or they are. As I replied the focus is leaning heavily on race as a construct not class. Are these a bunch of yuppie white parents trying to be “down”? I may be a little harsh on them and their efforts but they don’t get a cookie or gold star. Like I said I think they need a bit of a reality check. If they have limited interaction with non-whites how are they putting into practice what they want to preach? Also have they considered what the response of other privileged white people will be? Do they allow themselves to be graded on by non-whites?

Minnesota doesn’t exactly have a large non-white population. I can guarantee if they had to compete on equal footing with others and “had to share” privilege all of that talk would go right out the window. If they were inconvenienced past a certain comfort zone they wouldn’t want to give up anything. If they had to deal with an underclass population in their daily lives they’d move to separate themselves immediately. Having the friend, confidant, lover or neighbor is no guarantee of being free from racist/sexist attitudes either. 

So I could be the benevolent Negress and applaud their (misguided) efforts but since everything’s on their terms they don’t need my approval. 
Update: I found a web site that according to them “provides resources and tools for white people who are motivated to investigate their white cultural conditioning” that’s called UNTRAINING.

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White Woman Virtue Intact As Letterman Forced to Eat His Words

Wow there is some serious animus going on. I totally missed the David Letterman controversy because I was off doing other things. Apparently he insulted Alex Rodriquez by suggesting that he’d be interested in one of Sarah Palin’s daughters. Actually he made a joke about her getting knocked-up at the Yankees game. Was the joke tasteless? Yes. Did it deserve the level of outrage that has gone on for four days? That’s debatable. 
Clearly Letterman has no love for Sarah Palin and I would’ve thought it best to leave any children out of it – except for the fact that she’s pimped out her own kids and “superior” moral virtue. I figure if you don’t feed the gremlins they won’t grow, but leave it to their PR machine to kick in. By the way, Letterman’s joking is all President Obama’s fault!
Now Letterman has apologized because some advertisers pulled out. He owns his show so he can pretty much do what he wants but I’m surprised by the level of vitriol on both sides and the undercurrent of hostility which has everything to do with the declining influence of the Republican Party. 
So I’m not going to talk about free speech or how the Palins are using this to their advantage because we already know this! I almost feel sorry for Dave except he’s a very wealthy white man and will be fine. He’s just butted heads with the great big Right Wing machine – which he’s been doing for some time now. So this is kind of like two titans fighting it out. 
The hypocrisy occurs of course because of the attention that’s been given this as if it was a SERIOUS ISSUE!! when Fox, MSNBC, CNN and plenty of other newspapers and media spread their lies and vile hate speech EVERY SINGLE DAY and it’s ok when THEY do it. This doesn’t even compare. My only advice to Dave is that he should remember that white womanhood is a sacred thing to many that they will defend regardless if it is Sarah Palin or her daughters. 

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You’re So Lame Award of Shame – Kate Gosselin

What is with these women who CHOOSE to get pregnant, conduct expensive experiments with their fertility, have multiple births and beg for public attention and financial recompense? There is no “motherhood gene”!!! It’s all a choice and if you chose it don’t make a career complaining about it!! Nadya Suleman has only now just taken a small backseat while the original Octo-Mom, Kate Gosselin tries to keep her family’s gravy train from running out. In case you don’t watch tv or have cable or care, there’s a reality tv show called Jon & Kate Plus 8 about a couple with 2 sets of kids who were multi-births. 
They claim to have no outside help and to be completely financially self-sufficient. Now their network signed another family with 12 kids. So between all the press shared by Suleman and these other people, their new season was in jeopardy of being DOA. So what do you do when you think you might become irrelevant? You create controversy! As if that’s something that should be rewarded. 
An article from US magazine as featured on the OMG! site paints a slightly different picture: 

The Gosselins make up to $75,000 per episode on their TLC hit, Jon & Kate Plus 8, for a 20-episode season — and that’s not even counting all their freebies! For the Gosselin clan, it’s not just their show — but their lifestyle — that hang in the balance. Kate, who grew up in a trailer park and didn’t go on her first airplane ride until her honeymoon to Disney World, now flies only first class for speaking engagements (mostly paid for by churches), sells signed photos of her kids for $20 a pop at appearances, and received a free tummy tuck after giving birth (Jon received a free hair transplant). Jon, now a stay-at-home dad, was fired from his job at Style Craft Corp in 2004 after “spending much more time” on a “quest” for freebies than working, the company’s owner, David Rothermel, tells Us.

Having children is expensive, time-consuming and difficult – which is why I don’t have any. Being a parent should be held in high regard and carefully considered. Often it is not. The Gosselins have been on a media blitz amid allegations they’re both having extra-marital relations and hawking Kate’s new book. This is being given the same amount and more coverage than the President’s negotiations for health care in certain media circles. This further proves corporate media is a joke. 
I was deciding whether to give out an Award of Shame this week at all. It was going to go the Republicans for obfuscating the torture they allowed but that will be an ongoing saga. I think parents who exploit their race and class privileges for further financial reward and attention deserve to be smacked down. 
I was going to add the husband to this, but I have a funny feeling this is being led at the discretion of the wife. He deserves some blame of course but again, I think she’s calling the shots. If your husband was cheating on you would you deny it while using it for media coverage? To me this is just more of the usual display and reinforcement of white woman privilege. There’s even discussion about whether feminists and moms can be one in the same. For if this had been about a woman who wasn’t young, thin, white and blond she would’ve been completely eviscerated or laughed at – not celebrated in gossip weeklies and given blanket legitimacy. 

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While Prop 8 Rages On Racial Profiling Continues in Palo Alto

In case all you Obama stans thought it was going to be hug a Negro Day and an end to white guilt, the contrast could not be greater. While mostly white middle class people who identify as gay rage about the failure of their entitlement to Prop 8 for voting for Obama, Black and Latino men of all classes can’t leave their houses for fear of being shot by the police. In case you hadn’t heard the Palo Alto Police Chief issued a public notice of open season on them because of the increase in crime. This isn’t Oppression Olympics, this is a matter of life and death. Now somebody please tell me why No on 8 should take precedence in the lives of PoC over everything else? 
See story on CBS5.
*****
Update 11-11:
The Palo Alto City Council voted to condemn racial profiling on Monday evening. City Manager James Keene has hire/fire authority over Police Chief Lynne Johnson. He is not without controversy himself. He worked in the same capacity in Berkeley before going to Tucson, AZ and coming back to Northern California. He earns nearly $200K per year. He should be doing his job don’t you think? 
I would absolutely advocate firing any Police Chief who’s racism has been so blatant and long standing. There shouldn’t be any question as to whether her judgement is compromised and how that poisons the entire well. There also needs to be a ‘retraining’ or more firings than one person. While he “evaluates” we can contact him (via link above) to let him know we will not tolerate men of color being treated like insurgents!
See latest developments on KTVU.
My original post is here.

Prop 8: Evaluating & Finding Common Ground

So while the blame game continues, people take to the streets in protest and file lawsuits take a look at the actual votes for Yes on Proposition 8 by non-Blacks:
White Men:   51% of 31% of 10,325,615 votes: 1,632,480 Yes
White Women:   47% of 32% of 10,325,615 votes: 1,552,972  Yes
Latino Men:   54% of 8% of 10,325,615 votes:    446,067 Yes
Latino Women:   52% of 11% of 10,325,615 votes:    592,170  Yes
Asian/Native:   51% of 9% of 10,325,615 votes:    473,946 Yes

Total: 4,697,635 

9.3 times the maximum TOTAL number of Black votes in California.
Continuing this discussion of the failure of the No on 8 campaign and similar legislation in FL and AR, I’d like to work on presenting strategies we should consider. 
1.) End this focus on Black straight religious-based labeling of those that voted Yes on 8 as homophobic. There is a larger argument here that is multi-layered and not as simple as ‘black and white’ or ‘loving God means hating gays’. Accept the fact that some people’s religious traditions do not support LGBTQI on certain aspects but find other issues that you can get their support on. There is too much emphasis on sex and sex acts and not enough consideration of loving monogamous (if you will) relationships and families. Focus on poverty, housing, employment and improving the lives of children and you will make inroads. I have a religious tradition that has constantly evolved as I’ve matured, experienced things in life and have revisited what I believe. It’s called evaluating, questioning and growing – something that we can all benefit from.
Read this article in the Bay Reporter Online from October 23, 2008 that focused on Black religious leaders and community gathering for support for No on 8. 

About 100 people gathered at a predominantly black church in San Francisco Sunday, October 19 for an evening of preaching against Prop 8.

Referring to blacks’ fight against oppression, the Reverend Amos Brown, of Third Baptist Church, told those present, “We have become that which we hated.”

People “ain’t got no business telling gay and lesbian and transgender people that they cannot have equal protection under the law in these United States of America,” he said. His words were greeted with a loud standing ovation.

So much for that “all Blacks hate teh gay (and can’t be gay)” meme!!
2.) The Gay Rights Industrial Complex (GRIC) has a serious image problem. First of all every LGBTQI person is not white, male (mostly) and monied. That’s the only aspect we see. Look at who’s running the organizations, who’s driving the media narrative and who the celebrity spokespeople tend to be and it’s a virtual white-out. If you present yourself as exclusive and wealthy any cries of discrimination and marginalization are not gonna fly!! You can’t have it both ways. A regime change is absolutely necessary from the top down.
3.) Where are the people of color who are LGBTQI? Where is the parity within the GRIC? There should be conservations between them first. Why have you allowed a movement with an agenda being pushed that largely discounts you? There has to be a coordination with non-LGBTQI supporters who should be at the table as well. And let’s be real: people need to go places they don’t feel comfortable going and speak to people as human beings, not as labels. The one thing that should be gleaned from the Obama campaign is community organizing and listening to those whose viewpoints you are unfamiliar with or don’t agree with. 
We need more of this:[prop8.jpg]
And Less of this:
Election ’08: More Prop. 8 Madness---From Westwood to the Hood
4.) If whites had a real understanding of the tradition of Civil Rights and how it began in the Black church they would not continually lay claim to the idea in theory when applying it to Gay Rights activism. Have you ever heard of a repeating comparison to the Holocaust? Of course not. It’s ridiculous! Yet there is this inherent racism, yes, racism by placing all Black people into victim status and then trying to co-opt our struggles as having the same meaning. It also places a hierarchy of status by placing Blacks beneath whites – which brings us full circle back to my beginning argument. There are also the struggles of the other ethnic groups (Natives, Asians, Latinos, etc) that haven’t even been considered. No matter what circumstances or who is involved it always seems to come back to blaming teh Black
In the end the Marriage Amendments may have to be decided by a ruling from the Supreme Court. Hopefully the Obama administration will be able to make at least 2 appointments of more moderate (but I’m hoping for uber liberal) judges. That’s why voting for him and working on a long term agenda is so important. You might be surprised to find th actual votes from white gay males was lower for President-Elect Obama than Sen. John Kerry. Let’s not even talk about the Log Cabin Republicans!
 
Black people and other PoC who are LGBTQI and supportive of have to sit down together and hash things out with those who are not. White people who are LGBTQI and supportive have to make a choice about what’s most important to them: white privilege or gay rights. And act accordingly. 
A coordinated attack from an opposition force that is well organized and well funded will not survive if all allies are united. 

Oprah Just Honored Gloria Steinem: Why Am I So Mad?

So I was watching Thursday’s Oprah episode where she featured Maria Shriver. Maria has an annual conference for women and this year Billie Jean King and Gloria Steinem are amongst the honorees. Now Steinem might be an ally of Oprah but is she an ally of mine? What about Laquisha from the hood? Or Monique from a small town? So many people are ignored not only by corporate media but by us when they don’t easily fit into our vision of what an ally is or we dismiss others without giving them an opportunity to prove themselves from the get-go.
Blogger Host Lisa at Black Women Blow the Trumpet posted a discussion about how Black women needed to vet their potential allies back in June. When I go through the criteria I find key elements lacking for matters that are important to me. How did I come to such a conclusion?
Well I looked back at Ms. Steinem’s behavior during the Democratic primary. Per her Op-Ed article in the New York Times back in January: her charge was that sexism is worse than racism. I was outraged by that assessment and to me it signaled the same white male supremacist power structure Black people have been fighting against since we helped found this country with our blood, sweat and tears. I also looked at the historical interactions from previous generations of white feminists, black feminists and civil rights activists.
If there’s any one authority of the ravages of sexism it is Black women. We were uniquely affected by it as well as racism when our female ancestors were forced to breed and lived with being raped on a daily basis. Our bodies were never our own. Being enslaved required 18-20 hours day of skull-crushing, back breaking labor while white people fought for ‘freedom’ and built their wealth. Now to be certain, there was the slave owner but there was also the slave owner’s wife who benefitted from this practice and had an equally vested interest in keeping the status quo. 
That violation of Black women continued after slavery, through Jim Crow and still resides today. Do you think the brouhaha over Janet Jackson being exposed had to do with indecency or a reaction to the historical image distortion of Black women as being wanton and having no morals? 

White women = the definition of “woman” in this country. White. Blonde. Thin. Young. Pure. Wife material. Innocent. Worthy of protection. American.

Ms. Steinem made a point of mentioning she ran as a delegate for Shirley Chisholm and praised her contribution to feminism. Nice, but that was 1972. Then there’s the fact that she was also supporting George McGovern’s run (in states where Chisholm wasn’t running). Now color me stupid but I’m thinking of two words right now. Divided loyalty. Hedging bets. Not Sincere? 
What has she done for Black women since then?
Watch the documentary Unbought & Unbossed. Note that Mrs. Chisholm didn’t get a whole lot of support from the Black (male) politicians of the day but she was definitely abandoned by the so-called leaders of the (white) feminist movement at a crucial moment when they could have gone for broke and supported her candidacy.  For a white male candidate no less. So I am rightfully incensed with Steinem and a host of other white women (Geraldine Ferraro, Joan Walsh, et al) who were given media access and were carping about how ‘unfair’ it all was that they were victims of a vast Black (male) conspiracy (and not getting their way)! Their sense of entitlement was palpable. Otherwise why title your Op-Ed piece, “Women Are Never Front-Runners” when you had the chance to support a female candidate more than 30 years prior and decided to choose white?
Furthermore, where were the BLACK WOMEN in this equation? Yeah Hillary Clinton had Sheila Jackson-Lee and Stephanie Tubbs-Jones in her corner but was that from a position of power? Or was this standard water-carrier activity? How was the average Black woman benefitting from this discourse? Then….and now? If you have no idea what I’m talking about now’s the time to do a little historical research, compare it to the coverage last Spring and connect the dots as to why I’ve drawn this conclusion. You don’t have to agree of course.
Then there’s the very telling debate between Steinem and Melissa Harris-Lacewell on Democracy Now a week after the Op-Ed was published. Steinem had this paternalistic attitude of how ‘grateful’ Black women should be. This is the ongoing indicator of how some people are not our allies, including other Black women and Black men. Watch and judge for yourself.
Oprah referring to Steinem as the “Mother of Feminism” is really giving her far more credit than she deserves. A key contributor – sure –  because a path was created for her to do so. This is when I see why some people are critical of Oprah for seeming to fawn over some white people too much. I can’t quite agree with the charge of the ‘selling out’ of Blacks by Oprah but I do see the distinction of money, access and celebrity. Besides, those part of the elite classes and those with access to them are not interested in opening their doors to the masses. 
First of all Steinem is in her 70’s and part of the 2nd wave of feminism. We’re in the 3rd wave now and believe me there’s a reason why so many young girls don’t know anything about feminism other than having a vague sense of the word. Most women under 35 don’t consider themselves feminists at all.  At times it is an exercise in privilege because there is so much ‘choice’ involved. When there are systematic barriers in place that prevent some women from being able to make certain choices or have equal opportunities then there is no choice! It is just white woman privilege under the construct of white male supremacy.
There can be no truthful acknowledgment of Steinem’s contributions without discussing her privilege as a white woman, her class status and appearance. She was single with no children, educated and is still attractive and articulate. She was not a poor woman from Appalachia with a GED. Sorry Glo, I am still not convinced. There is a blogger whose interests lie in deconstructing and dismantling this privilege.
Now as a member of the (in)famous X generation perhaps I am missing something. This could a generational difference. Just like the Civil Rights Industrial Complex the old guard wants to keep their status and accolades. Where is the grooming and nurturing of future leaders? More women would make a concerted effort to align themselves with the Feminist Industrial Complex IF they felt it spoke to them and addressed their needs.  There are women who are anti-racist activists trying to form valuable alliances with each other. We need to have more than one declared leader of the FIC anyway. Women, like Blacks are not a monolith. So many are quick to object to blind support for Obama and not make him into a Messiah. Well we don’t need a “Mother” either. We need to be on equal footing with a seat at the table.
For too many there is a huge socio-economic barrier at play. If you have to address more immediate needs such as affordable housing or even personal safety as a result of racist/sexist policies negatively impacting your sphere of the world being ignored by these pillars of the movement won’t encourage your participation. Another example of this is the current fight against Proposition 8. The Gay Rights groups seeking support for its opposition approach communities color during an election year but ignore them otherwise. 
Steinem now claims to have been in support of Obama all along – she just wanted Hillary Clinton in the White House first.  Remember those calls for Obama to “wait his turn”? As if he had to make it easier for the white women (and those that support their agendas) to deal with playing on a level field. Isn’t that what equality means? See where white privilege demands deference? Obama has already capitulated to white people to make them feel at ease enough!! Look how close we are to election day and you can read numerous reports of how whites are calling Obama a terrorist or dressing up monkey stuffed animals and all the ways they are making their displeasure known. 
The convenient fall back position is to claim they didn’t know they were being offensive, or because they have a Black friend/lover/neighbor/co-worker they can’t be racist. Not correctly labeling their actions means there can be no progress. Without respect there can be no real relationship. Standing by and doing nothing to hold people accountable will never resolve these conflicts. Until white people like Steinem take up the charge of first acknowledging then letting go of white privilege and all its benefits she can NEVER truly be an ally in my opinion. It must always about RECIPROCITY.

You can also go the Democracy Now! site for a stream and transcript.

Sexual Conduct and Double-Standards: Edwards, Clinton, Obama and Black people

John Edwards has a baby mama. Sure this is old news by now, well actually it’s officially ‘unconfirmed’. Yeah right. I give it a few weeks. On a more important note we lost two greats this weekend. R.I.P. Bernie Mac and Isaac Hayes.

So…why do I care? Black people are held to different standards.
Black women are thought to be loose morally.
White women get to benefit from behaving like Jezebel. Paris Hilton made her career from a sex tape. Even potential First Lady Cindy McCain was a ‘mistress’ before a missus.

This is not about judging people on a moral high ground/puritanical USA sexual hang-up meme.
This is about white men of privilege getting away with sexual misconduct without so much as a slap on the wrist.

Do you think if this had been Barack Obama people would be so understanding? If Michelle Obama had been Barack’s mistress or if he’d had one it wouldn’t have been made public on Faux News Network?

CNN “Black People Are Inferior And Here’s Why” special report got it all wrong I’m afraid.

I found myself humming Billie Jean and thinking about Maury’s infamous paternity result shows.

Will there be a criminal investigation? Campaign funds were used to pay ‘compensation’. That compensation was supposed to be making videos – campaign videos that is. How easy do you think it is to get a paid staff job working for a politician? Add in a job where you have no previous or discernible experience in. What are the odds – seriously? Unless, unless you know somebody?

With sexism being talked about so heatedly this election cycle what example does this set for women in the workplace?

I always found Edwards to be too slick for his own good. I just wasn’t excited by his campaign. His whining about not getting traction in the press did not endear me either. It reminds me of John McCain’s fake outrage too. Now of course I think he didn’t REALLY want too much scrutiny into his campaign and his life. All the skeletons would come tumbling out. Like McCain. I wish there would be more comparison to the ‘Old Guy Running’ who cheated on his first wife and left her for a rodeo queen heiress. Who wears $500 shoes and owns 9 houses – some of which he can’t be bothered to pay taxes on. And people have a problem voting for a stellar [but not perfect] candidate because he’s not white. SMH!

Plus Edwards wasn’t exactly supportive of Same-Sex Loving Individuals who wish to marry. Is there a word for extra-low hypocrite?

Face it, John Edwards was trying to pull a Bill Clinton in a year when Democrats need to win. People were asleep at the wheel about Slick Billy Jeff in 1991. He came with that extra sexual curricular activity list from the get-go. Was it any surprise that it would continue unabated and perhaps escalate? It was Clinton fatigue that led Gore to distance himself. The Clintons were self-serving so the Democrats were in a weakened state already. The Republicans were united in their efforts, they were hypocritical and nefarious but focused. The downticket candidates had little help. Bush just squeaked by. People closed their eyes. Millions were illegally purged from the voter rolls. The Supreme Court pulled a monarchy move worthy of every dictator [West-friendly leader] the US Gov’t has ever supported. The media kicked in by subverting…the news. And HERE WE ARE!

Do we REALLY need to be questioning how the Rethuglican party effed up this country? They had free reign for the past 8 years. Are you doing better? Do you have a job? What’s your health coverage like? Spotty or Non-Existent or Enough to Qualify as a Mortgage Payment? Tried to go to Europe lately to see your USD worth pennies? Do you think the price of gas is going to fall …. or increase? Still willing to make excuses? Have you found yourself out on the street when that one paycheck you were relying on was gone? It’s not just about electing a Democrat, but PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY CARE. I know I know you say but I don’t know about that guy. He seems inexperienced. This country has some serious unresolved racial prejudices….but this country is hanging on by a thread. Are we there yet?