Sunday, January 20, 2008

Editorial: Kumbaya

Meet Carmen Van Kerckhove who runs a blog called Racialious and took part in the attacks on Gloria Steinem last week. Carms brags about being the"co-founder and president of New Demographic, an anti-racism training company." Maybe Carm needs to get her own house in order?

January 4th, Colin posted this to her site ("Friday Links - Procrastinate Until It's Time to Go Home"): "Dirty tactics: They work. Hillary’s got to come back, I expect to see more of what we saw from her campaign earlier; happy Kumbaya talk from Hillary and the dirty smack talk, innuendo and rumors from the aides and Bill." Hey, Carm, anti-racist trainer, you see the problem? Probably not. But then Carmen Van Kerchkhove hasn't given any indication that she knows history or much of anything at all.

All The Mud Flap Gals need to check their sites (we have, it's common throughout) but Carmen Van Kerchkhove asserts that she's paid for anti-racism training.

What is "Kumbaya"? According to the likes of Mike Papantonio on Air America Radio after John Kerry lost the election (while bragging that there was going to be a recount and they had a jet waiting), it's something the 'peacenicks' do.

You see that a lot from the right and it may or may not be surprising.

But it is suprising when Carmen and the other Mud Flap Gals, who wanted to claim that "woman" wasn't inclusive and that it rendered women of color invisible, allow "Kumbaya" to be treated as a joke on their sites and never bother to correct it.

When "Kumbaya" is wrongly identified with the peace movement during Vietnam, who's being rendered invisible?

Along with "We Shall Overcome," "Kumbaya" is a song of the Civil Rights Movement. It existed prior to then, but it was adopted and a part of marches, rallies and meetings.

The mocking of this song popularized by the Civil Rights Movement strips it of its place in history and ignores the power of the Civil Rights Movement. That's the movement that popularized it. That's the movement that made it a nationally known song by all people.

The right-wing demonized it in real time, so it's no surprise they continue to. That the so-called left joins in is shameful. Is the Civil Rights Movement a joke to you? Is ignorance your excuse?

None of the Mud Flap Gals had excuses for Gloria Steinem when they rushed in to misread her and then claim she wasn't being inclusive.

So we won't offer our do-nothings of the net any excuses.

We'll just note "Kumbaya" has a glorious history, that it spoke for and to the struggle for a world where racism didn't exist, and that the same faux-diversity crowd that embraces their homophobic and xenophobic candidate (South Carolina rally in October, "Punjab") plays dumb or either is dumb about history.

It's no excuse. One of the songs of the Civil Rights Movement has been turned into a punchline and there's no excuse for the left to assist in that. There's no excuse, after the heavy drama this month, for any of the Mud Flap Gals to allow "Kumbaya" to be used derisively; however, they've all done that. We checked.

As Betty says, "Save your soul, it's too late for your self-respect."
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