August 16 is Pakistan Independence Day. There is a major parade on Fifth Avenue.
Leila Noor is one of the 30 and counting hosts - if you sell 10 tickets, you are a host - of an event that day. It is to do with the pro-choice stance and the South Dakota fiasco. We got to talk yesterday. I got an invite. I pitched in 50 bucks. But showing up is tough.
There is the micro, and there is the macro. John is micro, Abdul in micro. White Male is macro, Arab Male is macro. There is the white woman. You do have to talk of these macros like they were individuals. They are very real. Our collective identities matter all the time.
In this country it is assumed there is the white male, the white woman, the minority male, the minority woman. This country has its own caste system. And so you find white women who pay their homage to the white male, and turn around and try to show the minority male his place in the scheme of things. That is not cool. That will not fly.
Where I grew up, women have it tough. But for those women, I have and am doing more than any white woman in America. Besides, if sexism is an issue, and I am a man, it has to be specific, and it has to be policy, but the white woman will not go for that since that will dig up race as an issue.
I am not like some Italian whose grandfather took the boat. I was in my early 20s when I came to America. Nepal and India are very active parts of who I am. I am a global citizen. I so gave up on the Hindu caste system, I became a Buddhist. I am not about to subscribe to the American caste system, especially when it is just social. I have no job plans.
I am going to trade with the white woman. I become pro-choice, you become pro-affirmative action. You denounce racist comments, I will denounce sexist comments. We trade.
Leila Noor is an exception. Otherwise every other person at DFNYC and an Indian makes and defends racist comments. And I am like, you are trying your luck. A racist comment is the tip of the iceberg. These must be whites who abandoned Charles McCall. If a black dude wins the Democratic primary, the whites abandon. How come blacks don't abandon Kerry because he is white?
I grew out of DFNYC. My plate is full. Between my own activism and entrepreneurship, I am busy. My last offer was to (1) only show up for a few select events and no other participation (ah, the white fantassy to get you to "do" things, the foot soldier things ... I have nothing against doing things, it is just that I am not cut for it, I am cut for things like vision: Three Pillars, Draft 2), and (2) not put up with racist comments. Neither could fly. If you make a racist comment you did not mean to, you say I am sorry, and we move on. Or you get out of my face.
And I have serious personal space issues with some of the DFNYC folks. This blog does not have guest editors. There are parts of my life where you don't belong. DFNYC is not the only thing happening in my life, no thank you. Don't tell me how to feel.
And there is the Nepal gripe. DFNYC is full of people who took pride in having zero interest in Nepal. I once emailed around an online petition. There were zero signatures. Now we know the April Revolution is one for world history. It is still work in progress. And you want me to pro-choice da what?
The pace and tempo of political discussions in the blogosphere are to my liking. DFNYC meetings were not intense enough. Too pre-set. Not intense.
I am for voting rights for non-citizens in the city. No taxation without representation: that is what this country was founded on. If you want me pro-choice, you walk that mile.
I am a refugee into New York City from Kentucky and Indiana. At some level, New York is not that different. Only this is a brown city, non-whites are around in large numbers. The outer boroughs fascinate me like Manhattan does not. I love to drive around, get a feel for the outer boroughs.
The subway is what makes NYC NYC. It is that which makes this "the city that never sleeps."
We live in an era of social segregation, an era of glass walls and ceilings. That has to change. Let's trade.
A lot of people underestimate the internet's impact on the political discourse. Globalization and the internet. See Asia grow leaps and bounds. Welcome to the Asian Century.
But all this boils down to Hillary. White women want to abandon her like they abandon McCall, and for some of the same reasons. Hillary is not a Brahmin. She will not win, the argument goes, so she has to be abandoned. The country is not ready. The country will get a black man before it gets a woman.
To that I say, Mark Warner founded Nextel, Hillary Clinton founded Bill Clinton. She is qualified, she happens to be a woman.
I will become pro-choice if you will become pro-Hillary. I will trade.
There are women and there are politically conscious women. It is time to discuss gender front and center. The pro-choice stand is such a limitation. Expand the canvass. Create a common minimum program.
- Better policing for domestic violence.
- Equal pay for equal work.
- Pro-choice, anti anti-choice. Reproductive health across the planet.
- More women in top corporate positions.
- More women in Congress. Nepal is about to make it mandatory that at least one third of its members must be women. Learn.
The Spectrum/Dialogue Concept Is Key To Power
The Spectrum On Gender
It boils down to talking, it boils down to basic organizing into small groups of five or 10 people, all woven into a larger national network.
This is not about Hillary, this is about women in the plural. There is only so much positive gender impact Hillary can push down the system's throat, but that can be more if women at the grassroots level get organized.
Expand the agenda. Get organized. Get talking. Reach out.
CIA - The World Factbook -- Pakistan
Wikipedia - Pakistan
The Government of Pakistan
US Library of Congress - Country Study: Pakistan
Welcome to Pakistan
Lonely Planet - World Guide: Pakistan
An Introduction to Pakistan
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