Thursday, October 07, 2010

Reshma Saujani Is Back

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin on June 2, 2007.Image via WikipediaWell, she is.

Last Friday I went to see the Facebook movie in Murray Hill. Before that I had made a firm decision to not go see the movie. (The Social Network: Before Seeing The Movie) I was going to express solidarity with Mark Zuckerberg. But I was to learn later the entire Facebook team went to see the movie around the same time I did. Fred Wilson and I call it mind meld. There have been three times so far when Fred Wilson and I have talked about the same thing the same day at our respective blogs independent of each other. (I Gave In: Facebook: The Movie, To Make Sense Of The Facebook Movie, Facebook Needs To Revamp Email Next, Facebook's Location Patent)

On my way back, at the train station, on the platform, as I lay sitting, waiting for the train, a Reshma 2010 staffer walked over to me, former Reshma 2010 staffer. Jay Ko. New York is a big city. It is rare to meet people you know when you are out and about town. Happens about once a year for me.

"She is resting," he said. Oh, okay. (ANTA Convention: Emotional Bath)

I never really turned that Google Alerts thing off. For days it was yet another publication breaking news that "the Indian American woman who ran for Congress lost." Okay, I got that. I was at the election returns watch party, and that was like two weeks ago. I snapped out of it within seconds. Or maybe minutes. Definitely by the following day. Carolyn Maloney is mediocre. That is my permanent impression.

Looks like Reshma Saujani's coming out event was some Punjabi dude running for City Council. At some level she never really woke up from the Obama 08 Democrat From Punjab episode. I took a personal hit when that happened. It just felt wrong. I was the only full timer Obama 08 volunteer in the city at the time. And I am Indian, watch out. (There Is An Albert Einstein On The Obama Campaign Staff) I sent out a missive and Barack Obama personally responded. He said that press release was "stupid" and the work of some lowly staffer.

Reshma has a Punjabi roommate.

The Prime Minister of India is a Punjabi. Barack shall soon meet.

I am in America because Nepal is not safe. America is safe, or so I thought. Bobby Kennedy was no longer campaigning in June. (Competing With Hillary Now)

Politics was not safe, I thought, and so I decided I was going to pour myself into tech entrepreneurship. 2009 was my tech year. (The Dumbfuck Immigration Laws) I was a regular at the Science House MeetUp, not to say the NY Tech MeetUp, which is where I met the Science House people in the first place. Late in 2009 the FBI started sniffing around the Science House. A few months later they were still sniffing around. And I lost it. I am thinking, not now, not when my guy is in the White House. (Obama's Got Momentum: He Could Defy History In November)

Tech was not safe either. What to do?

Only later I read somewhere that Carolyn Maloney's husband had died in Nepal late in 2009. And I am thinking, fuck.

Maloney has been of no interest to me in the five years I have been in the city; until Reshma 2010. She was a mere blip on the screen. She was mediocre. She filled a slot. She was part of the landscape. Hakeem Jeffries, on the other hand. (Hakeem Jeffries: Principled Compromise, Hakeem Jeffries Debate, New York Times: Hakeem Jeffries)

Nepal has a Shangrila image, and rightly so, it has been the most popular destination among Peace Corps volunteers for half a century, but that is only half the story. Nepal is also the poorest country outside of Africa. It only a few years back ended a decade long civil war. Nepal saw the rise of the number one ultra left group in the post Cold War era. Compared to the Maoists of Nepal, the Shining Path of Peru was not much. One of the drug routes goes through Nepal. High level people in the country's army get involved for the money.

I have walked in every part of New York City, and at all hours of day and night.

I am a nonviolent person, always have been. I am a political person, always have been. But nonviolent militancy is still nonviolent. (To: The Ayatollah, Newt Gingrich: Monkeyface)

I am too politically gifted to be wowed by a Barack Obama, even when it is my firm judgment he is going to go down in history as a great president. (I Touched Obama: Babel, Barack) I might not have felt the same intimacy if he had been a pastor or a pilot, but politics I know.

A few days back I read a piece where Osama Bin Laden was seeing a connection between global warming and the recent unusual floods in Pakistan. No politician in Pakistan saw that connection, not that I heard of. When random fires erupted all over Greece a few years back, they arrested all sorts of arsonists with records. They did not know to blame global warming. And I am thinking Bin Laden is a smart guy, just like I thought. He is that other butterfly effect dude on the planet.

And here you have two blog posts from Reshma Saujani. The question I have asked - before ever meeting - is what if she is too racist and too sexist by my extremely high standards? Internalized racism and sexism are still racism and sexism.
Reshma Saujani: Want to Break the Glass Ceiling? Give Young Women a Running Start: the outcome of the 2010 midterms could lead to the biggest reduction of female representation in Congress in over three decades...... Women make up 17 percent of the members of Congress, ranking the United States 68th internationally in women’s political representation ...... in the 20th century, twelve of the nineteen presidents were thirty-five years or younger when they were elected to their first office. ...... nurture and mentor young female candidates who lose their first local, state or federal race and empower them not to get discouraged and to continue to strive for elected office. ..... What progressives cannot do is let Sarah Palin’s Mama Grizzlies define what the female politician looks and sounds like in the 21st century. This country is hungry for female leadership, and as women continue to be the majority of voters, we must take the opportunity to paint our nation pink.
Sarah Palin: Palin 2012: Rogue
Reshma Saujani: Bullhorn: Democrats Need to Fire Up the Fed-Up: we need more candidates running insurgent campaigns to engage communities who feel they do not have a voice. ..... the turnout of the South Asian community in the 14th district primary reached historic proportions. On election day, I saw crowds of Bangladeshi Americans come out and vote who have never participated in a primary election before. Young South Asian girls surrounded me holding my campaign materials, telling me that they too can run for higher office. ...... dropout factory schools ...... The ironic outcome of America electing the first black President is that it energized the right but not the left. ..... For many of us who were moved by President Obama’s historic campaign, we are fired up and ready to go – but the question is, where are we headed?
Reshma Saujani: Blogger

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