Buddhism and Politics: African American and Feminist icon bell hooks can no longer support Hillary Clinton

Buddhism and Politics: African American and Feminist icon bell hooks can no longer support Hillary Clinton March 11, 2016

The celebrated author, feminist, teacher, and scholar said in a video uploaded last week: “I can no longer be a Hillary Clinton supporter!”

She continued, “there are certain things that I don’t want to cosign in the name of feminism that I think are militarist, imperialist, white supremacist, whether they are conducted by women or men.” She noted that this is a difficult issue for women who want to see a woman president and there is a conflict between, “identity politics versus who are you and what do you stand for? That’s why [James] Baldwin says it’s not a question of whether you’re gay or straight or black or white: what do you stand for? Who are you? How can you know that – and operate from that position of power?”

The video appears to have come from a 2014 conference at The New School, but as many of the same worries have been raised in recent months, it has garnered new attention, including this tweet from writer Shaun King.

It also coincides with the announcement of the forthcoming release of a book called False Choices: The Faux Feminism of Hillary Rodham Clinton by Liza Featherstone (Editor) with contributions from prominent feminist writers Laura Flanders, Moe Tkacik, Medea Benjamin, Frances Fox Piven and Fred Block, Donna Murch, Kathleen Geier, Yasmin Nair, Megan Erickson, Tressie McMillan Cottom, Catherine Liu, Amber A’Lee Frost, Margaret Corvid, Belén Fernández, Zillah Eisenstein, and others. See more here.

In a recent article, author Liza Featherstone writes:

Socialist feminism assumes that redistribution is the best way to begin improving life for the vast majority of women, both materially and socially. To take a none-too-radical example, in countries like Denmark and 
Sweden—which offer a broad range of social benefits provided through the state rather than acquired in desperation, as they so often are here, through marriage or a job—women can live more comfortably; raise healthier, more secure children; and sleep with whomever they please. Throughout her long career, Clinton has demonstrated contempt for turning this project into policy.

As first lady of Arkansas, she led the efforts by her husband’s administration to weaken teachers’ unions and scapegoat teachers—most of them women, large numbers of them black—for problems in the education system, implementing performance measures and firings that set a punitive tone for education reform nationwide. Rather than trying to walk this back, Clinton recently said that as president, she would close any public school “that wasn’t doing a better than average job.” Fuzzy math aside, this suggests a regime of pressure on America’s mostly female teaching force—81 percent of elementary- and middle-school teachers are women—that would make her predecessors look like presidents of a giant homeschooling hippie collective… read on.

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