Sunday, June 24, 2007

I can't get the Obama memo off my mind

Barack Obama's campaign released a memo making fun of Hillary Clinton, and criticizing outsourcing and Indian companies. I have read lots of blog posts and mainstream media commentaries on the topic. Nobody, not even Indians, seem to be pointing out a couple of things:

I don't see anything racist, or perhaps I haven't read the memo carefully. All I see is an exploration of the link to Indian Americans and money being pumped in the campaign by them.
Just picking a particular community and targeting it in a couple of different ways to me seems racist. If Indians gain a reputation as outsourcers-only or geeks-only or "shady" donors, things will only get worse...
Have you been following the discussion on this topic at sepiamutiny? I am not a big fan of the site, but cant help notice that it had taken a leading role during macaca-gate, and is reputed to have been very active generating desi opinion during the 2004 elections. They too have not taken kindly to the memo.

Your question - are we going to take more of this crap? Sepia mutiny, your blog, and tons of other indian mouthpieces indicate the answer is 'no'. The 'no' has been loud enough for Obama to respond directly to desi concerns (however lame the response might be). Maybe you dont find the loudness of the 'no' to be proportional to the number and wealth of the community, but it is unfair to write off desi activism completely.
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