Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Unbought? Yep. Unbossed? Check.

Want to watch a great documentary? Check out Chisholm '72: Unbought and Unbossed! (Karen thinks I've lost my mind because she just caught me watching it for the 4th time, but it's just so good! This movie made me laugh, it made me cry...it nearly made me a Democrat!)

Shirley Chisholm may have been called "abrasive" and "unrealistic," but she was BRAVE and she was ARTICULATE and she was PASSIONATE. She makes the politicians of today look like Cowardly Lions, afraid of their own shadow, afraid of taking a stand, afraid of committing to something that they'll have to flip-flop on next week. (And they *will* flip-flop, if they think it will keep them in power. At least with Mrs. Chisholm, everyone knew exactly where she stood!)

Three of my favorite minutes on the DVD come between minutes 39 and 42; here is an excerpt from a speech she gave to a crowd of supporters who greeted her on the tarmac of the Pensacola airport: "Why is it, constantly, quadrennially, when politicians come out from every corner to get the most important thing you have--your vote--why is it that it has to always be white males, white males, white males?"..."So ladies and gentlemen, I conclude by saying if you can't support me or you can't endorse me, get out of my way. You do your thing and let me do mine. God bless you!"

And then to a crowd of children in her office: "One of the reasons why Mrs. Chisholm is able to make it in spite of all the obstacles that she has against her--so many things...I'm a woman, I'm a black, I'm "maverick-y," I won't behave myself, the bosses can't manipulate me, white politicians don't like me, black politicians don't like me...you know why Mrs. Chisholm is able to sustain all of this? She has something that none of them can take from her--brain power!"

When one of the students says that white people probably don't think that "a lady would be in office," she responded "Not only white people, but black people, too, son! There are a lot of black politicians that don't think a woman should run for President. See? Because a woman doesn't run for President in the United States of America. That's why I'm trying to break the barriers."

After Ms. Chisholm tells the kids that she wishes that she could spend more time with them because "you all are so much more fascinating than a lot of these politicians," the students begin to take turns shaking her hand and wishing her goodbye and good luck. She is gracious and attentive and says this as she shakes their hands and sees them out of her office: "Nice of you to drop by, and don't forget to study hard...I'm paving the way for you...You don't disappoint me; you get your education!"

After the last child leaves, she says to campaign staffer Robert Gottlieb: "Robert, that's why I'm doing this. It's the only reason. Honest to God, with everything going against me."

One more reason why I liked it? She reminded Karen and me of Nanny...which is weird because she and Nanny had next-to-nothing in common. But you'll see! She's spunky and built exactly like Nanny and I'm pretty sure that they had many of the same outfits. You'll love it, regardless of political affiliation. (If this McCain/Palin supporter loved it, anyone can love it.)


Kirsten said...

And this would make you a democrat why? Are you saying a republican can't be loving and kind and love kids?
I think I'll rather be associated with republicans then democrats and think totally independent. I like to not vote party, but person :-) Maybe I'll register independent for the next race...

Steelerfan06 said...

Good point, Kirsten. One person with some worthy quotes, and a bit of an embellished "me against the world" mantra, doesn't vindicate her political party's wrong-headed policies.

mad4books said...

No way you two party poopers are gonna rain on my Shirley Chisholm parade! She kicked BUTT, and this nation would be a better place if she'd unseated the incumbent (the duplicitous, foul-mouthed Richard Milhous Nixon!) in 1972.

When I was in bed yesterday with strep throat, I watched part of the documentary again, but had to turn it off when she wiped her eyes and told her supporters that she forgave Ron Dellums and that "he should come home to Shirley" because it's hard to get a knot in your throat when you already have STREP and can't swallow, anyway!

P.S. Y'all all know that I'm a Huckabee girl...it's about time we hear a Republican talking about THE ENVIRONMENT. Here's one way I've changed in the last ten years, though, and it's come as a complete surprise--I'm now against the death penalty in all but the most heinous of cases.

These prisoners should NOT be allowed conjugal visits or be permitted to write books or to further torment the families of their victims, but there ought to be a way that they could be separated from society without killing them. However, if a child is involved (Casey Anthony) or if there were multiple victims (serial killers or Timothy McVeigh-types), all bets are off.