Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Who Injected Race Into This Campaign?

Barack Obama did, that's who.

When the jarring, hate-filled sermons of Jeremiah Wright (popup warning) were revealed, by which sermons Obama claims in his books to have been led to Christian faith, he gave a laggard response, followed by a speech on race.

But while we all enjoyed hearing from him on the subject, the question wasn't how he felt about race relations in America. The question was why he spent 20 years listening to sermons about the government inventing AIDS to kill black people.

In a June campaign rally in Florida, Obama said

They are going to try and make you afraid of me. They’re gunna say you know what he’s young and inexperienced and he’s got a funny name. Did I mention he’s Black!
No one was mentioning that. It's irrelevant, except to Obama's supporters. Perhaps that's because the candidate himself has been blaming his lack of unanimous support not on the undeniable fact that he's a Marxist, but on supposed provincial attitudes, including racism (my emphasis):

"You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not."

"And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

By proclaiming in his Berlin speech that "I know that I don’t look like the Americans who’ve previously spoken in this great city", he was injecting race, and intentionally.

There have been boatloads of stories and opinion pieces published saying that if Obama loses, it will be because of some white people can't bring themselves to vote for a black one. That argument is garbage: there is a small, tiny percentage of whites who won't vote for a non-white, but there is an order of magnitude more people voting for Obama because of his race.

Furthermore, it's a false dichotomy to say (as Jack Cafferty did in the link above) that either people want to elect Barack Obama, or they are against him because he's black. There are plenty of reasons to be against Barack Obama.

I will not stand down in the face of such an argument.

Obama's apologists are quick to cry "Racism!" whenever he's criticized, even when the charge has nothing to do with race and everything to do with politics.

Yet apart from his profound lack of qualification for the Presidency, Obama's skin color is the only thing that makes this campaign "historic". Why do people say, with some truth, that it would be wonderful, "historic", "powerful symbolism" for an African-American to be elected President, and then in the next sentence deny disingenuously that race is a motivating factor in their favor of Obama? Why is it okay to say that Obama's nomination is "historic", and yet deny that people want to see history made?

I, too, think it would be good to have a black man as President — just not this black man.

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1 comment:

Cristina M. said...

Loved your blog! I'll come and visit often.


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