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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Comments

Charles Jones

No one should be so shocked that racism has entered into the Democratic election. Racism always rears its ugly head when someone (who in their mind was sure they were going to win) find themself losing and they don't know why. In Sen Obama's case it's being used to entice him to lash back against those who have presented it. "See, he (Obama) has no self control...Look at how angry he is... We can't have a President who can't control himself". Now that Obama's oppenents can't "ghettoize" him, they've move on to a new tactic. Let's make him the "affirmative action" candidate. Blacks have "taken" jobs away from good white folk for years... now they are trying to "take" the ultimate whtie job from good white folk; the presidency of the United States of America. Never mind the stellar credentials Barack Obama posesses. If we (whites) say he's not ready then the only way he'll win is if someone (super delegates) "give him the job" over a more qualified white (where have I heard this one before!). Trying to influence whites to vote white. As always with racism, what a Black person has achieved has no bearing. So what if Obama has more total votes than Hillary Clinton; so what if Obama has won more states than Hillary Clinton; so what if Obama has more delegates that Hillary Clinton. All Hillary Clinton knows is she is white and entitled to become the next president and Obama has to "wait".
Do you feel like I do? There's a change in the air. What has begun can not be stopped. Obama will become the 44th President of the United States of America. When that happen, Black Americans will no longer be perceived as a minority. Our stage will be the world and the world will be OUR oyster. Barack Obama is "cloaked" and their hands are too short to box with GOD!

Rachel

Is it really fair to insist that Obama be defined first and foremost by his race during this election campaign? You say he has been "stripped of his race" by a (presumably racist) media. You surmise or assume that this is done because noone really believes a black man can achieve so much; hence a man who has achieved so much cannot be black. (This, by the way, is quite a bold assertion)
And yet it has been most distressing and insulting to me when the media has focused on Obama's race, when they began explaining that the black community would vote for him because he was black. What bunk. To imply that black people blindly follow Obama because his skin has a similar tone as theirs.
Moreover, Obama has chosen himself to run a campaign in which he defines himself primarily as an American, not an African-American. He has the right to do so. Every person in America knows what color he is - TV, internet, newspapers have pictures of him everywhere. Is it so hard to believe that maybe his color is beside the point? That even his subculture is beside the point? This is not to say that he has rejected any of it, or has identity issues, or 'acts white' for a national audience against his personal integrity. It means he has decided to orient his persona, his image, his identity differently from the way you have chosen to orient yours.
Finally, responding to your comments about Hurricane Katrina, the Lacrosse boys at Duke, etc. Yes, racism exists. Yes, the roots run so deeply and have affected so many institutions and cultural norms that everything in America isn't always fair or just. But that's just the problem - there is SUCH a gigantic legacy of racism, such a tragically high percentage of blacks below the poverty line because of that legacy and its ripples through history. No one ever solved anything by saying "that's it, the system is racist!" How does one "undo" their racism? How does one untangle race and class in either of those instances that you mentioned?
I'll end by saying, I appreciate your comments and your commitment. I think it would be interesting to see you dig deeper into what racism really is, how you judge the motivations of other people, how you see and define America.

Independent Thought

As a white male that grew up in a color blind Republican house hold, with white black and Latino friends, I was never taught the difference between races and the only division I ever saw was in history books. It wasn’t till I was older did I ever experience racism, which was against me. I’m not stating this because I think I am more “righteous than thou”, only to say that this is how I was raised. Today as a young adult in my mid 20’s I still don’t understand the reasons for this tension. I don’t understand why there is a “black” vote or the “women” vote. Maybe the reason we still have “black” issues or any other social or racial issues is because we allow them. We must teach our children that there is no difference between PEOPLE, except what the history books say of our past ignorance, and we must practice what we preach by showing them that. We do this by not hyping up the “racial” issue but making them PEOPLE issues. Ask yourself why our children, black, white or yellow, realize the difference. It is because we as people and parents and media personalities and politicians show them that there is.

Maybe I’m living in a dream, but I bet people told Rev. King the same thing. I was taught there is no difference in skin color and that people should be respected because who they are as a person not the color of there skin. I was raised that way, I live that way, and I will teach my children that way. I challenge you to do the same and maybe we can all live in that dream.

Eddie Griffin

There is something about the younger generation. Race is not a factor. Although we know racism is not dead, the color of a person's skin means nothing when youth are searching for leadership. Maybe it's us old folks that's behind the times.

Steve McFarland

Amen! This may be the most not-okay thing ever in the blogosphere, but I really feel that this is the other half of something I just wrote about the covert racism of a few white feminist's outrage at the way Hillary has been treated.

Race in America has an affluence-related mechanism built in, leading to its invisibility, which stands in contrast to the hypervisibility of gender in our culture. And yet! We are by no-means post-racial, I think Hillary's camp has played into this same thinking you write of.

Thanks (and sorry for the self-link!).

jackson herrin

I would really like to get to the bottom of MSNBC they are so biased towards Obama - it is almost like they are his private network. This is no joke - Fox is more balanced when it comes to this election and I NEVER thought I would say that.

Also, I am a 50 year old white woman voting for Hillary because she is in my opinion the most qualified. I am not a racist as I have voted for many black candidates in my lifetime but in this election you are deemed politically incorrect if you say anything negative in any way about Obama or anything positive about Clinton as you will be deemed racist.

Why is it okay for blacks to vote over 90% in some states for Obama and they are not racist? When not long ago they were for Clinton - surely they did not change all their minds in such a short time because of the issues.

Democrats have to be able to really tell it like it is and stop trying to always being afraid to say anything that may be deemed "racist".

Hillary is just the most qualified - period. Obama should be V.P. and that way he will gain experience then run for President again.

We will take the White House without division of our party if the ticket is Clinton/Obama.

jackson herrin

I would really like to get to the bottom of MSNBC they are so biased towards Obama - it is almost like they are his private network. This is no joke - Fox is more balanced when it comes to this election and I NEVER thought I would say that.

Also, I am a 50 year old white woman voting for Hillary because she is in my opinion the most qualified. I am not a racist as I have voted for many black candidates in my lifetime but in this election you are deemed politically incorrect if you say anything negative in any way about Obama or anything positive about Clinton as you will be deemed racist.

Why is it okay for blacks to vote over 90% in some states for Obama and they are not racist? When not long ago they were for Clinton - surely they did not change all their minds in such a short time because of the issues.

Democrats have to be able to really tell it like it is and stop trying to always being afraid to say anything that may be deemed "racist".

Hillary is just the most qualified - period. Obama should be V.P. and that way he will gain experience then run for President again.

We will take the White House without division of our party if the ticket is Clinton/Obama.

Ross Wallen

Please expose this man and start an offensive against such blatant disrespect to humans everywhere. Thanks

http://mediamatters.org/items/200801310003?f=h_top

Interesting

So, when supposedly the Clintons inferred Race in the 2008 election, no one should be surprised or cry Clinton as foul? Racism (where one race feels another is superior or inferior due to their skin color) and Sexism (where one gender feels another is superior or inferior due to their sex) is real for everyone.

I just want people to talk about the issues. Obama should not use or target the black vote to win in S.C. and then claim that others are divisive in their strategy. Everyone is using an advantage to get an edge. It happens when Blacks state that anyone who is black and votes for Clinton is a sellout. Clinton can speak on it when referencing te distinctions between LBJ and MLK. This is actually tame compared to what happened to Harold Ford, Jr. So, let's just relax and let the election process work.

Campbell

Sometimes the construction of race and racial expectations are being constructed in the media and people begin to model their behaviour from that construction. So we are presented with successful sports people and rap stars and the African America CEO's of major corporations remain invisble.

I am not surprised at the reactions you receive. The are familiar to me. But your very presence is powerful in itself. There just needs to be more who make their presence seen.

Campbell

Sometimes the construction of race and racial expectations are being constructed in the media and people begin to model their behaviour from that construction. So we are presented with successful sports people and rap stars and the African America CEO's of major corporations remain invisble.

I am not surprised at the reactions you receive. The are familiar to me. But your very presence is powerful in itself. There just needs to be more who make their presence seen.

Ron

The beautifully ironic thing is that, in a sense, this very stress on Obama being the non-racial candidate is leading to the current attention on race. His very success so far has motivated the Clintons to so skillfully (as in, Who, me?) raise the issue of race in deft and indirect ways that, in the end -- as they prompt reactions from Obama -- only function to his detriment in the end.

Ron Howell
(brooklynron.com)

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