Saturday, October 25, 2008

Race and Politics

There have been a couple popular opinions circulated that I flat out disagree with and I want to attack. Since I'm pseudonymous I think it is worth pointing out that I am a young, white, male democrat raised in (relatively) racially vanilla Mt. Lebanon. This gives me absolutely no authority on the issue, but does give me an interesting perspective. For many years of my life racism was a concept, not something I ever actually saw... there simply weren't enough African Americans in my neighborhood. My parents raised me to be tolerant, but it was through discussions (like the ones around many water-coolers and dinner tables during this election) that I learned my tolerance, rather then having black friends. As a consequence of my vanilla upbringing, I have a very intellectual perspective on racism. I KNOW that blacks are the same as whites in every way except appearance and consequently I find racism (and reverse racism) equal parts puzzling and infuriating. I can see the emotions on both sides, but I don't feel them. I think this has given me a perspective from which I can see whether or not those emotions have their roots in a just cause or a fake one. I'm not sure if I got my point across there, but I thought it was important that I try to give some perspective before I tackle these issues:

"All the blacks will vote for him just because he's black."
Bullshit. That is some racist trying to get you to vote against Obama just because he's black. That racist might not even know that he's being racist but its there. He's afraid of how "the blacks" will influence the election. Point me to one black person who has said all blacks must vote for Obama because he's black. Where's his endorsement from the most powerful black politician, Condaleeza Rice? Are these all the same people who voted for Ambassador Alan Keyes just because he was black? The same ones that elected Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton because they were black? Are these the same blacks who called Clinton the "first black president" in spite of the fact that he defeated Lenora Fulani in the 1992 primary? The argument is flat out ridiculous. Many black people are (justly) proud that a member of their community is so close to the white house, but if he weren't going to be a good president, they would vote against him as they have other unqualified blacks in the past.

Secondly, let me clear something up. What if your friend with the above quote is right? Doesn't that mean you should vote for McCain to balance out the black vote? Black people represent 10.7% of Pennsylvanians (only 12.8% of Americans as a whole). White people represent 85.7% of Pennsylvanians (80.1% of Americans). So that means if EVERY black person in the state voted for Obama just because he was black (and I think I've shown they wouldn't) then only 2 in every 17 white voters would have to vote against him just because he was black to balance out the racial vote. In a state where the Klan still exists, I don't think YOU have to worry about balancing out the black vote, in fact I would wager that there will be more votes cast for McCain because Obama is black then vice verse.

"John McCain's campaign should be ashamed of how it handled the famous "B" incident."
This I also find ridiculous. If a black man had claimed that someone in a hood had carved KKK in to his cheek right after an Obama rally, I bet the Obama campaign would have pointed reporters in the direction of the story. If you want to be upset with someone be upset with this college student that faked it, though I think sadness is probably the more appropriate emotion. This is a dwindling presidential campaign, if the story is already in the news then McCain can and should point it out unless he has some reason to believe it is false. On that note, don't you think that if McCain (or his communications director) had known the story was a hoax he would have stayed miles away from it? He's losing, but he's no idiot... if he had known this was a fake he would have run from it. Suggesting that McCain is race mongering in this case is the left wing bullshit equivalent of the right wing bullshit like calling Obama by his full name (Hussein included) or questioning his birth certificate. It just gets people riled up.

Conclusion
Let's do the right thing here, let's not let the liberals convince us that McCain is engaged in race mongering and let's not let the conservatives convince us that black people (or their vote) are something to be scared of. Let's put those things aside and elect the best president 11/4, God knows our country will need the best president.

1 comment:

Judge Rufus Peckham said...

Good, Burgher Jon.

Here's my take on the vile McCain false accuser: http://pghmenbloggers.blogspot.com/2008/10/mccain-supporter-who-claimed-she-was.html