Special Report: Race Matters?








Special Report: Race Matters?

Barack Obama

Race used to be the great constant in American politics. Now it is the great imponderable. Politico explores the debate.

From Politico



Filed under Politics, Society

4 responses to “Special Report: Race Matters?

  1. FarmBoy

    OK, ee, I’ll take the bait. I have been wanting to discuss these same issues and have been procrastinating – possibly because of the reaction that might result in me posting about these issues, but since you brought it up…………..

    Article One:

    Anyone who did not know that this registration drive and recruitment among the black community was occurring is either hiding their head in the sand or simply not very politically astute. At least it is openly practiced in my area where I live. I genuinely do not have a problem with these recruitment efforts as long as illegal residents are not registered and all legal votes are counted, etc.

    I expect that many, if not most, blacks want Obama to win simply because he is the first black to have a legitimate chance at the White House. That is fine, too. Obama’s successful candidacy thus far is admirable, if for no other reason than he has made it this far. There is nothing wrong with pride in one’s heritage and race.

    I expect the African-American turnout to be heavy and unprecedented and that too is a good omen, not only for this election, nor strictly for Barack, but for the future of our nation as a whole. I sincerely believe that if more people get politically involved, then more people will become knowledgeable about politics, and this will lead to an opportunity to convince them of the ‘correct/right’ way to view government and its policies. ;0)

    Just as the article stated, the key for this election is A-A turnout and numbers compared to white turnout and numbers.

    Article Two:

    I almost quit reading this one after getting to:

    “I’m hearing, ‘Oh, you know, he’s just not ready.’ I don’t know whether some of that has to do with his color. I think some of it does,” said Boscola, a veteran Democrat from Northampton County in the Lehigh Valley. “They say that they don’t trust him, and I don’t get it. What is it about him that’s bothering them? … It has to be [about his race], because they’re trying to find an excuse.”

    I didn’t though, I read it all.

    The argument that whites are not voting for Obama due to his race holds little water for me.

    Wasn’t the 2000 and 2004 elections very close? Was there an A-A running then? As an amateur historian/political scientist (I have minors in both), I think we are at a critical period in our nation’s history. A “sea-change” if you will and it appears that the past two elections, and now this one, possibly, is proof of this change in national outlook. I am personally a bit offended at the accusation that race plays ANY role in my decision. My base philosophy of the role of government does not allow me to support a Democrat, especially at the national level. I can think of many A-A’s that I could support, but few are Democrats.

    Isn’t Obama young for the office? He is, if history is considered. You and I are close in age and I know that I changed and matured exponentially between 24 and 34 and probably even more between 34 and 44. Obama is 47 right? I am simply more comfortable with someone with a bit more life-experience.

    Obama’s resume’ is a little thin, imo too, but I guess the argument that he might bring fresh ideas and that he might not be an “entrenched Washington insider” could deflect this concern a little. The simple fact of his meteoric rise through the levels of gov’t even gives me pause.

    Of course, there will be some who are not going to vote on a black man, but I have not met any one who would admit that and I like to hope that if there was some racial undercurrent among white Americans that it would be more overt. It has been my experience that the references to the KKK and other racist orgs is exaggerated and used to incite the Dem base. I received my bachelors degree from a small southern university in a small Alabama town and knew many locals and Alabamians. If a strong white racist sentiment would have existed, I would know and would have noticed. Did I see acts and hear statements of racism, of course, you have too, but it is, based on my life experience, the fringe and the uneducated – both groups tend not to vote consistently and are part of a small minority.

    I feel that it is wrong to cheer 95%+ A-A support for Obama, then claim that if some whites do not support Obama, “It has to be [about his race], because they’re trying to find an excuse.”

    This argument insults people’s intelligence, devalues their ideas, insults them and ultimately leads to deeper division along racial lines.

    Article Three:

    The Wilder/Bradley Effect is apparently real and I do not dispute it. I am sure that the Dems have a very good approximation as to its potential affect, but how many voters change their vote at the last minute in an election with fewer racial differences? In considering some who I have seen voting, I sometimes wonder if they will be able to find there way home from the polling place! The % of voters who change their minds at the polling place would need to be measured and then subtracted from the % whom we ASSUME changed their ballot based on race, right? Whatever the % of voters who tell posters one thing and vote another way is, it will always occur. Nothing compels a person to tell the truth in a poll. All polls are flawed in some way no matter what.

    Once when I was in college, 1992 I think, I was phoned by a pollster in a statewide (Alabama) election. Before I took the poll, I quizzed the pollster a bit and in doing a bit of simple math figured out that my opinion was representative of around 5,000-7,000 citizens. At that point, I intentionally lied concerning my opinion on just about every question. Why? I don’t know. Maybe because I was young, maybe in a poor mood, or maybe simply because I wanted to skew the data. It was my right to say what I wished and, unless I voluntarily share my opinion (and I may or may not be stating my true feelings when I do), it is nobody’s business. And it is going to happen a certain amount in any poll.

    Obama needs a cushion in the polls, because I feel that there is a certain amount of “the unknown” with him. He admits to having a “funny” name, he has an un-stereotypical American upbringing (Hawaii, Indonesia, etc), he has associations with people who are at best controversial (Wright, Pfleger, Ayers, etc.) and I am certain that some will change their vote based on race. But are all polling place decisions solely driven by racism? No. A % of it is, but the % is exaggerated.

    An African-American is on the verge of becoming POTUS, he is leading in most all polls and is beating a white man with more experience. African-Americans are polling for the black candidate at 95%+ and the majority of the “race” issues are directed at whites. It really is a bit baffling to me.

    Like you, I am sure, I will cringe and be disappointed if my candidate loses, but not because of racist feelings, but because I fundamentally disagree with his policies and philosophy.

    Yes, racism exists in all ethnic groups. Identifying with those most like yourself is probably an evolutionary trait and to some extent will always be with us, but it most certainly can be overcome and driven to the fringes of civilized society and I think that this election has so far proven that to be the case.

    So here we are, ee and FarmBoy, two educated Americans, a black man and a white man, discussing politics in a respectful and honorable manner, disagreeing on the basic roles and paths for our nation,…….learning from each other and breaking down barriers.

    That kind of CHANGE from the past gives me HOPE for our nation, no matter who becomes OUR next POTUS.

    Wouldn’t you agree? :0)

  2. eehard

    Thanks Farmboy for a well thought out and respectful reply. When we can agree to disagree without being disrespectful to one another, we make progress as a nation. Obama Rocks!

  3. fakename2

    I find it interesting that Farmboy can state his views calmly with you, when you are (arguably) more confrontational than me, but something about me causes him to go off the deep end. His rant to me has been removed from the Democrat, I can only guess he deleted it himself.

  4. eehard

    After I called him out i noticed that i got like twenty-five comments. None of which I read. I don’t even go to blog section anymore.

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