Sunday, October 12, 2008

"I Won't Vote For a . . . Colored Guy"

A quote this morning from a white male who is one of the few I've seen on TV admitting that they won't vote for Obama because of his race. In the interview, the guy paused briefly before saying the word "colored," as you could see him mentally trying to find a more acceptable word than he probably more commonly uses. Is race a factor in this race? Well duh, of course it is. But will the guy from this morning's interview have ever voted for a Democrat, black or white? Is that a vote Obama really lost for not being white? From Minnesota's Pioneer Press came this example (one of too many, sad to say, that are out there):

Every Thursday night, Jeanine Owusu, of St. Paul, works at a United Food and Commercial Workers phone bank, calling her union brothers and sisters to encourage them to vote for Barack Obama and other labor-endorsed candidates. Once or twice each night, "people tell me, 'I'm not voting for a nigger,' " Owusu said last week. "Others hang up on me. Nicer people will say, 'I'm voting Republican,' even though they usually vote Democratic."
The one race-related comment I hear that makes me just laugh out loud is that being black "helps Obama." The concept that a white man with the same issues wouldn't have made it this far. It is a stunning bit of nonsense that flies in the face of any number of polls and studies on race and politics. While few men and women let themselves be named in interviews saying they won't vote for Obama because he's 1/2 Black; more than a few people interviewed on the issue say they know at least one person who won't vote Democratic because of race. Is this the below-the-waterline Bradley Effect that we've all become so familiar with this year? Or will all of this be trumped by fears for personal economic futures? After all, is it ok to vote for a Black guy for president if he'll help protect your money? For an election that both sides is claiming to be all about change, what I'm seeing is one that is all about fear.

The question is, which fear will drive the election in November? Fear of economic despair? Or fear of Painting the White House Black (to quote an old, but good George Clinton song)?

2 Comments:

Blogger kevin said...

Its rather sad that people think that way, but I'm not surprised. Race in this country has always been a hot topic and Obama has that hurtle to overcome to become president. He's got a great many people willing to overlook the color of his skin and focusing on the content of his messages, but its that few people who bother me saying that he's black so I'm not goign to vote for him.

People just need to wake up and see that its 2008 not 1898. The times have changed and anyone should be given the same chance to be leader, regardless of his appearance, ancestry etc as long as he qualifies and seems to have the best interest of the nation at heart.

3:10 PM  
Blogger buckarooskidoo said...

Once again, we see how little reading Americans manage to get done...if they would read just a fraction of obama's outstanding memoir, dreams from my father, they would understand that he is neither black, nor white, but someone with a foot in both camps and therefore...a unique perspective on race in America.
It makes me laugh that people think he is going to "do nothing but help black people" while in office...it's the height of absurdity.

3:19 PM  

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