Obama and Racial Politics
Later, he downplayed votes could be cast against him due to the color of his skin.The undertone is that those who disagree with his politics are typically racists. It is a subtle hint that he believes Republicans to be racist. Suffice it to say that I have plenty of reasons not to vote for him, and none of them are the color of his skin. Rather, it is the quality of his politics (highly pro-aborition, supports a minimum wage increase, will push for Socialized health care, cut-and-run in Iraq, etc...).
“Are some voters not going to vote for me because I’m African-American? Those are the same voters who probably wouldn’t vote for me because of my politics,” he said.
Putting aside the facts that the Republicans freed the slaves, passed the Civil Rights act (over a democratic filibuster), and more recently gave us both the first two African-American Secretaries of state and the first Hispanic Attorney General, The youthful Senator is somewhat confused. It's far more likely that Howard Dean, Hillary Clinton, Robert Byrd, and Joseph Biden would support his politics than would George Bush, John McCain, or the typical Republican, yet recall the many racially insensitive comments made by Dean, Clinton and Biden...and consider that Senator Byrd was a high-ranking Klansmen!
Furthermore, consider the case of so-called "white-flight", the phenomenon of whites voting for the opposing party when their candidate is black. Contradictory to what Sen. Obama may want you to think, Democrats are more likely to not vote for a candidate because he or she is black. The stereotype of the racist Republican is not only inaccurate, if anything it is Democrats that tend to be racist.
Lastly, consider the following. Before entering politcs Obama stated
he and a black friend would sometimes speak disparagingly “about white folks this or white folks that, and I would suddenly remember my mother's smile, and the words that I spoke would seem awkward and false.”
As a result, he concluded that “certain whites could be excluded from the general category of our distrust."
Yet, in his second memoir (after entering politics), his feelings seemed to have changed, stating that “I’ve never had the option of restricting my loyalties on the basis of race, or measuring my worth on the basis of tribe," contradicting much of his original memoir.
If Senator Obama doesn't want race to influence his race, I would suggest he not make it such a large part of his identity, his politics, and his rhetoric.
Cross Posted at and 123Beta