Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Antics of the past two weeks have made the election about race

Today, I’m sitting in the basement at the Bean Traders on Ninth Street.  I normally sit upstairs, but today I have too much work to get done.  I need to focus.  After last night’s Presidential debate, I have a lot on my mind.
I spent most of the night reflecting on President Obama’s dismantling of Mitt Romney.  The way Obama took his shoe and shoved it up Romney’s A-hoe is obvious to anyone with the ability to sing their ABC’s.  It was clear.  No contest. Take your behind back home and come back when you’re ready to play with the big folks.  That’s how I felt.
I woke up unnerved by the obsession of pundits to legitimize Romney’s inability to stand up to Obama.  They honored him for taking on the posture of a peacemaker, while condemning Obama for personal attacks.  “That’s not policy,” he had the nerve to say.
These are the same experts who attacked Obama for taking a vacation during the first debate.  Obama embraced a similar strategy, yet is reprimanded for not attacking, while Romney is commended for not attacking.
That’s why I’m angry today.  What’s most perplexing is how people refuse to see what is obvious to me.  This is the type of racism that keeps me mad, confused and ready to lose my mind, up in here.  I’m sick of the disrespect.  I’m past being done with the blindness that leads folks into buying the garbage that Romney is trying to sell America.  Are people that dumb, or is covert racism so deep that they can’t see past how race is fueling this election.
Is America watching? Are they listening? Did anyone notice when an ad was circulated with Obama in a hangman’s noose with the tag underneath “hang in there”?  Did any notice the white man at the Romney rally with the shirt “Put the white back in the White House”? Was anyone taken back by Ann Coutler’s comment “I’m glad Romney was nice to the retard”?
Has anyone noticed how race has been thrown into this campaign, and it’s not coming from black people.  Considerable attention has been given to justify why white people don’t like Obama.  The Daily News October 19 article, “Obama struggles with white voters: Racism has nothing to do with it” was written to debunk the claim that white people don’t like Obama for reasons other than his natural tan.  So, why all the hard work in making the point that it’s not race? Is someone feeling guilty?
It gets worse.  Critics of Obama are playing that old game – I’m not one, you are one.  The day before the first Presidential debate, the Daily Caller posted a video of a 2007 speech of Obama in Hampton, Virginia. During the speech, Obama makes claims regarding the government’s slow response after Hurricane Katrina. Conservatives used the speech to accuse Obama of using racially charged rhetoric. 
"There's no way you can listen to this speech and not hear it as a deliberately divisive speech that pits Americans against each other and does so largely with racial innuendoes that are very, very clear when you hear the speech," former Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said on Fox News, which aired segments of the videotaped speech.
Obama said in the speech that the Bush administration did nothing to defuse a "quiet riot" among blacks that threatened to erupt in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Obama, then a Senator representing Illinois, said the Bush administration "was colorblind in its incompetence."
Sean Hannity, from Fox News, said the speech "contains some of the most divisive class warfare and racially charged rhetoric ever used by Barack Obama."
One conservative blog used the headline “ Obama slandered America as racist using dishonest claims about the response to Hurricane Katrina”. Fox News aired the video to prove their theory that Obama is an angry black man who can’ be trusted to run the country. (http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2012/10/obama-slandered-american-as-racist-using-dishonest-claims-about-the-response-to-hurricane-katrina.php)
“Barack Obama was already a candidate for president when he delivered the Hampton speech, so this isn’t ancient history,” the blog Powerline argues. “Rather, the speech is a sincere (though factually dishonest) statement of how he really sees America and what he believes must be done in response. In essence, America needs to redistribute wealth from whites to blacks in order to offset, as best it can, the nation’s basic racism.”
“As Stanley Kurtz has shown in his book Spreading The Wealth: How Obama is robbing the suburbs to pay for the cities, the redistribution of wealth from middle class suburbs to the inner city constitutes the core of Obama’s domestic agenda for his second term,” the blog continues. “The sincere outrage Obama expressed in Hampton should leave little doubt that Obama will aggressively pursue that agenda through executive orders, regulations, and coercion if America makes the grave mistake of re-electing him.”
The video was released the week prior to the news of the book written by Arkansas Representative Jon Hubbard. Hubbard wrote that slavery may “have been a blessing” in his 2010 book.
American for Prosperity, the advocacy group funded by billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch, distributed mail praising Hubbard.  The mailing also mentioned Loy Mauch, a representative from Bismarck, Arkansas, who has also written in support of slavery.
Mauch authored a series of letters to the editor at the Arkansas Times that expressed pro-slavery views. “President Abraham Lincoln was a neurotic Northern war criminal,” Mauch wrote.  He also compared Lincoln and Civil War generals from the North to Nazis.
The ad sent on behalf of Hubbard and Mauch praise the two for opposing the Affordable Care Act. The ad features pictures of a smiling white family and a black doctor, and thanks them for voting against health care exchanges in Arkansas, saying they will cost states between $10 million and $100 million a year. The mailers also feature pictures of Hubbard or Mauch and ask readers to call them to "thank them for protecting our health care freedom."
It’s quite telling that Americans for Prosperity is supporting Hubbard and Mauch.  Can you see the theme that has permeated this election?  The issue of race has strategically been placed before voters.  It’s done in a way that hides the intent.  This is why opinion polls shifted so quickly in favor or Romney.  It’s not his policies or his ability to appear Presidential.
Stay tuned in for more lunacy.  Donald Trump has a major announcement about Obama slated for tomorrow. Maybe he’s found a birth certificate from mars.  Why not?  Everything else has been used to discredit Obama.
Or, maybe he’ll tell the world he fathered a child with a white woman.


  1. As I have said for the beginning "any white man 2012"

  2. I will never forget hearing about a study in which students were asked how their identity (race, sex, sexual orientation, ethnicity, etc) impacted the way they saw the world. White, straight men, for the most part, thought the question was ridiculous. For too many, "the normal world" was simply the way they had experienced it. Without an understanding that others might see various issues and questions differently.
    I think this is, at least in part, the answer to your question. But it is so frustrating to see issues so clearly and wonder where or how everyone else's vision is focused.

  3. And now we have Sarah Palin (amazingly, still talking) using "shuck and jive" to describe the President's response to the Libyan situation. Anyone who thinks race, or rather racism, is not an issue is deluded.

  4. There is a strong racial component, sure. If you see what might be characterized as a "Red Neck" going to the voting booth you are probably sure at the 70% level he is not voting for the President. On the other hand, if you see a black man -- a "Black Neck" -- there, what level of confidence would you place on where his vote is going? The polls suggest there's 95% certainty.

    Isn't that racist?

    And then there are the people like me -- pale in color -- who want the best leadership the country can have. The question we have to face is do we want Rommney's financial agenda or Obama's social one? It's not related to skin color, and we are the swing voters who will make the difference in this election.


  5. AJW, There is a significant difference between those who vote for Romney due to policies and those who do it simply because of race. I'm with you on that. When it comes to black people who make this decision, there is a difference due to the historical relevance of having our nations first black president. It is extremely difficult to separate that from the equation. Yes, race is a factor, but for different reasons.

    1. I don't want to parse this too closely, but I suggest it is likely "a" factor among some whites, and "the" factor among many Black voters. My pale friends and your black ones are the lesser because of that. Like all elections, this one is about quantity of votes, not their quality.

      If it was all about race Obama would not have been elected in 2008. Clearly he appealed to many, not all, because of policies, not not his color.

      We can hope this election will be decided the same way.