election aftermath, inverted racism

The elections in 2008 were supposed to prove that Americans are finally color-blind but they are more color-blinded, fairly obsessed with race and deeply confused. 

When Colin Powell jumped ship and went over to a Democratic candidate, this was much in keeping with the later revealed voting patterns of the Black community in the US, more than 90% going for Obama. By now, one needs a capital letter to depict White or Black, even those these labels mean less and less, considering the mixed backgrounds of so many citizens. At the top of the list is of course the elected Prez who happens to be 50/50 of each.

However, as American racial logic goes, the darker designation trumps and was most certainly why the African-American community stonewalled together and tipped the scales.  One of the sillier designations of ‘race’ is “Hispanic”, that the residents of Spain might regard with some puzzlement. After all, there are blond Spaniards, and dark WASPs.  But as “people of color” (what about pink?), they also contributed significantly to the victory.

I don’t credit nor blame Obama’s campaign for the hypnotic slogan “change” which for simple minded people was the deciding catch word driving them into the voting booths. Hilary started it and thank God, the Clintons are not back in the White House.  Even McCain weakly offered “change” of his own, but was not aggressive enough blaming the disastrous monetary policies squarely on the era of the Clintons. The political correctness of lending out money to those who could not pay back more than 8 years ago was the sickness covered up with bandaids and aspirin. Bush and the Republicans should not have had to bear that particular burden.

In the euphoric aftermath, Obama’s victory was not seen as a triumph of one set of values over another, however, but a racial and personality coup. Money had a big deal to do with it, $650 million or more, so the “poor boy who makes good” is a bit disingenuous.  Some White people like McCain & Co. could never round up all that dough.  So this was not about poor vs. rich.

Hopefully, though, the hype, the silly racial designations, can be put aside and the new leader will draw out of his own personal resources, of which he seems to have plenty, and proceed with dignity and honesty.

The real test if America has grown up would be real color indifference, to get rid of special privileges for minorities, now that they have reached the highest office.  In fact, abolishing so-called racial profiling can begin with univerisities that should have a more scientific anthropological view of humankind, not a simplistic, and even false, color based one.

2 Responses to “election aftermath, inverted racism”

  1. lunchcountersitin Says:

    {1} Just to be clear-some readers may not get it, but the diarist certainly does- the designation “Hispanic” is not a racial designation, it is an ethnic designation. One can be both black and Hispanic, and in fact the US Census Bureau will assign both of these self-identifications to persons who are interviewed for the deci-annual census.

    Some say the only use of this designation is for the majority population to track the number of illegal aliens coming into the country… but I’ll leave that discussion for another day.

    {2} When looking at the high black vote for Obama, keep in mind the following:
    Black Vote for Democratic Presidential Candidates:
    Lyndon Johnson, 1964: 94%
    Al Gore, 2000: 90%
    John Kerry, 2008: 88%

    The point being, African Americans have been voting for white Democrats at a 80-90% range for decades. And AAs are virulently disgusted with Bush.

    So any Democrat running-even and including H Clinton- was going to benefit from a huge black vote. But having an AA to vote for president after years of support for white Democrats was icing on the cake.

    {3} Let’s be clear: this election was a vote against 8 years of Bush and 6 years of a Republican congress. This is what created the environment for a successful black candidate in the first place. Once the equation was set that McCain=Bush, it was over.

    If H Clinton had gotten the nomination and won, some people would be saying it was a gender and personality coup. If Bill Richardson had gotten the nomination and won, some people would be saying it was an ethnic and personality coup.

    But in fact, this wasn’t a personality/racial/etc coup of any type, although some people might say that. The fact is, Obama was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time.

  2. cabbagejuice Says:

    Thanks very much for your well considered response. Presidential campaigns can’t help but be personality contests in a consumer based, advertising-battered society. Kennedy tipped the edge over Nixon as he was more more photogenic on the TV debate. At least, that was the explanation back then.

    The very idea of “change” though I find troubling, almost like well, ANYTHING is better. There’s also “change for the worse” as McCain again tenuously tried to suggest a few months ago but drowned out by the change enthusiasts. I would have liked to hear just WHAT was in need of change, or how much of it.

    I didn’t like the spreading around a generalized feeling of dissatisfaction for everything that has the tendency to throw out the good together with the bad. Get everyone on a gut level unhappy and then present the Saviour who will solve all their problems. The massive issues, even more so must be confronted with reason, not with euphoria–plenty of the latter and hardly anything of the former.

    As for being in the right place at the right time, well, that sounds like chance but it isn’t. That’s not how one raises $650,000,000 for a campaign.
    Quite frankly, I don’t know what specific views Obama has. I reckon they were diffuse enough to get him elected as his record in the Senate attests.

    Still, I think he is a person of integrity and talent. I also had a problem with an inexperienced mother of 5 kids becoming Commander-in-Chief in the event of an Presidential emergency. This was too silly to swallow.

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