Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Another Guardian threat: prejudice

There is one Guardian threat that I forgot to mention, maybe because I didn’t understand it. Freedland writes, “And the manner of that decision will matter, too. If it is deemed to have been about race - that Obama was rejected because of his colour - the world's verdict will be harsh. In that circumstance.”

I guess I don’t understand how anyone would know whether a vote for McCain and Palin was because of “colour.” In retrospect I am guessing that the key were here is “deemed” and not “known.” No one could “know” why someone voted for McCain and Palin. So it is left up to those European “Deemers” to deem and then declare a harsh verdict.


“A few moments ago I picked up my mail and the lead article in The New York Review of Books is “Prejudice Against Obama” by Andrew Hacker. I had a lot of trouble getting past the first paragraph which reads,

“In May, Hillary Clinton described many of her core supporters as ‘hard-working Americans, white Americans.’ Primary voting in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia confirmed her surmise. Her remark seemed, without saying so, to claim an advantage over Obama that was due to his race. But there’s more we need to know. We can see how being a farmer or a bond trader or a gun collector might influence your vote. And we understand why black Americans would want a person of their race in the Oval Office. But just what is there about being white that might incline someone toward one candidate instead of another?”

I read that paragraph four times and still haven’t made it to paragraph number two. His title for his article wasn’t the one the NYROB gave it but “Obama: The Price of Being Black” so I guess he is concerned about people being prejudiced against Obama because he is black but . . . but . . . but . . . why is it okay for black people to be prejudiced in such a way that they would vote for Obama because he is black? Why is it okay for the blacks to do it but not okay for the whites?

Images of the mea culpa breast beating Southern white from Tennessee come to mind. “Yes I’m white. I’m ashamed to admit it. No I never had a slave, but some of my relatives must have. At least some of them fought for the South; so I’m guilty, guilty as sin! [“slash, slash, slash, goes their whips as they pull up their hair shirts and flagellate themselves.”]

Well, I suppose. But I live out here in California where our goal is to be “color blind.” We don’t vote for or against anyone because of race. I know, I know. How could anyone prove that. But we would never go around saying it is okay to vote for someone because he is a particular color, and that’s what Hacker is saying . . . unless I am misreading him, and I read that paragraph five times now. . . Did you ever see Groundhog Day? . . .

Lawrence Helm

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