Sunday, August 26, 2012

I didn't know I was White before anything else

Until now, I didn't know I was White before anything else
R. J. Del Vecchio

When Mr. Obama was elected, I was pretty happy about one thing, which was that Americans had put a Black man into the Oval Office, which was the simplest and most powerful way there could be to demonstrate that racism was no long a dominant feature of American society. It was an event that we could all take pride in, and I thought it would bring on a steady lessening of what remained of racial tensions in our society.

People being people, I don't expect racism and biases to utterly vanish from our society or almost any other. There will always be some small fraction of the Christian population that will mistrust Jews, of the Baptist population that will mistrust Catholics, of the male population that will look down on women, of the straight population that will despise gays, and yes, of Whites who will look down on Blacks, and maybe Asian and American Indians as well. And truth be told, there will always be some Blacks who will dislike and distrust Whites. People are imperfect and very prone to flaws, misunderstandings, and mistakes. What else is new?

But in the last three plus years we have not seen that lessening of racial tensions I looked for in 2008. We had an Attorney General tell us we were all cowards because we're afraid to have interracial discussions; while the same Attorney General refused to prosecute obviously racist Black intimidators at a polling place, and instructed the DOJ to concentrate on crimes against Blacks while essentially ignoring complaints about crimes by Blacks. Assorted incidents over recent years have been emphasized as being about race, from the White cop arresting the Black professor who refused to identify himself after breaking into his own house to the recent unfortunate death of a young Black man at the hands of a "White Hispanic," a term invented on the fly by the media. Plus an editor of a major media outlet manipulated the 911 call made by the "White Hispanic" to make it a racial description when in fact it never was such.

We've had several famous Blacks comment to the effect that they still see racism everywhere, and think much of the opposition to Mr. Obama is race-based. Although what was really interesting was the recent comment by Morgan Freeman that Mr. Obama is NOT the first Black President, since his mother was very White, that makes him only the first mixed race President. Apparently in some minds there are degrees of Blackness, and some people don't measure up. This brings to mind the Nazi standards for being Aryan, which was, as I vaguely recall, pretty much a racist system.

Now Mr. Romney has selected one of the obvious choices to be his VP candidate, and that man happens to also be White. As were the VP candidates chosen by Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, both the Bushes, Al Gore, John Kerry, and John McCain, and nobody noticed in those times. But Mr. Romney's choice has sparked a whole series of comments from various public figures and commentators about it being "just another White man."

We hear comments from Harry Reid like a Romney victory in November will prove that "angry old White men" were able to buy the election. Interesting that in 2008 Mr. Obama raised $800 million in campaign funds, more than double what McCain got. Where were the "angry old White men" then?

All this leaves me really sad, and a little worried. In 2004 I heard Mr. Obama say in a speech that there aren't little chunks of Americans identified by group, there are just Americans. A thought I loved hearing, and strongly believed in. I still believe in that ideal, and hope we can move back towards it, soon, very soon. But I'm deeply sorry to say that playing the race card seems to becoming the daily tactic of this campaign, to the detriment of us all, no matter our color, creed, political affiliation, or anything else. And I don't see any Conservative, Republican, or Tea Party leaders who are pushing race in even the tiniest way. (If they did, it would be on large print on the front page of the NY Times and the first item covered in the next daily newscasts.)

Of all the people I know who intend to vote GOP in November, and that's more than enough to fill a large ballroom, not a single one could care any less about the color of Mr. Obama's skin. Nor do they care how rich Mr. Romney is, or about his horse or his wife's blouse. What people care about are issues, the failure of this Administration, a rejection of inflation of Executive Branch power, and the unchecked growth of government. Voting for any other reasons just doesn't make any sense, most especially in these perilous times. I will vote as a concerned citizen, and will not, never have, never will vote or do anything else as a White man, no matter what little box some other person wants to put me in.

I would add that in 2008, I’ve read Obama received more white votes than Kerry did in 2004 or Gore in 2000. I fully agree with this essay. Everyone I know who is voting for Romney would vote for blacks Alan West, Condi Rice or Tom Sowell over whites Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid for president, given a choice. Race doesn’t matter; cultural, experience and world view matter a great deal. And Obama represents a combination of Transnational Progressive Culture and Chicago Way Machine Politics Culture. His world view is that, if your intentions are good and your theories politically correct, your tactics and the results for the real people who suffer don’t matter at all. He lives in a world where hope trumps math. ~Bob.

1 comment:

  1. So, what's your bottom line here?

    Yay Obama, lead us all to that promised land... or: Good Grief, let's get him out of office before he ruins everything?

    Time for fence sitting is just about over.