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***SPRAYER
08-04-2008, 08:22 AM
The Return of Racial Politics
By Jacob Laksin
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, August 04, 2008

When Bill Clinton likened Barack Obama to Rev. Jesse Jackson during the Democratic primaries, he was pilloried as a racial agitator. How dare the former president imply that Obama – the great hope of “post-racial” politics – belonged in the same mold as race-baiting hucksters like Jackson? But mounting evidence from the campaign trail seems to vindicate Clinton’s comparison.

An undercurrent of Obama’s bitter contest with the Clintons, the race issue resurfaced anew last week. In contention was a John McCain campaign ad mocking Obama’s global celebrity. Juxtaposing clips of Obama with paparazzi favorites Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, the ad was intended to point up the superficiality of the candidate’s appeal.

In this it did not entirely succeed. Although there does appear to be an inverse correlation between Obama’s conspicuously thin political résumé and the mass adulation that has greeted his campaign, the point did not translate well in the ad: the contrast between the polished senator and the airhead icons seemed strained. Errors of execution apart, the ad played directly into the rival campaign’s theme that the election was all about Obama. All in all, it was a clumsy effort.

What it plainly was not was racist. But that was the charge hurled almost immediately by the Obama campaign. Addressing a Missouri crowd, Obama warned darkly that McCain would try to make Americans “scared of me. You know, ‘He’s not patriotic enough, he’s got a funny name.’ You know, ‘He doesn't look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills.’” In other words, McCain was trying to make an issue of his race. “That’s essentially the argument they’re making,” Obama said.

In fact, of course, that was not the argument the McCain camp was making – as would have been obvious to any fair-minded campaign watcher. And indeed Obama’s spokesmen promptly retreated from the racism accusation, insisting that Obama’s dollar-bills reference was not about race at all.

That defense was difficult to credit, not least because Obama had made a nearly identical claim in early June. “We know what kind of campaign they’re going to run,” he said then. “They’re going to try to make you afraid of me. ‘He’s young and inexperienced and he’s got a funny name. And did I mention he’s black?’” Obama’s comments last week were a marginally more subtle version of the same spurious claim – namely, that McCain aims to stoke fears about his skin color.

The claim reverses reality. Not only has McCain avoided the sensitive subject of race but he has gone out of his way to condemn all criticism of Obama that could be interpreted, however implausibly, as racially motivated. In April, when the Republican Party of North Carolina released a television spot linking Obama with his radical ex-pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright, McCain urged that the ad be pulled. To the extent that any demographic is voting along racial lines in the current race it is the black electorate – a July Wall Street Journal poll found that 20 percent of black voters consider race the “single most important factor” in their vote – that is overwhelmingly supporting Obama.

None of this has deterred the Obama campaign from playing the race card. Indeed, the sleazy dollar-bills quip was but one of the racially divisive comments Obama débuted last week. Speaking at a UNITY '08 Convention in Chicago, Obama offered a curious take on the issue of reparations for slavery: “I consistently believe that when it comes to whether it's Native Americans or African-American issues or reparations, the most important thing for the U.S. government to do is not just offer words, but offer deeds.” Obama’s exact meaning was elusive, but the statement seemed to signal his support for reparations, a fringe cause much beloved by the more demagogic black leaders. The apparent endorsement was all the more mystifying given that Obama had declined to support reparations during the primaries. Now he seemed to side with the most extreme voices in the black community.

This is not the turn Obama’s “change” script was supposed to take. To his credit, Obama had previously made some attempts to forge a new way on race. In his autobiography, Dreams From My Father, he showed an understanding of the racial divide far more sophisticated than the catechism of victimology preached by Revs. Jackson and Sharpton, and there was reason to think that he would be a unifying force on the issue.

During the primaries, Obama fulfilled some of these expectations. He distanced himself from his Afro-centric Trinity United Church and its militant former leader, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. More recently, he has talked up the importance of parental responsibility, especially in the black community, arousing the ire of those who, like Rev. Jackson, have made a career of claiming that systemic American “racism” is to blame for black misfortunes.

Commendable in their way, these splits with the more polarizing elements of the black leadership can also be overstated. Obama’s decision to leave his church came late in his campaign, and then only after sustained criticism made his continued membership a political liability. Hopes that he would decisively break with the more radical figures in the black community have likewise gone unfulfilled. After the latter’s off-air blowup, Obama rushed to make amends with Rev. Jackson. No sooner had Jackson recanted his famous castration threat than Obama spokesman Bill Burton insisted that “of course [Obama] accepts Reverend Jackson's apology.” Apparently, Jackson was too important an ally to alienate.

That Obama has not quite been the uniter he promised is only part of the problem. More troubling is what the newly racial tenor of his campaign bodes for the future. It suggests, for instance, that an Obama presidency would be a grueling affair, one in which every policy question is framed as a take-sides referendum on race. Disagree with President Obama and you could be denounced as a racist.

Instructive in this regard was the backlash against McCain’s “Celebrity” spot. As Obama intimated sinister motives his allies followed suit in even more abrasive terms. Liberal writer Rick Perlstein hysterically charged that the Hilton-Spears ad had “Barack Obama will rape yo daughters overtones,” and suggested, even more hysterically, that the images of Obama’s recent Berlin speech were a conscious allusion to Leni Riefenstahl’s Nazi propaganda vehicle Triumph of the Will. (It was apparently McCain’s fault that Obama had chosen to speak before a mass of cheering Germans.)

Lest one dismiss Perlstein as a lone crank, his suggestion that McCain was trying to inspire fears of black men raping white women was echoed in the media. One blog, hosted by Newsday.com, alleged that the McCain ad had picked “two sexually available white women” precisely for that purpose. It’s hard to think of a stronger case against an Obama presidency than the possibility that each debate during his tenure will play out in the same enlightening fashion.

But whatever happens in November, one thing already seems clear: the hope that electing the first black president will move the country past its racial fissures seems to be just that. For all the hype that he is a transcendent politician, Obama has shown himself to be just as cynical as the black leaders of the past. Somewhere Bill Clinton must be smiling knowingly.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bowser
08-04-2008, 08:45 AM
HEY! WHERE THE WHITE WOMEN AT?

noa
08-04-2008, 08:50 AM
I like it when he smiles at me

***SPRAYER
08-04-2008, 08:55 AM
Well... we can keep talking about John McCain's shoes...

:Scanlon:

noa
08-04-2008, 08:55 AM
Also, where's Barack's mutherfreakin iced tea?

***SPRAYER
08-04-2008, 08:57 AM
The Race Issue Isn't Going Away
By JUAN WILLIAMS
August 4, 2008

With polls showing the presidential contest between John McCain and Barack Obama getting closer, a question is now looming larger and larger. Is skin color going to be the deciding factor?

Just last week, Sen. Obama warned voters that Sen. McCain's campaign will exploit the race issue by telling voters that "he doesn't look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills." A few weeks earlier, he said they will attack his lack of experience but also added, "And did I mention he's black?"


AP
The McCain campaign did not counter the first punch, but after last week's jab -- fearing that Mr. Obama was getting away with calling his candidate a racist -- campaign manager Rick Davis responded to the dollar-bill attack by saying, "Barack Obama has played the race card, and he played it from the bottom of the deck. It's divisive, negative, shameful and wrong."

Mr. Obama's campaign concedes it has no clear example of a Republican attack that expressly cites Mr. Obama's name or race. Yet in the last few days some Obama supporters were at it again, suggesting that a McCain ad attacking Mr. Obama as little more than a "celebrity," by featuring young white women such as Britney Spears, is an appeal to white anxiety about black men and white women.

The race issue is clearly not going away. And the key reason -- to be blunt -- is because there is no telling how many white voters are lying to pollsters when they say they plan to vote for a black man to be president. Still, it is possible to look elsewhere in the polling numbers to see where white voters acknowledge their racial feelings and get a truer measure of racism.

In a Wall Street Journal poll last month, 8% of white voters said outright that race is the most important factor when it comes to looking at these two candidates -- a three percentage point increase since Mr. Obama claimed the Democratic nomination. An added 15% of white voters admit the candidates' race is a factor for them. Race is even more important to black voters: 20% say it is the top factor influencing their view of the candidates, and another 14% admit it is among the key factors that will determine their vote. All this contributes to the idea that the presidential contest will boil down to black guy versus white guy.

Consider also a recent Washington Post poll. Thirty percent of all voters admitted to racial prejudice, and more than a half of white voters categorized Mr. Obama as "risky" (two-thirds judged Mr. McCain the "safe" choice). Yet about 90% of whites said they would be "comfortable" with a black president. And about a third of white voters acknowledged they would not be "entirely comfortable" with an African-American president. Why the contradictory responses? My guess is that some whites are not telling the truth about their racial attitudes.

A recent New York Times poll found that only 31% of white voters said they had a favorable opinion of Mr. Obama. That compares to 83% of blacks with a favorable opinion. This is a huge, polarizing differential.

But polling can be tricky. In May, a Pew poll asked voters about Mr. Obama but did not give them the option of saying they are undecided. In that poll, whites split on the candidate, 45% saying they had a favorable opinion, 46% unfavorable. When white voters had the option of being undecided, as they did in the Times poll, 37% of whites said they had an unfavorable opinion of him, but 26% said they were undecided.

To win this campaign, Mr. Obama needs to assure undecided white voters that he shares their values and is worthy of their trust. To do that he has to minimize attention to different racial attitudes toward his candidacy as well as racially polarizing issues, and appeal to the common experiences that bind Americans regardless of color.

Mr. Obama has shown an unprecedented ability to cross the racial divide in American politics. He did particularly well in managing caucus states, such as Iowa, where highly energized supporters, especially idealistic young white supporters, minimized the impact of negative racial attitudes with passionate participation.

But the white Democratic caucus voters in Iowa, where there are relatively few racial issues, are decidedly more liberal than white voters nationally. In primary states from New Hampshire to Texas and California, Mr. Obama lost when one of two things happened. Either working-class white voters did not participate in polls, or some white voters lied and told pollsters they planned to vote for him before casting their votes for another candidate.

There are going to be more of those wobbly white voters in November. The size of the white vote in a general election race dwarfs the white vote in the Democratic primary. Based on the 2004 presidential contest, whites make up about 77% of voters and blacks 11%.

In the Democratic primaries there were states, especially in the South, where blacks made up nearly half of the electorate. But in the general election there are no states where blacks make up so large a percentage. Even in Southern states such as Georgia and North Carolina, where blacks made up about a quarter of the vote in the last presidential election, it will be an upset if Mr. Obama manages to win. Those states have a history of Republican dominance in presidential contests. Even an energized black vote is unlikely to make Mr. Obama a winner anywhere in the South, although some Democrats hold out hope for Virginia.

In 2004, John Kerry had a 46% favorable rating among white voters, barely better than Barack Obama's. But Mr. Kerry lost. Mr. Obama needs to do better with whites. But the white voters' view of him is still clearly unsettled.

Polls show white voters struggling to identify with him as a fellow American who, to quote Bill Clinton, is able to "feel your pain." When the New York Times poll asked whether Mr. Obama cares about "the needs and problems of people like yourself," 70% of whites answered "a lot" or "some." But 28% of whites said Mr. Obama cared about them "not much" or "not at all." Compare that with the 72% of black voters who said Mr. Obama cared about them "a lot." The same Times poll had Mr. Obama leading Mr. McCain by six percentage points, 45-39, but trailing by nine points among white voters, 37-46.

After Jesse Jackson's vicious comments about Mr. Obama, some political strategists suggested that a split with Mr. Jackson and his racially divisive politics could help Mr. Obama with white voters. But polls have yet to reveal this.

Could a Jackson-Obama split cause black voters to lose enthusiasm for him -- dividing their loyalties between the two most prominent black political voices of this era? Opinion surveys do not indicate this is likely. Polling done by Gallup just before Mr. Jackson's outburst indicated that 29% of black Americans chose Mr. Obama as the "individual or leader in the U.S. to speak for you on issues of race." Mr. Jackson came in third with only 4% support (behind Al Sharpton, who had 6%). Last year, a Pew poll focusing on racial attitudes found 76% of blacks judged Mr. Obama a "good influence," a full eight points higher than Mr. Jackson.

Jodie Allen, a senior editor at Pew, wrote recently that a poll Pew conducted last November showed clearly that "the black community is at least as traditional in its views as the larger American public." Blacks in the Pew poll were just as likely as whites to take a hard line opposing crime (as long as black neighborhoods are not unfairly targeted), to condemn the shocking number of children born out of wedlock and express disgust with the violence and misogyny in rap music.

Mr. Obama needs to hammer home these conservative social values to capture undecided white voters. He might lose Mr. Jackson's vote. But he won't lose many black votes, and he will win the undecided white votes he needs to become America's first African-American president.

Mr. Williams is a political analyst for National Public Radio and Fox News.

***SPRAYER
08-12-2008, 05:16 PM
http://nymag.com/news/features/49139/

***SPRAYER
08-12-2008, 08:17 PM
To black people, Michelle represents authenticity. It’s hard to overstate black love for her: “The fact that, as a successful black male, Barack did not choose a lighter-skinned woman, as most of them do, sends a message to me,” says a black female supporter at the Pontiac rally. “Michelle is highly sophisticated, yet she comes from the most humble background possible—no one can say she grew up in Martha’s Vineyard and she’s not really black,” says supporter Alicia Nails, a lecturer at Wayne State University, standing nearby. “I’ll tell you my personal philosophy about people: If I want to know who you are, I look at who you sleep with, and who you give your name. When I look at Michelle, Barack doesn’t have to be any blacker for me.”

Fish
08-12-2008, 08:29 PM
Superboma is impervious to your attacks.........

http://z.about.com/d/politicalhumor/1/0/j/z/1/obama_superman_awesome.jpg

NewChief
08-12-2008, 08:33 PM
Yes... the race issue just isn't going away. On the front two pages of our own DC forum, there are 4 threads about Obama's race. All of them were started by conservatives. You gotta wonder... who's trying to keep the race issue alive?

NewChief
08-12-2008, 08:37 PM
Oh, and ironically, we've got good old Shitsprayer resurrecting dead threads about race, like the George Allen one and the one started by Adam. Yup, it looks like racial politics aren't going away. I wonder why?

Stinger
08-12-2008, 08:43 PM
. Yup, it looks like racial politics aren't going away. I wonder why?

Barack and Michelle are giving good material?

NewChief
08-12-2008, 08:44 PM
Barack and Michelle are giving good material?

Judging by the people doing all the clamoring about race, I'd say that certain people feel like it's in their best interest to keep race and debates about race in the forefront. Interestingly enough, I haven't heard either Barack or Michelle say too much about race as of late. Just a lot of other people.

Oh right... it's the elephant in the room. Thank God for those civic-minded conservatives on the board like Shitsprayer who want to air things out and really heal that racial divide!

NewChief
08-12-2008, 08:45 PM
Ooops, forgot! There is no racial divide in America anymore. My bad!

Fish
08-12-2008, 08:48 PM
"Reparations!" [/waves hand in jedi fashion]

NewChief
08-12-2008, 08:53 PM
"Reparations!" [/waves hand in jedi fashion]

Gee, thanks for reminding me. That's 5 threads about race on the first two pages, all started or resurrected by Cons, the majority by Shitsprayer... the great hope for racial harmony!

Stinger
08-12-2008, 08:54 PM
Thank God for those civic-minded conservatives on the board like Shitsprayer who want to air things out and really heal that racial divide!

Are you really looking for a Message Board to do this????????? You do realize that most MB are looking to antagonize and just get any point across. It is like a fighter who always throwing haymakers hardly anything lands and not technically a correct way to do it but if something lands watch out ... and it is fun to watch everybody scatter for a little while.

NewChief
08-12-2008, 08:55 PM
Sorry, sorry. Got out of line again and forgot that we don't have racial issues in the country anymore. If those damned blacks would just stop bitching, everything would be fine.

NewChief
08-12-2008, 08:56 PM
Are you really looking for a Message Board to do this????????? You do realize that most MB are looking to antagonize and just get any point across. It is like a fighter who always throwing haymakers hardly anything lands and not technically a correct way to do it but if something lands watch out ... and it is fun to watch everybody scatter for a little while.

My point was just the irony of Shitsprayer posting all this shit (get it?) about how the race issue just won't go away, when he's really the only one that keeps starting and resurrecting threads about it.

***SPRAYER
08-13-2008, 05:46 AM
Yes... the race issue just isn't going away. On the front two pages of our own DC forum, there are 4 threads about Obama's race. All of them were started by conservatives. You gotta wonder... who's trying to keep the race issue alive?


"Barack did not choose a lighter-skinned woman, as most of them do, sends a message to me,” says a black female supporter at the Pontiac rally.

LMAO

Ultra Peanut
08-13-2008, 06:03 AM
RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD

I LIKE ME SOME WATERMELONS

RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD

MMMMMM MMMMMMMMM FRIED CHICKEN

RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD

***SPRAYER
08-13-2008, 06:10 AM
"Barak is an authentic black man because he married a dark skinned black woman."

-Obama's base support

THESE PEOPLE ARE NUTS!

Baby Lee
08-13-2008, 06:21 AM
My point was just the irony of Shitsprayer posting all this shit (get it?) about how the race issue just won't go away, when he's really the only one that keeps starting and resurrecting threads about it.

Well, in this particular thread, Mr. Sprayer isn't posting about how the race issue won't go away. He's posting how Mr. Obama keeps bringing it up.

Messier
08-13-2008, 07:29 AM
"Barack did not choose a lighter-skinned woman, as most of them do, sends a message to me,” says a black female supporter at the Pontiac rally.

LMAO

That is hilarious! Did Obama say that? Is that from someone inside his campaign? If so busted!!!

***SPRAYER
08-13-2008, 07:31 AM
We're having a dialogue on rayth.