Friday, May 23, 2008

The GOP and "New Racism"

The politics of the color barrier:

If you were born before 1970 or if you read public-opinion polls, then you cannot doubt the profound transformation wrought by the civil rights era. In 1944, the National Opinion Research Center asked whether "Negroes should have as good a chance as white people to get any kind of job, or [whether] white people should have the first chance at any kind of job"--and 55 percent still thought white people should have the "first chance." By 1972, only 3 percent thought so. But some academics--noting the bitterness of battles over busing, affirmative action, and aid to cities, as well as the evolution of the GOP into a virtually all-white party--reasoned that racial prejudice remained, even if it was no longer overtly expressed. They believed it had simply changed form. Their challenge was to define and to demonstrate the existence of this new racism.
It's a topic no one wants to address. Understandably, no one wants to be called a racist, and only those with no care for credibility will throw the word around flippantly. Still, it is an issue that I think was evidenced best by the subtle racism inherent in the national freak out over Scary Black Man Reverend Wright.

Racism does not always manifest in white hoods and burning crosses. Sometimes it's as simple as caring more about the color of a persons skin than you do what direction they will take our country in 2009 and beyond.

Perhaps I am missing something, but I don't give two shits what Obama's pastor said. Yeah, it made good teevee, and yeah Wright seems a little "out there." Should I care more about that than McCain's foreign policy floundering? Should that outweigh the responsible approach to policy Obama has exhibited in contrast to McCain posturing for war, more war, and even more war?

I should hope not.


  1. Would you care if a Republican candidate closely associated for a very long period of time with someone with some very extremist points of view? Of course you would, and so would I.

    It's tempting to accuse you of racism since you are willing to give Obama a pass because Wright is black, but you are really guilty of blind partisanship.

  2. Anon., see my most recent post for a counterpoint, if you will...