Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Hate Vote

Americans have spent an enormous amount of time, energy and money over the past half century to convince themselves that they had finally left behind their nation's horrible racist history.

Even if Barack Obama should lose to McCain in November, he'll have done his country an invaluable service by exposing just how alive and well racism is in today's America, among Democrats as well as Republicans, even among some feminists who ought to be the last to tolerate much less embrace racial bigotry.

Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen calls it "A Campaign to Hate."

"Wherever I go -- from glittering dinner party to glittering dinner party -- the famous and powerful people I meet (for such is my life) tell me how lucky I am to be a journalist in this the greatest of all presidential contests. I tell them, for I am wont to please, that this campaign is indeed great when, as history will record, it is not. I have come to loathe the campaign.

I loathe above all the resurgence of racism -- or maybe it is merely my appreciation of the fact that it is wider and deeper than I thought. I am stunned by the numbers of people who have come out to vote against Barack Obama because he is black. I am even more stunned that many of these people have no compunction about telling a pollster they voted on account of race -- one in five whites in Kentucky, for instance. Those voters didn't even know enough to lie, which is what, if you look at the numbers, others probably did in other states. Such honesty ought to be commendable. It is, instead, frightening.

...So I see little to be happy about, little that pleases my jaundiced eye. Yes, voter participation is way up and in the end, the Democrats will choose a woman or an African American and, to invoke that tiresome phrase, history will be made. But this messy nominating process has eroded the standing of both candidates. It has highlighted the reality that racism still runs deep and that misogyny, although more imagined than real, is not yet a wholly spent force. This is an ugly porridge that has been placed before us, turned rancid since the cold, pristine days of Iowa only five months ago. We were, with apologies to Bob Dylan, so much younger then. "


Anonymous said...

I dont think you get the point, he is a snooty like man, a man. The ladies who represent 52 % of the north american polulation, where shoved asside by the boys of the democratic party and the media, for one that is part of 13 % of the population. it was our time little man, not a token black man who hasnt figured out he is been helped by the good old boys, against a woman. but then, any man before a woman,,, right? the racism issue was used to help him, from the begining, thats how he convinced you and others to follow him, even if he makes no sense, take the time to really listen to him talk, and you will see what we mean....

The Mound of Sound said...

Actually Anon 5:35 I get the point very well. You're a blatant racist yourself and you're not above freely indulging in a bit of reverse sexism to boot. Blacks can be racist and women can be sexist and comments like yours leave no doubt of that. It was "our time little man, not a token black man?" Your time, the time of rank bigots like you, is past darling so get used to it.