Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What racism does

I got this in email - this is very good. I don't know who wrote it, but it bears circulating.
How racism works

What if John McCain were a former president of the Harvard Law Review?
What if Barack Obama finished fifth from the bottom of his graduating class?

What if McCain were still married to the first woman he said 'I do' to?
What if Obama were the candidate who left his first wife after she no longer measured up to his standards?

What if Michelle Obama were a wife who not only became addicted to pain killers, but acquired them illegally through her charitable organization?
What if Cindy McCain graduated from Harvard?

What if Obama were a member of the 'Keating 5'?
What if McCain was a charismatic, eloquent speaker?

If these questions reflected reality, do you really believe the election numbers would be as close as they are?

This is what racism does. It covers up, rationalizes and minimizes positive qualities in one candidate and emphasizes negative qualities in another when there is a color difference.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for re-posting that, Lisa.

I wish the author had attached their name (or internet alias) to that, because they deserve credit for so effectively cutting to the core.

After saying that, I surprise even myself when I say that ascribing the cognitive dissonance illustrated here strictly to racism. I don't believe that is the whole story of how we got here, though it certainly is significant.

The fact that Obama is "black" in the view of some people would make the Republican "attack" mode of campaigning a slam dunk, because they would be able to tickle latent racism in many voters to completely annihilate his character in the public mind.

However, that modus operandi would not be so effective if the Republicans didn't have the full and active cooperation of most of the major media in framing the issues in ways that carry the Republican message, while establishing virtually any narrative the Republicans dictate.

I submit that if Obama was an intellectual vacuous reactionary puppet of the moneyed classes, and McCain was an intellectually formidable liberal reformer with superb communications skills, and a solid plan, and the tables of their personal histories were turned as the writer has proposed here, we would still be in a tight race.

Racism has been a tool of means these "people" but it has not been the "end" goal. Racism clearly continues to be a problem that weighs on the public conscience, and continues to negatively affect our "Karma" if you will. But it is the virtually complete concentration of media power into a half-dozen hands over the past few decades is what has really cemented the problem, and allowed this disconnect to fester.

10:01 PM  
Blogger Easemeister said...

This was a letter to the editor from Kelvin LaFond in the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I agree, excellent.

10:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Lisa. It reminds me of simple truth ala, "I ate a tomato. It was red."
But then again, didn't Jack Nicholson utter the line "You want the Truth? You can't handle the truth"
My hope is that Jack, who was wrong in the movie, is wrong in reality and that Americans' begin to see a Red Tomato when they see a Red Tomato.

Your #1 fan in NJ,
John Rosina,
Vietnam Veteran for Mr. Obama

12:32 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

When a Barack Obama becomes president of the Harvard Law Review, that just proves that he is an elitist, which I would translate as "uppity." When a John McCain graduates near the bottom of his class, that just proves that he is a regular guy and this is a great country.

1:49 PM  

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