5.01.2008

What Obama's Up Against (Besides Hillary)

In the January-February issue of Jewish Currents, our editorial offered the following statistics:

“In the wake of the ongoing noose case in Jena, Louisiana . . . a CNN poll showed that only 47 percent of white respondents think that the criminal justice system discriminates against Blacks, a view held by 79 percent of African Americans. Similarly, a 2001 survey showed that 40 to 60 percent of whites (depending on how the question was framed) considered the average African American to be doing as well as, or even better than, the average white. A 2006 survey reported in Harvard’s Du Bois Review (www.fas.harvard.edu/~mrbworks/articles/2006_ DUBOIS.pdf) showed a preponderance of whites of different ages and geographic regions saying they’d be willing to spend the rest of their lives as an African-American for ‘compensation’ of only $10,000 — while requiring $1 million to spend the rest of their lives without television!”

Racism is so deeply ingrained in the U.S. that as soon as a black man (even a mixed-race man raised by a white mother!) shows himself to be cognizant of racism, or in any way devoted to the black community, he becomes a “race man.” Hell, America doesn't want “change,” America wants absolution — without repentance or reparations. Thus the race-transcending Barack Obama has now become the black candidate.

I remain optimistic about his prospects of winning only because of his overwhelming support among young people. Here are the stats, from Pew Research Center: 58 percent of voters under 30 lean towards the Democrats, compared with 33 percent who identify as Republican — a 14-point jump for the Democrats since 2004. Most important, voters under 30 have doubled and trebled their turnout in primaries across the country, and they are very much for Obama: in Georgia, 77%; Virginia, 76%; Mississippi, 73%; Wisconsin, 70%; Illinois, 69%; South Carolina, 67%; Louisiana, 66%; Missouri, 65%; Pennsylvania, 60%; Maryland, 64%.

These are the people who are going to bear the burdens of George Bush’s disastrous presidency for the rest of their lives. These are the people who can restore the Democratic party to majority status. These are the people who will either take on the responsibilities of citizenship — or not — in the decades to come. These are the people whose worldview has most truly been affected by the gains of the civil rights movement and the multicultural reality of America. And these are people for whom a Clinton victory will be most deeply alienating.

Go, youth, go! Don't trust anyone over 46.

3 Comments:

Anonymous bob cartwright said...

The assumption that voting for any Democrat is somehow better than voting for either some other Democrat or a Republican needs to be challenged. It matters little whether 77% of the young people in Georgia are fooled by Obama rather than being fooled by Clinton or McCain or Bush.

Obama will not reduce the enormous military budget. He will not withdraw the US military from Iraq or anywhere else in the world. He stands shoulder to shoulder with Clinton, McCain and Bush in threatening Iran with an unprovoked nuclear holcaust. Differences in race or gender do not correspond to any differences in the willingness to kill people around the world to protect the profits and other interests of US corporate capitalism. Obama, Clinton and McCain all feed at the same trough.

The reality is that the continued allegiance to either the Democrats or the Republicans by young or old puts them into the category of accomplices of the perps -- those who willingly participate in the attacks against people in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, be they generals or common soldiers.

7:30 PM  
Blogger Lao Qiao said...

In 1984, my wife, Carol, my children and I were at a restaurant in Tianjin, China. A man from Uganda heard us speaking American English and asked to join us. He said that he was a student in China and was very lonely, since people avoided him. He was always happy to talk to Americans, who were friendly to people regardless of their race.

To be sure, he had never been to America. But in China, many people routinely refer to blacks as "hei gui" (black devils). There is no taboo against making racist remarks.

We live in a world where prejudice is the rule and not the exception. My experience in talking to strangers in the United States is that they do not make racist remarks to people they have just met. My experience in talking to people in other countries is that frequently, they do make such remarks. Ever since 1954, America has been, bit by bit, moving away from racism.

10:25 PM  
Blogger Sheldon said...

When did Obama ever threaten to nuke Iran?

He clearly condemned Clinton for threatening to "obliterate" Iran.

10:52 PM  

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