The Year of Moving Forward

The Year of Moving Forward
At our 4 person wedding reception in DC

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Shout Out to Bigots?

The Democrats are up 3-0 in the debate series. Here are the numbers, using a couple of the same polls I used after the first presidential and vice-presidential debates. Fox polls and Drudge polls don't count, so don't ask.

CNN Obama 54 McCain 30

CBS Obama 40 Tie 34 McCain 26

Racism?

And that sheriff in Lee County, Florida who used Obama's middle name yesterday while introducing Sarah Palin may have been in violation of federal law. Story

A complaint sent to the U.S. Office of Special Counsel alleges that Scott violated the Hatch Act because his agency receives federal dollars, and Scott was engaging in political activity while on duty and in uniform. Erica S. Hamrick, senior attorney for the agency, said in an e-mail Tuesday that an investigation was being opened. Neither she nor her office could be reached for further comment Tuesday. ...

Some also are questioning whether Scott violated the county code of ethics. The statute says no county government employees are allowed to wear any uniform or clothing that would identify them as such while engaging in a political campaign not sponsored by the county, even if they are off-duty.

Some believe the comment could have had "racial connotations":

James Muwakkil, founder of the 300-member Fort Myers Coalition for Justice and a life member of the NAACP and ACLU, called for a formal apology. He said that while he supports the sheriff’s right to speak his mind, he criticized him for doing so while in uniform. He felt it was an affront to all county residents who may not share the sheriff’s views. He also felt there were racial connotations.

The entire McCain campaign is teetering toward racism. I know that one racist supporter does not mean the whole campaign is, but in Clearwater yesterday, this happened.

At that, Palin supporters turned on reporters in the press area, waving thunder sticks and shouting abuse. Others hurled obscenities at a camera crew. One Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at an African American sound man for a network and told him, "Sit down, boy."
Story

It's not a big jump to think of John McCain's referral to Barack Obama as a disdainful "That one" last night as a shout out to bigots.

Depersonalizing African Americans has long been a tactic of white bigots, and the use of terms such as "boy" or "that one" is easily recognizable.

Recall that John McCain voted against the law that created the national Martin Luther King Holiday in 1983, and in 1987 supported the Arizona Governor's effort to rescind the Holiday in his state. In speaking to the Arizona Teenage Republican Convention that year about the Governor's decision "McCain said that he felt (governor) Mecham was correct in rescinding the holiday." [Washington Post, 1/14/1987; Phoenix Gazette, 4/13/1987].

So it's no surprise that someone his age could still hold feelings of animosity even if, like George Wallace, he has had a change of heart in his later years. It's becoming obvious.


3 comments:

oh brother said...

You could make the same accusations of racism against Obama. You could tune to Tom Joyner in the morning or Michael Baisden in the afternoon and listen to the comments by the callers and the hosts. Many of the comments could be considered racist even if they are not blatantly so. Also consider some of the comments made by his former pastor.

So using the same logic that is used in the blog post you could connect these comments with Obama and say that it is not a big jump to think of Obama as racist and that he probably shares these same views.

But what is the point?

Neither candidate has said anything blatantly racist. Saying things that "could have had racial connotations" shouldn't count. Anyone can misconstrue something a politician says and take it out of context, especially when it come to race and class conflict.

Such insinuations do nothing but further divide the people and it sounds like the type of weak accusation that some of your more conservative posters would throw around (by the way, regarding John from Hoover's recent post, he needs to read up on the recent electoral history of France).

I grew up in a household of divided political loyalties. My father was democrat and a racist. His fellow union members (democrats)and family (democrats) were racist. My mother voted Republican. She held both her daughters hand and a young black girls hand and walked them into a local school the first day they integrated. She was shunned by many of her friends and family after that. To this day she continues to vote republican due to the fact that the racist democrats she knew then are the same racist democrats she knows now.

But she shouldn't vote that way. To connect people's bigotry (either perceived or real) with a candidate is just wrong.

Wow, sorry about the rant. I didn't know I went on so long.

Anywho, quickly: I thought Obama did really good in the town hall debate. I thought McCain would smoke him due to it being his preferred style, but Obama held his own. McCain shot himself in the foot by getting so aggressive during the debate. He should have stayed with the facts and with what he plans on doing.

Again, Factcheck.org has a good breakdown of how both candidates got a good bit of their facts wrong.

Anonymous said...

Why must race become an issue in everything? As for the "that one" comment, when I heard it I thought nothing about race, more generational from McCain. And the "boy" comment is often directed at anyone younger than the speaker too. I think people see or hear what they want and Joe you are no different. I used to come here and read your take on things but it is just so tiresome to come here and hear your drumbeat for Obama every day. Oh my is that racial too. Take it however you want, by the way.


L

Joe Openshaw said...

Race should not be an issue. But to keep it from becoming one, people should avoid using terms that remind others of racial disparities. Or flying flags that are used as divisive symbols and thatpromote hatred.

As for my drumbeat for Obama, it is because I truly believe that this country, and possible civilization as we know it, will not survive with McCain as president. That has to do with wars, the environment and energy, and the economy. In 28 more days, maybe I will return to more varied topics. Believe me, there is a lot more I would like to address, along the lines of science and religion and Bessemer, but right now, changing the course of this country is most important.