Monday, September 15, 2008

Race Back to the Front

Time's Michael Grunwald has a piece out in which he suggests that whites are still racist in their view of blacks in America, especially in West Virginny, which might affect the overall viability of Obama's campaign. He uses the analogy of an "elephant in the room".

Now, we all know the elephant is a symbol of the GOP. Shall conservatives take umbrage that such an oft-used figure of speech is being used to highlight potential political racism? By the way, had he said "uppity elephant" would that have canceled anything out?

In trying to make the point Grunwald offers a laundry list of attacks on Obama to date:
Over the last 18 months, Obama has been attacked as a naive novice, an empty suit, a tax-and-spend liberal, an arugula-grazing elitist and a corrupt ward heeler, but the only attacks that clearly stung him involved the Rev. Jeremiah Wright — attacks that portrayed him as an angry black man under the influence of an even angrier black man.
Not even close. Oh, most seem to be true except perhaps the ward heeler thing. But Obama wasn't seen as an "angry black man" for sitting in Wright's angry black church for 20 years with a hearing problem, he was seen as someone who lacked the judgment to leave such a place, or someone who couldn't leave because it was a political helpmeet.

Actually, his list of attacks shows a glaring hole--call it the "Ayers hole", an absolutely color-blind story but one with as much potential energy as the Wright fiasco should it ever be unlocked.

But he may be right. Maybe there is a black factor in this election. Other than the items he mentioned, consider a few more:
  • Are liberal whites supporting Barack BECAUSE he's black?
  • Are white conservatives being stereotypically typecast as racist simply because they don't want a quasi-socialist with little practical managerial experience in the White House?
  • Can Barack get away with launching into a black evangelist tone on the stump then shelve it when he's been interviewed by elite white media members?
  • Is Obama getting unfair treatment because journalists such as Mr. Grunwald perceive unfair treatment?
We await the Time/Newsweek pieces exploring all these important questions.

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