Race & Politics…

In ELECTION 08, HOT BUTTON TOPIC, Politics, PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION on October 16, 2008 at UTC.23.31.

How important is race in this Presidential election? Consider, what some people are saying across the nation concerning race & politics.

My father is kind of a racist guy,” said one voter from South Carolina. “He’s not going to vote for someone who’s even light-skinned.”

“When you are in the voting booth, nobody is there and you can express what you really believe,” Dawson explained.

To tell you the truth as a black man its refreshing to hear white people speak honestly about race, no matter what side their on. That alone is a moral victory because at one time in our recent history as a nation this subject was taboo for whites & other ethnic groups to speak about, or even admit their complicit nature in it.

On the other hand, Michelle Obama has a different take on the effects of race in this hotly contested general election. Check out what she said on ‘Larry king Live’ earlier this week:

“If there was going to be a Bradley effect, or it was going to be in play, Barack wouldn’t be the nominee,” she said in an interview with CNN last week. “We have to focus on the country as it is. That was several decades ago. And I think that there’s been growth and movement.”

Mrs. Obama’s comments aren’t surprising to African-Americans because we all know “how the GAME is played.” Most black people believe Obama has to downplay his racial background to be more appealing to ALL of his constituents (read white voters).

This conundrum is all to familiar for black people operating in any genre in America. It goes with the territory, for we are always told ‘we have to be twice as good’ as the next person to just gain access. Therefore, this political game playing doesn’t surprise us.

Will there come a time when African-American candidates will be judged on ‘the content of their character?’

In fact, some have argued that Obama, and the post Civil Rights generation of Black leadership have become a ‘new breed‘ of politicians by raising issues that aren’t rooted in identity politics. These leaders reject notions of being solely statesmen/women for one demographic, rather they represent all groups.

Are they right, or are they further marginalizing their constituents by diluting the power structure of Black political leaders?


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