Itâ€™s Always Been All About Race
By: Bob Parks
I think we all know whatâ€™s coming. The ramp up to the November general election will be ugly. Thatâ€™s the very nature of politics today. But itâ€™s whatâ€™ll happen afterwards that should be cause for concern.
America is a racially fractured nation, okay? Letâ€™s be honest here. Despite all our overtures and marches and Kumbaya moments, when the rubber meets the road, the race issue is that which always seems makes us swerve into the ditch. You thought the aftermath of the 2000 election was unfortunate? Just wait and see what happens if Barack Obama loses.
It will be beyond a â€œstolen electionâ€. For that to happen, many Democrats and Independents will have to do the unthinkable: vote for a white man. Should John McCain win, I can hear it now: America is a racist country.
Itâ€™s not like the United States has never elected black people. Unfortunately, itâ€™s some of the blacks that weâ€™ve elected that have talked a good game to get elected, but have (in some cases) performed poorly once in office. Precedent can be a hard thing to shake.
The election of former New York mayor David Dinkins was to signal the dawn of a new day. His inauguration speech included the obligatory â€œreferences to oppression, human rights, and the need for equality. He vowed to be â€˜mayor of all the people of New York,â€™ and declared: â€˜We are all foot soldiers on the march to freedom.â€™â€
However, â€œDinkins faced a $1.8 billion budget deficit when he entered office which grew to $2.2 billion by the time he left office. The economy remained sluggish throughout his term, preventing the enactment of much of his agenda.â€
There are few examples of Democrats (of any gender or color) leaving an area in better shape than they inherited it.
Today in Massachusetts, Deval Patrick (Massachusettsâ€™ first black governor) has been a disaster, primarily because of his personal behavior, lack of common sense, and outright arrogance.
â€œDeval Patrick was the one who came into office claiming our state was in a bad financial situation. Yet, the independently wealthy Deval didn’t forgo his salary like Mitt Romney and Kerry Healey did when they took office. Instead, he upgraded his car, started accumulating frequent flier miles on a state police helicopter, got his wife an unnecessary chief of staff, and decided to redecorate his office with expensive furnishings at our expense.
â€œDeval Patrick has proven himself to be a liberal’s liberal and a Democrat’s Democrat. He sees our tax dollars as play money that can be thrown at anything to help him live a life of luxury.â€
These things reflect badly, and are parked in the memories of those just looking for an excuse to vote against a black candidate.
â€œPatrick has directed a state budget process that is weighed down by deficits and spending, including a gubernatorial office budget that jumped 80% in one year.â€
Now while Barack Obama has been touted as a break from the past and has received near-Messiah status from the mainstream media and his supporters (who call those who oppose him â€œhatersâ€), he wonâ€™t easily shake the bad blood left by his electoral predecessors. We have elected blacks who garner questionable respect, like Congresswomen Sheila Jackson-Lee and Maxine Waters, and former senator Carol Moseley-Braun.
Letâ€™s not forget the former mayor of Washington D.C., Marion Barry who served from 1979 to 1991, and again from 1995 to 1999. Despite the fact he was behavior-challenged, he was clearly reelected solely because of the color of his skin. That continues to irk many.
Granted, the Reverend Wright incidents are nowhere near the level of â€œThe bitch set me upâ€, but Barry Obama has survived his share of media-ignored gaffes. Some people may still have Marion on their minds asking whether Obama will continue the incompetence and embarrassment legacy while holding the highest office in the land.
â€œI read a funny story about how the Republicans freed the slaves. The Republicans are the ones who created slavery by law in the 1600′s. Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves and he was not a Republican.â€
â€œI am a great mayor; I am an upstanding Christian man; I am an intelligent man; I am a deeply educated man; I am a humble man.â€â€” Marion Barry
America is not an inherently racist country. While some (blacks and white guilt liberals) will vote for Barack Obama solely on the color of his skin, some will vote against him because they donâ€™t agree with him. The harm will come from those on the left that will see that as an instinctive racist motivation.
While Republicans didnâ€™t bring up Obamaâ€™s race initially, we will get the blame should he lose (even though no â€œrealâ€ Republicans would vote for him) and the issue of race in the 2008 election will eclipse the bad blood that remains to this day over Al Goreâ€™s debacle.
So it would appear, either way weâ€™re screwed.
If John McCain wins, weâ€™ll have a Republican who doesnâ€™t respect the conservative wing of the party. If Barack Obama wins, the ramifications on the War on Terror, Supreme Court judges, energy policy, and the economy will all be at risk. The last thing we should be concerned with is Barackâ€™s race.
But then again if that wasnâ€™t a prime factor, we wouldnâ€™t be America, would we?
Bob Parks is a Staff Writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc. (www.thenma.org).