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I’d Rather Not Say Its About RACE

October 12, 2008

Noticing more headlines are finally admitting that all that ‘under the breath mumbles are resurrecting racism. Listening to a talk show last week, the question to a middle aged white woman, “who will you support”, was asked. John McCain. When asked why … “well, I’d rather not say” was the response.

Pollsters Debate ‘Bradley Effect’ – Election Seen as Test of Theory That Black Candidates’ Leads in Polls Aren’t Real

Now, poll-watchers are asking whether that could be skewing the numbers as Democrat Barack Obama, the first African American presidential nominee, moves ahead of Republican John McCain. Most experts say they do not believe that the phenomenon, known as the “Bradley effect,” is at work in this election.

The phenomenon got its name a generation ago, after former Los Angeles mayor Tom Bradley (D), an African American, lost the 1982 gubernatorial race in California despite leading his white opponent in the polls on the eve of the election. Some experts suspected at the time that a portion of white voters, reluctant to appear biased, had essentially lied to pollsters about which candidate they were supporting.

Race is the issue that the majority of Americans should have come to terms with long ago. By ‘long ago’ I refer to the past 30 years. With the education system, advertising, and media homogenization of race, race should be less a factor in decision-making. The white subconscious still harbors visions from their parent’s bias, media portrayals, and general skewed perception.

Issue of Race Creeps Into Campaign

Racism rocks Presidential campaign

John McCain and George Wallace

Civil Rights Icon Links McCain to 60’s Segregationist

Improved polling also may have helped produce more accurate predictions in contests such as Harold E. Ford Jr.‘s losing race in 2006 for a Tennessee Senate seat and Deval L. Patrick‘s successful run for Massachusetts governor that year.

Dawson, however, remains skeptical about the willingness of whites to vote for a black candidate — and the ability of polling to capture that reluctance — in a high-profile, racially charged presidential election.

“We’re talking about different levels,” he said. “President is different than mayor of Chicago.”

Experts agree that it is often difficult to fully tease out the extent to which race plays a factor in voting decisions. People can be reluctant to talk about their racial attitudes, and plenty of reasons — party, age, experience, political philosophy — can explain why voters may support or oppose a black candidate.

Still, there is little reason today, some experts contend, for people answering public opinion polls to hide their true intentions.

“For people to lie, there generally has to be a stigma attached to telling the truth,” said Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center. “There is none affiliated with saying, ‘I’m voting for Hillary’ or ‘I’m voting for McCain.’ ”

There were, before this weekend, few race-related clashes during the general election campaign. One took place in Missouri on July 31, when Obama issued something of a preemptive strike: “What they’re going to try to do is make you scared of me. You know: ‘He’s not patriotic enough. He’s got a funny name.’ You know, ‘He doesn’t look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills.’ ”

McCain campaign manager Rick Davis quickly charged that Obama “played the race card, and he played it from the bottom of the deck” — a line the campaign has used when it felt that Obama, far from being a victim, was seeking to turn the race issue to his advantage.

During the second presidential debate, McCain offhandedly referred to Obama as “that one,” a term that black commentators and others seized on as racially derogatory. Again, the McCain campaign suggested that its hands were tied: It cannot say anything negative without being accused of racism. Nicolle Wallace, a senior strategist for McCain, was later quoted as saying that complaints about the remark showed that the Obama campaign was “again proving to be the fussiest campaign in American history.”

What the pollsters are not featuring is:

Do Blacks and Hispanics Get Along?

The country’s two largest and most powerful minority groups also disagree on other issues that strike close to the heart of many blacks and Hispanics, though these differences are generally modest. Notably, blacks are more likely to say the situation for African Americans is worse today than it was five or even 10 years ago. Nearly half of all blacks also say immigrants reduce job opportunities for blacks, while fewer than four-in-10 Hispanics agree

Hispanics More Likely to Say Groups Do Not Get Along

The survey found that overwhelming majorities of both blacks and Hispanics have favorable views of each other. Fully three-quarters of all blacks (77%) have a very or somewhat favorable view of Latinos, while 79% of Hispanics have a similarly positive view of blacks. (Three-quarters of all whites also have an approving view of Hispanics and a slightly larger percentage expressed a favorable opinion of blacks.)

U.S. Hispanic Population Surpasses 45 Million Now 15 Percent of Total

Race and Ethnicity

Race
Ranking of Population Who Are White Alone
Ranking of Population Who Are Black or African American Alone
Ranking of Population Who Are American Indian and Alaska Native Alone
Ranking of Population Who Are Asian Alone
Ranking of Population Who Are Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander Alone
Ranking of Population Who Are Some Other Race Alone
Ranking of Population Who Are Two or More Races
Population Who Are White Alone, map by state
Population Who Are Black or African American Alone, map by state
Population Who Are American Indian and Alaska Native Alone, map by state
Population Who Are Asian Alone, map by state
Population Who Are Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander Alone, map by state
Population Who Are Some Other Race Alone, map by state
Population Who Are Two or More Races, map by state
Hispanic or Latino by Origin

Facts on Institutional Racism in US health care system

Valuable insight fround in this PEW Research interview with Todd Gitlin, Professor of Journalism and Sociology, Columbia University : Six years after Barack Obama Sr. and Stanley Ann Dunham married in Hawaii, U.S. News railed against the Supreme Court interracial marriage decision in Loving v. Virginia, 1967.2 I owe that discovery to historian Rick Perlstein. The South Carolina state constitution of 1895 prohibited, and I quote, “marriage of a white person with a negro or mulatto or a person who shall have one-eighth or more of negro blood.” That provision was not repealed until 1998.

In the early 1960s, after a period of removal from the public domain, evangelicals began to move into politics in order to beat back what they saw as the expulsion of God from the public domain — [including] the school prayer decision and others of the Warren court. Later in the decade, there was “white flight” from schools that had been ordered to integrate. This gave an institutional base, white-only schools, to what was on its way to becoming Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority.

…. What kind of a country is this? What is our moral core? Who deserves standing? And attached to that, which elites deserve power and how do you get into one? The populism of today’s right is very far from the populism of the 1890s: the regulate-the-railroad, cheap-money, free-silver, small-farmer’s populism — that in some of its moments, tried to cross the color line that was hardening in the South. Today’s culture war pits what Saul Alinsky called the have-a-little-want-more people against those who have less. And the party of resentment, obviously, has capitalized on that and is devoted to it and I think requires it. This faux populism — the populism of Lou Dobbs and Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity and company — is a populism whose hallmark is exclusion. It entails, among other things, reduction of the franchise. What is this if not a culture war between two stories of America: of who is properly an American and what the country stands for. Is it an embodiment of democratic possibility or a rollback? 

If racism has not really changed, but just found a better place to hide, will it decide if we are the United States of America or Divided States of America?  BossKitty has felt for a very long time that racism is the ugly by-product of low self esteem.  The cultural evolution of America has shifted dysfunctional symptoms. White guilt has not helped reduce racism, it just shifted.  It should no longer be accepted that your personal lot in life is a direct result of your ethnicity.  Poorly educated whites have resented the favor of compensation granted to blacks, in response to an ‘apartide’ American history.  Like Germany after WWI, where resentment was exploited and maneuvered to blame economic woes on Jews.  Hitler needed a scapegoat.  Poorly educated whites blame their economic woes or unemployment on blacks and hispanics. They demonstrate fear and anger by making blacks or hispanics accountable for their own failures.  They need a scapegoat.  The most common fear is crime, unemployment and low self-esteem.  The most common cause, educational bias in this country. Why Don’t Schools Address Racism?

American past & present, The Ascent Of Racism

PBS documentary offers insight, RACE, SCIENCE AND SOCIAL POLICY

The Nizkor Project, Academic Racism & ‘Race Science’

The RaceSci Website is a resource for scholars and students interested in the history of “race” in science, medicine, and technology. RaceSci is dedicated to encouraging critical, anti-racist and interdisciplinary approaches to our understanding of the production and uses of “race” as a concept within the history of science. Instead of assuming race as a natural category that science then uncovers, this site assembles scholarly works that look at how cultural processes of racialization have profoundly shaped knowledge about humanness, health, and even our understanding of “nature” itself. The aim of RaceSci is to serve as a catalyst and support for the increased critical study of “race” and science amongst students and researchers by bringing together in a common forum the interdisciplinary English-language literature on the topic, with a particular strength in U.S. history. In addition, RaceSci tracks the continuing history of “race” in contemporary science and its reporting in the media.

Religious education has too often added the need to identify evil, in human form. Race is the easiest tool for religions to use.  The paltry two centuries America has had to define itself, has failed on the one cause it used to create itself. “Liberty and Justice for all”.  .

“He made from one, every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth” (Acts 17:26).

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2 Comments
  1. October 14, 2008 8:46 pm

    I’m not sure it’s about “black” racism in this election.

    I think it’s more about anti-Muslim, anti-Arab racism. Obama is seen as being sympathetic, converted, a believer of, etc. of Islam. This arouses deep-seated hatred (some of it from 9/11) in many Americans.

    Yet this type of racism – hatred of Arabs or Muslims – is tacitly approved of and accepted in America. For proof, look at McCain’s “defense” of Obama when a women in his audience called Obama an Arab.

    McCain corrected the woman and said “No, he’s a decent family man.”

    Decent family man is the opposite of Arab?

    Yet this was repeated – verbatim – by major newspapers, furthering the stereotype for Americans by printing that Obama is not an Arab, but a “decent family man.”

    In the end, it is hatred and intolerance of Islam and people from the Middle East that will drive any Bradley Effect in this election.

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