Tuesday, August 12, 2008

So, now I'm steamed

It is my full intention to not include a whole lot of discussion about current events and issues in this blog. This blog is a lot more about political and governing philosophy, and how to apply it, than it is about any particular issue or event. But I came across an article, written by John Heilemann, in New York Magazine that just got me so livid I felt I had to say something about it. I'll leave it up to you to read the article, but the basic premise is that Barack Obama has yet to pull forward in the polls due to racism in this country.
Now, I'm not about to say that racism is completely gone from this country. I'm also not about to suggest that Sen. Obama isn't losing some votes to those who simply will not vote for a black man. I will however suggest that this lose is not significant, because the vast majority of this country no longer cares all that much about race.
The simple fact is that even while racism was systemic, many everyday people (those not in charge) were far less concerned about such things. When your primary concern is on making a good living however you can, you'll find a lot less time and energy for worrying about things like a person's color. And in these days, most of us work with people of different races, attend schools and churches, and live in communities which are heterogeneous. These conditions destroy the ignorance of others that breeds racism. Not to mention that we are now half-way through the third generation sense Dr. Kings landmark 'I have a dream' speech. The majority of voters today have grown up in a world where racism is seen for the evil that it is, and thus do not think in this fashion.
Now, Heilemann does provide a few statistics and anecdotal ideas to defend his claims. They ring hollow for a couple of reasons. First, I will postulate (without any evidence being collected, it is impossible for me to provide any) that a significant portion of Sen. Obama's black supporters are going to be voting for him simply because he is a black man. I will also postulate that for every white vote Sen. Obama looses because he is black, he is gaining another for exactly the same reason.
Now, I am not going to delve into the rest of Heilemann's article, where he argues that some Republican advertisements have held coded references to Sen. Obama's race to heighten this effect. However, once again we are seeing a pundit choosing to simply lie about the effect of a non-issue because he is afraid to consider the governing philosophy being espoused.

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