Monday, September 15, 2008

Election 2008: Still About Race

This election is about race. Perhaps even more than it is about the economy or the wars.

Now, before you decide to argue with me on this one, go listen to Michele Norris and Steve Inskeep talk with voters in a small Pennsylvania town about race, racism, and the presidental election. Everyone should listen to the conversation that aired on All Things Considered, although the piece featured on Morning Edition is interesting as well. These conversations are jarring - they show just how very bind to our privileges and our prejudices we still are.

I don't want to give too much away, because I think that listening to the NPR pieces in full is a sure way to better understand just how deep, and how elusive, our problems with race still are. Yet, listen in particular to one woman who insists that she just knows by looking at Obama that she can't trust him - a gut feeling that she insists isn't racist, but that she acknowledges will trump anything she learns about him through his actions or words.

Go listen. Then I hope you'll come back here to record your thoughts.


Anonymous said...

I really don't think I can stand to hear any more about it, I already work with 2 people, one at each job, who are known to be voting for someone else because they're not black. The one actually said "a black man in the white house? Isn't that an oxymoron?" *sigh*

Habladora said...

Wow, that's disheartening. Based on that comment, I'm going to guess your coworker knows he's a racist bigot, though, and wouldn't try to tell you otherwise.

I'm really still hoping Obama can win, I just think that it would be a landslide instead of a struggle if not for our entrenched racism.

Noticed said...

And I think further evidence of racism is the fact that now that McCain is hijacking Obama's "change" message, people love it!

Hmm...when the same ideas are coming out of a white mouth that came out of a black mouth are suddenly good ideas, there's something going on.

On a positive note, my 89-year-old grandfather is voting for Obama. He regularly uses offensive words for black people, but he's fed up with the war and the exploitation of McCain's military service. So at least some people are willing to look past their racism and vote based on important issues.