Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Regardless of Who Wins, Race Relations Will Suffer

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Here we are on the final day of a race that literally began on January 21, 2005. Back then, it looked as though it was Hillary's race to lose with her competition being perhaps John Edwards or Al Gore.

As the race started heating up, before the Iowa Caucuses, we saw the advent of a new campaign strategy, one which had never been used and the playbook showed no defense against it: the Race Card. Many of us had toughened our skin for the expected incoming volley of "sexism!" hurled our way by the Hillary acolytes.We expected to be portrayed as the biggest misogynist's since Dabney Coleman in the movie 9 to 5.

Then something interesting happened, Obama started playing the race card against Hillary, at first subtly and always through proxies, but later in a more overt fashion. Hillary soon found out that the sexism card was a king but the racism card was an ace. They accused Bill Clinton of racism and then leveled their attacks at the rest of the campaign. Hill's campaign withered under the barrage and Hillary was cast aside like an old pair of sneakers. Not even a VP nod.

Then came the general election and the race card was not held in check for a crucial moment but was used daily against McCain. Question Obama about Rev. Wright? You were racist. Question him about Tony Rezko? You were a racist. William Ayers, Father Pflegel, ACORN? Racist, racist, racist! Those Obama associates you brought up concerns about need not be black, oh no, just the fact that you would question the ascension of The One was enough to brand you with the new scarlet letter--a huge "R". The racial dynamic so skillfully played by Obama to gain the votes and the way he played on our past racial history was brilliantly devious.

Now here we are on the cusp of electing the first black man as President. His supporters pledge that we will be unified because we have overcome our prejudices to vote him in. They fail to see that there is one half of this great nation that will not support Obama. They are sick of being called racist because they didn't agree with the policies of the man. The fact that they supported McCain had absolutely nothing to do with race didn't matter, the race card was a means to an end for the Obama people and they used it like a hammer.

We've seen several pieces written about what would happen if McCain were to win but we've seen none about the harm in an Obama win. The media has bought into the unity garbage when in reality we will be more partisan than ever before. I for one don't appreciate being labeled racist for every criticism and then be expected to exult when Obama wins, it just doesn't work that way. I'll wear that "R" with pride because I know I'm not racist and the only things I'm prejudiced against are horrible policies that will harm this nation. So, I guess you can say I am prejudiced against Obama in a way.

If Obama wins tonight, the media will undoubtedly follow the meme that we are all one again and America's standing in the world will be greater. They will fall in line and we'll see stories about seas stabilizing and Red Sox and Yankee fans in a new harmony, hugging and singing together. But the media, in their rush to portray the world as cured, will miss the big story: That half this country will not support Barack Obama regardless of what the Spanish, Venezuelans or Gazans say. We were maligned as bigots and worse for no other reason than political expediency.

Obama, by playing the race card, has set back race relations in this country by twenty years. By screaming racism constantly, he cheapened the definition and thereby lessened the impact when true racism raises its ugly head. Liberals have always said that we need to have a discussion about race in America and indeed, we just had it. It was one side screaming that the other was bigoted and the other cringing every time it was said to them. It was America getting a peak into the churches of hate and being horrified that a preacher would scream "God damn America!" or "AmeriKKKa!" from the pulpit. It's 95% of African-Americans voting for Obama and the media saying nothing whereby if 95% of whites were to do so for McCain they would be screaming that whites are racist.

If McCain wins, there will be chaos for certain. The calls of racism from within and without this country will be staggering. For certain, we will face the greatest racial divide since the 1940's with African-Americans opting out of the voting process for a decade.

Alas, regardless of the outcome,we will be more polarized after tonight than we will be unified and we have only Barack Obama and the media to blame for that. Not only polarized left vs. right but polarized by race, a sad period I believed was tossed in the dust bin of history.

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