Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Who’s Racister?

I keep hearing that people who vote for Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama because they would never vote for a black person are no more racist than, say, a black person who voted for Obama because he (Obama) is black. I’m not sure I agree.

Sure, race enters both decisions, but in one case the person voting for Clinton isn’t really voting for her but against a (any) black person. Meanwhile, I suspect the black voter casting a vote for a fellow African-American is doing so not out of hate for Whitey but simply out of pride for having a black candidate to vote for. That same black voter would probably have voted for Clinton had Obama not been in the race, while our white voter would not have voted for Obama simply because they hate black people. Like I said, I don’t think those are the same thing and I have a hard time calling the black voter racist in this case.

Disclaimer: Obviously, I’m not saying all, or even most, white voters for Clinton are racist and no black voters for Obama are racist, blah, blah, blah. This has more to do with the false equivalency I see coming through the media lately.


Anonymous said...

I see your point, as I've never seen it explained in that manner, but I still believe that voting for or against a candidate based {solely} on their race is still racist. Or at least racially motivated.


nancy said...


Voting FOR a candidate based solely on race isn't racist (no matter the race). It's stupid, but not racist. Voting AGAINST a candidate based solely on race is racist.

I think Dave's right that a lot of black voters are excited by the Obama candidacy but not because he's black, per se, but that he shares some of the history and experiences they do, he's educated, charismatic and a visionary. And isn't that what attracts us all to our candidate of choice in some way? We didn't see this response by black voters for Sharpton or Jackson, so it goes beyond race.

All things racially "motivated" are not necessarily racist. That's usually a notion used by(let's face it)whites, to rationalize disapproval of affirmative action or to call foul when black voters prefer black candidates. We like to call those things racist against whites and they're just not. Just my opinion.

rickmonday said...

So Nancy, if I vote for Hillary because she is white, then I am not a racist? Not sure I follow.

nancy said...

No, at least not in my opinion. If you vote for a candidate for being white, that demonstrates what you find to be important. If I vote for a candidate for being capable, that demonstrates what I find to be important. If you want to argue whose method is smarter, let's go, but every voter chooses their criteria and goes with it.

I don't take the term "racism" lightly, and unless someone is suggesting that a black person shouldn't be allowed to run for President or that the United States would be worse off simply because of the race of a black prez, I'm OK with personal preferences, biases, and prejudices entering into the voting booth. We all have them and we all use them...even we liberals who are sometimes loathe to admit it!