November 12, 2007, - 10:40 am
By Debbie Schlussel
Barack Hussein Obama claims he’s against racism, that he’s breaking racial barriers. But, actually, there’s a key element of his support that’s actually very racist. No, I’m not talking about the Black support Obama is getting. Yes, most of that is racist and solely based on like skin color.
I’m talking about the White Guilt Vote. Most of us already know that there is a significant group of Whites who are supporting Obama, solely because he’s Black, solely because it helps them alleviate their unfounded media-, education-, and Hollywood-generated sense of White Guilt. Saturday’s Wall Street Journal had an extensive front-page article, “Whites’ Great Hope?” about these White Guilt Voters (my term, not the Journal’s). Here are a few excerpts:
Isaiah Oliver, a 24-year-old white social worker, grew up in this overwhelmingly white city and attended the predominantly white University of Richmond in Virginia. Ask him why he supports Barack Obama and he says it’s because of the candidate’s race.
“Because he’s black it makes me want to believe that he will change things,” says Mr. Oliver, leaving an Obama campaign rally here. “It feels like you are part of something that’s starting to change American politics. It’s the cool factor. He’s a rock star.”
So, only Black people will change things? Only Black people make this White guy fell like he’s part of something? Only Black people are cool? Only they are rock stars? Um, that’s racism, dude.
As he campaigns across the country, Sen. Obama, the son of a black father and a white mother, is both revealing and tapping into a changed racial landscape, especially among younger whites. After decades of often bitter polarization and racial tension on issues ranging from the spread of civil rights to affirmative action, many whites say they are drawn to Sen. Obama precisely because they think his mixed-race background reflects America’s increasingly diverse population and projects a more optimistic vision of the country’s racial future.
Sen. Obama’s candidacy, whether it succeeds or not, appears to mark a turning point in race and politics in America: It is prompting significant numbers of white Americans to consider voting for him not despite his racial background, but because of it. . . .
Sen. Obama and a new generation of black candidates are running campaigns that make whites feel good about themselves. These younger black politicians, including Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and Tennessee Senate candidate Harold Ford Jr., are, like Sen. Obama, seen by many whites as proof of the country’s racial progress — and their own.
Sen. Obama “doesn’t steer away from race but makes sure that everything he does is influenced by his bi-racial identity,” says Harvard Law School professor Charles Ogletree, who knew Mr. Obama as a law student and is advising the campaign. . . .
The secret to Martin Luther King was that he flattered white Americans that you are better than you think you are,” says Shelby Steele, a black research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. “The very essence of Obama’s appealis the idea that he represents racial idealism — the idea that race is something that America can transcend. That’s a very appealing idea. A lot of Americans would truly love to find a black candidate they could comfortably vote for for President of the United States.”
Um, if you’re looking specifically for a Black candidate to vote for it’s no different than if you’re looking specifically for a White candidate to vote for. Racism is racism. You should be looking for the best candidate, period.
Sorry, but these White Guilt Voters–voting for Obama solely because of his skin color–are as bad as racists who will vote against him solely because of his skin color.
There is no difference. They are both racists. And, frankly, one group is no better than the other, either.
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