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Opinion

Opinion

Charges of racism cut both ways

September 18, 2009

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When Barack Obama was elected president of the United States, some suggested that race played a factor in his success. People “wanted” to elect a black man president because of our history of slavery and the denial of civil rights for so many years to African-Americans. It is never “racism” to vote for someone because he is black. It is only racism to oppose the policies of a black Democrat.

As the president’s approval ratings fall and rise and fall again, some of his supporters in journalism and politics are returning to days of old when the label “racist” could end any discussion and force the accused either into stunned silence, or groveling repentance. I suspect the tactic won’t work this time because Obama supporters will have difficulty explaining how a mostly white country could elect a black man president last November and ten months later become a racist majority.

Racism has always been a one-way street for the Left. When Clarence Thomas was nominated to the Supreme Court, some liberals called him a “handkerchief head negro” and an “Uncle Tom.” According to liberal doctrine, black people can never be racist because they are members of a victim class created by white liberals as a kind of modern plantation to keep blacks voting for liberal Democrats.

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, African-American like President Obama, grew up in Birmingham, Ala., at the time of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing by members of the Ku Klux Klan, which killed some of her friends. She has more “street cred” than others who claim to have it, but she got no points from liberal Democrats when she ascended the ladder of power and influence. It was the same with Colin Powell. The Left strongly criticized Powell for adding credibility to the claim that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction thereby winning U.N. approval to use force, if necessary, against the Iraqi dictator. Were those who opposed Powell racist? Using the formulation now being applied to President Obama that opposition to any of his policies — from health care, to record amounts of debt — constitutes racism, they were.

The polar opposite case could be made that, despite his race, President Obama is being treated just like any other politician, which proves he’s being treated equally. He is getting the same heat every president gets, sooner or later. The president’s race would be a factor only if Americans shied away from criticizing him because of it. That they are not is a triumph of Martin Luther King Jr.’s hope that people be judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. Some opinion polls show that Obama’s character is being judged and found wanting by a rapidly growing number of Americans, at least a small percentage of whom are black.

With Democrats controlling all three branches of government, including significantly wide margins in Congress, isn’t there a better explanation than racism for why the president is having difficulty with some of his proposals? If racism is the cause of his difficulties, there must be many congressional Democrats who are racists, because they have the power to enact the president’s agenda, but some are reluctant to do so.

The Pew Research Center has noted a 10 percent drop in Obama’s approval ratings, which includes a 3 percent decline among blacks. As black conservative columnist Star Parker has written, “If we assume this reflects the 16 million blacks who voted for Obama last November, a three-point shift means there are about a half-million blacks who now have buyer’s remorse.” Are these black Obama voters racist?

There is a better explanation for the growing opposition to President Obama. It has less to do with his ethnicity than it does his credibility. Character, after all, is colorless.

Comments

RoeDapple 4 years, 10 months ago

oskiejackie (Anonymous) says… "there will never again be a white president. (hopefully)"

4th comment from a new troll

yawn

amateur.....

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ivalueamerica 4 years, 10 months ago

Tom,

The question is not about difficulty with his proposals, though I realize by you saying that it makes your point.

However, it is about the vehemence and hatred. It is about the dramatic and well documented rise in white supremecy groups, the Klan and Nazi movements. It is about a member of Congress feeling comfortable heckling the president in a joint session where they invited him.

However, I realize it is much better for you to make your point by saying it is about him having trouble passing his bills, and this is still America, so you have the freedom to simply make up things to try and make a point.

But it leaves your credibility in question...again.

And buy the way, I think Carter is mistaken, but the question is well worth asking and from your personal response, obviously hit a nerve.

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flicker 4 years, 10 months ago

Although I don't always agree with Cal he nailed it this time.

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imastinker 4 years, 10 months ago

I saw a bumper sticker yesterday that said

RACISM - A conservative winning an argument with a liberal.

Unfortunately this seems to be more true than the actual charge of racism. I don't doubt that there is some small amount of racism at play here, but feel that most people just don't like him because of his policies.

Cal is right too - there may be more people that like him only because he is black than there are that do not like him only because he is black.

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randysavage 4 years, 10 months ago

beobachter (Anonymous) says…

Cal just wrote another worthless rant appealing to the right_thinker of the world. Saw Cal's byline on it, so didn't waste time reading it, knew in advance it was crap.


how progressive of you beo...

I mean, every time I see Leonard Pitts' name in the byline I still take the time to read his (typically) anti-white lectures....knowing in advance it is crap.

but if there is one unwavering truth in our world, and leo pitts will tell you this himself, it is the fact that only white males can be racist...

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puddleglum 4 years, 10 months ago

beo-knew in advance it was crap.

ha! yeah, anytime I see cal thomas as the author, I feel like watching fox news and hanging out with right_thinker, eating sausages.

but seriously, Cal is a mastermind at social issues such as race. After all, he is white man stuck in 1954. The eb and flow of his genius-writing invokes meaningful visions of racial struggle in my mind- I see poor christopher columbus-fresh from his voyage, and he gets the flu. I see countless slave owners in south carolina, being treated horribly for their simple ownership of other men. They had it rough in their mansions, sipping brandy whilst forced to watch the slaves working out in the fields having all the fun. And then (godwin alert) that poor guy hitler. he was just struggling to get his country back on top, and then the whole world fights back after he rightfully took over europe. They even bombed his country and drove him to suicide (mean socialists) I see a poor white man in the oval office, screaming "they'll never get my tapes!" another attack from the left-Nixon was just trying to sabotage the election and put his foes in prison-some may call it an abuse of executive powers but like dubya sez: "well, its an issue of national security." poor nixon, they forced him to retire-just when things were getting interesting. come to think of it, the white man has really had some tough times lately.

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mickeyrat 4 years, 10 months ago

Cal sez "the label 'racist' could end any discussion and force the accused either into stunned silence, or groveling repentance." News flash, Cal: that label only works on people who are spouting irrational nonsense, wherein their "opposition" is rooted in racism. There is plenty of rational, civil opposition to liberal policies, but Cal isn't even worthy enough to hold George Will's coat.

Regarding former Sec. Rice, Cal sez "she got no points from liberal Democrats when she ascended the ladder of power and influence." So what do you want, Mr. Thomas, "points" awarded for being African-American? That would be racist.

What a crybaby.

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flicker 4 years, 10 months ago

The race card's getting a little old and turning people who have never expressed any signs of racism to in fact start to show signs of resentment towards the people that continually throw it out there. J. Jackson and A. Sharpton continually throw it out there but all they are doing is enabling the people they say they are being advocates for. I guess if they didn't try to keep them thinking it was always the white mans fault they wouldn't have an audience now would they?

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Satirical 4 years, 10 months ago

JamesUnruh....

I thought your post at 8:42 was spot on, but your statement at 8:48 (“I don’t know if it is a ‘cultural thing’, like the crushingly huge debts of governments in Africa and South America.”) is stereotypical and borderline racist.

Please discontinue making such stereotyping comments if you want to be taken seriously.

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Satirical 4 years, 10 months ago

JamesUnruh.... "after suffering under the treaty of Versailles for decades what was Germany to do? "

I don't know what they should have done, but one thing they should not have done is kill millions of Pols and Jews....Even if your argument that Germany had a right to that land (with which I disagree), it doesn't justify the genocide which took place afterward.

Although on a purely strategic level, the U.K. should have thought twice about protecting Poland when they were sandwiched between the two powers of Germany and Russia, who both wanted to conquer it. But that is another debate.

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beatrice 4 years, 10 months ago

Cal writes "People “wanted” to elect a black man president ..."

In other words, Cal is saying people voted for Obama simply because he is black. What a completely stupid thing to write, unless, of course, Cal is confident of this because he only voted for McCain because he is white.

Is this true? Did people who voted for McCain only do so because of his light-colored skin? Why, then, would so many be convinced that the opposite was true, especially since America had never, ever done so previously?

Tom: "Honestly, how can anyone on the left and/or an ardent Obama supporter get preachy about hatred after the Bush years?"

... but, but, Bush!

Get over it Tom. Bush is out of office and you are responsible for your own actions. Trying to claim that anti-Bush rhetoric is the cause for your own incivility is like the criminal whining that he committed crimes because he got spanked as a child. "It isn't my fault! They made me do it!" You and only you are accountable for your actions Tom. Get used to it, own up to your own statements.

JamesUnruh is certainly the same racist poster who has been removed time and time again under names such as "invictus/OeraLinda...". If Satirical is even commenting on his "borderline racism," then why is LJWorld waiting to remove him again? What stupid, racist thing must he write this time before he is removed? Why isn't the system better able to ban people permanently?

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MeAndFannieLou 4 years, 10 months ago

“With Democrats controlling all three branches of government, including significantly wide margins in Congress, isn’t there a better explanation than racism for why the president is having difficulty with some of his proposals?”

Personally, I think it's because the corporations and their lobbyists are really the ones in charge of things.

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tbaker 4 years, 10 months ago

The United States of America has done more for black people than any other country on earth. Here they have reached the greatest levels of freedom and prosperity blacks have ever known anywhere in the world. In spite of our tragic past, no group of people anywhere in the world have done more to improve the condition of blacks than have white Americans. Much remains to be done. Racism exists and must be stamped out where ever it's found, but today in America, race is a two-way discussion.

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beatrice 4 years, 10 months ago

Yes, invictus, I have an unresolved issue of trying to hold civil discourse when a flaming racist like yourself is on these boards. My only unresolved issue is with you, not people in general, but with you personally. How many times have you been removed for making racist statements now? LJWorld, wake up.

Tom -- but, but Bush!

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Katara 4 years, 10 months ago

tbaker (Anonymous) says…

The United States of America has done more for black people than any other country on earth. Here they have reached the greatest levels of freedom and prosperity blacks have ever known anywhere in the world. In spite of our tragic past, no group of people anywhere in the world have done more to improve the condition of blacks than have white Americans. Much remains to be done. Racism exists and must be stamped out where ever it's found, but today in America, race is a two-way discussion. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Why you are absolutely right!

And how dare those uppity blacks not give us whites the respect we deserve for giving them all that they have! We made them and we can break them, amirite?

They should be grateful and kiss our feet for buying them from their homeland and selling them into slavery here. After all, us whites have always had their best interests at heart.

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tbaker 4 years, 10 months ago

Ya know Tom, whether W or BHO called this Kayne West meat head a jackass would have been 100% fine with me. I'm happy the President did call him a jackass, and would have been happy to hear that observation out of any other president too. That is exactly what the guy deserved to be called.

What is sad; what is pathetic; what confuses me to no end is either the liberals hatred of W knows no bounds and they would have lashed out against him regardless, or there is racism against whites such that they cannot criticize deplorable behavior in people who aren't white.

I don't know which reason is more likely to be true, but it's one of them.

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tbaker 4 years, 10 months ago

Oh Katara, have you considered the untold trillions of dollars America has spent since the ' 60s on welfare, food stamps, rent supplements, Section 8 housing, Pell grants, student loans, legal services, Medicaid, Earned Income Tax Credits and poverty programs - ALL designed specifically to help the African-American community? Have you considered the fact governments, businesses and colleges have all engaged in reverse discrimination with affirmative action, contract set-asides and quotas all designed to advance black folks and address the inequities of generational discrimination? Churches, foundations, civic groups, schools and ordinary Americans all over the nation have donated their time and money to support soup kitchens, adult education, day care, retirement and nursing homes all for blacks? On an on I could go. Like I said the United States of America has done more for black people than any other country on earth.

Perhaps I should have put all this in the original post to better support my assertions you obviously objected to, but I overlooked doing that because I thought it was common knowledge. I thought my statements were universally accepted to be true. I didn't realize there were people who honestly thought this country wasn't the best thing that has ever happened to everyone who lives in it - blacks most certainly included.

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Katara 4 years, 10 months ago

tbaker (Anonymous) says… Oh Katara, have you considered the untold trillions of dollars America has spent since the ' 60s on welfare, food stamps, rent supplements, Section 8 housing, Pell grants, student loans, legal services, Medicaid, Earned Income Tax Credits and poverty programs - ALL designed specifically to help the African-American community? Have you considered the fact governments, businesses and colleges have all engaged in reverse discrimination with affirmative action, contract set-asides and quotas all designed to advance black folks and address the inequities of generational discrimination? Churches, foundations, civic groups, schools and ordinary Americans all over the nation have donated their time and money to support soup kitchens, adult education, day care, retirement and nursing homes all for blacks? On an on I could go. Like I said the United States of America has done more for black people than any other country on earth.

Perhaps I should have put all this in the original post to better support my assertions you obviously objected to, but I overlooked doing that because I thought it was common knowledge. I thought my statements were universally accepted to be true. I didn't realize there were people who honestly thought this country wasn't the best thing that has ever happened to everyone who lives in it - blacks most certainly included. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It is good thing blacks have people like you to look out for them, tbaker.

So whatcha got for the Hispanics and the Asians? What part of your body do they need to kiss to show appreciation for all the goodly works white people like you have done?

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tbaker 4 years, 10 months ago

Porch - since you accuse so many on this blog of being "racist" it would be time well spent for you to reacquaint yourself with the definition of the term.

You'll find that short of someone declaring themselves to be a racist, it's just about impossible for you to sit where you are and make that determination.

I think what you're really after is a word that defines people who are "utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion."

That would not be a racist. There is a different word for that. You should use it instead of racist. Its a much more accurate way to express yourself, and it wouldn't be so unnecessarily divisive.

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monkeyhawk 4 years, 10 months ago

Could it be that those who have made fortunes exploiting racism over the years actually see that they are losing their grip since the election of Obama? Maybe they need to perpetuate their old perceptions in order to stay relevant and wealthy.

Or, maybe some cannot possibly understand how so many people can have strongly vehement feelings towards our current president as theirs were towards the former president. They can't imagine that all do not embrace Mr. Obama in the fashion they do, so there must be some "other" reason.

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beatrice 4 years, 10 months ago

tbaker: "have you considered the untold trillions of dollars America has spent since the ' 60s on welfare, food stamps, rent supplements, Section 8 housing,"

Only Blacks have benefitted from things such as welfare and food stamps and student loans and ...? Really? Please, show me the sources for that bit of wisdom. Every statistic I've seen shows that more White folks are on welfare in this country than Blacks. How does this fall into your world view?

The reality is tbaker, America is a great nation and Blacks, just like Whites and all others, have been able to do great things -- for themselves! It is just that non-Whites have had adequate opportunities to do well for themselves only in the past several decades, not through the course of our nation's history.

I really can't believe you are claiming that Blacks have prospered in America because the country has given them this prosperity. That is just laughable.

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headdoctor 4 years, 10 months ago

tbaker (Anonymous) says… Porch - since you accuse so many on this blog of being “racist” it would be time well spent for you to reacquaint yourself with the definition of the term.


Tbaker. I think thou protest to loudly.


tbaker (Anonymous) says… Oh Katara, have you considered the untold trillions of dollars America has spent since the ' 60s on welfare, food stamps, rent supplements, Section 8 housing, Pell grants, student loans, legal services, Medicaid, Earned Income Tax Credits and poverty programs - ALL designed specifically to help the African-American community? Have you considered the fact governments, businesses and colleges have all engaged in reverse discrimination with affirmative action, contract set-asides and quotas all designed to advance black folks and address the inequities of generational discrimination? Churches, foundations, civic groups, schools and ordinary Americans all over the nation have donated their time and money to support soup kitchens, adult education, day care, retirement and nursing homes all for blacks? On an on I could go. Like I said the United States of America has done more for black people than any other country on earth.


So all the black folk should kiss the white folk butts for what they have done for them but all the white folk who jumped in line for those programs don't have to kiss butt because they were entitled, right?

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yourworstnightmare 4 years, 10 months ago

Cal and Jonah Goldberg have both set up straw man arguments.

No one but the most ignorant would equate disagreeing with Obama's policies as racist, and in fact none have.

This is a straw man invented by the right.

What folks are suspecting has a racial motivation is the vehemence and anger with which these protests are occurring and the personal attacks on the president that have nothing to do with policy, including:

-bringing guns to political rallies (I know I know, some who did so where black, but most weren't). -threats of political violence. -the "birthers", who claim Obama is not a citizen. -those who claim Obama is a muslim. -the "I want my government back" crowd.

These are the threads that people suspect as having a racial motivation. They are strong threads in the "opposition" movement to Obama.

No one in mainstream politics or thought is equating disagreeing with Obama's policies with racism. Ain't happenin'.

Indeed, I wish there was more reasoned GOP opposition to his policies, because there are arguments to be made.

Trouble is, the GOP and the right are using racially-tinged attacks like the "birthers" and claims of being a muslim, as well as non-racial stupid attacks like cries of socialism.

The GOP has chosen to irrationally attack instead of rationally critiquing Obama's ideas.

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tbaker 4 years, 10 months ago

Katara - you assume too much. Are you just being bombastic for the attention, or do you believe you are making a substantive contribution to this discussion?

I'm looking out for myself, and trying to make the most of my life, and I'm hoping and praying everyone else in this country has an equal opportunity to go out there and make the most of theirs. I celebrate individual achievement and success, most especially that of minorities. It make me sad to see how our country's misguided entitlement mindset has actually hurt minorities and deprived them of their God-given right to pursue happiness by creating whole classes of people totally dependent on the government for their existence.

I wish I could point to a long list of things the government did to promote the virtues of self-reliance and self-sufficiency instead of the parade of welfare-state programs, but thats the history. It is what it is. This culture of entitlement breeds the “you owe me” attitude. The government sorts people into groups and erases their individual identities (and liberties for that matter) and creates whole classes of people who believe they are owed something simply because of who they are or what social group they belong to—not because of what they earn.

People abandon the virtues of providing for one's self and focus more on what they are "owed" than what they contribute. Its really sad, and I strongly believe all this "help" to minorities has actually promoted and fostered a lot of the bitterness I detect in your comments.

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yourworstnightmare 4 years, 10 months ago

"Oh Katara, have you considered the untold trillions of dollars America has spent since the ' 60s on welfare, food stamps, rent supplements, Section 8 housing, Pell grants, student loans, legal services, Medicaid, Earned Income Tax Credits and poverty programs - ALL designed specifically to help the African-American community?"

Huh? These were specifically designed to help the black community? Where did you get this idea?

Look at the facts, tbaker. Vastly more white people participate in these programs than black people and always have. News flash: there are many more whites than blacks in this country, and there is no racial "means test" for these programs.

Now, you can make the argument that affirmative action was specifically designed for black people, because it was.

It was designed to attempt to reverse centuries of discrimination that kept blacks from the highest echelons of our society.

Whether or not it is the correct solution is questionable, but that was its motivation.

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Katara 4 years, 10 months ago

tbaker, I call shenanigans on your last post.

The whole tenor of your 2 previous posts were of "the blacks owe whites for all the whites have done for them". This is not celebrating individual achievement and success and is very much antithetical to that entire way of thinking.

As for bombastic, it seems to me that making the claim that "the untold trillions of dollars America has spent since the ' 60s on welfare, food stamps, rent supplements, Section 8 housing, Pell grants, student loans, legal services, Medicaid, Earned Income Tax Credits and poverty programs - ALL designed specifically to help the African-American community? Have you considered the fact governments, businesses and colleges have all engaged in reverse discrimination with affirmative action, contract set-asides and quotas all designed to advance black folks and address the inequities of generational discrimination? Churches, foundations, civic groups, schools and ordinary Americans all over the nation have donated their time and money to support soup kitchens, adult education, day care, retirement and nursing homes all for blacks? On an on I could go. Like I said the United States of America has done more for black people than any other country on earth."

is pretty bombastic in and of itself.

And also ignores the fact that more whites have taken advantage of all the programs than blacks.

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flicker 4 years, 10 months ago

Bea - "In other words, Cal is saying people voted for Obama simply because he is black. What a completely stupid thing to write, unless, of course, Cal is confident of this because he only voted for McCain because he is white."

Way to pick up the topic of the article. Obviously you completely ignored the exit polls of many African Americans when quite a few acknowledged they voted for Obama because, yes, he shares their same skin color. Sounds like racism the other way to me.

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flicker 4 years, 10 months ago

Bea- "every statistic I've seen shows that more White folks are on welfare in this country than Blacks. How does this fall into your world view?"

Welfare isn't a Black or White issue. It's about kepping everyone who decides to live off of it down. I've always found it ironic that the liberals who claim to help the "poor" are in fact enabeling them to maintain the status quo as hey - it beats working!

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tbaker 4 years, 10 months ago

Beatrice says: I really can't believe you are claiming that Blacks have prospered in America because the country has given them this prosperity. That is just laughable.


First of all, people make their own prosperity. Our government was created with one principal responsibility: Without guaranteeing results, our government's main reason for existing in the first place is to protect and guarantee everyone has an equal opportunity to go out into the world, and seek their own prosperity. Up until about 50 years ago, that function of government simply didn't apply to blacks and other minorities as well. The inequities of that system were repugnant, and had to be changed.

Since then, name another country that has done anything even close to what ours has for it's minorities. Show me where I'm wrong. Give me an example of another place on earth who has spent more money, gone to greater social and cultural lengths, killed-off a half a million of it's own citizens in a war to free it's oppressed minority. Knock yourself Beatrice. I'm waiting.

America haters...I'll never understand them.

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tbaker 4 years, 10 months ago

Porch - just get out the dictionary. Look up "bigot" and go from there. Like I said, short of self-declaration, or some brazenly obvious racist comment - which I haven't seen yet - you can't substantiate a charge of racism based on your "interpretation" of what someone wrote. You can however (very easy on this blog) accuse them of being a bigot.

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tbaker 4 years, 10 months ago

You're right Porch (I bet you get tired of hearing that) I was wrong to call Beatrice an America Hater. I cannot substantiate that charge based solely on my interpretation of what she wrote.

I should have said: Given her stated beliefs she is a person who appears to hold our country in somewhat lower esteem than I do.

You got that dictionary out yet?

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Katara 4 years, 10 months ago

flicker (Anonymous) says… Welfare isn't a Black or White issue. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Can you pass that thought along to tbaker? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ flicker (Anonymous) says… It's about kepping everyone who decides to live off of it down. I've always found it ironic that the liberals who claim to help the “poor” are in fact enabeling them to maintain the status quo as hey - it beats working! ~~~~~~~~~~~ It does amaze me that people assume that all recipients of welfare programs are lazy/or not wanting better for themselves and that living off of welfare is better than a job.

Do you know many people who are unable to work and are on programs such as SSDI, Section 8 & food stamps? If you do, surely you will know it is not the life of Riley and many prefer to be working.

And nevermind that there are limits in many states as to how long one can be on assistance programs. Were you aware that the lifetime limit for your family is 60 months in KS?

http://www.srskansas.org/ISD/ees/successful_families.htm

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flicker 4 years, 10 months ago

Kat- "It does amaze me that people assume that all recipients of welfare programs are lazy/or not wanting better for themselves and that living off of welfare is better than a job."

Of course that's true in some cases but a much higher percentage of people on welfare are unfortunately doing so living life day by day, never taking actions to better themselves or their families.

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beatrice 4 years, 10 months ago

tbaker, after claim I hate America, you now adjust that to read: "Given her stated beliefs she is a person who appears to hold our country in somewhat lower esteem than I do."

Really? You think that? Please allow me to quote from what I wrote earlier: "The reality is tbaker, America is a great nation and Blacks, just like Whites and all others, have been able to do great things — for themselves!"

So I say our nation is "great," and that isn't good enough for you? I guess you must hold it to be really super great then, is that it? (I almost feel like borrowing one of porch's laughters here.)

tb, you also mention the exit polls of those who claimed to have voted for Obama simply because of the color of his skin, but you fail to mention those who in turn voted AGAINST him for that very reason. What about those who voted for McCain because of his skin color? Claiming this didn't happen? I'd be happy to post some rather revealing videos easily found on youtube of racism making itself apparent at McCain/Palin rallies. Just let me know if you care to see them. (Disclaimer: I'm not saying that only Republicans have the capacity to be racist, or that only Whites can be racist. I've shown I don't believe that more than once on these boards.)

If Cal's comment that "people “wanted” to elect a black man president," wasn't important to his story, why is it the second line? He is making the claim that Obama was elected because he was the black guy. WRONG. Obama was elected for being the intelligent, likable guy who has the nation's best interests at heart and has a vision for the nation (some obviously won't agree with that vision), and he certainly rode the general wave of dissatisfaction with the Republican party all the way to the White House. I suspect Hillary Clinton would also have won had she received the nomination. However, if it was just a matter of skin color, then why didn't Alan Keyes receive more votes? Why can't any conservatives explain that one for me?

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tbaker 4 years, 10 months ago

You've caught me in a charitable mood Porchie, it's Friday after all. I'll humor you for the moment.

Now then, let me get this straight, you're right and I'm wrong based on a question you asked me yesterday that I didn't reply to? Wow...I can understand being the target of the porchinators wrath for things I did write. This is a new angle for you.

...and just when I thought we were getting some where.

To make you happy, I read JamesUnruh's post. Heres my reply to your question:

First of all, you can call him a bigot, and be in a much more defensible position. You can label James' post "racially charged", you can call it "racially divisive", you can accuse him of a baseless claim by attacking the validity of his evidence purporting to show this alleged white genocide, which is what I would have done because I do not believe the events he refers to can support such a claim, but when it's all said and done, you cannot support a claim that JamesUnruh is a racist. You don't know whats in his heart, and he's denied the charge numerous times, as have many others you've labeled this way.

The word "racist' is not only misunderstood and incorrectly used, it is being used WAY too much in today's discourse. This overuse offers no one an advantage, regardless of political stripe. It divides people. It makes them angry. It makes already tough problems - not to mention genuine racial problems - even harder to solve. Don't contribute to this. Rise above this partisan nonsense and be part of the solution porchie.

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tbaker 4 years, 10 months ago

Firstly, sure you said America was great, but in the next breath you said it was laughable to think America helped black people prosper. You're wrong. It did and I gave ample evidence to support that which you haven't refuted. Without what our country has done for minorities, they would be much worse off today. Period. Like I said: show me another country that has done more.

Secondly, the other half of your post doesn't apply to me. Ya got me mixed up with someone else Beatrice. I made no mention of exit poles.

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Katara 4 years, 10 months ago

tbaker (Anonymous) says…

Porch - just get out the dictionary. Look up “bigot” and go from there. Like I said, short of self-declaration, or some brazenly obvious racist comment - which I haven't seen yet - you can't substantiate a charge of racism based on your “interpretation” of what someone wrote. You can however (very easy on this blog) accuse them of being a bigot. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ So, it's only racism if someone drops a racial slur or tells you expressly that they hate someone based on their race? What if they show you their hood and sheet collection?

The definition of racism seems to show that can be more than just that.

"a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race 2 : racial prejudice or discrimination" http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/racism

However a statement such as "In spite of our tragic past, no group of people anywhere in the world have done more to improve the condition of blacks than have white Americans" does fall fairly well under that definition.

Not only does that statement promote belief that whites (and more specifically white Americans) are inherently superior (Otherwise, how on Earth could those blacks every gotten to where they are now. Certainly not on their own, right?) but it assumes that there is just because one is black (or white for that matter) one shares the exact same traits as all others of that particular racial category.

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Katara 4 years, 10 months ago

tbaker (Anonymous) says… Firstly, sure you said America was great, but in the next breath you said it was laughable to think America helped black people prosper. You're wrong. It did and I gave ample evidence to support that which you haven't refuted. Without what our country has done for minorities, they would be much worse off today. Period. Like I said: show me another country that has done more. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ You didn't say America helped blacks. You said white Americans helped blacks.

And the underlying assumption that blacks (or any minority for that matter) could not have ever done this without help is insulting.

And what exactly would be your measurement of success in terms of other countries doing more? What exactly does that mean? How is one supposed to classify "doing more"?

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Katara 4 years, 10 months ago

flicker (Anonymous) says… Kat- “It does amaze me that people assume that all recipients of welfare programs are lazy/or not wanting better for themselves and that living off of welfare is better than a job.”

Of course that's true in some cases but a much higher percentage of people on welfare are unfortunately doing so living life day by day, never taking actions to better themselves or their families. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Citation, please. I would like to see you back that statement up.

I don't think you can, given that many states limit the time spent on welfare programs and given that education, training and a search for work is also a requirement to receive such assistance as well.

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tbaker 4 years, 10 months ago

OK Katara, lets get to the bottom of this. Humor me.

2 examples:

Its Friday on Massachusetts Street and you're standing at an ATM withdrawing some money to hit the Free State Brewery after work for some well-earned cold ones. While you're standing there waiting for the machine to spit out your money, a young black male walks purposely towards you. His pants are bunched up near the bottom of his buttocks, he's wearing a doo-rag on his head, and a hoodie. One hand is grabbing his crotch and the other is in a pocket.

You use your stereotypes and mental models to pre-judge this situation (like any human being would) and you believe that this young man may present a threat to your personal safety.

Does your reaction to this scenario make you racist?

Now replace this person with a handsome, young black male in chinos, a polo shirt, and sports coat approaching you holding an ATM card in one hand and a briefcase in the other. Now your mental models and stereotypes are telling you not to be alarmed.

Now, if is your reaction to the man in the hoodie was motivated by racism, (as many on this blog will charge) what explains your reaction to the man with the briefcase?

The reaction; the prejudice being demonstrated in this scenario, was based on culture - not race. The man in the hoodie was representative of one culture, and the handsome man with the briefcase was representative of another.

Baseless charges of racism are diminishing the meaning of the word to the point where we're going to have to invent a new word to describe people who actually are racists.

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beatrice 4 years, 10 months ago

tb, you keep making the same mistake. You claim that American policies -- welfare, food stamps, housing, etc. -- has "helped minorities." No. these programs have helped "Americans," and those Americans come in all races. Please remember, the majority of people on welfare happen to identify as White. Why be selective in your claim that America has helped Blacks and minorities out, when in fact it has helped everyone -- just some it helped out a lot longer than it helped others out. Perhaps it is just a semantics issue, but I really am not seeing your point in being selective in describing who America has helped, when all have benefitted by being in our very super specially great nation we call America. (I don't know why you don't hold our natiion in as high esteem as I do. You could obviously use more "flare" in your sentences to describe America.)

As far as JamesU goes, you clearly aren't discussing some of the comments he has made under previous incarnations for which he has been removed again and again. It is only a matter of time before the LJWorld realizes who he is and removes him once more.

Tom: "How can the left with a straight face scold 'birthers' when most of them were at one point at least, a 'truther'."

Got any proof to back up that ridiculous claim? Only someone on the fringe would believe in such a thing as the "truthers", hence George W. Bush having a 90% approval rating shortly after 9/11. His later low ratings were deserved, not from thinking he had anything to do with 9/11, but for what he did after 9/11.

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Katara 4 years, 10 months ago

Interesting scenario but my reaction is not to the color of his skin but to his body language. Threatening body language is a cultural universal. It is exists in all cultures so stating that this is "cultural" is incorrect. You would be closer to calling it instinctual since we are basing it off of actual body cues (walking purposefully, hidden hands, etc). It is the same type of reaction one has to a growling dog or a puffed up cat. Their body language is attempting to tell you "watch out!"

I don't believe that you've read much of my posting history. I would suggest that you do, particularly the ones about racism and what defines it.

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tbaker 4 years, 10 months ago

Porch - you are behaving like an ignoramus. Point out the racism, or give it a rest.

Kat - So a person's reactions in this scenario are not based on cultural norms, huh?

Gosh darn it! I failed to mention the person at the ATM in my scenario was black.

Class dismissed.

Have a good weekend.

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jumpin_catfish 4 years, 10 months ago

Only right wing wackos are racist, everyone knows that or should I have said: only left wing wackos are race baiters.

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Katara 4 years, 10 months ago

tbaker (Anonymous) says… Kat - So a person's reactions in this scenario are not based on cultural norms, huh?

Gosh darn it! I failed to mention the person at the ATM in my scenario was black.

Class dismissed.

Have a good weekend. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Uh huh. Thanks for proving what I said. It is based on body language which is instinctual. Has absolutely nothing to do with race nor culture but instead on biological cues that are threatening. These are universals.

Thank you for using the "class dismissed" phrase. It lets me know never to take you seriously. You enjoy your weekend as well.

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kugrad 4 years, 10 months ago

Thomas writes "It is never “racism” to vote for someone because he is black.It is only racism to oppose the policies of a black Democrat," - this kind of hyperbole and gross misrepresentation of the actual issues is sadly what passes for political discourse these days. Even a leading syndicated columnist can do no better. Sad. No one has ever suggested nor implied that opposing Obama's policies is racist. It would be silly to make such a suggestion, yet here is Thomas setting up the paper tiger so he can knock it down. Voting for someone for their skin color IS an example of bias (not necessarily racism) and we all know that. Showing your opposition to a president's policies by using racial slurs, racially insensitive images, racial stereotypes, comparing health care to a watermelon (yes, glen beck), and using jungle-themed images IS either stupid, racist, ignorant, insensitive, or all of the above.
By pretending racially offensive things are not happening, Thomas hurts our discourse. What is truly offensive is his ridiculous column.

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beatrice 4 years, 10 months ago

Tom: "many on the left to far-left were with fever-pitch Bush Derangement Syndrome circa about 2005-2006. Are you denying that?"

Yes, I am denying that. Many were highly critical of his very poor policies that have not made America safer, have us still entrenched in two wars, and helped lead to the collapse of our economy. However, noting these massive failings wasn't based on some made up mental condition.

Further, what I said about our knowing that Bush was not involved in the planning of 9/11 is because it worked. That has nothing to do with how intelligent he is or isn't, but more to his competancy. I have stated, however, that I rarely got the feeling that he was ever the smartest person in a room. Wherever he was, you could almost always find someone that you just knew was brighter. Noting this is not based on any kind of mental condition of my own, however. Not being able to recognize this may actually be the mental condition.

Regarding Obama's papers being under lock and key, as you state, that is just foolishness. Are you saying that the Hawaii newspaper birth announcements from the time he was born were also faked? If you are a "birther," then you too are a fool.

Again, however, you just seem to be repeating yourself ... but, but Bush.

Bush is out of office. Your side lost for some very good reasons, including not having a candidate anywhere near as good Obama. Deal with it.

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Satirical 4 years, 10 months ago

The really funny thing (see pathetically misguided) is that liberals have appointed themselves as the only ones with the authority to decide what is or is not racists.

Is this because they are under the delusion that liberals are the only ones that care about others; or because they were taught most conservatives are racist (by decades of democrats playing the race card), and therefore conservatives lack the authority to discuss racial issues?

Talking about racism is a conversation stopper. So liberals, if you want to stop talking about Health-Care and have a legitimate debate about the issues, to pass some sensible health care reforms, then I suggest you keep this silly game up. Oh, and please keep bringing up the right-wing extremists to argue that your side must be right because the opposition has bad motives. That logical fallacy is priceless. More often than not, liberals, and their demented rhetoric, are their own worst enemy.

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mom_of_three 4 years, 10 months ago

"The United States of America has done more for black people than any other country on earth. Here they have reached the greatest levels of freedom and prosperity blacks have ever known anywhere in the world. In spite of our tragic past, no group of people anywhere in the world have done more to improve the condition of blacks than have white Americans." Gee, reminds me of what the South used to write about slaves before the Civil War.

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tbaker 4 years, 10 months ago

Katara:

Culture: The behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group: the youth culture; the drug culture, etc.

I'm glad to see you finally agree with me - body language being but one of many components of cultural identification. Our cultural background and the stereotypes that we form to comport with that cultural identity shape the mental models we use to interact with the world. Its only when those mental models include a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities, and that those racial differences produce a belief system based on the inherent superiority of a particular race, that a person deserve to be labeled a racist.

My central point in all this back and forth is to say the term racist is being overused in today's popular culture. It's become so ubiquitous it's obvious it's true meaning is no longer understood by a great many people. This detracts from national discourse on a very important subject. People need to wise up.

BTW, whether or not you take me seriously, or anyone else for that matter, isn't really the point of this blog now is it? People read the back and forth and come to their own conclusions about the voracity and relative intelligence of the various arguments. When you try and offer a critically reasoned argument free of political dogma or partisan ideology, and you keep the intellectual fallacies at bay, and people toss a childish remark back your way - well hey. You consider the source and move on.

Speaking of, Porch - where would you be without assumptions? How do you know I'm not black? Since you haven't pointed out the racism in my hypothetical scenario, you'll have to find another example of racism to put in your archive.

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tbaker 4 years, 10 months ago

Dear Mom

You used the "Appeal to Consequences of a Belief" fallacy in your last post.

This website will help with that: http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/index.html#index

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Katara 4 years, 10 months ago

Tbaker,

I am not sure what you are reading into my posts. Body language is not cultural. I thought I made that fairly clear.

I also made it very clear you should really read my posting history before you start discussing what culture is comprised of.

Hint: my posting history will tell you why I make that suggestion.

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tbaker 4 years, 10 months ago

Kat - I'm reading what you wrote.

You claim body language is not part of one's cultural identity, I say it is. Do the research yourself, starting with the definition of the word "culture" which I provided - or not. If believing it's not makes you happy, by all means. Believe what you want. Res ipsa loquitur.

Trust me Kat, I'm qualified to comment on culture without having first read your posting history.

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flicker 4 years, 10 months ago

Kat- "Citation, please. I would like to see you back that statement up."

What slanted survey or story should I throw your way? Open your eyes and walk through the poorest of cities around the country. I've done it and I don't see a lot of motivated folks trying to kick the welfare "habit".

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Katara 4 years, 10 months ago

tbaker (Anonymous) says… Kat - I'm reading what you wrote.

You claim body language is not part of one's cultural identity, I say it is. Do the research yourself, starting with the definition of the word “culture” which I provided - or not. If believing it's not makes you happy, by all means. Believe what you want. Res ipsa loquitur.

Trust me Kat, I'm qualified to comment on culture without having first read your posting history. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I seriously doubt that you are or you wouldn't have made comments such as, "In spite of our tragic past, no group of people anywhere in the world have done more to improve the condition of blacks than have white Americans."

And while I can agree with your central point that the term racist is overused (and had you browsed through my posting history, you would have seen what I had to say about that), when you make specific comments that point to the skin color of the participants, you have already made the conversation racial.

And when you make comments that give the distinct impression that one race could simply not have done any better because of another race's "benevolence", that makes the comment racist by the definition you supplied.

The argument that one can only be called a racist if one declares themselves to be a racist or makes obviously racial comments (dropping a racial slur for example) is bunk and you know it.

And I don't believe you understand what a cultural universal is (hint: it is not culture specific).

The definition you provide for culture sucks. If you had browsed through my posting history as I suggested, you would have noticed I have had this discussion many times.

Here is the actual definition of culture: "Culture: is a shared, learned, symbolic system of values, beliefs and attitudes that shapes and influences perception and behavior — an abstract “mental blueprint” or “mental code.”

Must be studied “indirectly” by studying behavior, customs, material culture (artifacts, tools, technology), language, etc.

1) Learned. Process of learning one's culture is called enculturation.

2) Shared by the members of a society. No “culture of one.”

3) Patterned. People in a society live and think in ways that form definite patterns.

4) Mutually constructed through a constant process of social interaction.

5) Symbolic. Culture, language and thought are based on symbols and symbolic meanings.

6) Arbitrary. Not based on “natural laws” external to humans, but created by humans according to the “whims” of the society. Example: standards of beauty.

7) Internalized. Habitual. Taken-for-granted. Perceived as “natural.” http://www2.eou.edu/~kdahl/cultdef.html

As for body language, please check out facial expression research.

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Katara 4 years, 10 months ago

flicker (Anonymous) says… Kat- “Citation, please. I would like to see you back that statement up.”

What slanted survey or story should I throw your way? Open your eyes and walk through the poorest of cities around the country. I've done it and I don't see a lot of motivated folks trying to kick the welfare “habit”. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ So ya got nothin' but anecdotal evidence then?

Here's mine. I personally know families that pulled themselves up while on welfare and now hold steady jobs that provide sufficient income with which to provide for their families.

Since you just walked through the poorest cities and I actually know the people from my examples, my anecdotal evidence beats yours.

Neener. Neener. Neener.

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tbaker 4 years, 10 months ago

Kat says: I seriously doubt that you are or you wouldn't have made comments such as, “In spite of our tragic past, no group of people anywhere in the world have done more to improve the condition of blacks than have white Americans.”

I say prove me wrong. You haven't done that. Just curious, but would my statement be more palatable had I further qualified my mention of "our tragic past" with a detailed description of the horrors of slavery the 17-19 century American whites visited upon black Americans, and the despicable inequities blacks were forced to endure for much of the 20th century? Would that have made a difference? Frankly, given our national hyper-sensitivity to the subject, I knew it would set off a spirited debate when I first wrote it, but that still doesn't change the fact it's true. Nonetheless, veiled insults questioning my intelligence are not a substitute for disproving my statement. A person as intelligent as you seem to portray yourself knows that such personal attacks are commonly indicative of someone who is losing the argument.

Kat says: I made the conversation racial.

I say: Perhaps you should check the topic of this blog.

And finally, you once again patronizingly imply I lack some qualification to discuss this matter so long as I continue to deprive myself of the wisdom contained in your past blog posts.

You need to get past this. How about I stipulate that I'm sure you're a pleasant, educated, intelligent person, OK? I'm quite capable of forming a cogent response to you without reading your past blog posts.

One's body language is clearly a component of one's cultural identity, as is a great many other things. You've so far demonstrated your unwillingness to accept that, and ya know what? I'm perfectly fine with that. Believe what ever you want.

People can read my little pretend scenario and decide for themselves whether or not the subject's behavior was culturally motivated or racially motivated. They can decide for themselves whether it illustrates the fact a great deal of what is being labeled racist in this country is, in point of fact, not racist, but caused by cultural divisions instead, which have grown steadily worse and are becoming ever more divisive. They can accept or reject my assertion that the use of the term racist has become so frequent and often so baseless that the word itself will soon become so common place in the American vernacular as to lose it's meaning, thus further complicating already difficult, but genuine racial issues.

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sunny 4 years, 10 months ago

I want a white president. Not half black/Kenyan/white president! I also want a president that has no dealings with Rev Wright, Acorn or any of the other thugs!

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ivalueamerica 4 years, 10 months ago

Ivalueamerica said:

I think Carter was wrong...

barrypenders (Anonymous) said in response…

you progressive democrats and your knack for designating people by color is stimulus....Darwin bless you *******

My guess is reading comprehension is not your strong point dear berrt,

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flicker 4 years, 10 months ago

Kat, you have blinders on. Maybe a tad naive as well.

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Katara 4 years, 10 months ago

tbaker (Anonymous) says… I say prove me wrong. You haven't done that. Just curious, but would my statement be more palatable had I further qualified my mention of “our tragic past” with a detailed description of the horrors of slavery the 17-19 century American whites visited upon black Americans, and the despicable inequities blacks were forced to endure for much of the 20th century? Would that have made a difference? Frankly, given our national hyper-sensitivity to the subject, I knew it would set off a spirited debate when I first wrote it, but that still doesn't change the fact it's true. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I say prove it to be true. Prove that blacks are much better off thanks to white Americans. You made the assertion. It is your burden of proof.

And I think you miss the basic point here. This part of the sentence "no group of people anywhere in the world have done more to improve the condition of blacks than have white Americans." is very much racist. I've explained why before. It really doesn't matter how you preface it when that is your main point from the post. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ tbaker (Anonymous) says…Nonetheless, veiled insults questioning my intelligence are not a substitute for disproving my statement. A person as intelligent as you seem to portray yourself knows that such personal attacks are commonly indicative of someone who is losing the argument. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Oh, you mean like the statement you made early on "Class dismissed?" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ tbaker (Anonymous) says… Kat says: I made the conversation racial.

I say: Perhaps you should check the topic of this blog. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Nope. What I said was, "when you make specific comments that point to the skin color of the participants, you have already made the conversation racial," and I made the error of using the "you" in a general term and should have used "one" instead and obviously should have made it much clearer that I was referring to general conversation rather than your specific post.

I direct you to my previous posting history because I have already discussed these issues before and I was under the mistaken impression that would give you better understanding as to where I am coming from. Next time in dealing with you, I will simply just copy and paste the info rather than assume you have the ability to go look for yourself. I apologize for giving you the benefit of the doubt.

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Katara 4 years, 10 months ago

tbaker (Anonymous) says… One's body language is clearly a component of one's cultural identity, as is a great many other things. You've so far demonstrated your unwillingness to accept that, and ya know what? I'm perfectly fine with that. Believe what ever you want. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ There is quite of bit of anthropological study that states it is not. That is why I directed you to the research done on facial expression. They are cross-cultural studies. There are many biological cues that we subconsciously pick up on. These are not cultural but they are a large part of body language. Examples of these cues are facial expressions, posture and pheromones (the smell of fear, the smell of sexual attraction, etc.). These are involuntary.

And I say your scenario was neither racial nor cultural and that is based on your detailed description of each individual's behavior.

Although I did enjoy the stereotype of what is scary clothing and what is friendly clothing in that scenario. Next time, make the scary black guy a biker with lots of tattoos and piercings and he rides up to the ATM on his Harley. That would really blow everyone's mind.

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Katara 4 years, 10 months ago

flicker (Anonymous) says… Kat, you have blinders on. Maybe a tad naive as well. ~~~~~~~~~~~ tbaker (Anonymous) says…Nonetheless, veiled insults questioning my intelligence are not a substitute for disproving my statement. A person as intelligent as you seem to portray yourself knows that such personal attacks are commonly indicative of someone who is losing the argument.

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Katara 4 years, 10 months ago

sunny (Anonymous) says… I want a white president. Not half black/Kenyan/white president! I also want a president that has no dealings with Rev Wright, Acorn or any of the other thugs! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ So tbaker, is this overt enough to meet your standards?

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flicker 4 years, 10 months ago

Kat-

Ahhhh, yep, I lost the argument. Actually, it's just pointless trying to point something out to a person who perpetually walks through life with blinders on. Might as well beat your head against a wall than talk to a hard left or hard right.

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Katara 4 years, 10 months ago

flicker (Anonymous) says… Kat-

Ahhhh, yep, I lost the argument. Actually, it's just pointless trying to point something out to a person who perpetually walks through life with blinders on. Might as well beat your head against a wall than talk to a hard left or hard right. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Nope, I just found it funny that tbaker had chided me about personal attacks (and while making his/her own) & I thought I'd use his/her standard on you.

I don't know if it is a win or lose situation on arguments here but you failed to back yours up. First you made a claim along the lines of people staying on welfare because "hey - it beats working!" and then when challenged as to the accuracy of that claim, you modify it to "a much higher percentage of people on welfare are unfortunately doing so living life day by day, never taking actions to better themselves or their families.".

I completely agree with you that welfare is not a black/white issue. I disagree with you that a much higher percentage of people on welfare never take actions to better themselves or their families.I offered up reasons as to why that is an inaccurate assessment (limits on the length of public assistance, permanent disability, etc.). You offered up studies (albeit "skewed" ones) but never delivered.

If you want to use anecdotal evidence as your basis for your proof, I can too. And neither is more valid than the other.

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Katara 4 years, 10 months ago

porch_person (Anonymous) says… In tbaker's mind, one can be a bigot but not a racist. That should be all the evidence you need. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ To be fair, it is a true statement that one can be a bigot but not a racist.

For example, people who make derogatory statements about Muslims would fall under that category. Islam is not a race and actually many people of different racial classifications are Muslim.

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llama726 4 years, 10 months ago

If you all don't think there are some seriously deranged people (mostly on the right) when it comes to racism, you haven't seen the hate signs I have.

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puddleglum 4 years, 10 months ago

I saw a good one at the klan rally the other night.

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puddleglum 4 years, 10 months ago

lynn jenkins tripped on my robe, and i accidently knocked off her hood.

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puddleglum 4 years, 10 months ago

she had a bag of great white hope marshmallows. we toasted em on a cross fire

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puddleglum 4 years, 10 months ago

she asked me for another baby.

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Lacy Mohler 4 years, 10 months ago

Yesterday I saw a clip of one of the interviews President Obama taped for his weekend blitz. He states that he is sure there are people who voted against him because he is black and people who voted for him only because he is black. So if Cal is ignorant so is Obama.

I was a Clinton supporter and chose not to vote for Obama and continue to be happy with that decision. However, something I am noticing is newspeople--on all channels--calling him Mr. Obama instead of President Obama. Charles Gibson called him Mr. Obama just last night when talking about the talk shows the President has taped for the weekend. Is he still "Mr. Obama" because there is some bias against him--we say President Carter and President Clinton---or has he not stepped up and claimed the title? So far campaigning--not leading--seems to be his strength.

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