Saturday, September 20, 2008

Reax to Why Will the Blacks Vote for Obama?

On this site and on DailyKos, I posted this piece to get reader reaction. As most of you know, I find the sentiments expressed by the reader to be repugnant. I, however, want to air out views that make people uncomfortable, as burying them under the rug would be counter-productive to the open type of society that I value, one that is embodied by Obama/Biden and feared by McCain/Palin.

A reader here writes:
What can one say? The wacky reasoning here indicates deep self-hatred more than anything else. I've encountered it often over the years. People who discount others in this idiotic fashion, do the same to themselves. ... One little anecdote. During my years as a high school teacher, the parents most likely to complain that the material I taught was too hard, were nearly always not-so-successful white people. Equally struggling black parents usually saw their flailing kids the same way as Asian parents: not putting in enough effort. The white parents urged me to go easier. The black parents to be tougher -- like a a good coach.
To me, the original piece shows how people have the tendency to see only what they want to see, usually that which reinforces their worldview, and nothing else. It is the way modern political campaigns are run. Obama uses a hackneyed phrase about lipstick on a pig, and those who already view him as the enemy assume he's calling Palin a pig because they're sure that's how the enemy views her. The piece is a pseudo-intellectual exercise that treats racial stereotypes (ie, blacks are lazy people who just want the government to take care of them) as absolute truth. Well, slavery ended in 1863, and American blacks have had at least six generations or more to unlearn the "normalcy" of their role in a master/slave relationship. I would imagine that there were some freed slaves who, upon experiencing freedom in America for the first time, especially freedom thwarted at every turn by white society, had a yearning of some sort for a return to their former lives because at least it was predictable. Sadly, the reader sees black people who are content to live off the government dime, while they complain that the government doesn't care enough about them. Perhaps this is what helped him make the sick connection that he made.

Incidentally, on DailyKos, I posted the piece as well, adding a little preface about the reader, but I did not specifically mention that I thought what he wrote was racist and disgusting. I got more than 100 responses, most of them from people who thought the views were mine, or who thought that I was just as racist for posting the views on the site. Some of the responses were violently ugly, and I decided it was best to delete the post entirely. Today, I will post an apology to that community for poorly communicating how I felt about those views while I also remark at how it felt to be virtually stoned for putting up the post in the first place. I take full responsibility for bringing it on myself, but it's true that the mob is a dangerous thing.

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