Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Well, we knew someone was gonna say it sooner or later

Say that Obama's candidacy is proof that America is no longer racist, that is.
Leading opponents of affirmative action are increasingly seizing on Illinois Senator Barack Obama's historic run for the presidency as proof that race-based remedies for past discrimination are no longer necessary.

Influential Republicans and a growing number of policy specialists at conservative organizations, including the Goldwater Institute, Project 21, and the Manhattan Institute, are citing the fact that large numbers of white voters are supporting Obama, who leads in the race for Democratic delegates, as evidence that affirmative action has run its course.

Ward Connerly, a black conservative who is leading a national effort to ban racial preferences, vowed to use Obama's success as evidence for anti-affirmative action ballot initiatives his organization is promoting in five states. Connerly, who helped dismantle affirmative action policies in California universities and public hiring in the 1990s, said he has donated $500 to Obama's campaign.

"I've been saying for a number of years that the American people are not institutionally racist," and Obama's strong support among white voters proves it, said Connerly, founder of the American Civil Rights Institute, an organization that backs proposals to end affirmative action in Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. "It underscores my position . . . that affirmative action is an idea whose time has passed.

"The whole argument in favor of race preferences is that there is 'institutional racism' and 'institutional sexism' in American life, and you need affirmative action to level the playing field," he said. "How can you say there is institutional racism when people in Nebraska vote for a guy who is a self-identified black man?"

Seriously, that's their argument. Because (some) people will vote for a black man, there's no institutional racism in America anymore! Never mind that Clinton is getting the majority of the white vote, and never mind the people who won't vote for a black man--this one, solitary gesture overturns centuries of white privilege and black oppression, erases all the racist stereotypes from our country's mind, and bridges the gap between black and white welfare in this country.

Sure, according to the census (warning: PDF) the median income for non-Hispanic whites was $30,000 in 2006, while that of blacks was $18,000. And sure, 8.2% of whites were below the poverty line that same year while 24.3% of blacks were. And sure, only 10.8% of whites had no health insurance whereas 20.5% of blacks remained uninsured. I'm sure that the fact that some white people are willing to vote for a black man will change all of that! Why, with each white hand that throws a ballot switch for a black man, a black person gets health insurance and an extra $100 in wages, right? They probably get a diploma, too, which will help bridge the education gap in the races--in 2005, only 17% of black adults had a bachelor's degree compared to 30% of whites.

But we as a nation aren't racist, because a few whites will vote for Obama! Hallelujah! Who knew that eliminating racism in this country was so easy as voting for a black candidate?

[Edit] Hopefully each vote for Obama by a white man will also cure one African-American girl of an STD, since 50% of them have at least one, compared to 20% of white girls.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would like to know who you are saying at the Goldwater Institute said anything closely related to this comment posted in your article-"are citing the fact that large numbers of white voters are supporting Obama, who leads in the race for Democratic delegates, as evidence that affirmative action has run its course." The Goldwater Institute does not politically or publically support any candidates currently in office or running for office-nor do they ever endorse any candidate. They are a state level conservative public policy think tank. I would like to see a direct quote or proof that the Goldwater Institute said anything such as this. The only thing I see mentioned on your page who is in any way connected with the Goldwater Institute is Ward Connerly and he was a speaker at one of the Goldwater Institute's speaker series. He is not an employee of the institute, nor has he ever been and anything he says is because its his point of view, not the Goldwater Institute.

Skemono said...

You seem to be unaware of this, but I did not write the Boston Globe article. Perhaps you would like to contact the person who did.

Michael said...

I am further confused, because that quote doesn't state any kind of implied or explicit endorsement of a candidate, only the assertion that whites are voting for Obama and that they are thus not discriminating against him.

Skemono said...

that quote doesn't state any kind of implied or explicit endorsement of a candidate, only the assertion that whites are voting for Obama and that they are thus not discriminating against him.
I'm not sure which quote you mean, but yes, many of the people putting forth this argument are conservatives who were opposed to affirmative action in the first place. I have to wonder how many of them wouldn't vote for Obama themselves (I know Connerly said he donated to Obama's campaign), but hey, because other people are doing it, society isn't racist anymore!