Covering Cinema From All Across The African Diaspora

WHITE AGAINST BLACK - The Hidden Issue In The US Presidential Campaign

Forget the issues, their individual stances, the parties they belong to, and all the other seemingly relevant considerations... will this election come down, once again, to the color line - black versus white? When the day comes for every eligible American to vote, will race be THE deciding factor, regardless of what party they claim allegiance to, even those white Democrats voicing their unwavering support for Obama today? Has the United States come far enough that it can accept a black family living in the White House? Is America willing to accept the leadership of a man who identifies himself as black?

A Spiegel Online article believes McCain is counting on an affirmative answer to the color line question, and is working the theory to his advantage.

Here's a snippet:

"Now, though, it's McCain against Obama, Republican against Democrat, old against young -- and, more than anything else, white against black. McCain, of course, hasn't broached the race issue directly. But indirectly, the argument goes like this: To be white means to be like John McCain -- patriotic, bedecked with medals and honors, self-sacrificing and a hero. To be black means to be like Barack Obama -- eager for the spotlight, similar to a Hollywood actor, egocentric, flippant and lacking truly American values. White America is -- subtly and adroitly -- being mobilized against black America."


"Now, the issue of race is playing a role in weakening Obama and strengthening McCain and almost no one wants to talk about it. Indeed, the issue of race in the campaign has become the province of the lunatic fringe -- such as radio personality Rush Limbaugh. Obama's candidacy, he said on air, "goes back to the fact that nobody had the guts to stand up and say no to a black guy." He also referred to Obama as the "little black man child." Limbaugh may be extreme, but it's not difficult to imagine that a large percentage of Republican voters are also wary of seeing a black president. More important, though, is whether the swing voters will be willing to vote for a black man over a white man. And it also depends on the fickle Democrats, many of whom voted for Ronald Reagan in the '80s."

As we all watched Michelle Obama on stage at the DNC earlier this week, along with her 2 children, accompanied by the face of Barack (who wasn't physically present that day) projected on a large screen, we saw a family... and I remember thinking to myself, will all those white Americans watching that familial moment readily identify with the family they see on their TVs, and be willing to accept these brown faces in the white house? Are they ready to see a black man be the face of this nation? I wasn't so sure then, and I'm still not so sure now, regardless of all the excitement that's followed Obama's campaign since inception. I certainly hope he does win the seat! We'll find out in about 2 1/2 months.

Read the rest of the Spiegel Online article here:


  1. UK Black Chick aka Wendy said...

    Ahh, America... home of the brave, land of the free!

    I'd love for Obama to win, but deep down, I don't think that he will. America is just too mired in it's racial history and separatism and, although him getting this far certaily points to the fact that things are changing, I don't think he'll do it this time around... Sadly, if he doesn't then I'm not sure he'll get another chance.

Post a Comment