“Shake it off. Stop complainin’. Stop grumblin’. Stop cryin” Obama recently told the Congressional Black Caucus, droppin the g’s when speakin to them. Really Mr President? Is this how all blacks speak? The media of course was deafening in their silence in pointing out how racist it was of Obama to stereotype ‘black’ speech. However when Cain recently said “African Americans have been brainwashed into not being open minded, not even considering a conservative point of view,” causing an uproar amongst the black community, he was eviscerated by the liberal media for making such race based ‘disparaging’ comments (never mind there may be some truth to this). There seems to be convenient use of racism in play here.
Race played a big role in the 2008 elections when an African American candidate “made history” by being elected President of the United States. But now that we have proven we can elect a black man as president, will race continue to be a key factor in the 2012 race? Looks like it. As opposed to the 2008 elections when Barack Obama, a liberal democrat, was the only African American candidate in the race, the 2012 race has Herman Cain as, God forbid, a conservative GOP nominee. This has stemmed an “us versus them” debate with a little bit of a twist. It is no longer the minority vote versus the white vote but rather a more complex discussion of Republican minorities versus Democrat minorities.
According to the National Journal, the last consensus reported that “the minority population grew from 30.9 percent in 2000 to 36.3 percent in 2010 […] The minority share of that adult population rose from 28 percent in 2000 to 33 percent in 2010. That’s an annual rate of increase of one-half a percentage point; if this trend continues, minorities will represent 34 percent of American adults by the 2012 election.” The minority demographic has become an important vote for the Democrats and cannot be ignored by the Republicans.
We saw in 2008 how powerful the minority vote was for the Democrats. CNN exit polls showed how important they were for Barack Obama’s election: “Blacks, 96 percent Obama to 3 percent McCain; Latinos, 67 percent Obama to 30 percent McCain; and Asians, 63 percent Obama to 34 percent McCain.” Minority voters came out in record numbers to elect the first African American president. This was understandable because for 219 years of US history there have only ever been white men as presidents. There has also been a lot of discussion and speculation that a number of ‘white’ voters voted for Obama once and for all dispel the spectre of racism. But for Obama to be re-elected “Independents, whose allegiances have shifted rapidly, hold the key. But Obama’s hopes also depend on rebuilding the coalition of African- Americans, Latinos, younger voters and suburbanites that elected him.”
With the economy at a stand still and record numbers of people unemployed, the focus is still on race. This “us versus them” mentality has not worn off, but has in fact become a lot worse under the current president; drawing lines not only between minorities and whites but also between minority Republicans and minority Democrats. The Republican Party has always been illustrated as one of the “old white men” so when a conservative minority espouses conservative ideals, there is a lot of rift and tension within their community.
Supposedly we live in a day and age when there is no racism and people are not judged by the color of their skin, but looking at the presidential race, it is all about racial tensions. When there are more important issues to worry about, media continues to pushes this idea of separated identities. The media it to blame on the race card we all play when it comes to politics. For the last three years, when the Republicans and the Tea Party questioned Obama’s policies, media called it a racial attack. News channels, like NBC, have admittedly skewed and edited Perry’s words to show racism in the GOP. However, when more recently, Herman Cain called out the Democrats for being racist for attacking him with allegations of sexual misconduct, liberal media like NPR questioned his claim as improbable, stating sarcastically “in Cain world, apparently, only liberals can be guilty of racism.” Also critical, “Racial politics return with Cain allegations” declared the Boston Globe. Equally telling is that they were not sympathizing with Cain but criticizing him for bringing up the race card. Yet with very little evidence they are quick to jump to conclusions on any opposition to Obama as racism. “An overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man. That he’s African-American.” President Jimmy Carter declared in reference to the Tea Party.
I say, let this matter rest altogether. Race should just NOT be an issue.
John Avalon has a good analysis in US/World News on how historically the economy is the number one issue in a president’s re-election “job approval, unemployment and growth in gross domestic product. Plug in the data and you get the election outcome — pure, unsentimental and simple.” Obama would love to run on the race card to provide a distraction – he has no economic success to stand on. But I say enough of the race card already. When people go out to vote for the 2012 presidential elections, I hope they will look more at the issues rather than the race of the candidate as we saw in 2008. By continuing to discuss race and ignoring the main issues, we continue to segregate people. Lets bury the race card once and for all. There will always be a few racists in the country, but lets make them irrelevant. When we vote, lets vote for the one we truly believe will lead us to a better economy.