NOTE: The author is a Christian, a conservative, a Republican â€“ and black.
Race is once again front and center in this yearâ€™s presidential elections. Big surprise. The â€œrace cardâ€ is being heavily played by liberals and Democrats in a sad and pathetic demonstration of their desperation to elect Sen. Barack Obama to the presidency.
Over the past couple of weeks, some liberals have leveled a blanket charge of racism at anyone deciding not to vote for Obama.
CNNâ€™s Jack Cafferty (http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/09/16/cafferty-obama-race-a-factor/) wrote on Sept. 16 that, in spite of the â€œwell-definedâ€ differences between Obama and Sen. John McCain, the closeness of the polls â€œ[d]oesnâ€™t make senseâ€¦unless itâ€™s race.â€
Similarly â€“ same bat time and same bat channel â€“ Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (http://iowaindependent.com/5627/sebelius-obamas-race-may-be-a-factor) declared: â€œHave any of you noticed that Barack Obama is part African-American? That may be a factor. All the code language, all that doesnâ€™t show up in the polls. And that may be a factor for some people.â€
Dignity in politics at its best.
Of course, should Obama actually lose the election, nowhere will such sentiments gain the most traction â€“ provoking irrational theories, inciting irresponsible behaviors, and perpetuating the culture of victimology â€“ than within the black community.
Several points are worth considering.
First, the suggestion that anyone, blacks or â€œprogressiveâ€ whites, should vote for Obama â€“ the embodiment of a racial â€œhome teamâ€ for many â€“ is itself a racist insult of the highest order. Implied to the former is that all blacks should stay on the plantation â€“ if not a physical one, then an ideological one. For the latter, the goal of invoking white guilt should a person decide to vote based on â€“ gasp! â€“ politics rather than pigmentation remains strong.
No one would or could expect the white population to be monolithic in its collective preferences, practices, or politics â€“ even concerning a white candidate. Why, then, should a double standard exist (especially for the black community) if the candidate happens to be black?
For the collective black community at least, the societal expectation of black political homogeneity lies to a great extent in the fact that the black community has been its own worst enemy by uncritically accepting the primrose promises of prosperity of the Democrat Party, which has routinely left the black community in a predictable and pitiable cycle that can be characterized as desirable (pre-election) and ignorable (post-election). This cycle is demonstrably repeated whenever the â€œAfrican-American voting blocâ€ shoots itself in the foot by throwing its collective weight behind liberal Democrats of any race.
Second, the exhortations of the Cafferty-Sebelius crowd actually encourage the very thing decried by both blacks and whites: racism. Mississippi Sen. Trent Lott was not given a pass when he joked about the late Sen. Strom Thurmond â€“ a former segregationist Dixiecrat â€“ at the latterâ€™s 100th birthday party. In the same vein, if West Virginia Senator â€“ and former Ku Klux Klansman â€“ Robert Byrdâ€™s surrogates were to openly campaign specifically for support from older, southern, white men, there would be no shortage of civil rights activists crying â€œracism!â€
Championing support for Obama because of his blackness is no different.Â
Third, alleging carte blanche racism in anti-Obama-ites assumes that voters of any race would never dare defer to actual intelligence or discernment and vote against Obama because of his politics. This is a particularly salient point of consideration for black voters, whose numbers, empowerment, achievement, and very futures have been bloodily diminished and retarded by Obamaâ€™s pro-abortion stance.
Studies routinely demonstrate that any social pathology that affects the American society at large â€“ abortion, out-of-wedlock births, fatherless homes, academic underachievement, expanded gambling, the redefinition of marriage, HIV/AIDS, etc. â€“ disproportionately afflicts the black community to an even greater degree. Obama, through his politics, not his race, has on many issues stood on the side that is most detrimental to blacks.
Words from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.â€™s 1963 â€œI Have a Dreamâ€ speech are often invoked when discussing issues of race. But what always seems to be overlooked is that King â€“ first and foremost a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, even as he was also revered by both races as the modern-day embodiment of opposition to racial discrimination â€“ emphasized the importance of behavior over biology and character over color, as he preached: â€œI have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.â€ Â
But despite his valiant efforts to deliver a society from the evils of racism, it is unfortunate that today there are still those â€“ both black and white â€“ whose words merely give lip service to â€œthe dreamâ€ while their actions continue to promote the very opposite of what King hoped for. In other words, they still judge according to the first element of Kingâ€™s famous phrase while ignoring the second.
In the end, the exhortations of such people merely constitute racism of a different color.
Dr. Walter Jones is a trained physician, award-winning educator, Bible teacher, and former state and national pro-family public policy analyst. His Web site and blog can be found at www.thebibleandtheculture.com.