Geraldine Farraro’s comment that Obama wouldn’t be running for president if he wasn’t black has been denounced as racism, but not one pundit bothered to see her comment for what it was: ethnic resentment that blacks were given preferences over other ethnic groups that had also suffered discrimination.

Obama’s pastor might rail about white racism and black victims, but Italians who competed with blacks for college admission, union apprenticeships or “pink collar” secretarial jobs and lost because of racial quotas don’t quite see it that way. They resent it.

I’ll give you an example. In the mid 1960’s, after years of discrimination against blacks, my medical school decided to make up for it’s sins, and admitted ten percent black students, and gave many of them scholarships from their limited scholarship funds.

This is all well and good (up until 1960’s, most black doctors had to study at all black medical schools due to discrimination).

But my medical school also discriminated against women and Jews. So when I lost my scholarship halfway through school, it was okay, because I was “white”. Ditto for my Jewish roommate. Gender and ethnic discrimination didn’t count.

That, of course, was fifty years ago. Nowadays, however, affirmative action laws and the idea of “black victimization” have resulted in new ethnic resentments.

The main casulaties of “anti discrimination” laws at many universities have been Asian immigrants.

When our local Korean channel’s TV news show had a discussion of “American racism”, the discussion was how American (white) cops failed to take attacks on Korean businesses seriously…(the criminals involved were black…and on Korean TV they were allowed to mention this fact).

Obama is biracial. He grew up in Asia and had an Indonesia step father, and then moved to Hawaii, where mixed race is the norm. He should be able to transcend the now obselete lines of “white black” racism. Yet other signs show that he is busy playing the “race card”.

The first sign is his pastor: who preaches Black liberation theology.

Now, no one under the age of 50 takes Liberation theology seriously (the quip in Latin America was that the Church embraced Liberation theology, but the lay people embraced the Pentecostal churches).  But like other “heresies” it pointed out a need to be faced, and the reverend’s church has used the philosophy to support social programs, so his preaching isn’t exactly humbug/hypocracy.

Yet the anti American strain of the philosophy has become so passe as to be rejected by the American people. So it was easy for the press to latch onto the anti American part of his sermons as a proxy to hint about Obama’s radical left agenda.

And now, in Pennsylvania, Obama is busy exploiting guilt by campaigning on the Main Line. I’m old enough to remember when that area was a “no Jews allowed” area, so there’s lots of white guilt to help get votes.

And presumably he will visit one of the larger Black inner city churches. He’ll win those neighborhoods.

Yet why not go to the long ethnically mixed neighborhoods in Germantown or Chestnut Hill? Maybe because those neighborhoods transcend racial cliches? And why not visit South Philly or Fishtown? Maybe because the “ethnic” neighborhoods show the vital mix of cultures that transcend playing the race card.

Those who see “white/black” as the fault line fail to see other fault lines in American politics: Does that “black” includes African immigrants, West Indian immigrants, and Hispanic immigrants who don’t share the “victimhood” line? And does it include East Asians, Koreans, Muslim Iraqis, and Filipinos who live next door?

It is the press and the elites who are stuck in the sixties, trying to keep up a black/white divide to stay in power, while ignoring the  multiracial culture that American children under the age of thirty find normal.

Obama, by pandering to the past, is in danger of losing the future.

And, by the way: Farraro is wrong. Obama is not the leading candidate because he is black, but because, like Eugene McCarthy before him, he has become a cult leader for a small but noisy far left.

Playing the race card is his way of getting votes without having to admit where he stands on the issues.

And at least, we know where Senator Clinton stands on the issues: she’s a pragmatist who would implement a liberal agenda if she can, but will modify it so that it will be acceptable to the mainstream of the country.

Which is why Clinton will probably carry Pennsylvania.

Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines.

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