Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The disturbing discoveries of Obama's connections don't make Obama less palatable among whites because of skin color, but for cultural reasons

In reply to Juan Williams' The Race Issue Isn't Going Away, Christopher Cook provides an answer to his contention that "there is a hidden racist vote among whites that threatens to undo Barack Obama's chances for the presidency."

The compelling poll numbers that Williams quotes in his Wall Street Journal article do seem, to some degree at least, to support Williams' contention, states Cook.
And yet...

What would the numbers have been on these same poll questions if asked BEFORE we started getting to know Barack Obama and his associations?

Remember, back at the beginning, how Obama seemed very "post-racial"? At first, the race issue didn't seem like it was a part of who he was or what he was saying. Whites saw this, and for a while, it seems that many more considered the possibility of voting for him, not as a black or a white man, but as a candidate sufficiently connected to the mainstream to be a president for all Americans.

…[The] disturbing discoveries [of his connections] don't make Obama less palatable among whites because of the color of his skin. They make him less palatable among whites because they put him out of the mainstream. Aggregated together, these various associations and statements aren't scary for racial reasons, they're scary for cultural reasons.

It is important at this juncture to point out that this is not "black culture." It does not represent all, or even a majority, of black Americans. Rather, it is a dysfunctional sub-culture—one that most Americans of all races finds disturbing and unfortunate. For the last half century, the left has attempted—with great success, unfortunately—to designate this sub-culture as being the only "authentic" black culture.

…And, to put the question bluntly to people like Juan Williams and others—what on earth makes you think that this is about his skin color?

Conjure up, if you will, a hypothetical candidate. The candidate is white, and thus he "looks like" the majority of Americans. His ethnic descent is from the hypothetical European country of Crovakia. His wife is a barely closeted Crovakian separatist. He's been attending an militant Crovakian church for 20 years, pastored by an racist, anti-American conspiracy theorist. The candidate is making baseless allegations that opposition by any non-Crovakian is actually a racist attack against all Crovakians. A veiled threat of violence by a small but dangerous subset of Crovakians hovers in the air.

Does anyone seriously think that white Americans would vote for this guy just because he shares their skin color?


…Imagine a counterfactual scenario: Let's say the first black candidate is Michael Steele
Christopher Cook ends by pointing out that The Corner has the much funnier version of this article: Peter Kirsanow's 25 Reasons You May be a Racist. As for Star Parker, she has an article entitled Black Politics? You mean liberal politics:
It's not like black conservatives have nothing to say here. Hoover Institution scholar Shelby Steele wrote a book about Obama. Tom Sowell has regularly written about him, as have I. But black conservatives are not considered relevant to these discussions because race is not an issue of ethnicity but an issue of politics. Black politics means liberal politics and hence black conservatives are not black.

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