It would be a good thing to see an article focused on the issues and proposals of candidates instead of focused on racial stereotyping. It is symptomatic of our obsession with race that Obama has people on both sides of the color line asking if he is "too white" or "too black." How about, is he human/humane enough?
As a white person who has voted for Harold Washington and Jesse Jackson,I believe at some point the way to move beyond race stereotypes is to discuss them less, not more.
What profit do those of us who call ourselves progressive derive from going after Joe Biden? Joe Biden has "voted right" over 90% of his tenure in Congress. If we can elect a better progressive who happens to be black, lets do so. Joe Biden is not Strom Thurman.
I personally witnessed the New Left implode/disintegrate from wearying conflicts between single-issue interest groups, including black/affirmative action, feminist, environmental, gay, and the remainder who wanted to keep our eyes on the prize of the re-distribution of wealth, worker rights/human rights. These were sincere people who did a lot of good things, but ended caught up in a vanity about who/what was more oppressed and exploited- a single-issue chauvinism.
This Balkanization of the Left directly caused the Reagan Democrat phenomenon, as all except the most ideologically progressive white males saw nothing to identify with in the Democratic party, much less the Left. This also of course coincided with the decline of the unions.
The single issue folks, both Left and Right, have contributed to political discourse de-evolving into the so-called wedge issues of today. It misleads those whose narrow focus can't get past their personal situation, and distracts the rest.
I believe race, religion, ethnicity is a proxy for class, wherever you go. If this were Northern Ireland, more Catholics would be in prison than Protestants. The same stereotypes, the same jokes are repeated when Sunnis talk about Kurds in Iraq. Poor people get screwed everywhere. In the US, a lot of them happen to be black. In the final analysis all issues are economic issues.
Every time the Democrats win anything, I am happy for about ten minutes. Then the dialog shifts from this common enemy, robber baron class, this one percent who control ninety percent of the wealth, to devisive in-fighting.
Divide and conquer is the modus operandi of the ruling class in every society. The less we define ourselves by our differences, the more we can thwart rascism, sexism, and all other kinds of exploitation.
Lastly, I am not a former "f*cked-up, middle-class college student"--I am a compassionate human being. I don't think labels, whether they come from above or below, from left or right, advance any discussion.
P.S. I happen to be favoring Obama at this point in time.
Feb 16 2007 - 2:30pm