Someone forwarded this e-mail to me this morning. It’s probably going around the Internet. Let me share it:
How Racism Clouds Judgment
What if things were switched around?
Think about it. Would the country’s collective point of view be different?
Ponder the following:
- What if the Obamas had paraded five children across the stage, including a three month old infant and an unwed, pregnant teenage daughter?What if John McCain was a former president of the Harvard Law Review?
- What if Barack Obama finished fifth from the bottom of his graduating class?
- What if McCain had only married once, and Obama was a divorcee?
- What if Obama was the candidate who left his first wife after a severe disfiguring car accident, when she no longer measured up to his standards?
- What if Obama had met his second wife in a bar and had a long affair while he was still married?
- What if Michelle Obama was the wife who not only became addicted to pain killers but also acquired them illegally through her charitable organization?
- What if Cindy McCain graduated from Harvard?
- What if Obama had been a member of the Keating Five? (The Keating Five were five United States Senators accused of corruption in 1989, igniting a major political scandal as part of the larger Savings and Loan crisis of the late 1980s and early 1990s.)
- What if McCain was a charismatic, eloquent speaker?
- What if Obama couldn’t read from a teleprompter?
- What if Obama was the one who had military experience that included discipline problems and a record of crashing seven planes?
- What if Obama was the one who was known to display publicly, on many occasions, a serious anger management problem?
- What if Michelle Obama’s family had made their money from beer distribution?
- What if the Obamas had adopted a white child?
You could easily add to this list. If these questions reflected reality, do you really believe the election numbers would be as close as they are?
This is what racism does. It covers up, rationalizes and minimizes positive qualities in one candidate and emphasizes negative qualities in another when there is a color difference.
Columbia University - B.A. Political Science with a Specialization in
Harvard - Juris Doctor (J.D.) Magna Cum Laude
University of Delaware - B.A. in History and B.A. in Political Science.
Syracuse University College of Law - Juris Doctor (J.D.)
United States Naval Academy - Class rank: 894 of 899
Hawaii Pacific University - 1 semester
North Idaho College - 2 semesters - general study
University of Idaho - 2 semesters - journalism
Matanuska-Susitna College - 1 semester
University of Idaho - 3 semesters - B.A. in Journalism
Education isn’t everything, but this is about the two highest offices in the land as well as our standing in the world. You make the call.
Interesting, huh? There is a little anti-McCain slant here (check out the digs at Cindy McCain) but the points are nonetheless striking. This country is five days away from possibly electing its first Black President, a remarkable and historic feat when you figure that despite the “birth defect” of slavery during the country’s founding and a civil rights movement in the 1960s, there are still thick shreds of racism in our society. Some cannot see beyond Barack Obama’s blackness; they would say he is simply not good enough, and may never be. Such is the stigma that people who would view Blacks, Latinos and other minorities as somehow less than what is deemed acceptable.
But it’s Obama that went to Harvard Law School, not McCain, and certainly not Sarah Palin, but it’s McCain and Palin who somehow get a “pass” and thus educational pedigree (you know, the things you’re supposed to do if you work twice as hard in this meritocracy) doesn’t matter so much somehow. Somehow Palin can display her feistiness and fine wardrobe and just, well, get over. She is mediocre –or perhaps less—and that’s the point because her qualifications tend not to be questioned. She can use code words like “community organizer” to denigrate the Black man. During her stump speeches, she can tell crowds that “he” is not “one of us”. And yet no one calls her on it, certainly not the mainstream media. According to her, he has been “palling around with terrorists” as if his “kind” would be most suited to be “one of them” and therefore antithetical to her own patriotic, Judeo-Christian beliefs. Oh yeah, and isn’t he a Muslim.
But no one dares question McCain’s own qualifications because he has been a senior senator, war hero (albeit one that was caught and who served in a POW camp), and “maverick”. But his judgment is suspect now. It has to be, and to deny the fact, for example, that he has shown poor judgment in selecting a person so unqualified to become President (let’s be frank, ok?) is patently wrongheaded. His own party elders and graybeards have abandoned him. Palin’s high positives when she joined the ticket are exactly reversed now. Their respective camps are allegedly sniping at each other. Apparently a McCain aide called Palin a “diva” this week. Huh? What kind of campaign unity is this? And how are they spending the last days of the campaign? By name calling and trotting out old news stories about Obama’s associations with Bill Ayers and Tony Rezko, and others. I think today they wanted to join the possible sighting of a broke-ass man somewhere who claims to be–Obama’s long-lost brother. Enough.
It’s a testament that for all the vicious and sometimes unconscionably racist attacks that Obama has had to endure, he has not returned much of the fire. He has remained steady and solid, with a look towards keeping a noble head above the fray.No, he isn’t the “angry Black man” that one might suspect, whatever it is that that means. We demonize what we don’t know; we become ignorant because someone like him tends to question our own stereotypes of how he, a Black man, raised in the US but having lived in Indonesia, is supposed to act. But see, this is the point. Diversity is his virtue, too, one that he himself reasons could only happen in this country of perseverance and the hopes of equality. He is most definitely not mediocre, so why are we surprised that he is so intelligent? For that matter, why are we so surprised that someone like Barack Obama could have managed to exceed all of our expectations?