[Hutchinson] Obama and Male Voters | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

[Hutchinson] Obama and Male Voters

This is an election with some strange things happening. One of the strangest is the penchant for so many white males to join with African American voters in a few primaries to back Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama. It's strange not because of anything Obama has said or done to get so many white males behind him. It's strange because of the possible motive of many of the men that are voting for him.

Let's put it this way. Are they voting for him because they truly buy his flowery pitch of hope, change and unity. Or, is there something darker, and more insidious at work here. The something is the deep, persistent and widespread notion among many men that a woman is not fit to hold the highest office, especially if that woman is named Hillary.

Males make up slightly more than 40 percent of the American electorate, and of that percent, white males make up 36 percent, or one in three American voters. They have been the staunchest Republican backers since Ronald Reagan's trounce of Democrat Jimmy Carter in 1980.

Without their solid support in 2000, Democratic presidential contender Al Gore would have easily won the White House, and the Florida vote debacle would have been a meaningless sideshow. In 2004, Bush swept Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry in every one of the states of the old confederacy and three out of four of the border states. He grabbed more than 60 percent of the white male vote nationally. In the South, he got more than 70 percent of their vote. That insured another Bush White House.

Male voters gave not just Bush but Republican Presidents Bush Sr., Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon the decisive margin of victory over their Democrat opponents in their presidential races. The majority of those that voted for the GOP presidents were middle-to-upper income, college educated and lived in a suburban neighborhood. This closely parallels the demographic of the men that are voting for Obama. But at the same time, fewer than one in five white males labeled themselves as liberal.

The reasons for the intense and unshakable loyalty of working and middle-class men to the GOP are not hard to find. The gap was first identified and labeled in the 1980 contest between Reagan and Carter. That year Reagan got more than a 20 percent bulge in the margin of male votes he got over Carter. Women voters by contrast split almost evenly down the middle in backing both Reagan and Carter. Most men made no secret about why they liked Reagan and what they perceived he stood for. The tough talk, his apparent firmness, and refusal to compromise on issues of war and peace fit neatly into the stereotypical, male qualities of professed courage, determination and toughness.

Then there's the thing that's even less politically and gender correct to admit, and that's that the bias of many men toward women in high positions is so deep seated that they refuse to believe that they are even biased. Psychologists have testified in countless gender-bias lawsuits that the "unconscious bias" of male managers against women, especially against women attaining power positions. The refusal of men to promote women has been the biggest factor fueling gender discrimination in corporate hiring and promotions. Male managers in charge of promotion and pay decisions unwittingly engage in "spontaneous" and "automatic" stereotyping and "in-group favoritism" that results in the most desirable jobs at the company being filled by white males.

Even if unconscious gender bias affects only a relatively small percent of men in a close contest between a male and female candidate in which the two are rated fairly evenly in competence, qualifications and experience, the refusal of many men to vote for her could harm her candidacy. Female candidates offset the male bias by getting solid support from women voters.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. His new book is "The Latino Challenge to Black America: Towards a Conversation between African-Americans and Hispanics" (Middle Passage Press, 2007, $19.95).

Previous Comments

ID
76082
Comment

Let’s put it this way. Are they voting for him because they truly buy his flowery pitch of hope, change and unity. Or, is there something darker, and more insidious at work here. The something is the deep, persistent and widespread notion among many men that a woman is not fit to hold the highest office, especially if that woman is named Hillary. Possibly. Let's look at the history of suffrage in the U.S. Black men got the right to vote before women did, even though blacks lost that right later. Things could run the same way for the presidency.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-02-21T17:36:08-06:00
ID
76083
Comment

I thoroughly enjoyed this column, and I think that Hutchinson is spot on with his analysis. My 3rd grader (who is very excited about the possibility of a black man or a white woman as president) asked me which one would be "more historic". I had a hard time answering. We both just finally agreed that maybe there should be a black woman running, because that would cover multiple bases. Ultimately though, I think that the country is more "ready" for a black man as president than it is for a white woman. Which is what this column highlighted for me.

Author
kate
Date
2008-02-22T09:41:33-06:00
ID
76084
Comment

To be honest, I thought I would see a white female president before I did a black president, male or female. As far as why a lot of white men are voting for Obama, one common theme I hear among black people that I know is that whites are supporting him to actually set him up for a defeat in November. But according to most polls, Obama would have a much easier time defeating John McCain than Hillary Clinton would, so that plan could backfire in a big way.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2008-02-22T10:07:54-06:00
ID
76085
Comment

I think people of both genders are supporting Obama, or not, for all sorts of reasons. I hate to see the American public stereotyped (which is what the two-party system ultimately does).

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-02-22T10:49:05-06:00
ID
76086
Comment

And I think there is something fabulously liberating about being able to choose to NOT vote for a serious female candidate for reasons other than her gender. Maybe that's fourth-wave feminism.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-02-22T10:50:38-06:00
ID
76087
Comment

I should add that I think that Hutchinson is one of the freshest pundit voices out there. (And, if you recall, he did work on the Dee-Moore case long before national or state media touched it.) I'm a huge fan.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-02-22T11:16:26-06:00
ID
76088
Comment

Someone explain this to me. I have been involved in an ongoing debate that I see how some African Americans could want to elect Obama because he is black. Not as the only reason, but all things being equal as another factor. But I have the hardest time understanding how a person could decide not to vote for Obama because he is black and it be an acceptable reason.

Author
Goldenae
Date
2008-02-22T12:09:28-06:00
ID
76089
Comment

Goldenae, I don't know how to answer your question, and I wonder if an answer even exists. There are so many different ways to look at it that my head hurts. Where's the Aleve?

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-02-22T12:21:06-06:00
ID
76090
Comment

"Acceptable" to whom?

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2008-02-22T13:41:19-06:00
ID
76091
Comment

A black woman friend recently pointed out to me that Obama really isn't "black" he's mixed race. She said it confused her when press related to him only as a black man. I thought this column was pretty spot on.

Author
Izzy
Date
2008-02-22T13:52:56-06:00
ID
76092
Comment

Izzy, I've heard that some blacks question whether he's black enough. Irritates me.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-02-22T14:03:32-06:00
ID
76093
Comment

But is he "black" if he's 50/50? It's calling attention to how we define race. Why is a person with 30% black blood "black" and not white? Or "mixed" ? When in the end maybe we are all pretty mixed. My friend wasn't saying he ought to be blacker. I think she was saying, why is everyone ignoring his mixed race heritage when so many americans have mixed race heritage

Author
Izzy
Date
2008-02-22T14:23:14-06:00
ID
76094
Comment

We went through the racial definition question on another forum, go take a look it was a good discussion. Race is a self-defined and wholly artificial category. My understanding of this question of being "black enough" is that it refers to the extent to which one follows the socio-cultural aspects attributed to the "black race." Such statments as "is he black enough" are therefore inherently prejudicial and racist as they assume that there is some genetic reason for this behavior.

Author
Willezurmacht
Date
2008-02-22T14:54:21-06:00
ID
76095
Comment

Yea, it is a non-issue, because we are all mixed to some degree. As for Obama, he chose to go in one direction and it is probably his choice being of mixed parents. What bothers me is that people generally associate being black as a negative connotation. What is the big deal anyway? Black people go to the polls and vote for men, women, blacks, whites, whomever. Why do white males have such a problem voting for black males?

Author
Goldenae
Date
2008-02-22T15:16:24-06:00
ID
76096
Comment

I think the article is saying that white men don't have as much of a problem voting for black males as they do for black females.

Author
Izzy
Date
2008-02-22T15:20:35-06:00
ID
76097
Comment

Izzy, But I bet if you look at the numbers overall, whether it be a black male or female, white males are not a major constituent. I would guess that it is a double wammy being a black female, especially in the south.

Author
Goldenae
Date
2008-02-22T15:24:22-06:00
ID
76098
Comment

Dang! I meant as they do for white females.

Author
Izzy
Date
2008-02-22T15:29:26-06:00
ID
76099
Comment

Izzy, I don't know if I agree with that then. Amy Tuck got elected statewide before a black male(or female) on that level.

Author
Goldenae
Date
2008-02-22T15:35:04-06:00
ID
76100
Comment

I can only speak for one white, former Bush, current Obama supporter, myself. For me, I do buy into Obama's message of change. We need to give a young visionary a shot in the White House. I believe it will take radical change, a clean break from past administrations, to repair our standing in the world and tackle ominous problems like social security. Color is not an issue for me, and I hope that is the case for a growing majority of white Mississippians. Regarding Hillary, I believe Hutchinson discounts white people's extreme dislike of her and the feeling that we needed a bath when the Clintons last left office. For many people, she struck a mortal blow to her image the day she uttered the words "vast rightwing conspiracy."

Author
Huckleberry
Date
2008-02-22T15:51:27-06:00
ID
76101
Comment

The tide is turning because white males are beginning to respect Obama's toughness, intelligence and charisma while Hillary appears to be just riding her husband's coat-tails with the mentality that she was entitled to the Presidency. Is there a little sexism and gender bias embedded within that? Probably.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2008-02-22T17:19:48-06:00
ID
76102
Comment

Huckleberry, I am naturally curious, so excuse me for asking you a few questions and making a few comments. I think you are dead on about the hate of Hilliary Clinton. It is pretty intense and I really have not been able to understand it. The part about "a vast right wing conspiracy" is interesting because even though Clinton was guilty of some of the claims, there was definately a concerted effort to get rid of him. I would say similarly to the effort to get rid of Bush, but amped up a few notches. So, I would not see that as being the reasson she draws so much venom. Are you a conservative? Because all Bush supporters were not necessarily conservative. I wonder why conservatives dont realize that they are starting to hate Obama which is just going to backfire on them I was listening to a show on 92.5 and people were calling him the Anti-Christ. And prior to him coming on the scene, they praised people for talking about hope. What has changed? I also find it funny when they ask an Obama supporter to tell you his accomplishments. People should be better informed, but I bet if you asked people to name some of Lott's bills over his decades long career, the response would be similar. What do you think?

Author
Goldenae
Date
2008-02-22T17:23:06-06:00
ID
76103
Comment

I was listening to a show on 92.5 and people were calling him the Anti-Christ. That sounds a lot like the tactic some priests or ministers used to keep their congregations from voting for Kerry back in '04. They told them that if they voted for Kerry, they couldn't take Communion or they had to go to confession since Kerry was pro-choice. However, calling a candidate the Anti-Christ is the epitome of manipulation.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-02-22T17:56:04-06:00
ID
76104
Comment

To add to what I just said, I just heard this quote from Truman on TV: [quote]If you can't convince them, confuse them.[/quote] Nuff said...

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-02-22T18:02:00-06:00
ID
76105
Comment

Goldenae, at the time of the Lewinsky affair, I remember being embarrassed of the Clintons – Bill for the indiscretion and later angry and perhaps perjurious denials, which in my opinion were the driving force behind, and probably required, the effort to remove him from office; and Hillary, perhaps unfairly, for participating in the fraudulent angry denials. The Clintons sometimes attack when they ought to be retreating. A perfect example is Hillary’s ridiculous, planned “Change you can Xerox” comment in last night’s debate, for which she was resoundingly booed. I would say I am conservative on most things, but my circle of friends would probably disagree. I am mostly concerned about the problems our government has been unwilling to deal with – the economy, the growing burden of social security, the (dis)incentives created by our current welfare system. I am growing apart from the Republican Party because of their fixation on unimportant wedge issues like gay marriage and illegal immigration and of course the mess they have created in the Middle East. However, I believe the Democrats are too beholden to many special interest groups – elderly, unions, and minority groups – to tackle the big problems I listed above. My hope is that someone fresh, young, and visionary like Obama could have the courage. Regarding the anti-Christ, middle name “Hussein” type comments, that is just ignorant racism, driven a lot by talk radio, that we still have to deal with in Mississippi and will for a while I’m afraid.

Author
Huckleberry
Date
2008-02-22T18:13:09-06:00
ID
76106
Comment

Huckleberry, very insightful. I heard on Rush today a caller ask, "Would it be worth electing Obama so we can get rid of the Civil Rights stuff?" Do most white people think we are where we should be as a nation(as far as race is concerned)? I ask because it reminds me of something I saw about Reconstruction. Even though the country knew that the South was not "right" yet, there was a fatigue on both sides concerning race. Folks got tired of dealing with the problems associated with race. Even though President Grant was anti-slavery, he got to the point where he did not resist the southern racists taking back over. That is how the south went from having black elected officials to a rise in the KKK and the Civils Rights struggle. Are white people tired of hearing about racism?

Author
Goldenae
Date
2008-02-22T18:39:44-06:00
ID
76107
Comment

Regarding the anti-Christ, middle name “Hussein” type comments, that is just ignorant racism, driven a lot by talk radio, that we still have to deal with in Mississippi and will for a while I’m afraid. And this is the type of rhetoric that I fear would creep up should Obama get the nomination, and it seems like it's already gotten a head start. But rest assured it will only get worse as time goes on.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2008-02-22T22:27:09-06:00
ID
76108
Comment

Again, I can only speak for one white person. I think we certainly still have race problems that need to addressed in part by civil rights law. Prejudice is rampant in both the white and black communities. However, I believe that it is getting better all the time, and the problem is morphing from racism to the problem of a permanent economic underclass (made up of both white and black). I firmly believe that a black person who is able to get a good education and develop a good work ethic has every opportunity to suceed in today's business world. Having good black employees and management is a goal of businesses today. So, rambling on, race problems today have less to do with hate of a particular race and more to do with the "systems" in place that prevent many in poor communities from having the same basic opportunities necessary to succeed (good education, responsible fatherhood, access to the legal system, etc.). Also, I believe the white community is very tired of the antics of a few of today's so-called civil rights leaders who exploit and blow out of proportion certain events for what often appears to be personal gain.

Author
Huckleberry
Date
2008-02-23T07:49:23-06:00
ID
76109
Comment

Huckleberry, welcome to the site. You are making very compelling points.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-02-23T08:07:44-06:00
ID
76110
Comment

Thanks, ladd. And I applaud your efforts to educate and expose true motivations in the current illegal immigration debate. Golden, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on current race relations in Mississippi.

Author
Huckleberry
Date
2008-02-23T08:58:51-06:00
ID
76111
Comment

I have been involved in an ongoing debate that I see how some African Americans could want to elect Obama because he is black. I've heard this in the early moments of his campaign as well. If anything, there was tepid support for him in the black community, maybe because they didn't know if he would be a viable candidate or maybe they just didn't really know what he was all about. I was one of them at first. It's not that I had something against him; because he was a relative unknown, I didn't think he was the best candidate at the time. I felt that waiting until 2012 probably would've served him best. Now, I'm completely on board. I'm not supporting Obama because he is a black man, but because I think he's the best candidate. I was offended by those who thought Obama wasn't black enough. What kind of crap is that? Is he supposed to dress in baggy pants hanging halfway down his legs and have a grill in his mouth? Even when dressed in business suits, there are some who only look at the color of his skin and thinks he has no business being president. What really turned the tide for Obama in the black community was winning the Iowa caucus. That's a state where no African-American ever won any election there. While he did stumble in a few other places, like New Hampshire, I believe his strong victory in South Carolina became a rallying point for support in the black community.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2008-02-23T12:04:35-06:00
ID
76112
Comment

It is interesting that Izzy's friend stated Obama is not black, but mixed when as someone else has already pointed out we are all mixed. that reflects a lack of knowledge. More to the point we are all 99.9 percent the same genetically! AND, we are all African Americans genetically in the sense that every human originated in Africa a few hundred thousand years ago. Black or white makes sense only in a cultural sense and to the police when the get behind you --- not in any blood analysis. Hutchison makes good points; however, it is black men who are more likely to be racially profiled, disproportionately sterotyped as criminals and disproportionately sentenced to prison or wrongfully convicted. Many women have been elected to statewide offices. I am a man and I was a huge Ann Richards fan while in Texas. They tried to undermine her with lesbian rumors. It is always something from the right wing sleaze mongers. McCain was smeared with rumors that he had an illegitimate black child when he ran against Bush. The immoral minority will stop at nothing.

Author
FreeClif
Date
2008-02-23T13:01:14-06:00
ID
76113
Comment

The question "Is Obama black enough?", insulting as it is, had double meaning. Not just whether he can accurately be called a black man because he is of mixed race heritage, but also whether he is connected emotionally to the black community and its concerns.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2008-02-23T16:28:23-06:00
ID
76114
Comment

Huckleberry: Growing up in Natchez, Ms which was very segregated, well into the 1990s, I am just beginning to exam race relations statewide and nationally. I thought for the longest time how I would respond to your question because my experience with blogs and my email conversations is that a lot of white people do not quite understand what blacks are talking about. Every black person that mentions race is not trying to get something out of it. Most of us just recognize something and see that we have more work to do. We have treated racism, but we have not cured it. In doing so, I think a lot of people are tired of the treatments. I went to church pondering your question and while there, I saw on the program a Black History Question. "When was the first African American Governor elected?" The answer to the question provided me my answer to you. I was more than astonished to learn that Douglas Wilder of Virginia was the first elected African American Governor and Deval Patrick of Massachusetts has been the only other. Only 5 black Senators in U.S history. I think whites would understand what black people are feeling if things were reversed and they had never had a white President or even being a Senator was a rarity. Its just one aspect of life, but it represents the current state of affairs. It was only 1990 that Wilder was elected. So it took that long for that first to happen and only recently for it to be repeated. The end product shows that we have a lot more work to do. To me, it is not so much about electing blacks, but it is important to me that we can get to a point were being black is not held against a person.

Author
Goldenae
Date
2008-02-24T15:24:16-06:00
ID
76115
Comment

Thanks for the response, Golden. On your final thought, wishing we could get to a point where being black is not held against a black person running for office, here are a few unsolicited and uneducated observations: the perceptions, or prejudices, of white voters are that black elected officials have a side agenda, which goes beyond that of the Democratic party, to benefit their black constituents through government handouts, affirmative action, close ties to the likes of Jackson and Sharpton, etc. ALso, black candidates, especially in local races, can appear to be running to get the evil white businesses. White voters and conservatives in general view this agenda as anti-business, causing higher taxes and unfair advantages for minorities. I’m sure that old race-hate prejudices also continue to influence a (hopefully diminishing) number of white voters. I don’t pretend to have the knowledge of politics or race relations to suggest a solution, but perhaps future black candidates could emulate Obama’s campaign, which has somehow managed to embrace Obama’s blackness but rise above race on the issues. Like the desire of businesses to have good black employees and management, I believe that white voters would embrace pro-business, fiscally conservative black candidates. DO you think black candidates want to run on such a platform? How would such a platform be perceived in the black community? …enjoying this dialogue…

Author
Huckleberry
Date
2008-02-25T11:29:16-06:00
ID
76116
Comment

What an interesting, telling and kindly manner of conversing. I hope it's totally honest as well. I just want to hear the responses. However, I personally find it interesting and appalling to some degree that rank assumptions carry so much weight in the minds of some people while FACTS (past and present) based on reliable and objective data are asked by others to be ignored. In other words, beleive what I say at any point, not what you see or know. Carry on good people. Just thinking out loud!

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2008-02-25T12:21:59-06:00
ID
76117
Comment

Huckleberry: I respect some of the things Jesse Jackson and Sharpton have done, but if you notice, they do not get enough support to get elected to anything. I can tell you exactly why most black candidates and voters are as they are. They feel the Republican Party is blantantly disrespectful, plain and simple. Reagan once said to his biographer that the Voting Rights Act was "humiliating to the South". I can not respect a person like that. But he is a Republican/Conservative hero. Another thing, whites tend to look at people that are pro-black as anti-white. That is not the case. It is just pretty obvious that the black community has an urgent need for attention. Contrary to belief, most blacks are not Democrats because they are looking for government handouts or anything of the like. John Arthur Eaves most accurately expressed the reasons why I and most blacks are Democrats. And it has more to do with love for your fellow man than self. The handout issue is just not logical because most people on welfare or government assistance dont vote. I think black people get frustrated because you see so many unqualified people getting elected and to be taken seriously as a black candidate, you almost have to be perfect. Conservatives throw out Colin Powell , as great as he is, that guy is nearly perfect, most folks are not. I think it is a shame that it took until 1990 to have the first elected black governor and since there has only been one other. And also that there have only been 5 black Senators. I am sure that whether black or white, people want good employees and management. The question, is what constitutes good. A good number of whites have a problem with expressive blacks. As for things like Affirmative Action, I see in a lot of instances, people would not have done the right thing unless they were forced to do so. People hate being forced to do anything, but if they never choose to do the right thing, something has to be done. I think when you are on the receiving end of discrimination, you see the need to address it alot better than you do if you are not on the receiving end. As far as white business and the black community, often times business is not concerned with the issues that exist in the black community. Blacks are not anti-business, we just see a disconnect in people's thinking. Perfect example, when Mitt Romney was asked about the down economy, he responded by saying in his experience down economies were a good time to buy. That represents a disconnect because a person trying to find enough money to buy gas or heat their home, pay for daycare are not concerned with or able to buy stock. I was looking at some stats and it seems that during Republican Administrations poverty rates increase and the distance between rich and poor increases. Black people are not anti-business, but alot of people just think that top-down economics only benefits folks at the top. Its not about government handouts, but there are citizens in need. Being that the government is going to spend money on something, I would rather give it to the folks on the lower end than give it to folks like Exxon-Mobile that made historic profits while receiving tax breaks.

Author
Goldenae
Date
2008-02-26T09:30:28-06:00
ID
76118
Comment

Excellent Goldenae. Expressive and pro-black, black people scare the hell out of some kinds of status quo people. I will resist further naming or describing the type in order to avoid improperly being called racist or hateful. Rarely, in my view, do those "some kinds of status quo people" see fault in themselves, although they're arguably the greatest scourge and abomination on society. Since self-reflection and self-actualization occurs too slowly or never in some of these people, some impatient and expressive blacks have decided to tell those some kinds of people what time it is - the 21st Century - no matter the occasions, consequences or fallout.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2008-02-26T12:00:50-06:00
ID
76119
Comment

Ray, I watched that Joe Louis special on HBO and it represented everything that I have ever tried to say in these forums. Folks question what is so good about hope or inspiration when it comes to Barack Obama and do not understand why Black American overwhelmingly want to see him succeed. But no one questioned hope and inspiration when it was up to Joe Louis or Jesse Owens to take on Nazi Germany for America. Everyone understood that it meant something when they succeeded. The most surprising thing about this forum are the misconceptions that people have about black people(and vice versa). I never knew that so many white people thought blacks dreamed about government programs. I have found it most interesting the basic beliefs that people have about one another that are so far off base.

Author
Goldenae
Date
2008-02-26T15:44:18-06:00
ID
76120
Comment

Goldenae these misconceptions exist about black folks in the minds of so many whites because racist, colonizing, imperialistic views and values are still being subliminally, openly and blatanly taught in many places, especially within that repugnant party or idolatry or ideology. I'm surprised you're surprised, but I understand the hurt because like so many of us you prefer to see good in people. I don't look for good anymore. Instead I look for the accuracy of what does exist, be it good or bad, then, act accordingly. The above is the reason I can't get excited about Mississippi. The most racist and appalling individuals I've found in Mississippi since my return are the professionals, powerful, educated and connected who ought to know better. I beleive they do know better, but they think or know they can say or do anything and the ignorant masses will follow like zombies going to fight in the next civil war.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2008-02-26T16:50:24-06:00
ID
76121
Comment

Wow. Thank you guys for giving me so much to think about. Having grown up a white male, I don't pretend to understand your experience and frustration with racism and sexism, and I apologize if my callous description of ‘average white voter’ poured salt on old wounds. However, let's not forget how we got to this point in the conversation. In my view, we have been exchanging points of view (albeit in perceived stereotypes, which is dangerous) with the goal of trying to figure out how to get more black people elected to public office. And the catalyst for this conversation is the surprising rise of a black man to the position of frontrunner presidential candidate of a major political party. Obama has reached these milestones as a liberal and with the growing support of white males, of all people. With all due respect, Ray, now is not the time to despair. Let’s figure out what is going on so it can be repeated! If you are saying we are further behind in Mississippi than the national scene, well, so be it. We started from further behind. That’s no reason for Goldenae to quit looking for the good in people. There are a lot of people like myself who are bucking their conservative, intolerant backgrounds and rejecting the koolaid being fed to the “ignorant masses” because we realize it is the right thing to do. Goldenae, I am moved by your belief that blacks’ choice of the Democratic party is motivated by love for fellow man instead of self, although the cynic in me questions whether your belief is a little naïve. But I have some recent experience with black folks’ love for their fellow man, even a fellow white man like myself, despite plenty of reason to feel and act otherwise. I believe the same love exists in white folks, and that race relations will continue to get better as time and interaction dissipates our prejudices and uncomfortableness with each other. I hope I’m not being too naïve. Like our discussion about how to get more black people elected, we need to figure out ways to speed up this process.

Author
Huckleberry
Date
2008-02-27T00:09:35-06:00
ID
76122
Comment

To Goldenae, Huckleberry and Ray Carter: This is truly the kind of dialogue that can produce solutions. You have great minds with the ability to write. These are the talents that allow men and women to end wars; not start them. These are the special attributes that open both minds and hearts. This is not naivita: These are facts and if given a chance, will change the mind set of the world.

Author
justjess
Date
2008-02-27T09:25:58-06:00
ID
76123
Comment

Ditto, justjess. I'm really enjoying this.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-02-27T09:55:47-06:00
ID
76124
Comment

Thanks Justjess and Donna. The key to overcoming all the poison, lies and trickery thrown at all of us who want to do the right thing, is to read, listen, observe and analyze things for ourselves. I can't remember the last time I thought or did something just because someone told me to think or do it. If the command doesn't follow my filtering process, I'm not likely going to think or do it. I guess this is easy to say since I'm not an impressionable teenager or young adult anymore. I was lucky to have parents who didn't teach me to hate anyone. My mother taught us to love our half brothers and sisters. Lots of women can't do this for reasons I can't comprehend. I knew my mother was special when I saw how she loved and treated my half-brother who wasn't her child. And despite racism running rampant I never heard either parent or grandparent say white folks were evil, aren't any good and should never be trusted. In fact, the white folks all around my neighborhood were generous, loving and helpful to all of us. Looking back it was an amazing coalition considering what I later learned about race relations generally throughout the nation and world. Despite all of my writings concerning the race issue on this blog, I rarely think about my race or the race of others as I move about doing the day. However, when I have to pick a jury or engage in politic, my antenna or mind instantly open up for all kinds of ideology, socialization processes and agendas. I try hard to be openminded to knowledge, learning and correction. While I realize I'm no dummy, I likewise realize I don't know it all. I refuse to let any democrat, republican, liberal, conservative, rebel or other type of person tell me what to think or believe. My goal is to listen then do the right thing as best I know it. I neither blindly love and follow Democrats nor universally hate republicans. Indeed I have a very lowly formed opinion of republicans generally and wouldn't follow hardly any into the next room before looking in there first. This opinion is firmly based in deeds and study, not any stereotypes. Yes, I know there are exceptions within the rank of that party, and I hope I live long enough to meet one or some of the exceptions. I look forward to it! I hope everyone realizes that one can be a brazenly black person who argues the interest of black folks in an uncompromising manner and yet not be racist or anti-white at all. I believe Benny Thompson is an example of that. I know I am. However, I happen to like the responses, reflexes and false notions I cause in other people concerning me. I even know why it happens, and I hope that self-reflection will eventually explain why I'm not the person with the comprehension shortcoming or problem.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2008-02-27T12:09:49-06:00
ID
76125
Comment

I think it is becoming less cool to dislike someone for nonsubstance based things. People are starting to speak up and say things when folks try to carry on the "wink and a nod" ways that existed for so long of subtle racism. That is why I can say without a shadow of a doubt that the biggest enemy to blacks becoming Republicans are Republicans themselves. A lot of blacks agree with Republican ideals, but it is nearly impossible to overlook the disrespect. I think more people's eyes are opening to tactics like were used against Harold Ford in Tennessee or some of the other crazy ads you see on TV. The biggest hurdle may be put up by radio talk show host. They are some of the most abrasive people when it comes to race. It goes beyond opinion on issues, it becomse personal. The ones that actually do not participate take up for the ones that do or their callers that do. I have been amazed at just how many times I have felt something was wrong listening to these guys. It is hard to join any team when you feel that team does not respect you as a person. Did you see how folks put Clinton in check a few weeks ago in S.C.? Nobody does that to radio talk show host in the conservative community. These guys go far beyond what Bill did on a routine basis and no one on that side every stops to tell them they have gone too far. If Obama becomes the nominee for the Democratic Party, we are going to see what people will and will not accept. I have the feeling that more people have gotten tired of the old way of doing things. Disliking people just because they are not like them. I do not like all Democrats, but I am proud that the Democratic Party has been the avenue for the only 2 Black Governors(elected) we have had and the majority of the Black Senators we have had. With this upcoming campaign, Republicans actually have a chance to gain ground, but I believe the majority will fall in behind Rush Limbaugh and the likes of that Cunningham guy and will turn more people off than they turn on. Of on a slight tangent, I am trying to figure out what is a "Mississippi Value"? We are last or near the bottom in every category. Whatever these values are, why aren't they helping and if they are not, why do Republican candidates keep promoting them?

Author
Goldenae
Date
2008-02-27T13:11:23-06:00
ID
76126
Comment

I'd like to know that too Goldenae. Everytime I hear "Mississippi or southern values" mentioned or alluded to I try to get close enough to hear what the speakers are talking about. Why are the terms almost exclusively used by white people and never any other race? Do we not have any Mississippi values as well? Aren't we allowed to define the terms too? Too often those terms are used by paled faced, country-like, snuff-dipping/'bacco-chewing or some backwater white person with no black friends or black acquantances of perceived equal value. Don't think for a minute that this description defines only poor and uneducated white people. Then those same people will ask someone with my suspicious and calculating nature or mind, "why do you think I'm implying taking away the rights of black people or going back to yester year." I'm always tempted to say that you look like you never left yester year to me, but since I'm a real nice person I usually ignore them and move on. Frankly, on some occasions, when I hear similar comments around the courthouse or other places, I generally say something like "screw Mississippi's old values" just to see what the speakers will say. Sometimes I even say something like "I done forgot to ply and pick cotton." I can get away with this stuff since I'm supposed to be crazy anyway. Goldenae I'll bet you lunch the question about what is Mississippi Values will never be answered at all or certainly not honestly. For months I asked every republicans working for Snake Farm what did they mean by saying they were republicans because they wanted things to be like they used to be. I kept asking what things needed changing and how far back are y'all referring to. I never got a straight answer, but I knew well that any point backward would leave my black behind out the picture or once again a man child in a strange land. These conversations or discussions are how I first learned I'm a Democrat. Had Ronald Reagan said at any point that "tomorrow is the day we fight the second Civil War, to win it this time," only a few white employee and all the black employees would have been left to carry out the work. This black person would have joined the new Union Army instantly or hauled tail to Canada.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2008-02-27T15:07:39-06:00
ID
76127
Comment

As far as white business and the black community, often times business is not concerned with the issues that exist in the black community. Blacks are not anti-business, we just see a disconnect in people's thinking. Perfect example, when Mitt Romney was asked about the down economy, he responded by saying in his experience down economies were a good time to buy. That represents a disconnect because a person trying to find enough money to buy gas or heat their home, pay for daycare are not concerned with or able to buy stock. HELLO! You know, I have heard so-called economic experts say that the best way to deal with high gas prices is to buy energy stocks. For a minute there, I considered it because I figured that I could use the profits to buy gas. Then, I mentally slapped myself and decided that I did not want to take ownership in corporations who are making a killing off the suffering of the common man.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-02-27T15:36:25-06:00
ID
76128
Comment

Even though I gave Trent Lott a pass because I believe he was pandering more than anything else, it was odd for people to interpret what he said at Strom Thurmond's B-day party. To paraphrase, if Strom had been elected we would not have had all the problems we have had all these years. I personally did not understand what it meant until I researched Strom and say that he was the guy that broke out of the Democratic Party with a bunch of other racists to form another party which eventually settled in with the Republicans. So, when you compliment a guy like that, in that way, it is not a good thing. He stood for all the wrong things. Another thing than stands out is when Reagan and Jesse Helms(R) opposed the Martin Luther King Holiday, Helms going as far as to say King was not worthy of a holiday. And dont even mention the Confederate Flag issue. So, it always boils down to me why do Republicans generally find themselves on the wrong side of human issues, not just race issues. M.L.K was a softball, so is the Confederate flag in my opinion. But if you look at the vote for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 the Congressman in the South were the ones that opposed it. Both Democrats and Republicans. And it seems today that the South continues to behave that way in some areas. The South's reluctance to change is why it is so far behind in some cases.

Author
Goldenae
Date
2008-02-27T16:26:12-06:00
ID
76129
Comment

Goldenae for a brief moment I thought republicans were misguided in an affort to feed and please the dissenting voices who felt left out. This isn't the case anymore. There is now a well-finance (by individuals and corporations), protracted, and well-schooled or trained crusade to turn back Civil Rights, at all cost, and all the remnants of the New Deal which they argue is scialistic except when they're on the receiving end. We're not dealing with decent people with good intentions making harmless or accidental errors of judgment anymore. Bush, Cheney, Condo and other powerful repugnant individuals, state and federal, know exactly what they're doing and do mean to cause every bit of racism, division, murder, hurt, theft, pillage, plunder and war we are seeing. They remind me of General George Armstrong Custer who could rest until all Indians were dead. Luckily, George picked the wrong day and wrong Indian to fight with one day, and got what he deserved. Similarly, the repugnant republicans are trying to deliver the country back to the rich, powerful, elitist and the kingly white male who God surely annointed with the ownership of all humans and things of the world.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2008-02-27T16:54:00-06:00
ID
76130
Comment

I see Hannity spent a lot of the day playing guilt by association with Obama. And when he was not doing that he was acting naive as to the intent of putting Obama's middle name out there. To top it off, he had the producer of Don Imus's Show that uttered those famous words about the Rutger's girls basketball team. I wonder would Hannity have invited such a guy into his studio to be a guest if the guy had called his wife a "nappy headed hoe"?

Author
Goldenae
Date
2008-02-28T16:17:48-06:00
ID
76131
Comment

Goldenae I'm surprised you can stand watch ole Han on a daily basis. I put Rust Limpbaugh, Miss-Anne-can't-get-a-man, Liars Larson, Sean the Han and What-you-got-on-baby-O'Reilly in the same class of the guests on the Jerry Springer Show. Only when I need something to laugh at do I tune in briefly to them. I know some people like to know what the dark side is saying, but can't we predict it any way. I can't wait to see what the clowns above and the republicans leaders and voters eventually have to do to stop Obama, if they can stop him. The supposed far off yesterday is coming to visit today and tomorrow. I can't wait to tell the story.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2008-02-28T16:43:04-06:00

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