That’s the best answer I can give to Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson who wants to make Barack Obama’s standings in the polls about his race. It’s not about that. He asks if “white America” is ready to elect an African-American as our President, and cites our previous history with segregation, slavery, and civil rights. There’s no question that we have struggled as a nation with racism, and to some degree we still do. But the only ones who seem to be obsessed with Obama’s race are the media. They keep bringing it up as if we SHOULD care about it.
Most Americans will vote based on which candidate they feel is the most capable of leading this country. Many of the South Carolina Democrats in the poll he mentions are probably supporting Hillary over Barack for this reason, not because of racism. It doesn’t look like a coincidence that Mr. Robinson mentions South Carolina as part of the “white America” that he claims could keep Obama from the nomination. Even though I don’t generally give any Democrats the benefit of the doubt, I think that Robinson is trying to make a connection that isn’t there. There may be a few who will not vote for Hillary because she’s a woman, or Barack because he’s African-American. That’s not representative of the whole state of South Carolina, nor is it representative of this country overall. I resent the implication that the main reason Barack isn’t making up much ground on Hillary in the polls in South Carolina and elsewhere is because of his race. There are other reasons for that, but nothing that makes for an exciting story on the frontpage of a website or newspaper.
Americans deserve more credit than they are being given here. We can judge for ourselves whether a candidate has the right combination of charisma, experience, and leadership to be our choice for President. We can judge for ourselves what kind of President that candidate would be, not based on race, gender or even religion – and we don’t need the media’s approval for our choice. The candidates on both sides would be wise to keep that in mind.
Tags: Barack Obama, ’08 election