February 27, 2008


It's OK to vote for Obama because he's black (Gary Kamiya, Feb. 26, 2008, Salon)

[I]f Obama weren't black, he would not be the Democratic front-runner.

I believe that most of Obama's supporters are voting for him for the same reason. Like me, they're drawn to his idealism, his youthful energy, his progressive politics. But it's his blackness that seals the deal.

And that's OK. In fact, it's wonderful. [...]

It's true that voting for Obama is in some ways a symbolic gesture, one that won't instantly solve America's race problems. But it will help. Symbolism is powerful.

The problem with arguing that it is okay to vote for Senator Obama just because he's black and your vote is symbolic way of siding with black empowerment is that you then have no rational basis for arguing that it is wrong to vote against him because he's black and because your chosen symbol is your own race. That's not a big deal in much of America, where blacks and whites aren't generally locked in a power struggle. But it matters very much in a number or urban areas and certain regions of the country where blacks are contesting political power with other ethnic cohorts--Latinos, Jews, Asians, etc.

Indeed, the open appeal to racial identity and the tensions especially with Latinos and Zionists combined with John McCain's Christian/post-racial politics (as it manifests itself on immigration and Israel in particular) creates a set of peculiar voting dynamics for the Fall. As the New Republic [presumably] unwittingly reported today, white nationalists feel right at home with Mr. Obama's identity politics. In fact, the most racist are not unlikely to vote against John McCain because they recognize him as a friend to Jews and Hispanics.

Such is the malignancy of the sort of racialism that Mr. Kamiya here celebrates.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 27, 2008 7:49 PM

Mr. Kamiya did a nice job justifying his racism. In the hands of a 'liberal' has become the greatest virtue of all. Then again, progressives were always keen on social Darwinism and eugenics, so it shouldn't be a surprise.

Posted by: Mikey [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 28, 2008 8:26 AM

Is it okay to say I'm voting against his commie hippy privileged white mom and her influence on his life?

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at February 28, 2008 4:54 PM