Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Racism And The Presidential Campaigns

There have been several people in the news lately talking about people who are going to vote for Mitt Romney  being racists. 
Virginia State Senator Louise Lucas, during a radio interview when asked about Obama’s changing fortunes in the state claims racism is behind the president’s changing fortunes in Virginia stating:
“Mitt Romney - he’s speaking to a segment of the population who does not like to see people other than a white man in the White House or any other elected position.   Let’s be real clear about it.  We know what’s going on here, and some people may be afraid to say it, but I’m not.  I’m not afraid to say it.”
“I absolutely believe it is all about race and for the first time in my life I’ve been able to convince my children finally that racism is alive and well all across this nation, and especially in Virginia.”
NPR's Cokie Roberts on Monday said "You remember well the Reagan Democrats, those ethnic white voters who had been Democrats for many years, turned out for Ronald Reagan and have been fairly predictable Republicans since then. Now, it's a smaller percentage of the population, of the voting population than it used to be, but white voters are still much more Republican than any other group in the electorate."

"They went for McCain in 2008 by 55 percent, and I think that, you know, getting those ethnic voters excited is really what Romney has in mind here. It's more for the folks at home, the descendants of the people that he will be speaking to in Poland."
These are two examples of what has made the news recently but they're not the only ones.  Supporters of President Obama have been playing the race card continuously since his election in 2008.  Anyone who disagrees with him is automatically deemed a racist by many on the left.  It matters not what reasons are given for the disagreement - only that you disagree.  Black people who disagree with the President are labeled Uncle Toms and vilified as traitors to their race.
All this leads up to my point which is - why does it seem only people on the right can be racists?  I won't even attempt to deny there are racists in this country and that race will be a factor for some people in the upcoming election.  There will certainly be many people who vote for Romney or President Obama based solely on skin color.  But isn't it just as racist to vote for a black man because he's black as it is to vote for a white man because he's white?  Or is it different somehow?
I haven't heard Senator Lucas or Cokie Roberts cry racism over President Obama's "African Americans For Obama" campaign.  Yet how is this not racist?  If the Romney campaign launched "White Americans For Romney" it would be headline news for weeks and Romney would be crucified by the media.  So why is it different?
In a recent Rassmussen poll, 56% of white voters said they will vote for Romney vs. 35% for Obama.  Racist?  Maybe.  In that same poll 91% of black voters said they will vote for President Obama.  So which is more indicative of racism?
There are some who will say "Well, black people were hated and mistreated for years so they have a right..."   Sorry, I don't buy that.  Certainly ethnic minorities were mistreated and abused in the past but look how far we've come.  There is an African-American man in the White House as President of the United States instead of only serving the President.  That's progress. 
There is a huge demand nationwide to end racism and treat everyone equally.  It's a noble and necessary cause.  But racism can't end if it's only on one side.  I read something yesterday that's absolutely true.  "There is no such thing as 'reverse racism'.  There's only racism."  If you hate or dislike someone for the color of their skin it's racist, whether you're white, black, red, yellow or purple.  And those who would decry racism need to decry it on all sides, not just one.
Hating someone for their skin color is one of the most stupid things human beings do.  Martin Luther King, Jr., said it best.  "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."  If we must judge people (as is simply human nature), why use skin color?  Does your favorite vehicle become unfavorable if it's the wrong color?  I suppose some will answer that question affirmatively but that simply demonstrates their shallowness.  People are people and a product of their raising and somewhat of their environment.  There are enough reasons to dislike or distrust someone based on their actions and attitudes.
I say let's all stop playing the race card in the upcoming election.  There are plenty of things for us to disagree about without race or skin color being one of them.  The majority of Americans want to elect the person who is best for the country and race has nothing to do with it.  So to those who continue to stir the racism pot - please stop.  The country is in bad enough shape as it is.  

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