Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Obama and the Black Vote

I've avoided blogging on Barack Obama simply because there is so much to say on this that I needed time to think about it, so I could write something that made at least a wee bit of sense.

Today I saw Blacks Shift To Obama, Poll Finds in the WashingtonPost today. It was linked via the Drudge Report with this headline "GEFFEN EFFECT? Blacks Shift To Obama, Poll Finds..."

Enough with the analysis of the black electorate and Obama! I mean unless you work for the Rand Corporation, and have some proven skill at statistical analysis, I don't really give a crap about what you have to say. I know that reporters and political pundits will opine ad nauseum about black voters and Obama. I know that it's not going to stop, so I'll just have to continue to switch the channel when that comes on CNN.

Do people really think that the section of the black electorate which is active and actually gets out to vote are really so simple that all it takes is that a candidate is black? I mean, yes, that gives him an edge but it's not the deciding factor. More likely than not he will get my vote in the primary. However, by the time the primaries reach California it doesn't really matter anyway. Regardless, I do vote.

I don't see the same discussion for white people. How ridiculous would it be to have an article going on about how most white Americans don't relate to George W. Bush. Honestly, most wouldn't. I mean how many folks grew up rich and privileged with their father as a highly placed politician and government mover and shaker and former US president? How many people got to party their way through university at Yale? How many men got a sweet military assignment when they joined or were drafted into the military during the Vietnam War? How many white Americans can relate to that? Please tell me, and then let us discuss this Obama and black electorate topic again.

Now I do understand why pollsters and analyst look at demographics and try to figure out and predict who is going to do what. However, on some level, it's just silly to think that because Obama is black we'll all fall in line. The press focusing on it so single mindfully is just irritating.

Honestly, what I'm hoping for is the Clinton/Obama ticket for the next election for obvious reasons. Think it through. The result is nice if they win and do a bang up job.

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  1. Personally I think the media is providing the general public with oversaturation about Barack Obama on purpose. I just wish he would come out and discuss how he feels about certain issues already...

  2. Well, for now, he's dodging the issues I think for a purpose. However, I agree, he's got to talk about his views eventually. I'm thinking the debates will get him talking.

    I just think the single-minded focus on the black electorate is stupid. Obama is going to get a significant amount of suppport from voters of all races and religions. The black vote will come if he says something that resonates with us. The same goes for votes from others.

    The media clearly either can't or won't look past color.

    Stupid gits.

  3. Hi - a friend of mine ran across your blog and pointed me to it, saying you were the like the black version of me... (Although that may be somewhat superficial, since we're both named Jane and we're both Expats in Korea!) Anyway, I *love* your blog! Laughed and laughed over the idea of me trying to relate to Bush.

    Regarding Obama, my dad brought up an interesting point the other day: The media keeps going on and on about how he is a "black candidate" - My dad's comment was that if his mother is white and his father is black, isn’t he just as much a white candidate as a black one? Of course, most people are going to take one look at this fellow’s skin color and label him black.

  4. The media loves to pigeon hole and label. The Gay vote, The Black vote, The Woman vote, all are put into a box as if we are all of one mind and body.

    It makes no sense. What is the purpose behind that? They really can't be that ignorant as to think we all think alike and act alike, can they?

    I think you have it right with switching the channel.

  5. Hey Jane,

    Actually "ExpatJane" is just my pen name. Well, can you have a pen name for a blog? Maybe my blog name? Oh, whatever, you get it. However, I do like my new name of Jane, but outside of the blog I go by another name ;-)

    Glad to hear I'm getting blog word of mouth...that's cool.

    Yeah, I'm not getting the Obama and black voters thing. I understand talking about it maybe a little because it is interesting to thing about how he comes off differently than the old school civil rights guard like Jackson and Sharpton, and also how he differs from other black candidates.

    However, harping on it just shows me that the press lacks vision and they're showing the world that America is still very much focused way too much on race.

  6. Thanks for your comment Phoenix.

    I think you're dead on correct. It's similar however to when someone asks me "what do black people think of...?" My reply is usually something that lets them know we're different and I won't generalize my race like that. A question like that is sure to get my dividing up people into various demographics and THEN saying what they may or may not think on an issue.

    It's like "What do whites think about John Edwards or Hilary Clinton?" Whites in Boston have a much different attitude than whites in Dallas. Rich whites in Boston have a much different attitude than poor whites in Boston.

    Plus, Obama has a white American mother, so shouldn't they also be looking at his appeal to whites too and writing article after article on how they don't relate to him either?

  7. Expat Jane,

    When white people ask me, "What do black people think about...", I used to do what you do, turning it around by asking what whites think.

    But now:

    1) I will tell them what I think about the issue and say that all black people agree with me.

    2) Then I'll add, "Oh, yeah, and we don't like you."


  8. CJL,

    Thanks for your comment and making me laugh out loud.

    I actually don't go through all of that much. I tend just to look at them with a really confused look on my face, shake my head and change the subject. I think they get it, but, honestly, I hate having to deal with it at all.

    However, I just might try your approach as it seems that one black person can somehow be the spokesperson for what all of us think.


Hey there! Thanks for visiting my blog. It's my first blog, and I'm glad folks are still stopping by even though I'm no longer living in South Korea. Feel free to comment. If you want a personal answer, leave your email, and I won't publish the comment. Nasty comments and spam links will not be tolerated.