Wednesday, September 17, 2008

How Racism Works.

A former parishioner of mine just e-mailed these to me, and I found them so telling I've decided to spread them around as much as I can. Hope all y'all will do the same!

How racism works:

1. What if John McCain were a former president of the Harvard Law Review?
2. What if Barack Obama finished fifth from the bottom of his graduating class?
3. What if McCain were still married to the first woman he said "I do" to?
4. What if Obama were the candidate who left his first wife after she no longer measured up to his standards?

1. What if Michelle Obama were a wife who not only became addicted to pain killers, but acquired them illegally through her charitable organization?
2. What if Cindy McCain graduated from Harvard?
3. What if Obama were a member of the "Keating 5"?
4. What if McCain were a charismatic, eloquent speaker?

If these questions reflected reality, do you really believe the election numbers would be as close as they are? This is what racism does. It covers up, rationalizes and minimizes positive qualities in one candidate and emphasizes negative qualities in another when there is a color difference.

Mary M. Gaylord
Sosland Family Professor of Romance Languages and
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Undergraduate Adviser for Romance Studies
424 Boylston Hall, Harvard Yard
Cambridge MA 02138
Ph: 617-496-6027; Fax: 617-496-4682
Jane R. Dickie
Professor of Psychology and Women's Studies.
Hope College.
Holland, MI 49423


Chalicechick said...

If all those things were true, both McCain and Obama would still seem like less viable candidates than Gore, and both of them would still seem like more viable candidates than George W. Bush.

Racism makes some differences, but it doesn't decide everything.


goodwolve said...

Racism is the elephant in the room when we talk about the election. I wish that both sides would discuss racism in America. I believe it is the wedge that is driving us apart as as a nation.

Chuck B. said...

Thanks for the post.

I have yet to see CC ever cite a current event influenced by white racism against blacks. She says it happens, but everytime an example is pointed out she finds an excuse.

Chalicechick said...


Just this morning I wrote in a response to somone that I hadn't said that white privilege wasn't a factor in the election, I just (a) didn't think it was a deciding factor and (b) thought it was a defeatest thing to be focusing on at a time when defeatism is a really bad idea because we need to be energizing people.

As I wrote at UUMom's blog yesterday, there are absolutely stupid, racist people who are not voting for Obama because he's black, I'm just not that concerned with the stupid racist vote because I don't think it's that big and I don't think the Democrats would have it anyway.

Are stupid people an influence?

Goodness, yes.

But they aren't making the decision by themselves and I think the "Kerry and Gore lost because they are Democrats, but Obama is going to lose because of white privilege" point is going to make Obama supporters like us look like a bunch of whiners to the larger block of people who are undecided and that sort of argument will de-energize people who basically vote for Democrats but aren't 100 percent invested in the liberal cause.


Anonymous said...

Racist people who are not voting for Obama because he is half black will not be the only factor. Let us not forget the Bradley effect.