Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Why won't some people vote for Obama?

An article in yesterday's Washington Post makes it clear that some white voters don't vote for Obama because he's black (or because they believe the lie that he's a radical Muslim) - Racist Incidents Give Some Obama Campaigners Pause. Campaigners for Obama in some states have run into rank racism.

Victoria Switzer, a retired social studies teacher, was on phone-bank duty one night during the Pennsylvania primary campaign. One night was all she could take: "It wasn't pretty." She made 60 calls to prospective voters in Susquehanna County, her home county, which is 98 percent white. The responses were dispiriting. One caller, Switzer remembers, said he couldn't possibly vote for Obama and concluded: "Hang that darky from a tree!"

Documentary filmmaker Rory Kennedy, the daughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy, said she, too, came across "a lot of racism" when campaigning for Obama in Pennsylvania. One Pittsburgh union organizer told her he would not vote for Obama because he is black, and a white voter, she said, offered this frank reason for not backing Obama: "White people look out for white people, and black people look out for black people."

On another race that's being decided tonight - in the Mississippi first congressional district, the Democrat (Childers) is defeating the Republican (Davis) 53% to 47%, with 58% of the vote counted. It would be remarkable if Childers defeated Davis, as this article from Talking Points Memo describes.


  1. I don't know why any of us should be surprised that racism still exists and with some intensity. I am always surprised when people are shocked that antisemitism, which is just racism against Jews, has not disappeared. (By the way, I have heard black people say that it does not matter if he gets elected President because they will certainly kill him anyway, so his Presidency isn't going to last. Sorry if that is depressing, but it is what they are saying.)

    It is all the more shocking to me that there were would be surprise about the continued existence of raicsm when, in fact, we never fight racism (any form of it) on a deep level. What we generally do as a society, including scholars, is make some efforts to tame the more violent expressions of it and even outlaw such extremism. That is worth doing. But racism is a deep emotional problem that goes back for many centuries. A centuries old illness does not disappear that fast or easily — especially if we do not fight it on the deepest levels but only superficially to make social life more liveable. It is extremely difficult to get people to face unconscious forces and to deal with them. Racism will be around for many more generations. But an effort like Obama's is tremendously worthwhile because he will make it that much easier for the next one who tries, just as Hillary Clinton has paved the way for all future women candidates.

    Leon Zitzer

  2. Friends, co-workers, and associates have often said I am blind to the confrontations of racism. I can definitely say I am grateful that I am. When I have been rejected in the past for a job, position, or to associate, I always thought it was a normal thing that confronts anyone; no matter the culture, age, economic status, ethnic, or gender. I just looked at it as the bases of qualification. If all of us would face racism that way, we as a people would become smarter, educational; whether spiritual or naturally. I believe God has a solution to every problem and has the know how to break even the strongest rejection and bring truth to it.
    Obama, didn't just position himself on his own to be position for the highest and the most power job in America. A community of people who are just ordinary citizens made it happen. People with a good heart, a sound mind, and a love of people made have also made this good thing happen. Hillary with all her ability was the engine to also make this new dream to America possible. And I'm sure there are other who will help Obama get to the presidency, whether it's on their own merit or just the negative friction aganist a positive needed for anything to into existance on this earth.
    I hate racism whether hidden or out in the open, but it does causes those who want to do better become better.