Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Obama confronts U.S. legacy of racial division | The Journal Gazette

In fact, a similar anger exists within segments of the white community. Most working- and middle-class white Americans don’t feel that they have been particularly privileged by their race. Their experience is the immigrant experience – as far as they’re concerned, no one’s handed them anything, they’ve built it from scratch. They’ve worked hard all their lives, many times only to see their jobs shipped overseas or their pension dumped after a lifetime of labor.

They are anxious about their futures, and feel their dreams slipping away; in an era of stagnant wages and global competition, opportunity comes to be seen as a zero sum game, in which your dreams come at my expense. So when they are told to bus their children to a school across town; when they hear that an African American is getting an advantage in landing a good job or a spot in a good college because of an injustice that they themselves never committed; when they’re told that their fears about crime in urban neighborhoods are somehow prejudiced, resentment builds over time.

Like the anger within the black community, these resentments aren’t always expressed in polite company. But they have helped shape the political landscape for at least a generation. Anger over welfare and affirmative action helped forge the Reagan Coalition. Politicians routinely exploited fears of crime for their own electoral ends. Talk show hosts and conservative commentators built entire careers unmasking bogus claims of racism while dismissing legitimate discussions of racial injustice and inequality as mere political correctness or reverse racism.

Just as black anger often proved counterproductive, so have these white resentments distracted attention from the real culprits of the middle class squeeze – a corporate culture rife with inside dealing, questionable accounting practices, and short-term greed; a Washington dominated by lobbyists and special interests; economic policies that favor the few over the many. And yet, to wish away the resentments of white Americans, to label them as misguided or even racist, without recognizing they are grounded in legitimate concerns – this too widens the racial divide, and blocks the path to understanding. This is where we are right now. It’s a racial stalemate we’ve been stuck in for years.

This is just a section of Obama's speech. It's like he read the mind of this white blue collar worker, of course I can't say it because then I'm racist, or a woman hater because I just don't get this warm fuzzy feeling from Hillary.


  1. LET'S TALK said...
    I think that the speech was honest and said what a lot of us feel but will not say in public.

    I just cannot believe how many people did not get it for whatever reason.

    Maybe it's too late for this country or maybe it's the talking heads doing their job.

    I watched cspan today and I was just shocked that so many came away with a negative thought from Obama's speech.

    We believed a lie and some still carry that lie as truth for whatever reason. Even though that lie has caused death and a country that is almost in a recession.

    I just hope we can get things together before the next election because I cannot see America going through another four years of war and lies and death.
    Parson said...
    That's what I got out of reading the whole speech. He's saying what nobody can really say out loud anymore unless we want to be branded a racist.
    LET'S TALK said...
    I know that you have saw the video of McCain not even knowing the people who are being trained by Iran and had to be corrected by Liebermann. This lets me know that we had better get off this one candidate thing and support whomever gets the nomination in the Democratic party or we can stand by for more of the same of what we see now.

Post a Comment