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Obama and Color-Coded Racial Double Talk

Could racism really keep Barack Obama out of the White House?

by
La Shawn Barber

Bio

August 17, 2008 - 12:51 am
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[E]ven if black turnout rises by 25 percent from 2004 … if Hispanic turnout holds steady … and the under-50 vote rises by 5 percent … the Democrat would still need to win 40 percent of the overall paleface vote to prevail in November …

— John Heilemann

The “paleface vote,” Mr. Heilemann? Very sophisticated. That’ll do wonders for race relations.

In his color-coded article, “The Color-Coded Campaign,” John Heilemann doesn’t just hint that racial prejudice will prevent Barack Obama from winning the White House. He states it directly and without equivocation. The reason America’s first black major party presumptive presidential nominee hasn’t blown out the intractably boring and uninspiring John McCain in the polls, given “surging” Democratic voter registration and voters’ disenchantment with Republicans, is his skin color.

It wouldn’t have anything to do with Obama’s liberal beliefs, inexperience, gaffes, and inconsistencies, would it? No, it’s because he’s black, says Heilemann and other liberals. Lurking just below the surface of any white person’s criticism of Barack Obama is racial bias. Heilemann’s article leaves the impression that Obama longs to take the high road and rise above such distractions; Republicans and other white people just won’t let him.

Obama may want to ignore “the elephant in the room,” says Heilemann, but since his racist detractors are “intent on blackening him,” he can’t avoid it. Instead of ignoring race, which is impossible, Obama needs to “talk about race … without talking about race.” What kind of double talk is that? Can the other side talk about Obama’s race without talking about Obama’s race? This is what we’ve come to in America. Race isn’t an elephant in the room. We see it and we’re talking about it. We can’t stop talking about it, including the man himself.

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