Roger L. Simon

Dangerous times ahead: racism in the blogosphere

A post I wrote yesterday about Barack Obama generated a certain amount of heat and close to 200 comments, maybe more at this point.  A fair number of enraged supporters of the candidate started coming in Sunday night–whether by accident or design, it is unclear. But it’s not surprising.  We’re nearing the end of a bloody political campaign.  The atmosphere is certainly hot. Maybe it’s too hot.  As an example, one of the commenters, a certain Marcus, wrote:

Could you just simply say “I’m not going to vote for a nigger!” and get it over with it. All of these bogus guilt by association theories are ridiculous.

Wow… Does this Marcus really believe that?  I didn’t recognize his email address and he probably doesn’t come on my blog often (if ever), but still… His blanket accusation–I assume that’s what it is–that   commenters here oppose Barack Obama because of his skin color is… well… scary.  It augurs terribly for the national mood if McCain actually happens to win in November.

I would urge Marcus (and others like him) to consider that there may be reasons to oppose Barack Obama other than the color of his skin.  Voting for McCain doesn’t make you a racist. This goes beyond the obvious that there are plenty of Republican African American politicians from Michael Steele to Colin Powell who might easily win approval here to the more subtle point that a good number of readers on this blog are long past party politics of any sort and the imputation that we are racially biased is both ridiculous and an insult. It might even contain an element of projection.

Whatever the case, the atmosphere is grim–and not just in the stock market. There are likely dangerous times ahead.  It may be difficult for the likes of Marcus to grasp this, but i have a certain sympathy for Obama, even as I doubt his veracity.  Whoever takes over the White House in January 2009 is not in for a happy experience in the present situation.  Good news-you win.  Bad news-you have to do it. This may actually be a case of the winner loses.

But however you describe it and whatever occurs, the one thing we don’t need is imputations of racism where it doesn’t exist.  Marcus, my friend, abandon your prejudices.  This is not what you think it is.