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Monday, February 11, 2008

More of My Musings on Obama, Black vs Brown and Immigration

Well as everyone is probably aware of by now, Senator Obama won sweeping victories in the last three primaries-Louisiana, Nebraska and Washington with favorable predictions for tomorrow's primaries. Unfortunately, one matter that has not been analyzed in the media is the paradox of Obama's appeal with White Americans juxtaposed with a perceived disconnect with Latin and Asian communities. What makes this phenomena ironic was the perception that White folk would be the obvious wedge preventing Obama from opening the White House door when in fact it may be folks of color, hence the paradox. And perhaps more importantly-how can this be rectified? One would probably surmise that any tensions between people of color stem from a media contrived fight for preferred minority status or what I like to call the fight for massah's scraps. If we can refrain from playing this game of who is the favorite minority and fight for individual acceptance and a negation of an identity based political paradigm, then perhaps these aforementioned tensions would cease. And also if we start to hear more from our naturalized American citizens and less from those who speak for (and use euphemisms such as undocumented immigrants) illegal aliens, matters might improve. One could only hope. Here's more from 411mania.com:

The story so far…

While Hillary herself hasn't explicitly played the race card, her husband and ex-POTUS Bill made a mess of things when he compared Obama's South Carolina primary victory to Jesse Jackson's S.C. wins in 1984 and 1988. It was the political equivalent of saying "All black people look the same to me." But if you're going to play the race card in a presidential campaign, you might as well enlist America's "first black president" to do your dirty work.

Through Bill, Hillary's campaign was able to play the race card with enough deniability that the MSM wouldn't hold it against her too much. And in fact, nearly all MSM coverage of Obama's S.C. win noted that he received overwhelming support from his fellow African-Americans, which nicely tagged Obama with the "identity politics" label even though Barack has refrained from making race an issue. Unfortunately, the demographic reality of a Democrat primary campaign means that Hillary needs identity politics to be a factor. African-Americans vote 90% Democrat, and it stands to reason that Obama will continue to draw support from a majority of the black electorate. Since Hillary can't win among African-American voters, she has to win over voters from other constituencies within the Democrat coalition, preferably voters predisposed to identity politics:

In a 2006 study that ten academic researchers conducted of various racial groups' attitudes in Durham, North Carolina, 59 percent of Latino immigrants said that few or no blacks were hardworking, and 57 percent said that few or no blacks could be trusted. By contrast, only 9 percent of whites said that blacks weren't hardworking, and only 10 percent said that they couldn't be trusted.

I don't know if Hillary is familiar with that particular study, but she must be aware of its implications. After the New Hampshire primary, Clinton pollster Sergio Bendixen famously quipped that "the Hispanic voter – and I want to say this very carefully – has not shown a lot of willingness or affinity to support black candidates."

And for more from 411mania, click below:

Are Hispanic American Voters Racist?

And check out another article which attempts to analyze the alleged Black/Brown impasse:

Black vs. Brown: There’s Nothing Minor About Either ‘Minority’

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