In case you’re new to these parts, here’s a news flash: I’m white. And I have been deeply in denial about a certain issue in this election for far too long. Racism and discrimination. Because I am white, it has been fairly easy to live in a happy little “we all get along in this world” fog of denial, thinking that our country would never discriminate against a political candidate based on the color of his skin. Oh no… never. Or discriminate against a candidate based on – cough, sputter, you’ve got to be kidding me here – the sort of his name he has. Impossible.
Wake up, white girl. We’re in big trouble here.
Besides the warnings from my friends of color here and abroad, here are some recent news stories and videos that have slapped some sense into me about racism in our election.
First of all, this study. It found that 40% of white Americans have at least a “partly negative view towards blacks”. And this would also include one third (ONE THIRD!) of democrats and independents. That happy “la-la land fog” I am living in is clearing up right quick.
Second of all, Pundit Mom has clued us all in once again. If you are living in the same little land of denial I have been, please – I beg you – watch these videos she posted. They are eye opening and outrageous.
And then finally, Rachel Maddow examined the Bradley Effect last night. She explained the effect by which folks might SAY they are not voting based on race – however, in the privacy of their own voting booth, they do in fact vote based on race. While the video of these McCain rallies seen on her show and on PunditMom’s site strike cold fear deep in my heart, the science behind this social tendency was somewhat fascinating to learn about (maybe in a “gotta look at the car crash” kind of way). But I don’t think she or I were talked off our ledges about this very scary possibility.
And can I please put in a sidebar here? I do NOT – I repeat – I do NOT believe that all republicans are racist. No. That would be extremely close-minded of me. But obviously (see above), there are racists that happen to be both republicans and democrats. However, for the McCain folks to try and fan the flames of discrimination in their rallies – not only by what they are saying, but by what they are NOT saying- well, they should be ashamed of themselves. I don’t care how desperate they are to win. If I were a repub, I’d be outraged.
So, the bottomline is, I am scared of how much our country ACTUALLY DOES (insert a huge “duh” for this white girl) discriminate. I am scared by our country’s seething hate for all things different. I am scared that while current polls happen to be in favor of Obama, he could loose based on the very simple fact that he is black and he has a funny name.
Wow. … Some awesome “world power” we are. We suck. And DON’T TELL ME that this is the stuff of human nature, or thats this is just “the way it is”. It’s inexcusable, it’s hateful, it’s outrageous and I need to be very careful not to fade back into my little fog of denial (which is part of the entire problem in its own right).
Phew. I am a worried, disappointed, bugged out, STRESS case right now.
I know I promised I would try to chill out about this election more. I know I promised to turn off the news after 8pm. Nope, I am still not sleeping well. And it is THIS topic that is keeping me awake at night. I am hoping this post is a “worry purge” of sorts. Next topic will be zen-like, I promise. Selfishly, for my sanity – even more than yours.
Peace, my friends.