My Wake-up Call: Racism Will Affect the Outcome of this Election.

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.

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9 Comments

Filed under Educating myself, Election, McCain, Obama, Politics, Racism, Raising Awareness, Reality check

9 responses to “My Wake-up Call: Racism Will Affect the Outcome of this Election.

  1. “I am a worried, disappointed, bugged out, STRESS case, right now.”

    Uh, yeah, that pretty much sums it all up for me too. Thanks for the summary of all the tidbits that are out there. I appreciate that we’re all finally starting to talk about it. Let’s hope that we don’t find ourselves horrified when the the results come rolling in on election night.

  2. You summed it all up for me too. I usually get all worked up around election time as it is, but given all the global economic woes I am just soooo stressed with it all. Thinking of moving back to the UK and hiding out in the highlands of Scotland!

  3. I’m a white girl too. I was ignorant about racism too until last year. My oldest son is half black. Last year in preschool (yes preschool!), a girl made remarks a total of 3 different times. She didn’t want to play with him because he was black. She even told other kids not to play with him. My son is a sensitive boy and WOW! We had many talks about appearance versus your heart and mind. I was shocked this happened in preschool and so blatant!

    Shannon
    Vogue Mum
    Rock Star Maternity
    Domestic Engineer’s Union

  4. Shannon – Thanks for your reply. Your story reminds me so much of a boy in my son’s class last year wouldn’t wear anything but pants to school (we live in FL so we always wear shorts here) because he was shy about his “brown skin”. His mother was besides herself. It starts so damn young and certainly can’t come from no where. You sound like an amazing mom keeping those conversations going, but its so discouraging to hear.

    Karen – Is there room in Scotland for me? 🙂 I shouldn’t be a “fairweather” citizen but have been pretty freaked out recently.

    Kelley – I can’t even imagine what sort of freak I am going to be on election night…

  5. I’m right there with ya, honey. Okay, maybe not quite as clueless, but just as idealistic. : ) Let’s keep on hoping, and you just keep on speaking up. I’m so proud of you for expressing your views and making them known.

  6. I am just as stressed out. I am amazed at the rampant racism I feel in subtle ways. Two steps back for every step we take. It is so disheartening.

  7. I 100% agree with you on this. There have been some downright scary things said about Obama at McCain rallies. I have heard McCain respond to at least one of these hateful spewings, but the Republican party in general is doing nothing to calm the irrational calls of people calling Obama an “Arab” and a “terrorist.” It’s actually scary how uneducated people are in this country and it keeps me awake at night too.

    Great post. This is a very important issue that you are bringing attention to here. Thanks for doing that.

  8. The hate just keeps getting scarier and scarier.

  9. Florida Mom

    The only racism I have seen during this election is from the black race. Over 60% of Obama’s votes came from whites but look at the stats from blacks. In some areas over 97% of blacks voted for Obama. Are you telling me he was 97% qualified? Get real. He has socialist views and is pro choice. I vote Rep because I believe any country that kills babies will continue to have their children in unsafe schools and will be handed over to the enemy. Give me a black rep who is not a socialist and is pro life and he would have received my vote. Black or white is not a qualification of who holds the highest office in this nation. Simple minds make simple unfounded decisions. We will reap what we sow. You need to pray for our national security because this man has know experience or idea what he has taken on. God be with us. My flag is at half staff mourning the unborn babies that were never given the choice.

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