Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Race in the Race

Harold Ford, Jr. almost became the Junior Senator of the State of Tennessee. There were several reasons he did not, and his race is one of them. It was not the biggest issue, however, and it is possible that America is ready to take the next step in overcoming its single most divisive character flaw... ingrained prejudice.

Ford took a strange turn to the right in his campaign. It was a calculated move that started several years before his actual campaign for the Senate. He came out against gay marriage and went to shooting ranges to fire a pistol. He always chose a chromed revolver, according to the gun nut reports that ridiculed his penchant for bling. And nobody close to him thinks he cares one way or the other what gays do in their private lives. There are far more important issues and he could have chosen to run on them.

Why didn't he make fun of Corker's fence? Heck, Corker had hired Mexicans. The point is that neither of these men ran as their true selves. Corker ran to the right of his beliefs as well, according to an insider I talked to who said he always thought Corker was a Democrat until he ran for office. (Bob Corker is actively drilling into the climate crisis as well as other enviro issues...He may surprise me yet)

Regardless of what they pronounce there is no way to get around the fact that Bob Corker ran a campaign that used race as one of its stanchions. I mean, Having a blonde white chick asking Harold to, "Call me" is about as subtle as an eleven foot ladder leaning on a ten foot fence.

The thought has been with me for some time that racism still exists because of several factors but one of them is that certain people of every race want it to exist. Blacks and Whites are far less different than, say Whites and Japanese at this point, but being Japanese would probably not get mentioned in a contest, certainly not as a negative. In fact, there is no genetic test that determines black or white and almost all of us in America are some combination, as are Harold Ford, Jr. and Barack Obama, and I...and you...Too!

Harold Ford Jr. just married a beautiful white woman. She is also extremely smart and capable, I have been told. The question arises as to how will this affect Harold's possible run for the Governor's office? I think it helps him, not because Emily Ford is white, but because Harold Ford, Jr. is married. The whites, for whom this will be an issue until they die off, will make this an issue, but they would not have voted for Harold anyway. Other's will see Harold as less of a threat on a racial level because he has wed. (I don't want explain that concept to you any further. Figure it out if it's not obvious.)

On the national level, Hillary Clinton tried to walk a razor on Obama's race and failed. She certainly got the bigoted democrat vote and will lose the nomination in part because of that tactic. In the National election the Republicans will also use that tactic and will lose anyway, and by huge numbers. That loss may be the one event that finally puts America over the top with regard to racism.



I found the comments of this Memphis Commercial Appeal article on Harold Ford Jr.'s wife to be enlightening. Bigotry is a human disease that knows no single race.

1 comment:

  1. Nice piece, Steve.

    There are strong race issues to be sure. I guess I don't pay enough attention to them because one, I'm not the target and two, I'm not racial by any stretch of the imagination.
    I'm proud to be Southern, certainly not going to be ashamed of my skin color (white) as many suggest I should, but I judge people on their own, individual merits as long as those merits are known to me.
    Issues so intellectually remiss as skin color, nationality, religious base etc. never come into play.

    There's no doubt that some people were shallow enough to vote Corker because Ford is dark. I voted Lugo because Corker was the Repig and Ford's individual merits as I know them are disgraceful.
    His congressional voting record is miserably flawed and I have seen him with my own eyes run from discourse (muckraker), lie through his teeth (where to begin?), and pander to every side trying to have his cake and eat it too.

    His lack of loyalty to his natural base (Liberal) is the Blue Dog trademark.

    He did far better in that election, for this state, than I ever thought so I doubt racism was the deciding factor. You're right, it has gotten better.

    And in the end, Corker is doing far better, which is not nearly good enough, than expected. Ford would most likely have produced a record that mirrors Corkers.

    Ford turned his back on the Left and Left-Leaning in the party. He lost. Joe Lieberman did the same, and lost.
    Hillary? Same. She lost.

    Maybe one day they'll learn that Howard Dean and the Progressive Democrats have taken over and we're not letting up. Not ever.
    Anyone that can't deal with it can find the door. For every Blue Dog lost we'll find two more new voters that actually believe in things like truth, honesty, honor and peace to replace them with.