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> The vote in 08, race and motivation-right or wrong?
Royucker
post Nov 6 2008, 02:58 PM
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Indications are that we have seen a very large increase in voter registration and turnout in general and in particular among blacks and younger voters. Conventional wisdom is that at least part of the reason for this increase was because Obama was the first black candidate of a major party and/or that had a real shot at becoming president.
If the conclusion that race was indeed the catalyst for this “excitement” among the electorate is correct I think it raises some very interesting questions.

I am not interested, here at least, in debating the numbers or motivations of any of these “groups”, nor do I care to raise the hackles of anyone by making statements based on my interpretations so if I may, I would like to pose the following question, based on a hypothetical.

Premise:
1) Larger participation by blacks who were more interested or excited in this election because there was a black man running.
2) Anecdotal evidence that at least some whites ( my neighbor in particular) who believed that “it was time we have a black man in the high office”
3) The supposition by the media that in the primaries in PA for example that Obama was having trouble getting the “uneducated, working class, white, male vote” (inferred meaning, stupid white racist)


Question for debate:
If certain people voted for Obama because he was a black man and if others voted against Obama because he was a black man.

Was either wrong?

Who was wrong?

Does it really matter why they voted the way they did?

Would your answers to the first three questions be any different if I removed "black" and inserted "woman"?
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turnea
post Nov 9 2008, 04:58 AM
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QUOTE(net2007)
I quoted everything you said specifically, before I even launched my response, but whatever you say Turnea. First your complaining about ad hominems, then its a straw man argument, then its a lie. I'm just disagreeing with the point you brought up, and I quoted it before I did so.

Then you made some additions of your own to my argument (which you placed in quotation marks, just who were you quoting?).

That's what straw man means.

Then you pretended that you didn't.

That would be the lie.

QUOTE(net2007)
Yea Hillary had some support from blacks, but I don't think it can be shown that Hillary ever had more support than Obama at any time in this election

QUOTE(Time @ Jan 2007)
Early polls show Hillary Clinton far ahead of Obama among black voters (a CBS News poll gave Clinton 52% of the vote vs. 28% for Obama), although this in part reflects her extremely high name recognition.

Can Obama Count On the Black Vote?
QUOTE(Politico)
In an ABC News/Washington Post poll taken in mid-January, Clinton received 53 percent of African-Americans' support; Obama received 27 percent. The poll also found 85 percent of blacks view Clinton favorably, while 12 percent view her unfavorably. Only 59 percent of African-Americans said they had a favorable opinion of Obama, to 19 percent with an unfavorable opinion.

Clinton Woos Black Vote, Targets Obama
QUOTE(Huffington Post @ Oct 2007)
Clinton's real aim was to send a big, forceful message to chief Democratic presidential campaign rival Barack Obama that she, not he, is the real civil rights candidate. Judging from the polls the message has been received. During the early months after both tossed their hats in the presidential ring, Clinton and Obama ran side by side in the avowed admiration and loyalty blacks gave the pair. In a June 2007 Gallup poll, blacks by 8 to 1 margins had favorable views of both them.

When it comes to who they'll actually vote for, it's no contest. Hillary gaps Obama with black women voters, especially lower income, working class black women. Nearly three times more black women say they'll back Hillary over him. She is a woman, mother, and most importantly is regarded by many black women as a strong advocate for health care and women's interests.

But Hillary also runs neck and neck with Obama in the race to net the overall votes of blacks.

Why Hillary Trumps Obama with Black Voters

Hillary had the black vote, then she lost it.

QUOTE(net2007)
I didn't blame race for corruption, I said that whether or not a candidate did well, and was viable, they got elected based on race. There is no doubt that there have been black politicians that have performed poorly in the New Orleans area. I explained this before in the forum I gave you the link for. Does it mean they performed poorly because they are black? No, it just means many of them performed poorly.

Then what does their race have to do with it?

Where the white candidates necessarily less corrupt? Where there no honest black candidates?

Did no two black candidate ever run against on another?
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net2007
post Nov 9 2008, 06:07 AM
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turnea
QUOTE
QUOTE(net2007)
I quoted everything you said specifically, before I even launched my response, but whatever you say Turnea. First your complaining about ad hominems, then its a straw man argument, then its a lie. I'm just disagreeing with the point you brought up, and I quoted it before I did so.

Then you made some additions of your own to my argument (which you placed in quotation marks, just who were you quoting?).

That's what straw man means.

Then you pretended that you didn't.

That would be the lie.


Yes, after I quoted your response directly and word for word, I added some of my thoughts on it when I replied. Thats called a debate Turnea. Most of those who would vote for Obama because he's black would be black, while most who would vote for McCain because he's white would probably be white, what about that is a lie? By the way, since your asking, in Post #16, in my reply I separated those parts with quotation marks because they were added thoughts by me. I did that to separate it from what you said, and mind you that was after I quoted it word for word so this is silly. Recently every time I disagree with you claim its either a straw man argument, a racist remark, an ad hominem, or a lie and its getting old.

Anyway I'll reply to the rest of your last post tomorrow.

This post has been edited by net2007: Nov 9 2008, 06:11 AM
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JohnfrmCleveland
post Nov 9 2008, 06:58 AM
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QUOTE(turnea @ Nov 8 2008, 10:59 AM) *
QUOTE(JohnfrmCleveland)
I don't know that you could call either vote "wrong." Misguided, yes.

You can't consider voting against Barack Obama out of racism wrong?

I think what gets me here is the equivocating.

Voting for Barack Obama because you see merit in the idea of the first black president is not racism.

Voting against Barack Obama because he is black is racism.

Racism is wrong.

Not being able to make that distinction is simply a case of willful ignorance.


Sorry about the "equivocation," but I'm an attorney. We are trained to be careful with our wording. Not taking absolute, unyielding stands helps us reach agreements instead of continuing arguments. (Ever notice how long many of these threads go on forever with no debater ever giving ground, or even conceding a single point? Nobody is correct 100% of the time.)

We are also trained to carefully consider the other side's argument before we fly off and declare them wrong. Nowhere did I declare that racism wasn't a bad thing. And it is not a case of willful ignorance, either - my words were carefully chosen. People vote the way they do for many reasons. A lot of them may seem stupid or wrong to you, but they are reasons nonetheless, and they collectively lead people to vote the way they do. Calling someone's vote "wrong" is like stating that chicken tastes better than beef. You would be better served listening to the bigot and trying to understand his thinking than simply declaring him wrong. That gets you nowhere.

If a bigoted man refuses to vote for Obama because he is black, that guy obviously has some concerns. Is he misguided? Almost certainly. Is he exercising bad judgment? Probably. Is he "wrong" in choosing McCain over Obama? No more "wrong" than someone who voted against Obama because he lacked years of experience. No more "wrong" than the guy who would never vote Democrat. No more "wrong" than the guy who would never vote Republican. You see, you may not like or agree with a person's reasons, but that does not make them incorrect. Can you state with total certainty that all of your reasons and all of your motivations are right? Are all of your predictions going to come true? Of course not.
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turnea
post Nov 9 2008, 01:25 PM
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QUOTE(JohnfrmCleveland)
Sorry about the "equivocation," but I'm an attorney. We are trained to be careful with our wording. Not taking absolute, unyielding stands helps us reach agreements instead of continuing arguments. (Ever notice how long many of these threads go on forever with no debater ever giving ground, or even conceding a single point? Nobody is correct 100% of the time.)

Indeed, but agreeing and being correct typically have little in common.

Arbitration typically comes down to what both sides can stand.

What is "right" is at best a tertiary concern.

Debate is a bit more logically rigorous, it's not about reaching agreement so much as a sound conclusion.

QUOTE(JohnfrmCleveland)
Nowhere did I declare that racism wasn't a bad thing.

Hold that thought....

QUOTE(JohnfrmCleveland)
Calling someone's vote "wrong" is like stating that chicken tastes better than beef.

Ah, so racism is wrong, but acting out of racism is not necessarily wrong?

Does that accurately describe your argument?

QUOTE(JohnfrmCleveland)
You would be better served listening to the bigot and trying to understand his thinking than simply declaring him wrong. That gets you nowhere.


I think history shows it's actually the only thing that has gotten us anywhere with bigotry.

QUOTE(JohnfrmCleveland)
Can you state with total certainty that all of your reasons and all of your motivations are right? Are all of your predictions going to come true? Of course not.

Indeed, but right and wrong are much larger concepts than myself.

If I'm wrong.. then I'm wrong and no amount of "concern" on my part can change that.

QUOTE(net2007)
Yes, after I quoted your response directly and word for word, I added some of my thoughts on it when I replied. Thats called a debate Turnea.

Not when you falsely characterize someone's argument. That's a straw man.

QUOTE(net2007)
Most of those who would vote for Obama because he's black would be black, while most who would vote for McCain because he's white would probably be white, what about that is a lie?

It's a presumption but in any case that's not the lie I was referring to.

It was attempting to characterize my own argument in these terms that you invented and then pretending you didn't.

QUOTE(net2007)
By the way, since your asking, in Post #16, in my reply I separated those parts with quotation marks because they were added thoughts by me.

Ah, this is a grammar problem.

That's not what quotation marks are for, what you were likely attempting was a parenthetical. Typically accomplished with parentheses.

Either way you should clearly separate your own argument from another debater's, otherwise you will be twisting his or her words which is... well you get the idea.

QUOTE(net2007)
Recently every time I disagree with you claim its either a straw man argument, a racist remark, an ad hominem, or a lie and its getting old.

If you would not like to be called out on fallacious arguments. I would suggest not using them.
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overlandsailor
post Nov 9 2008, 01:33 PM
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QUOTE(Royucker @ Nov 6 2008, 08:58 AM) *
Question for debate:
If certain people voted for Obama because he was a black man and if others voted against Obama because he was a black man.

Was either wrong?

Who was wrong?

Does it really matter why they voted the way they did?

Would your answers to the first three questions be any different if I removed "black" and inserted "woman"?


I don't know that you can really get to any underlying issues in this topic because I don't think you can separate political ideology, party, and/or stated goals from this election. If President-Elect Obama had campaigned on a platform of full support for the policies and politics of the last eight years and promised to continue them as President it would not have mattered if he was purple with yellow poka-dots he would have lost this election.

If someone voted against Senator Obama because he was black, or because he had Muslin heritage in his background and no other reason, then that person, IMHO was morally wrong and a bigot.

If someone voted for Senator Obama because was black, or because he had Muslin heritage in his background and no other reason, then that person was potentially misguided, but only in the same way that people are often misguided when voting.

Outside of this website I know precious few people who actually care about issues, research candidates, etc. I know people who vote for one candidate over another because he/she iis cute, because they are from their hometown, because they saw them tell a funny joke at a union hall speech once, because they are the same religion, same party, are a friend of a friend, or enjoy the same hobbies. None of these are wise ways to choose an elected official yet they are the ways the majority of people I know (that bother to vote) make their choices. If someone chose to support Senator Obama because he would be the first Black President and thought that was a cool thing, it's simply more of the same.

In the sense of voting rights, neither was wrong. Morally however, I have a huge issue with those who chose to vote for someone other than Senator Obama simply because of his skin color or his father's religious or geographic heritage.

My answers would be no different no matter what, non-ideological concept you replaced the word "black" with.

What amazes me about this election is how LITTLE race actually had to do with it.

I live in Missouri, where the concept of "Hillbilly"s came from. I know a number of rural folks who say sad things like "Well yea he's black,, but he's one of the good ones" when referring to a friend /neighbor, that voted for Senator Obama because they believed he was the most likely to make things better for them. Out-right racists voting for a black candidate out of self-interest. It floors me.

As a side note: Though the above is obviously not a majority opinion of the conservative residents of rural Missouri, the percentages of people in rural Missouri counties that went for Senator McCain over Senator Obama are very similar to the percentages that went for President Bush vs. Senator Kerry in 2004. This suggests the possibility that ideological rather than racial considerations were in play (though it's likely a bit of both) IMHO.

I also have some black friends who are politically conservative that voted against him, donated money to other candidates and in one case knocked doors relentlessly to support Senator McCain. This despite that fact that to a person these same folks all say how amazing it is to have an African-American elected president, how great they feel about it, and how much they love what this does for their children's perceptions of the country and their potential future.

Personally, I voted for him because he convinced me that he was the man for the job, that he cared, that he could be trusted, and that he would bring a new less-partisan approach to the white house. The fact that he was black had nothing to do with it. Though I admit the idea that we will have our first Black President is cool. cool.gif

Edited: to correct context in the side note.

This post has been edited by overlandsailor: Nov 9 2008, 04:48 PM
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Mrs. Pigpen
post Nov 9 2008, 02:59 PM
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Wow. Well, I'm sure I'll get thrown some tomatoes but here it goes....

If certain people voted for Obama because he was a black man and if others voted against Obama because he was a black man. Was either wrong?

No

Who was wrong?

Neither. Everyone should vote in his/her interest, for the best candidate based on his/her personal opinion. If that means not voting for a woman because you think she might suffer from PMS during a meeting with an hostile nation/ her finger on the nuke button/ whatever, I don't believe in voting against one's conscious because it's politically correct to do so. There's too much at stake when we're speaking about the person who rules at the top of (still, though sagging) the most powerful country on the planet. If you think a black man might not incur sufficient respect and/or work against your personal interests that has to be factored into the equation. To not do so is counter to the survival instinct.

It's cost to gains. What happened is huge. Obama is the first minority leader elected, not only in this country, but in the entire first world. That's one good reason to have voted for him. He has brought us a tremendous amount of international goodwill and personifies that American dream. That's another good reason to have voted for him. There is racism throughout the world, and his race MIGHT have an adverse impact as well as the beneficial impact stated above. All of this should be weighed when voting or not voting for Obama. Neither is 'right' or 'wrong'.


Edited to add: I stand corrected, as Disraeli was a minority. Obama is the first minority leader elected to a first world country in well over a century.

This post has been edited by Mrs. Pigpen: Nov 9 2008, 03:37 PM
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turnea
post Nov 9 2008, 03:35 PM
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QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen)
Wow. Well, I'm sure I'll get thrown some tomatoes but here it goes....

Naw, fresh questions though.

QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen)
Neither. Everyone should vote in his/her interest, for the best candidate based on his/her personal opinion. If that means not voting for a woman because you think she might suffer from PMS during a meeting with an hostile nation/ her finger on the nuke button/ whatever, I don't believe in voting against one's conscious because it's politically correct to do so.

Is there some inherent value in acting according to conscious no matter how debased that conscious might be?

QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen)
To not do so is counter to the survival instinct.

Countering instinct is what makes us smart.

QUOTE(Mrs Pigpen)
Obama is the first minority leader elected, not only in this country, but in the entire first world.

I think that's Disraeli, but that's a quibble.
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Mrs. Pigpen
post Nov 9 2008, 03:56 PM
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QUOTE(turnea @ Nov 9 2008, 10:35 AM) *
QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen)
Neither. Everyone should vote in his/her interest, for the best candidate based on his/her personal opinion. If that means not voting for a woman because you think she might suffer from PMS during a meeting with an hostile nation/ her finger on the nuke button/ whatever, I don't believe in voting against one's conscious because it's politically correct to do so.

Is there some inherent value in acting according to conscious no matter how debased that conscious might be?


According to the law, yes. Those whose values you feel are 'debased' have as equal right to vote their conscious as you do (unless they're locked up in prison).

QUOTE
QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen)
To not do so is counter to the survival instinct.

Countering instinct is what makes us smart.


Not necessary, and probably not usually.

If you believe that Obama won on his merits, rather than race, this is not a good issue to argue. Obama has been handed an excrement pie. I wouldn't take this job for all the wealth in Saudi. As has been noted, Obama's race hardly entered his campaign for election at all. Now that he has won, that seems to be everything. "Black man won election!" It's condescending. He won because people believe his is the better man. What are we squabbling over? He is coming to power when the nation is on the verge of financial crisis, in the middle of two large military campaigns. I don't want anyone blaming Obama's race WHEN something goes wrong here, not if. He's only human.
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Bikerdad
post Nov 9 2008, 05:31 PM
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QUOTE(overlandsailor)
If someone voted against Senator Obama because he was black, or because he had Muslin heritage in his background and no other reason, then that person, IMHO was morally wrong and a bigot.

If someone voted for Senator Obama because was black, or because he had Muslin heritage in his background and no other reason, then that person was potentially misguided, but only in the same way that people are often misguided when voting.


And that, my friends, is one reason why racism is still alive in this country. The idiotic belief that its okay to be preferential towards someone because of their race (pretty much invariably minority), but not okay to oppose someone because of their race. Just how absurd is OS's statement? Flip it around.

If someone voted for Senator Obama because he was black, or because he had Muslin heritage in his background and no other reason, then that person, IMHO was morally wrong and a bigot.

If someone voted against Senator Obama because was black, or because he had Muslin heritage in his background and no other reason, then that person was potentially misguided, but only in the same way that people are often misguided when voting.


or this one:
If someone voted for Senator McCain because he was white, or because he had Christian heritage in his background and no other reason, then that person, IMHO was morally wrong and a bigot.

Its pretty much like an algebraic equation using just addition and subtraction. It doesn't matter how you rearrange the elements on the left side of the equals, on the right side, you get the same answer. Racism.

Racism is not the belief that blacks are inferior, or that Chinese are clever, or that Mexicans are lazy, or that whites are evil. Nor is racism the belief that blacks are better athletes, and Mexicans are all Speedy Gonzalez, or whites are industriuous. Those are all merely expressions of racism.

Racism is the belief that race matters, that there is something inherently and meaningfully different on a moral level because of race, irrelevant to behavior.

If you want to claim (implied or explicit) that there's "good" racism and "bad" racism have at it, but at least have the deceny (ironic term to use here, all things considered) to not blow smoke up folks tailpipes when you make that claim.

Mrs P is making the same point I made, only in more depth and with more vigor. In doing so, she is drawing a conclusion on a moral question. Which is worse, racism, or denying that everyone's views have equal standing at the ballot box?
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overlandsailor
post Nov 9 2008, 05:44 PM
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QUOTE(Bikerdad @ Nov 9 2008, 11:31 AM) *
QUOTE(overlandsailor)
If someone voted against Senator Obama because he was black, or because he had Muslin heritage in his background and no other reason, then that person, IMHO was morally wrong and a bigot.

If someone voted for Senator Obama because was black, or because he had Muslin heritage in his background and no other reason, then that person was potentially misguided, but only in the same way that people are often misguided when voting.


And that, my friends, is one reason why racism is still alive in this country. The idiotic belief that its okay to be preferential towards someone because of their race (pretty much invariably minority), but not okay to oppose someone because of their race. Just how absurd is OS's statement?


Well, perhaps if you included the examples of similar thinking that were used to illustrate how this thinking is most likely based on reasoning other than racism it would be easier to understand. For your review:

QUOTE(overlandsailor @ Nov 9 2008, 07:33 AM) *
If someone voted against Senator Obama because he was black, or because he had Muslin heritage in his background and no other reason, then that person, IMHO was morally wrong and a bigot.

If someone voted for Senator Obama because was black, or because he had Muslin heritage in his background and no other reason, then that person was potentially misguided, but only in the same way that people are often misguided when voting.

Outside of this website I know precious few people who actually care about issues, research candidates, etc. I know people who vote for one candidate over another because he/she iis cute, because they are from their hometown, because they saw them tell a funny joke at a union hall speech once, because they are the same religion, same party, are a friend of a friend, or enjoy the same hobbies. None of these are wise ways to choose an elected official yet they are the ways the majority of people I know (that bother to vote) make their choices. If someone chose to support Senator Obama because he would be the first Black President and thought that was a cool thing, it's simply more of the same.


Cherry picking can be a fun exercise I guess but it hardly promotes reasonable discussion about complex issues.

Edited to Add: I was not suggesting that there is "good racism" or "bad racism". I was suggesting (among other things) that someone's choice to vote for President-Elect Obama because he's an African-American could be based on something other than racism.

Is it racist to vote for someone based only on the fact that they would be the first (fill in the blank)?


This post has been edited by overlandsailor: Nov 9 2008, 05:52 PM
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AuthorMusician
post Nov 9 2008, 06:22 PM
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Does it really matter why they voted the way they did?

I don't concern myself with situations over which I have absolutely no control. Is it right or wrong, for me that is, to vote a single issue based on race, gender or age? It is wrong.

Other people need to make up their own minds on what's moral or not moral, or neutral, about voting on the basis of race, gender or age -- or religion, or economic philosophy or whatever single issue it is. My decision has been to go past the individual candidate and look into the party platform. My advice to everyone else is to do something similar, and that's as far as it can ever go. I have no power to make horses drink.
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turnea
post Nov 9 2008, 07:43 PM
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QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen)
According to the law, yes. Those whose values you feel are 'debased' have as equal right to vote their conscious as you do (unless they're locked up in prison).

Just because something is allowed does not mean it is valuable.

We allow it because it is not our right to ban it (and because we could be the wrong ones).

But there is no inherent value in hate speech or hate acts.

QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen)
Not necessary, and probably not usually.

I disagree.

There is a difference between obeying primal survival instincts and using reason with goal of survival in mind.

When a person has chickenpox the instinct is to scratch.

Acting on that instinct causes scars at best and secondary infection at worst.

A racist may have instincts, but as overlandsailor noted, they can also use reason to act in their interests counter to those instincts.

This post has been edited by turnea: Nov 9 2008, 08:18 PM
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Bikerdad
post Nov 9 2008, 08:51 PM
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QUOTE(overlandsailor @ Nov 9 2008, 11:44 AM) *
If someone chose to support Senator Obama because he would be the first Black President and thought that was a cool thing, it's simply more of the same.[/b]

I was suggesting (among other things) that someone's choice to vote for President-Elect Obama because he's an African-American could be based on something other than racism.

Is it racist to vote for someone based only on the fact that they would be the first (fill in the blank)?
Yes, it is racist, because it endorses the notion that there is something inherently different or valuable about that racial factor, assuming, of course, that you fill the blank in with a racial category. As racism goes, its fairly mild. Yet you can't get around it, the deciding factor is race. If someone were to have voted for McCain because he would be the first American President who was ever a prisoner of war, then that would be making an implied assertion that there was something special about being a POW.

In a similar fashion, it is racist to vote for Obama because of white guilt. Doing so endorses the idea that there is something inherent in Obama that is going to expiate one's sins of slavery and Jim Crow. The problem is the only "tangible" connection between the white voter today and the antebellum slaveholder is skin color, just as the only connection between Obama and the slave is skin color. None of Obama's ancestors were slaves in this country, none, zip, zilch. Very few, if any, of his ancestors relatives were likely slaves in this country because very few, if any, slaves came to the New World from East Africa.

As for your claim that you don't say there's "good" and "bad" racism, exactly how are we supposed to interpret "vote against Obama because of race = moral wrong and bigotry" followed by "vote for Obama because of race = misguided"? At best, you're saying that negative racism is bad, and positive racism is morally neutral.
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turnea
post Nov 9 2008, 09:01 PM
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The trouble here is that your defintion of racism doesn't mesh with the standard Bikerdad.

Neither connotatively nor denotatively...

...it's... proprietary tongue.gif

QUOTE(Merriam-Webster)
rac·ism

Pronunciation:
\ˈrā-ˌsi-zəm also -ˌshi-\
Function:
noun
Date:
1933

1 : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race
2 : racial prejudice or discrimination


Seeing merit in the fact that an African-American a member of a historically disadvantaged group might finally have a chance at the highest elected office in the land is not racism.
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overlandsailor
post Nov 9 2008, 09:43 PM
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QUOTE(Bikerdad @ Nov 9 2008, 02:51 PM) *
QUOTE(overlandsailor @ Nov 9 2008, 11:44 AM) *
If someone chose to support Senator Obama because he would be the first Black President and thought that was a cool thing, it's simply more of the same.[/b]

I was suggesting (among other things) that someone's choice to vote for President-Elect Obama because he's an African-American could be based on something other than racism.

Is it racist to vote for someone based only on the fact that they would be the first (fill in the blank)?
Yes, it is racist, because it endorses the notion that there is something inherently different or valuable about that racial factor, assuming, of course, that you fill the blank in with a racial category. As racism goes, its fairly mild. Yet you can't get around it, the deciding factor is race.


I imagine we will have to agree to disagree on this one. In my view, your premise is wrong. The deciding factor is not race. The deciding factor (in this example) is that the first member of that race achieved the goal. It is different. For it to be racism, by the common usage of the term, the decision would have to be made based on a feeling that the race of the individual makes them superior (or inferior if deciding against them). That is not the case in the example we are discussing.



QUOTE(Bikerdad @ Nov 9 2008, 02:51 PM) *
As for your claim that you don't say there's "good" and "bad" racism, exactly how are we supposed to interpret "vote against Obama because of race = moral wrong and bigotry" followed by "vote for Obama because of race = misguided"? At best, you're saying that negative racism is bad, and positive racism is morally neutral.


That's simple to answer. The vote against Obama because of race is an example of racism (in that I assume ithis is based on a feeling that African-Americans are inferior and/or Caucasians are superior) while a vote for Obama, not because of race alone, but because he would be the first African-American elected to the office of president is not.

As I said, we will likely have to agree to disagree on this one. People cannot reasonably debate an issue if they cannot at least agree on the core issues that make up the debate.

Edited: For Clarity in the "Simple Answer" paragraph

This post has been edited by overlandsailor: Nov 9 2008, 09:47 PM
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JohnfrmCleveland
post Nov 10 2008, 05:26 AM
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QUOTE(turnea @ Nov 9 2008, 09:25 AM) *
QUOTE(JohnfrmCleveland)
Calling someone's vote "wrong" is like stating that chicken tastes better than beef.

Ah, so racism is wrong, but acting out of racism is not necessarily wrong?

Does that accurately describe your argument?


Yes, I guess it does. Acting out of racism is not necessarily wrong. Your words, my italics.

Consider this hypothetical: A blue student goes to a largely red school, and gets the crap kicked out of him for years, based, we can only guess, on his lack of red skin. Fast forward 10 years, and that blue man is walking alone in the city when he notices he is about to cross the path of a bunch of young red men. To his eye, it looks like a gang, and it looks like they are looking at him strangely. Is it wrong of him to change direction? Because he is acting out of racism, your answer would be, yes, it is wrong of him to change direction. Even if Mr. Blue has a wife and kids at home who depend on his income, which in turn depends on his remaining alive and well. My answer would be no, he would be crazy to ignore his rationale for changing direction, even though his rationale is based on racism. (Patrice O'Neal would agree with me here.)

The point is that you cannot say for sure what is going through another man's head when he votes. Maybe he is a bad guy, racist for no good reason, just a jerk who likes to go to rallies with other white jerks of the same mind. Or maybe he is like the example above, whose racist attitudes have their basis in experience, and in the past those attitudes have served him well (as in steering him away from more beatings). Can you call that guy "wrong" for reasoning that black guys in the past have done him harm, so why vote for one? If you still find the example hard to understand, just switch around the races and try again.

QUOTE(turnea @ Nov 9 2008, 09:25 AM) *
QUOTE(JohnfrmCleveland)
You would be better served listening to the bigot and trying to understand his thinking than simply declaring him wrong. That gets you nowhere.


I think history shows it's actually the only thing that has gotten us anywhere with bigotry.


I think you are wrong here. Obama's election is a perfect example. Do you think he would have been elected if, when confronted with the question of race, he got up on the soapbox and gave America a lecture on racism? "What? You have a problem voting for a black man? Racist!" He would have gotten nowhere. He might well have had a point, but he wouldn't be moving into the White House in two months.

What he did was to make race as much of a non-issue as he could. He made himself palatable to enough slightly-bigoted white people to win their trust (at least enough trust that they could vote for him). That is the power of understanding and accepting the other side's thinking, even if you don't agree with it, even if you are sure it is wrong. He still needed their votes to get anywhere.
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Bikerdad
post Nov 10 2008, 06:17 AM
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2 : racial prejudice or discrimination

Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) - Cite This Source - Share This
dis⋅crim⋅i⋅na⋅tion   /dɪˌskrɪməˈneɪʃən/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [di-skrim-uh-ney-shuhn] Show IPA Pronunciation

–noun
1. an act or instance of discriminating.
2. treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit: racial and religious intolerance and discrimination.


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turnea
post Nov 10 2008, 02:26 PM
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QUOTE(JohnfrmCleveland)
My answer would be no, he would be crazy to ignore his rationale for changing direction, even though his rationale is based on racism. (Patrice O'Neal would agree with me here.)


I believe your trouble is ascribing racism to Mr Blue's motives.

Mr. Blue is repsonding out of fear of Red racism in combination with some key observable evidence of danger.

QUOTE(JohnfrmCleveland)
and that blue man is walking alone in the city when he notices he is about to cross the path of a bunch of young red men. To his eye, it looks like a gang, and it looks like they are looking at him strangely.

A group of young men who look like a gang and are eying you strangely is something for the cautious to avoid no matter their color.

My parents, aunts and uncle etc. who lived in the 60's and 70's south knew not to be caught alone in white parts of town. Not because they themselves were racist but because they had an informed fear of the racism of others.

QUOTE(JohnfrmCleveland)
Maybe he is a bad guy, racist for no good reason, just a jerk who likes to go to rallies with other white jerks of the same mind.

There is no "good" reason to be racist.

There are simply some more bad than others.

QUOTE(JohnfrmCleveland)
Can you call that guy "wrong" for reasoning that black guys in the past have done him harm, so why vote for one? If you still find the example hard to understand, just switch around the races and try again.

That's easy enough to do.

Consider for a moment this is the experience of millions of Black Americans in every election.

They continue to vote for white candidates no matter what abuse they may have received from some whites in the past.

If John Lewis declared that he would never vote for a white candidate again would he be wrong?

I think so.

QUOTE(JohnfrmCleveland)
What he did was to make race as much of a non-issue as he could. He made himself palatable to enough slightly-bigoted white people to win their trust (at least enough trust that they could vote for him). That is the power of understanding and accepting the other side's thinking, even if you don't agree with it, even if you are sure it is wrong. He still needed their votes to get anywhere.

Ah, I think I wasn't clear.

When I said confronting bigotry has been the only thing that has gotten us anywhere with it, I meant in reducing the prevalence of bigotry itself.

Obama's election, as historic as it is did not change the basic dynamic of race in America.

It is a sign of the progress made by those who did make race an issue.

I think Martin Luther King Jr. would agree with me here. tongue.gif

Bikerdad
There is a contextual difference between "discrimination" in the abstract and racial discrimination as it informs "racism."

This post has been edited by turnea: Nov 10 2008, 02:56 PM
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JohnfrmCleveland
post Nov 10 2008, 04:10 PM
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QUOTE(turnea @ Nov 10 2008, 10:26 AM) *
I believe your trouble is ascribing racism to Mr Blue's motives.

Mr. Blue is repsonding out of fear of Red racism in combination with some key observable evidence of danger.


Mr. Blue is acting on his belief that all Reds are violent. That doesn't fit into your definition of racist? Stereotypes are OK now?

QUOTE(turnea @ Nov 10 2008, 10:26 AM) *
QUOTE(JohnfrmCleveland)
What he did was to make race as much of a non-issue as he could. He made himself palatable to enough slightly-bigoted white people to win their trust (at least enough trust that they could vote for him). That is the power of understanding and accepting the other side's thinking, even if you don't agree with it, even if you are sure it is wrong. He still needed their votes to get anywhere.

Ah, I think I wasn't clear.

When I said confronting bigotry has been the only thing that has gotten us anywhere with it, I meant in reducing the prevalence of bigotry itself.

Obama's election, as historic as it is did not change the basic dynamic of race in America.

It is a sign of the progress made by those who did make race an issue.

I think Martin Luther King Jr. would agree with me here. tongue.gif


Well, besides having to disagree on a few definitions, we are going to have to disagree on this, too. In the estimation of this particular white guy, the Obamas and Powells of the world have done much more to reduce the prevalence of bigotry than the Kings, Jacksons, and Sharptons.

This post has been edited by JohnfrmCleveland: Nov 10 2008, 04:14 PM
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turnea
post Nov 10 2008, 04:25 PM
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QUOTE(JohnfrmCleveland @ Nov 10 2008, 10:10 AM) *
Well, besides having to disagree on a few definitions, we are going to have to disagree on this, too. In the estimation of this particular white guy, the Obamas and Powells of the world have done much more to reduce the prevalence of bigotry than the Kings, Jacksons, and Sharptons.

I can only say that in my estimation you could not possibly be more wrong.

Powell, Obama, and others are the benefactors of the work of King, Lewis, Jackson, and even Sharpton.

And not to be exclusive this camp also includes

Ghandi (a man of peaceful actions and a positively scathing tongue)

Thoreau (Civil Disobedience didn't exactly beat around the bush)
and
Benjamin Franklin (wise-guy extraordinaire)


Had these people not had the courage to call bigotry what it is there may well have been no hope for Obama and Powell.

QUOTE(JohnfrmClevland)
Mr. Blue is acting on his belief that all Reds are violent. That doesn't fit into your definition of racist? Stereotypes are OK now?


That's not the situation your hypothetical described.

You presented a view of prior Red racism towards Mr. Blue as well as observable signs of danger.

Take these away and yes, it's racist.

This post has been edited by turnea: Nov 10 2008, 05:02 PM
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