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Racism and Presidential Elections - Nothing new.

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BumRushDaShow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 10:28 AM
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Racism and Presidential Elections - Nothing new.

Racism within U.S. institutions, law and culture is deeply imbedded in the history and reality of the United States going back to the 17th century, but in the 20th century, the deliberate and overt use of racially-coded language and positions in Presidential campaigns was begun in 1968 by the Richard Nixon campaign.


The Reagan/Bush Era

All through the 80's, with the dominance of the Reaganites and the emergence of the center-right Democratic Leadership Council within the Democratic Party, the powers-that-be within both parties followed similar scripts during Presidential campaigns. Michael Dukakis, the Democratic standard-bearer in 1988, followed Reagan's example and went to Neshoba County, Ms. in early August, soon after the Democratic National Convention in Atlanta. Like Reagan, he did not mention Goodman, Schwerner and Chaney. He did this despite the strength of Jesse Jackson's Presidential primary campaign and the existence of the National Rainbow Coalition.

Bill Clinton and the DLC

Clinton had been scheduled to speak before the national convention of the Rainbow Coalition and, without informing Jackson in advance, decided to distance himself from the black community. Although the speech was designed to focus on issues such as urban enterprise zones and the earned-income tax credit, Clinton unexpectedly attacked the Rainbow Coalition's invitation to rap artist Sister Souljah to speak the previous evening. 'You had a rap singer here last night named Sister Souljah,' Clinton stated. 'Her comments before and after Los Angeles were filled with a kind of hatred that you do not honor today and tonight'. . . Clinton's rhetorical maneuver paralleled Ronald Reagan's attack against 'welfare queens' and George Bush's 'Willie Horton' advertisements. It was a strategically planned stunt, and it worked. Clinton followed it up with national interviews, explaining that 'if you want to be president, you've got to stand up for what you think is right.'" (Marable, pps. 79-80)

"Bill Clinton calculated that he could not win in 1992 unless he used Sister Souljah to bait Jesse Jackson, put a black chain gang in a crime control ad, golfed at a segregated club with a TV camera crew in tow, and allowed that search for a serviceable vein in Rickey Ray Rector's arm." (O'Reilly, p. 420)


"Neither the Republican nor the Democratic Party, as a political organization, is interested in transforming the public discourse on race, though for different reasons. The Republicans deliberately use racial fears and white opposition to civil rights-related issues like affirmative action to mobilize their conservative base. The national Democratic Party mobilizes its black voter base, in order to win elections, but in a way that limits the emergence of progressive and Left leadership and independent actions by grassroots constituencies. . .

The above article was written in 2004. And so here we are today in 2008. The dirty tricks politics of the past - fear-mongering, race and sex (including orientation)-baiting, and other nonsense have raised their ugly heads (albeit later than normal in the natural course of things, which perhaps is heartening) and confronts this country once more. When are we going to grow up? When are the people going to acknowledge the contributions, the strength of purpose, the loyalty and dedication (despite the outrages done against them which causes them to lash out when being whipped and beat, whether literally or figuratively) of the black community in this country?

The endless spam on this board about "pastors" and "race cards" and claiming one is "winning" while losing popular vote, delegates, and number of states, and insultingly offering the winner the #2 job, just means that this election adds onto a long history of election outrage that itself fits into a pattern of wasting more time and money on the ludicrous and little on real reform in this country. It's just like all the justifications in the past for segregation and "separate but equal", where states and localities willingly poured money into upholding that view (with literal money spent to build separate bathrooms, water fountains, schools, cemeteries, housing developments, eateries, modes of transportation, etc.).

What are people afraid of? Revenge? If so, it surely won't happen. Not in your dreams. We ALL have common concerns - whether we have a job and/or enough money to put a roof over our heads, clothes on our back, food in our mouthes, and can afford medical care if we need it. What is so hard about focusing on that for a change? :shrug:

I fully expect this post to sink to the bottom and out of the consciousness of this board because it isn't flaming enough... But I thought the article pretty much summed it up.
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BumRushDaShow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 10:52 AM
Response to Original message
1. Kick
since this needs to be seen unless this has apparently become a board of sound-bite quips.

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Skidmore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 10:55 AM
Response to Original message
2. Old tactic, yes, but in this time the racists among us have been
emboldened by the political mindset of the past decade. I'd say it is a real concern and we need to be vigilant for the sake of all.
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BumRushDaShow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 11:07 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. The one thing not really mentioned in the article
is that economics also tends to play a big role. When people are hurting economically, they look for someone to lash out at. And if they feel politically powerless and fear going directly after the oppressor power structure that is the root cause, then they pick the weakest target they can.
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