What A Race!

05Nov08

Yes, this is a post about the future man of the year and man of the decade. What more can I say ? I voted for him. I like him. He seems like a good fellow. I’d drink a beer and eat a pie with him. And I was amongst the excited many when he was elected last night. I even had a pep in my step on my way to work this morning. I got to send in my absentee ballot to a swing state. My vote mattered!

So what’s wrong? Well, after the election and another astonishing speech, the pundits came on. The networks started talking about his win, a win for the nation and a win for the world. And I agree. But they also talked about the topic I basically forgot about. Race.

It could be that I’m a white, middle class citizen, one from the majority. However, the campaigns did a pretty good job moving away from the race issue. The last time I seriously thought about race and Obama was when he made a speech about race during the race against Hilary Clinton. (Which, at the time I thought was a soft ball from the media.)

Obama’s team didn’t bring up race because America has a long history with being racist. And McCain didn’t bring up race because, I’m guessing, because it would make him seem racist (and they seemed to be focusing on the Muslim issue). So thanks to their campaigns, I forgot, or lessened the fact that he was African-American. But network started interviewing black people about the issue race. Not about his policies or what’s next or how he won (which was clear… McCain sucks) but about race. Ugh, this makes me sound racist, but it’s the opposite. I did not think this race was about race. And, to be completely honest, it turns out it is.

I know this race was historical for many reasons, one being race, but also because it was a huge landslide, the first to really use social media, the largest economic crisis in the past couple decades, SO MANY THINGS.

I’m just ranting because this changes how American racism will be talked about. Either we will hear non-stop about it, similar to how it was discussed after Hurricane Katrina, or we will hear how it’s over and racism is dead and everything is sunny and peachy, which is not true.

I don’t know. Thoughts?

Either way… congrats to Obama, and as Obama said “this is [our] victory”, so also congrats to us.

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