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"The Great Race"

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There is no doubt about it----this race IS about race. There are lots of remarks out there about Barack Obama; he is too inexperienced, too young, he's a Muslim, he will raise taxes, and yes some even because he is black. The people that say outright, "I am not voting for any damn"-------- are probably amongst the most honest. NPR reported an interview done in York, Pa. with 15 people, 7 of which were people of color and in the beginning the majority said they did not believe that race would be a factor but by the end of the questioning period most admitted that they did think race was definitely a factor. One woman went on to say that she "just did not trust him and once a Muslim, always a Muslim and only if dead would he not be so"-. I am reminded of my years at the University of Alabama in the early 60's at the height of the civil rights movement. There was a lot of very strong language, George Wallace standing in the door defying Federal troops and the first black student being escorted to class. I had a history professor from Arizona who had been a Calvary officer in WWI and he stated very clearly that the "only good Indian, was a dead Indian"-. When the woman being interviewed on NPR made the remark about Obama, I had cause to hear the words of my old professor. Depending on what part of the country you are from does make a difference as to how explicit the remarks. In the deep South, where race has been an issue for well over a 100 years, you are much more likely to hear racial slurs than you would in Boston; but there are people in Boston that hold the same views, it is just not as politically correct. The same difference exists in the South between the cities and the rural areas, whereas in the cities you see numerous black mayors and other governing officials and very few in the rural areas. Segregation when it comes to housing is less likely in the city, than in the country where both seem to stay more in their own area of town. This is certainly not to say, that there are not people in all 50 states that will not vote for Obama based on his color, because they certainly are and the last time I heard the home of the KKK is in Indiana.


There is also a bias with those that have and those that do not. In the days of slavery in the South, it was often the overseers that were crueler toward the slave than the slave owner. It is the old story of the class above trying to keep the class below them from coming up to their level.  Also, slaves were the property of the plantation owner and no owner in his right mind would abuse his property, plus the owner was often more educated. That still holds true today, in that it has been the blue collar group that has had to struggle more with equal opportunity than the professionals, although it was reported on the same NPR segment of white lawyers refusing to shake hands with a black lawyer. Just the other day I spoke with a woman from the north part of Louisiana who obviously had money and she openly said "if he got elected, blacks would certainly take over"-.


In my opinion, the single biggest thing Obama has to overcome is simply his color. There is no doubt the majority of Americans are fed up with the Bush Administration, both domestically and with our foreign policy and here is a brilliant, 47 year old senator with a beautiful family that lacks only one thing. He is not white. Oh, his mother was white------but he remains black.  One of the things we all hear countless times from pundits, campaign people, and yes Republicans is that if the Democrats cannot win this time, they never will. Disaster in the economic sector, bogged down in both Iraq and Afghanistan, heating up the cold war, the dollar in the tank, unemployment, housing crisis, high fuel costs, airline industry, and that is just not even half the list. Add to that, a 72 year old man with all his baggage and a total unknown that cannot deviate a whit from her canned talking points.


One other issue I feel that has been missed by the main stream media-----gosh that is hard to believe----is those people that compare black voters voting for Obama because he is black and white voters calling that a form of black prejudice. I say that is incorrect, simply because black voters are simply celebrating the historical event of seeing a black person nominated by one of the two major political parties. People that do not vote for Obama because of color, are just discriminating and furthering the idea that a black person is simply not worthy of being President. Black people have been voting for white presidential candidates for over 100 years. That is, if they are male. It is simple folks, he is the wrong color and I hope I am wrong, wrong, wrong.

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Gin Arnold is a 70 year old liberal living in Cotacachi, Ecuador after living in S. Alabama. I have owned several businesses, lived aboard a 32 foot sailing yacht, been a bar tender, boat captain, short order cook, and imported furniture from (more...)

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