Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Race and politics in the USA


US presidential hopeful Barack Obama has made a speech in which he states that US cannot ignore race.

Race is a fact in the USA. It is one of the countries that have a census of its population based on race and colour. There are countries that have no official statistics about its people according to their colour. There still expression used in the USA when it comes to race, like the first black Secretary State or the first black governor in such a state.

Barack Obama has drawn so much interest because of his colour. Fir the Republicans, there was not as much interest as in the Democrats campaign because the major candidates were all white. But Obama isn’t representing blacks. He should be seen purely as American. In his campaign, there aren’t just black people but also whites of great importance like senators and stars. His audience in his campaigns is made up of all races. It would sound queer if his audience was all black as if he was preparing for a civil war to avenge for black enslaved ancestors.

Obama has dreams for a change. But to be frank he is the embodiment of the America dream. Being the son of a Kenyan father who migrated to the USA, it didn’t take his father three or four generations to see his offspring reaching a prestigious position in the American society.
At the same time it is difficult to brainwash people who still have racial attitudes. Obama himself was racially abused by his white grandmother as he has admitted. Voters rejecting Obama because of his race is a really bad setback to the American ideal. Voters can be respected in their choice of candidates based on their messages and not their race or gender.

Whatever, the outcome in the primary, Obama will go down history as the first black who has shaken up racial attitudes in the USA as presidential candidate after the black theorists and activists like Martin Luther King.

Obama’s speech on race is a call for the Americans still holding negatively inherited racial attitudes to look inside and to find if it is still worth it to view their country racially. The American administrations (Republican and Democrat) have taken the lead by appointing black people in key posts, the most famous of whom are Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powel on merit. Now it’s up to the American people to choose who should lead them on merits and not on racial basis.

I had this response from George (USA) on BBC WHYS blog:

“The American administrations (Republican and Democrat) have taken the lead by appointing black people in key posts, the most famous of whom are Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powel on merit.”

You might make the argument Rice and Powel were the only public figures of the Bush Administration who were competent.
It is ironic they were placed in the positions for token race purposes.
If the whole Bush administration had been their quality the USA would be in far better shape today in every respect.
Competence over “elitism” is better government every time, regardless of race or other factors.


This is my response to him

I think that Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powel were put in a higher position as a reflection of the growing powers of blacks in the USA. No one can deny that black people are now in a far better position compared to the situation they were in , about which they were protesting during the marches in the 60s. Maybe secretaries Rice and Powel were appointed for the sake of racial balance in the USA. Obama hasn’t been appointed by anyone to be a presidential candidate. It was his credibility that made him elected as senator and to have great success in his presidential campaign so far. (Remember that Rev Jessie Jackson was “barred” in 1984 by the Democrats from standing as a presidential candidate for the sake of the party as his colour would be a hindrance to any of their chances at the presidential elections.

Obama is a barometer of the depth of racism in the USA. There are still those who look at the man because of his colour and not because of what he is. So far he is doing well, posing a threat to Hilary Clinton and even to the Republicans who may not be returned to power because of the low popularity of George Bush and the current state of the economy. There is no way to predict who’s going to be US next president as long as the Democrat candidate hasn’t been chosen yet and the presidential campaign hasn’t started in full swing yet.

Obama will be an inspiration for those who believe in his ideal. There are those who have a crush on him as there are those who are fearful that he can crush them because of the possibility of his having a great chance to be the first black US president.

6 comments:

George (USA) said...

“The American administrations (Republican and Democrat) have taken the lead by appointing black people in key posts, the most famous of whom are Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powel on merit.”
………..
You might make the argument Rice and Powel were the only public figures of the Bush Administration who were competent.
It is ironic they were placed in the positions for token race purposes.
If the whole Bush administration had been their quality the USA would be in far better shape today in every respect.
Competence over “elitism” is better government every time, regardless of race or other factors.

Abdelilah Boukili said...

I think that Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powel were put in a higher position as a reflection of the growing powers of blacks in the USA. No one can deny that black people are now in a far better position compared to the situation they were in , about which they were protesting during the marches in the 60s. Maybe secretaries Rice and Powel were appointed for the sake of racial balance in the USA. Obama hasn’t been appointed by anyone to be a presidential candidate. It was his credibility that made him elected as senator and to have great success in his presidential campaign so far. (Remember that Rev Jessie Jackson was “barred” in 1984 by the Democrats from standing as a presidential candidate for the sake of the party as his colour would be a hindrance to any of their chances at the presidential elections.
Obama is a barometer of the depth of racism in the USA. There are still those who look at the man because of his colour and not because of what he is. So far he is doing well, posing a threat to Hilary Clinton and even to the Republicans who may not be returned to power because of the low popularity of George Bush and the current state of the economy. There is no way to predict who’s going to be US next president as long as the Democrat candidate hasn’t been chosen yet and the presidential campaign hasn’t started in full swing yet.
Obama will be an inspiration for those who believe in his ideal. There are those who have a crush on him as there are those who are fearful that he can crush them because of the possibility of his having a great chance to be the first black US president.

Onedia said...

I am an ardent supporter of Barack Obama and have written at great length in several posts why I believe in him so much. I care not what color he is or what religion he is or about anything else except that he is a man of intelligence, determination, integrity, and right now he is our best hope for brokering better relations with our global community.

Although I am not a fan of Ms. Rice she is highly qualified and I believe was chosen more for her support of the Bush agenda than for any other reason.

Colin Powell has a long history of success and competence and he merited his post. It is unfortunate that his dissenting views were not regarded by the administration.

Unfortunately, there are still people in the United States who view others through filters of race, religion, gender, and life choices. However, if you take time to read the blogs (and comments) of ordinary citizens you will find that we have ground swells of people who have broader minds and global perspectives.

I invite you to read mine and those of the people I link to.

Best regards

Looney said...

My concern with Obama's speech on race is that he simply doesn't propose anything going forward. Bill Cosby, on the other hand, did target the family breakdown which is one of the key areas that leaves America's black families in poverty.

One issue Obama mentioned was the dysfunctional inner city schools. One of the best things that could happen would be to get the poor children out of the government schools and into some parochial schools with more discipline and solid moral teaching. As it was, Obama mentioned the failing schools, but said nothing about what he would do about them. If he follows the usual Democrat agenda, more money will be sent to the teachers unions and another generation of children will only get their education from the most ill behaved kids in the school.

Abdelilah Boukili said...

Hi Looney,
I think education is the most important issue to care about in any society. Failing to provide adequate education for ALL children without discrimination will affect them later in life when adults as the economic and political divide will continue to prevail among them.

Looney said...

Yes, education is vital. Obama observed that our public school systems are quite a problem. What to change?

The teachers unions want more money, more power and more regulations; and form one of the most important parts of the Democratic party. The other option is more parental choice and the involvement of parochial schools, but this is ruled out based on dubious constitutional interpretations. It is likely that only the conservative parochial schools have the standing to break the gang/drugs/prostitution cycle that destroyed many American inner cities, but the Democrats have traditionally argued that this would be unconstitutional.

Obama is right to mention schools, but what does he propose to do?