This past election has been an enlightening experience. When Barack Obama was chosen as the democratic nominee, it was a monumental occasion. Even though I’m against the vast majority of his positions and policies, it was a meaningful event. I listened to both what he and McCain said with an open mind before forming any opinions (even though my vote was for neither). I was wary, though, of the ways others would react. My fears were soon proven to be correct. Black people, I have to be honest. I am disappointed. I really had hopes that you would be able to put the black/white issue in the pocket and vote on the issues. I prayed that African Americans wouldn’t vote for Obama just because he was black. Now, of course I’m not saying that every black person that voted for Obama did so just because he is black. That would be preposterous. What I am saying, however, is that far too many did.
Now, before you go and claim I’m making racist presuppositions, I’ll allow individuals to speak for themselves.
“God has vindicated the black folk….Too long we’ve been at the bottom of the totem pole, but he has vindicated us, hallelujah,” she cried. “I don’t know about you, but I don’t have nothing to put my head down for, praise God. Because when I look toward Washington, D.C., we got a new family coming in. We got a new family coming in. And you know what? They look like us. Amen, amen. They look like us.”
Do you see anything in there proclaiming how excited she is about his proposed policy initiatives? Health care? Taxes? Foreign policy? The fact that she, as a pastor, voted for a pro-abortion candidate? Why did she vote for him? I can’t say with any comfortable level of certainty that her specific vote was based on race; however, her words (at least the little we get from the article) make that case. You won’t find anyone else in that entire article (nor any other I’ve read in recent days) excited over his qualifications or plans for office.
Is it great that we’ve come to a point in our history that a black man can become a freely elected president? Absolutely! However, let’s not pat ourselves on the backs for our advances just yet. We just witnessed a president get elected for two reasons: 1.) He’s not George Bush. (Thanks, George!) 2. He’s a black man. (further reinforcing point 1.)
I hope I have made it clear that I am not upset that we will soon have a black president. Far from it. Heck, if Alan Keyes would have made it on the republican ticket in 2000, I’d have voted for him in a heartbeat, even if he is a little bit of a nutjob. Rather, I am upset that this act has been cheapened in an ultimate act of irony: that he was elected “by the color of his skin, not by the content of his character.”*
In the end, history will tell us if this was a wise collective decision. I don’t have high hopes, however.
I’ll go out on a limb with my 2012 republican ticket request. Paul/Keyes. Go get ’em, boys!
*Emphasis, changes of pronouns, and addition of the word “not” – me