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Sic Semper Tyrannis

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I’m actually with Ed on this one.

Ed Garvey writes:

Bill Dixon and I joined Bishop Desmond Tutu outside the South African embassy in a march for an end to Apartheid. It was a thrill.
I’m assuming that’s something that happened years ago.

Tutu would gently prod this country to deal with race starting with slavery. We didn't follow his advice. Wish we had but we have a chance now.
Okay, that was a little weird. Desmond Tutu was born 68 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, and 65 years after the end of the Civil War. We had, therefore, already dealt with slavery.

But here’s the part I agree with:

We must call on the people of this country to join MLK, Jr., Bobby Kennedy, Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks and deal with the fact that Barack is black. Talk about it, write about it, refuse to accept the notion that white Americans in the 21st Century won't vote for a black American.

Bob Herbert, writing in the NYT today, acknowledged that race is a major factor. He quoted a union leader who said, "We've been talking with staff...we're all struggling to some extent with the problem of white workers who will not vote for Obama because of his color. It is a very powerful thing to get over."
I honestly hope that’s not the case. I what we’re really seeing here is a longtime Democrat activist helping set the stage for a possible Obama defeat. Paving the way to scream “Racism!” if Obama loses in November.

But I also hope that I’m being way too cynical when I think that.

It’s the 21st century. We can base our votes on a candidate’s positions, speeches, beliefs, and yes, on a candidate’s life story. But we just can’t base our votes on race. It's like voting for or against someone because of their hair color. It doesn't make sense.

Of course, one could say the same thing about those planning to vote Obama because he’s black, couldn’t one?