Identity Politics in America
One of my pet peeves has always been identity politics. Personally, I consider myself to be just an American. I don’t call myself a Caucasian American, a Jewish American, or a Double-X Chromosome American. I’m just one of the guys, so to speak. I work, I pay my taxes, I raised a family, I volunteer, and I vote. I am no more or no less important than my neighbor, regardless of his race, religion, nationality or skin color. We’re both simply Americans trying to live the American Dream.
And yet, there are still those people, mainly politicians, who insist on playing the race card and making everything all about race. According to the race-baiters, the losers in that particular card game are always white people. What is truly amazing is that they are insulted when you call them racists, when that is exactly what they are.
A prime example of this game is one that I frequently cite since I personally experienced this racism first hand. Several years ago when my daughter was still in high school, it was announced that the Miss Black Teenage America Pageant would be accepting all applicants “of color” and not just black teenage girls. Of course, “of color” included not only black girls, but Hispanics, Asians, American Indians, Indian Indians, Native Hawaiians, Alaska Natives, Pacific Islanders, Caribbean Islanders, and whatever new racial classifications that the federal government can spend millions of our tax dollars on for the Office of Management and Budget, Census Bureau, the FDA, the Department of Education, and any other federal agency to study so they can let us know the color of our skin. Because we had no idea. And because it’s that important. Well, it’s important to the federal government anyway.
What the new Miss Black Teenage America Pageant guidelines meant for me was that almost every single one of my daughter’s girlfriends were now eligible to enter the pageant if they desired…except my not “of color” daughter.
Now, if you knew my daughter, you’d know she couldn’t have cared less about entering a beauty pageant whether or not she was “of color” or “colorless.” Girly stuff, as she called it, was never her thing anyway. She had always been allergic to the color pink and never willingly wore a dress, much less a pageant gown, in her life. Being an aspiring artist and photographer, she would have laughed and rolled her eyes at the mere thought of being judged by her looks. To this day, she’s always behind a camera and never in front of one.
But, my point is that if I had had a daughter who loved frills and ribbons and bows, and who had always dreamed of one day being crowned Miss America, the very idea that she couldn’t enter a pageant because she had “no color,” it would have broken her heart. And I probably would have raised hell. As it is, I simply shrugged my shoulders, made a mental note of the blatant racism, and moved on.
I may have cast that particular incident aside, but I have over the years become more outspoken about what I believe is one of the core problems that exists in America today – the not so silent race war that is being waged by those who see everything in black and white. From the instantaneous race-baiting instigated by Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan and my own Congresscritter Frederica Wilson once the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin story broke, to President Obama’s constant pitting of blacks against whites, to the even more recent race-based, and racist, academic goals plan instituted by the Florida Board of Education, Americans are constantly being force fed the idea that the races are still separate, and still unequal. So much for the Great Melting Pot.
Two things recently got the attention of my race card radar. The first was something I noticed posted on Facebook from a company called Pretty Brown Girl. Its website states that, “The mission of “Pretty Brown Girl” is to encourage girls to celebrate the beautiful shades of brown all over the world; while inspiring positive self-esteem and confidence.” The couple who started the company had the best of intentions, which you can read on the page called “About PBG,” which notably states, “Empower a girl, Empower the world.”
Now, I’m all for Girl Power. And I certainly would be the last person to disparage a successful small business like Pretty Brown Girl. I have no complaints about their mission or their intentions.
What did bother me, however, is their new tee shirt that reads “Pretty Brown Girl for Obama.” That’s when I got my back up, and I’ll tell you why.
What do you think people would say to me if I started a company called “Pretty White Girl?” That’s right. I’d be called a racist.
What about if I printed a tee shirt that said, “Pretty White Girl for Romney?”
OMIGOD I’d be labeled as a founding member of the KKK! With good reason, I might add!
So, please tell me how “Pretty White Girl for Romney” is racist but “Pretty Brown Girl for Obama” is not?
The same way that “Miss Black Teenage America Pageant” is not racist, but a “Miss White Teenage America Pageant” would be. What about “White Entertainment Television?” Or, “White Congressional Caucus?” Hmmm, let’s see. I guess “Black is Beautiful” is super, but “White is Wonderful” is definitely racist.
Yeah, I’m stretching here. But you get the point, don’t you? Racism is racism, no matter the color of the beholder.
My second issue is with an article published by CNN on Friday, October 26, 2012 entitled Could Obama’s struggles with white voters cost him the election? The article states, “For weeks, he’s hovered around 40% of white voter support – a level that Democratic presidential candidates have struggled with in the recent past and one that analysts believe Barack Obama must maintain in order to win.” It then also goes on to say, “The racial trends in this year’s election are part of a complicated calculus in which a greater number of white Republican voters could offset possibly lower turnout among the Democratic base of minorities and young voters.”
Complicated calculus? Not really. There’s nothing complicated about it as far as I’m concerned. If you click on the CNN racial voting bloc calculator, you will see that in states where the results of the 2008 election was broken down by race, 90% to 99% of all blacks voted for Obama, with a whopping 100% of blacks in New York. The percentages of whites who voted for Obama, on the other hand, were all over the map. Literally. In the deep south such as Alabama, Obama got only 10% of the white vote, but in the District of Columbia he got 86% of the white vote. Outside the deep south, Obama received anywhere from approximately 30% to 50% of the white vote, with the obvious liberal states of New York and California both giving him 52% of the white vote. Additionally, in states where there are a sizable Hispanic voting bloc, Obama received anywhere from 56% to 78% of the Latino vote.
Based on my extremely non-professional analysis of this CNN racial voting bloc calculator, I came up with the following unscientific, but pretty accurate, conclusions:
1. There are still three states in the country, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi, in which there appears to exist some racism of whites toward blacks. In all of these states, less than 20% of whites voted for Obama. Outside of these three, in most other states Obama received about half of all white votes. If there was rampant racism in America in 2008, as the race-baiters claim, please tell me who all these white racists are who voted for Obama. I’m just saying.
2. Hispanics may or may not have considered race when casting their votes in 2008. The range of 56% to 78% of Latino votes going for Obama would indicate that some Hispanic votes may have been race based, but most likely the majority of them were not. Again, this is not scientific.
3. Now, let’s look at the black vote. Regardless of Obama’s policies and ideologies, many of which appear to be at odds with most black Americans (more on that in a minute), he still received a minimum of NINETY PERCENT OF THE BLACK VOTE. To this non-professional, non-statistician, non-scientist, this tells me that blacks overwhelmingly voted for Barack Obama because he’s black.
Let me explain how I came to this conclusion. For starters, the vast majority of blacks that I know are Christians who attend church on a regular basis. I believe this is true for most American blacks as well. Christians are known to be vehemently opposed to both abortion and gay marriage. I am not making a judgment call, just stating a fact. Obama is decisively pro-choice and pro-gay marriage. So my question is this: Do blacks who believe that abortion and gay marriage are wrong know that Obama disagrees with them? If so, why did they vote for him in the first place? More importantly, now that they know this is his belief, do they still support him? Or will they simply vote for “the black man” because he’s black? If that’s the case, it’s racist. Plain and simple.
In a Fox News article dated July 10, 2012 entitled Could the black vote cost Obama the election?, states, “Many socially conservative church-going blacks are deeply upset with Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage. Recently, the president refused to meet with a group representing the 1,300-member Coalition of African-American Pastors to discuss the group’s opposition to same-sex marriage. “By embracing gay marriage, President Obama is leading the country down an immoral path,” said the Reverend William Owens, president of the coalition.”
The article also states, “while the overall unemployment rate has held steady at 8.2 percent for the nation as a whole, black unemployment has continued to increase. Last month it rose to more than 14 percent, which is by far the highest of any voting block in America. Among residents in many inner cities like Detroit, black unemployment runs as high as 18.1 percent.”
Seems to me that Obama’s promise of Hope and Change isn’t working out all that well for the black community. Yet, as the article stated back in July, “Obama still polls in the mid-90’s among African-American voters.”
There can be no other explanation than racism. Sorry, but I just call it as I see it.
Of course by pointing all these facts out and having the audacity to write an entire column about identity politics, I will be called a racist. Oh, well. Someone needs to dress down the unacceptable widespread practice of playing the race card. It’s a tough job but someone’s gotta do it.