When retired Gen. Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama for president four years ago, several of our regular commenters here opined that race was the only factor.
One of them put it this way: “His endorsement is about race and nothing more.”
This same guy would have taken great offense if I had said that his or any other white person’s support of John McCain was “about race and nothing more.”
Bigots are funny that way. They’ll offer sweeping generalizations about black folks, but the slightest blowback will get them howling about “the race card.”
In the presidential election of the week after next, Obama is going to lose the white vote but carry the black vote by a huge margin. Let’s not, however, read too much about race into those factors.
Since World War II, only one Democratic presidential candidate — Lyndon Johnson in 1964 — has carried the white vote. And blacks have been voting heavily for the Democratic ticket for generations.
Nor can it be said that blacks will always vote for a black candidate over a white candidate. When Rahm Emanuel, a white guy, ran for mayor of Chicago last year, he won all of the predominately black wards in the city — despite the fact that one of his opponents, former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun, is black.
As the Chicago Sun-Times put it: “Emanuel appeared to be the ‘consensus candidate’ of the black community.’”
But facts like these are lost on the white bigots who see blacks as a political and social monolith. To them, an endorsement of Barack Obama by Colin Powell is simply a matter of race. They seem to think that Powell is intellectually incapable of basing his choice on any other factors.
Witness, for example, these remarks (misspellings, etc. included) culled from the comments thread of THIS RIGHT-WING WEB SITE at the end of an article about Powell’s endorsement:
– It’s a race thing. Duh.
– Is he voting for the black half or the white half [?]
– I’ll go ahead and summarize his interview: “Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah…He’s black…Blah, Blah, Blah.”
– It must be a black thing because i don’t understand it.
– Race uber alles.
– I guess racial identity does trump common sense.
– When it comes down to it, Powell was an affirmative action General as much as Obama has been an affirmative action President.
– The only reason Powell made general is because of his race and that’s the only reason he’s supporting Obama. Oprah is just the same.
– For thousands of years they wandered all over Africa barefoot…they trread upon gold and diamonds yet never bothered to pick any up. They watched the winds blow but never dreampt of a sail for a boat. With miles and miles of timber …they never progressed past a mud hut. They would still be living in the stone age had it not been a hand up from the white man. If we knew then, what we know now…we’d a picked our own damn cotton.
– If Colin Powell was truthful he would have said something like this: After four years and much introspection I have decided to vote again for Obama because after four difficult years in office he is still black.
– I have no doubt whatsoever that Colin Powell is a racist. He is only endorsing Obama because of the color of his skin.
– at least Condeleeza Rice keeps up appearances of being Republican even though she will be pulling the lever for Obama in the privacy of the voting booth.
– Powell’s clearly racist. What a disgrace.
– Reality check: Colin Powell is Black. So he sold out his party & political philosophies & went with his personal, cultural loyalties. No one said it last time, so I’m saying it now. And no, it’s not a racist comment –haven’t you noticed the overwhelming Black support for Obama (which I don’t understand considering they are far worse off today, notwithstanding Obamaphones & 47 million people, many of whom are minorities,on food stamps) & his change of speech response to his audience? It’s OK for him to use race, but we can’t say it as we see?
– Powell wants to provoke all those people who complain about the racial bias of affirmative action policies and bring all the white guilt trip voters back to Obama…..I can understand people quietly voting along ethnic pride….but the way Colin Powel is acting here is showing he is a real low life RACE BAITER .
– Welcome to America…the windblows white here…always has…always will.
– Geee… the Black guy says he is vote’n 4 the black guy….. color me surprised…NOT