Friday, October 05, 2007

The Warrantless Blogtapping Program

Issue: The Obama Candidacy and Race

Rightwing Blogger John Hawkins, in response to a question about why Hillary leads Obama in most head-to-head state polls, had this to say:

As to why Hillary is beating Obama, well, aside from the fact that he has slightly less experience than Hillary, black Americans make up roughly a quarter of Democratic voters, but there are only a handful of black Democrats in Congress who've been elected in Democratic districts that aren't majority black. In other words, liberals support programs like Affirmative Action because they think blacks are inferior to whites and they don't want people they regard as their inferiors representing them in Congress -- or as their nominee in 2008. Obama has been a rock star during the primary season, but the racists in the Democratic Party will probably prevent him from getting elected.
Notice two things here. First, Hawkins presumes that the only likely way a black Democrat can get elected is if he or she runs in a majority black district. In other words, black people vote for black people because they are black. He doesn't talk about black candidates being elected on the substance of their positions or on the issues relevant to the local community. He's not interested in this. Heck, he doesn't even consider this as a possibility. Second, Hawkins also thinks liberal preference for Hillary over Obama is because liberals think blacks are inferior. What? Are blacks such the "objects" in Hawkins' mind that they can't be thought of as holding an independent ideology, that they can't be included among the category of "liberals"? Think about it, by Hawkins' logic, black voters who prefer Hillary over Obama must think that they themselves are inferior to whites. In fact, Hawkins doesn't even consider that there are black folk who support Hillary. He just assumes that black Democrats, if they don't consider themselves inferior to whites, must have to vote for the black guy.

In short, I look at the way Hawkins phrases his arguments and I wonder: who is it that is making surface-level racist assumptions about voting behavior and candidate preference here? Hint: it ain't white liberal Democrats.

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