Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Seeing racism in Powell's endorsement


The above cartoon is by syndicated conservative cartoonist Gordon Campbell who said that Colin Powell only endorsed Barack Obama because he “wishes to see someone who looks like himself in the White House.” Others who dismissed Powell's stated reasons and confidently told us that race was the only factor were Rush Limbaugh, George Will and Pat Buchanan.

It is hard to imagine what more Colin Powell could have done during his lifetime of service to this country and to the Republican Party to prove that he does not see the world through a prism of racism. It is hard to imagine what more Colin Powell could have done to have deserved to be taken at his word now, especially by the Republicans he has so self-sacrificingly served. If Powell is more offended by racist attacks on Barack Obama and on Muslims than are most white Americans because of his lifetime of experience as a black man, as I have doubt that he is, that is not racism. Colin Powell stated his reasons for breaking with the Republican Party in this election. He deserves to be taken at his word.

The racism that Gordon Campbell, Rush Limbaugh, George Will, Pat Buchanan and others have detected in this situation is their own.

4 comments:

lyrl said...

The conservatives on a message board I read are generally reluctant to participate in political threads: they are way outnumbered and get attacked (often, though unfortunately not always, justifiably).

There are several that have been very forthright in arguing the race issue in the Powell endorsement. Reading the back and forth is really amazing... they just do not have the capability to see what they are saying is wrong. I don't even know where to start to fight that kind of thinking.

Dave Barrett said...

lyrl,
If you are hoping to get them to change their minds or see things a different way then you are probably doomed to disappointment. People at lower stages of moral development do not accept that more enlightened ways of viewing the world even exist. They think everyone else is at their moral level. Since race is the override factor for them when deciding whether or not to support Barack Obama they assume that it is for everyone else and they think anyone who claims otherwise is lying and/or being hypocritical.

You need to confront and oppose racism, not because you will convert the racists, but in order to clarify the issue for those who are capable of understanding.

Daniel said...

Dave,
You are far more charitable toward these republicans than I can be. These dishonest Republicans show too much sharpness of thinking for me to believe that they can not understand the clear, moral, and logical statement of Powell's.

I believe that they have come to believe that any and all lies are acceptable in hiding the selfishness and immorality of Republican policy. Each and every piece of Republican economic policy holds poorer people in their place. Their actions contradict their stated beliefs too well to be anything other than pure and calculated lies.

Daniel

Daniel said...

Dave,
My wife thinks I should not claim "Republicans" are dishonest. She agrees that Republican policies are not honest but that some or many of the people who support those dishonest policies close their eyes so as to not see the reality of the policies they so consistently support.
I disagree with her. I think that the act or turning away to avoid seeing reality is not a shield from being responsible for dishonest arguments or actions.
But I do agree with her point that calling people "dishonest" won't help change them. So I would like to modify my previous comment to say that the policies they "blindly" support are dishonest. I'll leave it to others to decide who creates those policies that always take from the poor to give to the rich. It is not dishonest people but rather some political machine that tries to hide this dishonesty by changing the meaning of "Middle Class" to be only people making over $250.000 a year.

Daniel