Home > Social Issues > What’s the Opposite of “Color Blind”?

What’s the Opposite of “Color Blind”?

February 26th, 2009

Throughout the campaign, Republicans, led by their de facto cultural leader Rush Limbaugh, repeatedly claimed that Obama’s popularity stemmed primarily from the fact that he’s black–that this assuaged white guilt, that white liberals wanted Obama only because he’s a minority. This idea, of course, is completely false; Obama is popular with liberals because of his ideas, his abilities, his intelligence, his charisma, his eloquence, his inclusive approach–had Obama been white, he would have been just as popular, perhaps more so.

Instead we see a classic case of projection–conservatives thought liberals only liked Obama because he was black because that’s how they would have reacted. And it is how they have reacted, going all the way back to Obama’s Senate run in 2004. When Obama became the candidate and the Republican incumbent dropped out, the GOP brought in a ringer from outside: Alan Keyes, who just happens to be black. After Obama won the nomination for the Democratic Party, Republicans suddenly started looking much more seriously at the few Republicans of color as potential vice-presidential and future presidential candidates. After Obama was elected, Republicans just happened to elect a black man, Michael Steele, to be their party chief. And when Obama made his big pitch to Congress the other day, the GOP picked Bobby Jindal to give the Republican response.

I mean, how transparent can you be? The GOP seems to think that just because Obama is black, they have to put a person of color up against him almost everywhere. Does anyone really believe that they would have found Keyes, Steele, or Jindal for those jobs if Obama were not black?

Keyes, by the way, continues to show how insane he is. Steele is not far behind, talking about a “hip-hop” approach to GOP branding. Steele has always been somewhat of a charlatan; remember how he ran using those “Steele Democrat” signs, and more recently claimed that when the government creates jobs, they’re not actually jobs? Fact is, if you’re black and Republican, you can get away with a whole lot; being talented and skilled is, as always, a plus, but conservatives only require that you be black and right-wing. Conservatives will love you precisely because you assuage their white guilt. That, plus the ham-handed political strategy of using race against race.

It’s funny, in a way, how conservatives now insist that America is beyond race, is color-blind, is post-racial, etc. because Obama was elected. Aside from the rather notable reaction to Obama in the Appalachians, aside from the right wing’s constant references to race and their consistent use of race, simply the fact that they are claiming that America is post-racial is evidence that it is not. You know when you are post-racial when no one even thinks to talk about race at all.

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  1. Tim Kane
    February 27th, 2009 at 03:47 | #1

    The thing is, Republicans are the only ones bringing up the race thing. They are obsessed with it. I’m not sure that there are enough prominent people of color who are Republicans enough to field a Basketball team, yet for the most part they have prominent positions.

    The things that Republicans never seem to get is the content part. Obama is not an empty suit. He is the perfect politician, he smart, he writes his own speeches, he gives great speeches, he’s even got the ‘booming’ voice that a good politician needs, he’s got a good head for strategy and tactics (quite a rarity in any walk of life), he’s well educated, well informed, and approaches all situations well versed in historical precedents. He’s also a constitutional scholar. I would say that Obama’s only negative points are the superficial ones that he is black and he has an unusual name. He’s only the forth president whose name ends in vowel (Kennedy and Monroe were two othes). Ideally a candidate has an easy first name and a wasp last name (like Georg Bush).

    The Republican’s never ever ever ever think content counts. The start at the most superficial and work backwards. The them ‘message management’ is all that matters. They don’t believe, for one moment that governing or policy ever matters. George Bush thought being President was like being President of a fraternity, and all about bestowing favors and graft. All of this is supplemented by the notion that government can’t do anything right, and so when they are in office, they are free to proceed in misgoverning, looting the treasury and dividing the spoils.

    So they think they can put an empty suit out there who’s a person of color like Bobby Jindal, and that’s all it takes. He’s nothing more than a younger Reagan with a better tan. All he needed to do is say it’s morning in America, and the wingnuts will ride again.


    I am very happy that they continue to discredit and prove how banal and nihilistic their movement is.

    I liked a comment I read,

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