Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Race on the Campaign Trail

On the same day (today) that The Boston Globe has come out to endorse Sen. Barack Obama for president, they've come out with a powerful editorial, McCain plays the race card By Derrick Z. Jackson, Globe Columnist / October 14, 2008. I am glad to see that Congressman John Lewis' (and my own) thoughts on the progress of this campaign are echoed by this article. I disagree with the pundits on CNN that Congressman John Lewis went too far in comparing McCain to George Wallace, and I absolutely think it's despicable to demand an apology from Obama for Mr. Lewis' comments. I would prefer to see an earnest show of shame from McCain for the kind of angry, racist fans he attracts. I would be mortified by a monkey doll at my rally, with people standing around laughing it off. Perhaps it is Mccain who should apologize to Obama for the lack of respect his followers are demonstrating to the world.

While I'm on the topic of race on the campaign trail, I wanted to say that the whole Reverend Wright issue is also racially biased. His view of the USA getting what it deserved on 9/11 is of course a radical and in my eyes an outrageous, misguided view, but it's no different than the one Jews For Jesus shared at Palin's former Alaskan church, the view that Israel gets attacked because the people haven't accepted Jesus Christ as their Messiah. However, I also try not to generalize, and I don't believe all Christians think this way. No groups are monolithic, and that's one truth I know reality can vouch for. After all, Palin doesn't speak for all Christians, or all "gals" for that matter.

If we're to take issue with Rev. Wright, we would need to look at the whole Christian teaching of Sodom and Gomorrah, and treat black and white churches with the same standard. I have disdain for twisting any teaching to make the victims somehow responsible for the crimes committed against them. The way the story of Sodom and Gomorrah is usually interpreted and taught by churches today is that cities like Sodom and Gomorrah get what they deserve based on the lack of righteousness of their citizens. To think anyone deserved ill fate is heartless, no matter who or what city we're calling on as an example, but I don't think that was the intended point of either Rev. Wright or the Jews for Jesus preacher. Still, ignorance is ignorance, no matter where it comes from. If I may share some theological views of my own, to me, this is the problem with the whole concept of teaching God's Will, predestination or fate. Saying people deserve their fate (or that it simply is fate) is the same as believing in karma, or The Secret Doctrine by Blavatsky, all pagan in its origin, ancient and esoteric, magic-minded. Did I say ancient? It's as old as racism and the whole idea that we are subdivisions of race competing for survival.

Anyway, to return to the original topic of McCain playing the race card, I wouldn't expect anything else from someone who has used many racial epithets before, including "gooks" and "tar baby" (which wasn't racist in context and he did apologize for it, but geesh...who says that anymore?). I'm just happy someone besides John Lewis has acknowledged what's going on, because I'm tired of people saying there's no racism since they don't see the racism. They wouldn't be racists if they did.

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Related readings -
Choosing to be victims? Nietzsche thought so: Nietzsche on Master and Slave Morality, PY-111

Read more about Master-slave morality on Wikipedia.