Friday, March 21, 2008

Democrats' Decisions Shouldn't Turn on Race

There's something terribly wrong about the latest developments in this Democratic presidential primary race. It's becoming more and more apparent by the day and I'd be remiss if I didn't share my concern with fellow Democrats.

Recent statements made by Obama campaign surrogates [like John Kerry, who's never been politically sharp or quick] convey the clear and unapologetic opinion that Obama is the leader they choose, in good part, because of issues surrounding the color of his skin.

That's pretty sick.

To see the Democratic party becoming 'the race party' from their own politically correct standpoint is no better than Republicans who use race as a wedge and fear issue. I'm not alone in feeling this way.

I just read that Bill Richardson decided to endorse Barack Obama after he heard Obama's major speech on race. [ A bit of a betrayal and crucifixion for Richardson's former champion Hillary Clinton ..and done, most curiously, on Good Friday..I wonder if the name Judas is flying around the Clinton camp today? ]

From the NY Times:
Mr. Obama’s address on race in Philadelphia on Tuesday appeared to sway Mr. Richardson, who sent word to the senator that he was inspired and impressed by the speech, in which Mr. Obama called for an end to the “racial stalemate” that has divided Americans for decades.
You'd have to be nearly blind not to see new racial divisions being showcased in the media by the recent political actions and words of both Democratic campaigns and campaign surrogates in this primary race [while the media unfairly gets all the blame and the Republicans love every moment of it].

I wonder how Richardson's endorsement will fly with Hispanic voters? They were a particular racial group that, for the most part, got left out of Obama's major speech on race the other day.

I think I'm seeing Democrats setting themselves up for something that they never expected... at the expense of the racial progress that I believe we actually have been making. [It's the political progress that's been suffering because of a very weak Democratic leadership]. Pressing the issue of race and highlighting what divides us...making that a key part of the Obama candidacy...well, I couldn't think of anything more harmful to the political progress for which we'd have hoped.

If the Democratic leadership did expect this wedge issue and welcomes this new turn of events with this focus on race, I'm beginning to think we have some fools leading the party. Making race an attribute or test for the Oval Office is antithetical to my being a Democrat in the first place.