Thursday, August 07, 2008

Racism

Eugene Robinson had a column published in our local rag, The Arizona Republic, yesterday. In it he makes the usual assertions that people who call Obama arrogant or presumptuous are racists.

His piece got me to thinking about stereotypes. He doesn't realize that he is dealing not in white racist stereotypes but in black stereotypes. White people, in my experience, don't think much about race. There is no reason they should. Their race or color doesn't adversely affect their lives, generally speaking. Its a non-issue.

Black people, it seems to me on the other hand, are constantly aware of their color. It is an essential element of their self image. Unfortunately they seem not to understand that racial identity does not motivate white people, particularly not conservative white people.

We refer to Obama as arrogant and presumptuous because he is, independent of his skin color. He lectures us about things that we are all well aware of. For example, inflating tires. Are you driving around on half-inflated tires? Of course not, you aren't an idiot. He believes you are. Arrogant.

Has any other presidential candidate had his own seal? No. Arrogant. Presumptuous.

Has any other presidential candidate replaced the American Flag on the tail of his airplane with his own campaign logo? No. Arrogant.

Has any other presidential candidate ever gone on a world tour giving campaign speeches in foreign countries? No. Arrogant.

What being arrogant and presumptuous has to do with race is precisely nothing. Those who believe it does are projecting their own race based self-identification on white people. Its misplaced.

The syndrome is no different than many of my fellow Jews blaming any set-back and/or insult on anti-Semitism; homosexuals blaming any set-back and/or insult on homophobia; fat people blaming any set-back and/or insult on fatophobia. You get the picture.

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