September 21, 2008

"Lazy," "Violent," or - Huh?

Hatched by Dafydd

John Hinderaker of Power Line descent -- my favorite blogger at my favorite blogsite -- has a nice post up about that silly survey that tries to set the stage for Democrats to claim, when they wake up to President-elect John S. McCain on Guy Fawkes Day, that Barack H. Obama only lost because of anti-black prejudice and racism among whites. Or at least white Democrats.

John quotes from a survey conducted by Stanford University on behalf of the yahoos at AP-Yahoo, then effectively analyzes the output. He finds the result less than persuasive -- as it quotes selectively from sections of the survey results unavailable to anybody but AP reporters. But I believe John missed one point, the donkey in the room that is so obvious, it's easy to overlook (like Poe's "Purloined Letter"). Here is the first paragraph of the AP story:

Deep-seated racial misgivings could cost Barack Obama the White House if the election is close, according to an AP-Yahoo News poll that found one-third of white Democrats harbor negative views toward blacks—many calling them "lazy," "violent" or responsible for their own troubles.

So now it's "racist" to believe that blacks, like everybody else, are "responsible for their own troubles?"

I certainly understand why blacktivists, liberals, liberal fascists, and other Democrats would believe this. But do the survey designers themselves share the belief that blacks are unique in not being responsible for their own troubles, and that anybody who believes an individual black person should be held accountable for problems that, in a white person, would be called "self-inflicted," is therefore racist?

If so, then I think we have all the information necessary to evaluate how accurate or authoritative this survey really is.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, September 21, 2008, at the time of 5:52 PM

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The following hissed in response by: BigLeeH

The Obama campaign and their surrogates in the media keep the "racist voters" meme going because they know that if the election is seen as a referendum on race relations their candidate will benefit.

In my piece "I think It's the Haircut*" I talk about it a bit.

The reason Obama keeps mentioning his blackness is not so much to accuse his detractors of being secret racists as to remind people of the flow of history and his appointed place in it. This is not to say that some of Obama's supporters don't think that all Republicans are closet racists; of course there are such people in Obama's base but there is simply no reason for him to campaign to them right now; he can take them for granted (and he does) since they have nowhere else to go.

Obama's not-so-secret weapon is the undeniable fact that the 'mantle of history' appeal works really well with undecided voters -- it resonates with the people in the middle who both candidates need to win. Independents tend to be less ideological and are much more susceptible to the argument that it is time for a black president.

*My title is a reference to Obama's 'warning' that his opponents may say that he doesn't look like the presidents on dollar bills.

The above hissed in response by: BigLeeH [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 22, 2008 10:04 AM

The following hissed in response by: MikeR

I was similarly nervous about the question, "Could blacks do better if they tried?" Yeah, I suppose so. So could I!
Plus, the question suggests a way of thinking that many of us agree with, even if we're not racists: Could blacks do better if they stopped thinking of themselves as victims, and redirected their energies toward growth? Not sure if that's included in the question, but it might move someone to answer Yes.

The above hissed in response by: MikeR [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 22, 2008 12:23 PM

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