Not By Content Of Character But By Color Of Skin: Blacks’ Judgement Of Obama Has Little To Do With Issues

How many times while in school or while watching TV during Black History Month have we heard the following words: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” I think I lost count sometime back when I was eight years old.

Through the years since then, I and millions of other mainstream caucasians have been bombarded and inundated with lectures from the black-community and left-wing white-guilt organizations that I should be colorblind and adhere to Dr. King’s words. Well, after reading what various Black “Conservatives” have said recently about why they might consider voting for Barack Obama, I am fast coming to the conclusion that such lectures were nothing but chutzpah.

From Frederic J. Frommer, Associated Press via Yahoo:

“I don’t necessarily like his policies; I don’t like much that he advocates, but for the first time in my life, history thrusts me to really seriously think about it,” [Armstrong] Williams said. “I can honestly say I have no idea who I’m going to pull that lever for in November. And to me, that’s incredible.”

“Among black conservatives,” Williams said, “they tell me privately, it would be very hard to vote against him in November.”

And this:

J.C. Watts, a former Oklahoma congressman who once was part of the GOP House leadership, said he’s thinking of voting for Obama. Watts said he’s still a Republican, but he criticizes his party for neglecting the black community. Black Republicans, he said, have to concede that while they might not agree with Democrats on issues, at least that party reaches out to them.

“And Obama highlights that even more,” Watts said.

Maybe Rep. Watts can explain to us where the $40 billion in anti-poverty programs aimed at Blacks went. And while he’s at it, maybe he can draw on his experience in Congress and explain how we are going to pay for the $200 billion plus in new programs Obama is proposing and be able to pay for them without sending the U.S. into another Great Depression.

But it doesn’t stop there:

Writer and actor Joseph C. Phillips got so excited about Obama earlier this year that he started calling himself an “Obamacan” — Obama Republican. Phillips, who appeared on “The Cosby Show” as Denise Huxtable’s husband, Navy Lt. Martin Kendall, said he has wavered since, but he is still thinking about voting for Obama.

“I am wondering if this is the time where we get over the hump, where an Obama victory will finally, at long last, move us beyond some of the old conversations about race,” Phillips said. “That possibly, just possibly, this great country can finally be forgiven for its original sin, or find some absolution.”

Yet Phillips, author of the book “He Talk Like a White Boy,” realizes the irony of voting for a candidate based on race to get beyond race.

“We have to not judge him based on his race, but on his desirability as a political candidate,” he said. “And based on that, I have a lot of disagreements with him on a lot of issues. I go back and forth.”

So, ignoring the big issues and voting based on skin color will get us beyond the issue of race? How exactly does that work?

It still goes on:

John McWhorter, a self-described political moderate who is a senior fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute and a New York Sun columnist, said Obama’s Democratic Party victory “proves that while there still is some racism in the United States, there is not enough to matter in any serious manner. This is a watershed moment.”

“Obama is probably more to the left than I would prefer on a lot of issues,” he adds. “But this issue of getting past race for real is such a wedge issue for me. And he is so intelligent, and I think he would be a perfectly competent president, that I’m for him. I want him to get in because, in a way, it will put me out of a job.”

Thus, I can only conclude that the idea of being judged not “by the color of their skin but by the content of their character” is either dead or very quickly dying in the African-American community. Dr. King’s speech no longer holds any meaning for those who say they will vote strictly based on skin color.

However, there are some glimmers of hope shining through:

Michael Steele, the Republican former lieutenant governor of Maryland who lost a Senate race there in 2006, said he is proud of Obama as a black man, but that “come November, I will do everything in my power to defeat him.” Electing Obama, he said, would not automatically solve the woes of the black community.

“I think people who try to put this sort of messianic mantle on Barack’s nomination are a little bit misguided,” he said.

James T. Harris, a Milwaukee radio talk show host and public speaker, said he opposes Obama “with love in my heart.”

“We are of the same generation. He’s African American and I’m an American of African descent. We both have lovely wives and beautiful children,” Harris said. “Other than that, we’ve got nothing in common. I hope he loses every state.”

But, unfortunately, Steele and Harris will be largely villified in Old Media and in the Black Community for going by content of character rather than color of skin.

A pity.

You can access the complete article on-line here:

Black Conservatives Conflicted On Obama Campaign
Frederic T. Frommer
Associated Press via Yahoo News
June 14, 2008

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