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Author Topic: A debate regarding Obama- does race matter?  (Read 5045 times)

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Offline GlossolaliaTopic starter

A debate regarding Obama- does race matter?
« on: October 22, 2008, 08:40:48 PM »
It should be noted that I'm Canadian, before I start this off. I also do not like Obama, but to me the colour of his skin doesn't matter. He could be a purple headed alien from outer space, and it wouldn't matter, I still have my opinions on him.

The question is this; obviously Obama is black/mixed race. In your opinion, if he were a white candidate with these views, do you believe he would have as much support as he does? Or does race really matter?

I know it's the year 2008, but to some people, race does matter.

So. Would Obama have as much support if he were purely white?



Offline Revolverman

Re: A debate regarding Obama- does race matter?
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2008, 08:42:30 PM »
I doubt it, in fact, I think if he was white, McCain would be far into the lead.

Offline Apple of Eris

Re: A debate regarding Obama- does race matter?
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2008, 08:43:12 PM »
Given the fact his opponent has gone from rebel against his party to towing the party line - the same party that has been in power in congress and the white house for the better part of a decade:

 YES.

Look at the economic, social, and political climate in the US. You could probably run a coked up wolverine as a democrat and it would get at least 45% of the vote.

Offline Paradox

Re: A debate regarding Obama- does race matter?
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2008, 08:49:13 PM »
I think he would have a lot of support still; however, the fact that he is black has definitely energized the black community. A great portion of the black community has never voted before, yet they are registering en masse for this election, and I guarantee that most of them aren't registering to vote for John McCaine. So a portion of his voting base would be lost if his skin was white, but the ideas that drive his platform (hope, change, bla bla bla) would still appeal to a lot of people after Bush's 8 years of nonsense, like Apple said.

Offline The Overlord

Re: A debate regarding Obama- does race matter?
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2008, 01:39:42 AM »


Obama's race in this campaign is definitely both a pro and a con...he'll gain votes simply on the grounds that he's black and he'll lose some too.

The smart voters will look past that crap and will vote for valid reasons, and sad to say, much of the world appears smarter than us. The race is fairly close here, but in virtually every other nation polled, Obama wins by a landslide.

A lot of us here just don't get it...but of course many corners of the world get it. They get it because they've been on the receiving and of the GOP's war and propaganda machine. Too many people here live in a damn fishbowl.  >:(

Offline Mathim

Re: A debate regarding Obama- does race matter?
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2008, 11:52:29 AM »
The only thing about his skin color I look at is the fact that it sort of represents change and transition-if he isn't one of the typical types of presidents, that's got to be a good sign since so few presidents actually did any good.

All I'm concerned about is people who should economically vote for someone who isn't in the same mold as Bush, but will vote for the Republicans because of their prejudice.

Offline Caeli

Re: A debate regarding Obama- does race matter?
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2008, 12:48:50 PM »
Well, you also have to remember that if he weren't black, he might have votes of those who DO care about his race.

I know of more than a few Asian-American voters (mostly of the older generation), relatives as well as family friends, acquaintances, and the like, who have vocally expressed their dislike of him because he's black. They didn't say it in so many words, but it's easy to see if you read between the lines.

Offline Moondazed

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Re: A debate regarding Obama- does race matter?
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2008, 12:51:47 PM »
Americans like to think we're so evolved, but times like this show our true colors... bigoted and ignorant, and sadly I wonder if the majority of that ignorance isn't out of sheer laziness *sigh*

Oh!  Sorry about that... *slides soapbox back under the table*

Offline The Overlord

Re: A debate regarding Obama- does race matter?
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2008, 12:56:00 PM »
The only thing about his skin color I look at is the fact that it sort of represents change and transition-if he isn't one of the typical types of presidents, that's got to be a good sign since so few presidents actually did any good.


Where I think race/color matters is that you have to be mindful that Obama isn't just black. He has a black Kenyan father and a white mother from the heart of Kansas...if anything Obama is transitional in politics because in a sense he's the face of America. Multiracial is a pretty common thing here, even if some people don't like to acknowledge it.

Offline Moondazed

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Re: A debate regarding Obama- does race matter?
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2008, 12:57:26 PM »
Living in rural central Virginia, my sad observation is that an awful lot of people aren't smart enough to look into his heritage... he looks black, so to them he IS black.  Pathetic, really :(

Offline The Overlord

Re: A debate regarding Obama- does race matter?
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2008, 01:00:10 PM »
Americans like to think we're so evolved, but times like this show our true colors... bigoted and ignorant, and sadly I wonder if the majority of that ignorance isn't out of sheer laziness *sigh*



What it shows is that the American pie consists of two major slices, besides any smaller segments. There is a large slice that's grown tolerance of racial, ethnic, religious diversity, and then there's the uneducated backwater portion that we still have to deal with. They are the proverbial elephant in the room that are an embarrassment to the rest of us who want us to be perceived better on the world scene.

Offline Paradox

Re: A debate regarding Obama- does race matter?
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2008, 01:01:51 PM »
Even over here on the east coast of Virginia, people feel the same way; however, even the black community thinks that he is entirely black. They conveniently ignore his white parentage. I work with a primarily black crew, and I spend a fair amount of time in urban environments. From this, I've observed that a good percentage of the black voters here (key word: HERE. Don't bitch at me for making generalizations, because that's not what I did) have rallied behind him for no other reason than the fact that his skin is black.

Offline The Overlord

Re: A debate regarding Obama- does race matter?
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2008, 01:07:33 PM »
Even over here on the east coast of Virginia, people feel the same way; however, even the black community thinks that he is entirely black. They conveniently ignore his white parentage.

And of course this bats us straight back to square one. All black, half black, what the hell does it matter. We really are a pathetic little species, when you come down to it. 

Offline The Overlord

Re: A debate regarding Obama- does race matter?
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2008, 01:19:30 PM »

You know I keep having to quote or invoke this guy, but he possessed such a powerfully compelling and pragmatic truth abut things. Millions have heard listened to his words and heard what he was saying, but clearly we need more to do it. This thing makes me emotional every time I see it.

[youtube=425,344][/youtube]

Offline National Acrobat

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Re: A debate regarding Obama- does race matter?
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2008, 02:34:49 PM »
Living in rural central Virginia, my sad observation is that an awful lot of people aren't smart enough to look into his heritage... he looks black, so to them he IS black.  Pathetic, really :(

Not only that, but here in Central Va. it's pretty much the Bible Belt, and to that extent, race is one of only a few factors. Aside from Northern Virginia, our state is pretty conservative. The high ratio of military members in the Tidewater area tends to vote conservative as well, so while race I think is an issue in Virginia, it's just one of a couple important factors here.

I also think, given the experience we had where Wilder barely won office even though the polls suggested he had a huge lead over Coleman, that the race here in Virginia is actually closer than it is, simply because people when answering pollster's questions, won't admit certain things.

Offline Paradox

Re: A debate regarding Obama- does race matter?
« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2008, 02:48:14 PM »
I live in the Tidewater area, in the city that has the largest naval base in the world. I work on base. The younger sailors definitely seem to favor Obama, simply because they don't want to wind up in four more years of war.

Offline National Acrobat

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Re: A debate regarding Obama- does race matter?
« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2008, 02:56:42 PM »
I live in the Tidewater area, in the city that has the largest naval base in the world. I work on base. The younger sailors definitely seem to favor Obama, simply because they don't want to wind up in four more years of war.

I'll be curious to see how the vote pans out in Tidewater. I have three co-workers here in central Virginia who have kids that have just recently enlisted in the last year and have all shipped out. Two to Iraq, one to Korea. All three of those coworkers and their families vote republican. It's an interesting election, to say the least.

In fact, out of the 25 of us that work in this company, 22 are voting republican, 2 Democrat and 1 Independent.

Offline Ket

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Re: A debate regarding Obama- does race matter?
« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2008, 03:29:54 PM »
The younger sailors definitely seem to favor Obama, simply because they don't want to wind up in four more years of war.

That they do.  We're all over and done with it.  While the war affects the Army and Marine Corps more, there are still sailors who are sent out on individual augmentee assignments.  The younger sailors, and the younger voting population as a whole (from what I've seen in my contacts around town - I live in Tidewater as well) seem to favor Obama, mainly on premise of ending the war.

There are those of us though, who are leery about having a democrat in office.  Through all the crap and bs that has occured with the Bush administration, and even with this annoying war we're still in, there have been some major benefit changes to the military and military families.   Because of Bush, our housing allowance has greatly improved, keeping up with rising housing costs instead of constantly going down and forcing us to live in lower and lower standards.  Though they tend to not amount to more than a few hundred dollars a year, yearly raises have been consistent.  Those are just a couple of things that have occurred over the past eight years, among the many.  I've talked to some sailors who served during the Clinton Administration, my roommate included.  They are wondering about whether these benefits will continue, or if things will be changed again.  The policies Bush has put into effect, especially regarding our pay, are not open ended. 

I have noticed that the black population does tend to gravitate more toward Obama, regardless of what he says.  Personally, I could care less what a politician's race is.  As supposedly 'the greatest country in the world', such a thing shouldn't matter.  However it does.  Not only have I seen race be an issue among the less educated and poorer communities, but I have seen staunch debates on the topic from the well educated and wealthy as well.  Prejudice knows no financial nor educational boundaries. 

Do I feel this country is ready for Obama, or any other candidate who isn't Caucasian?  Sadly, I do not.  As glad as I am to see Bush's term in power come to an end, I am wary of moving forward.  I fear turmoil ahead, regardless of who is elected. 

Offline Zakharra

Re: A debate regarding Obama- does race matter?
« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2008, 03:39:14 PM »
 The color of his skin means nothing. It's the content of his character and voting record that I don't like.  I'm also very glad the rest of the world does not have the ability to vote in a US election.

Offline Moondazed

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Re: A debate regarding Obama- does race matter?
« Reply #19 on: October 23, 2008, 04:57:38 PM »
I'm not madly in love with Obama, but McCain is an outright liar and has no idea how the middle class lives, so there's no way I can vote for him.  McCain's ideas favor big business and oil, period.  No, thank you!

Offline Phaia

Re: A debate regarding Obama- does race matter?
« Reply #20 on: October 24, 2008, 01:14:33 AM »
Character too me is more important then anything else for a president!!

Senator Obama has, to me, not shown the sort of character I want in my president!!

In a Movie from 1995 "The America President" there was a quote I still remember;
'Being President of this country is entirely about character.' http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112346/quotes

I do not see Senator Obama having the character to be president.


Offline adventurer

Re: A debate regarding Obama- does race matter?
« Reply #21 on: October 24, 2008, 04:31:57 AM »
I am clearly pro Obama for a long time.

Why? He understands globalization.He can listen. He can ask questions.  See Interview with Fareed Zakaria and his bio. Obama has transpartisan view and even pragmatic one. Every new US president has to face tough realties. True. And when poetry of elections is gone the prose of real politics started.

When? January 1st 2009 when the last fireworks are over...

Speaking from Europe however. I saw the overhwelming resonance Barack had in Berlin and other European places.

David Brooks summarizes it in NYT:

Thinking about Obama

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/17/opinion/17brooks.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Offline Moondazed

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Re: A debate regarding Obama- does race matter?
« Reply #22 on: October 24, 2008, 08:46:09 AM »
I'm sorry, Phaia, I used to really like John McCain, but once he lost the primary to Bush he sold out to stay in the party.  I am nothing short of disgusted by his behavior in this campaign.  Have you looked at FactCheck?  They're non-partisan and track factual accuracy, and you don't have to look far to see that McCain's campaign has no qualms about lying outright.  I know politicians exaggerate and say what people want to hear, but that man lies outright.  That is NOT a sign of character to me.

Offline adventurer

Re: A debate regarding Obama- does race matter?
« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2008, 07:54:07 AM »
 An excllent summary of Fareed Zakaria:

The Case for Barack Obama

Obama is pushing to change the parameters of the country's comfort zone. That's leadership.

http://www.fareedzakaria.com/articles/articles.html

Offline National Acrobat

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Re: A debate regarding Obama- does race matter?
« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2008, 03:54:01 PM »
Apparently it still matters, as it's a lead item on the front page of the Times-Dispatch this morning, and on their website also, although it's much more prominent a story on their actual Newspaper.

http://www.inrich.com/cva/ric/news.apx.-content-articles-RTD-2008-10-26-0135.html

I heard a pair of really good comments about the racial issue on talk radio this week in Richmond.

One was from an African American commentator who urged African Americans not to get complacent if Obama is elected, thinking that they had 'arrived' and the struggle would be over for racial equality.

The other was from a talk show host who asked 'why is it if I don't vote for Obama I am racist, when it's his policies I don't like?'