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Barack Obama: Is He Post-Racial or Not?

John on October 1, 2008 at 4:30 pm

Barack Obama confuses me on the race issue. On one hand he has gotten lots of press as the “post-racial candidate”, which I took to be a reference to the best of Dr. King’s hopes for America. And, to be fair, at times he does seem to rise to the occasion. In my view it’s one of his most appeal qualities.

On the other hand, he said this to Essence magazine recently:

“I don’t believe it is possible to transcend race in this country. Race is a factor in this society. The legacy of Jim Crow and slavery has not gone away. It is not an accident that African-Americans experience high crime rates, are poor, and have less wealth. It is a direct result of our racial history.”

That sounds a lot more like Jesse Jackson to me. Blaming poverty and high crime rates on a legacy of racism seems somewhat at odds with what Obama said on Father’s Day this year:

If we’re honest with ourselves we’ll admit that too many fathers are also missing. You and I know this is true everywhere but nowhere is it more true than in the African-American community.

Does he not see a connection between fatherlessness and poverty? It’s hard to believe he could have missed the mountains of evidence connecting the two. And yet I don’t see how someone who takes that connection seriously could say both of the above things. Unless…is fatherlessness the result of slavery too? Is that what he’s saying? That seems like a cop out to me.

All I know for sure is that I’m sincerely confused by Barack Obama when he discusses race.

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Category: Politics |

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