Friday, May 23, 2008

If You're Going To Be A Racist Cunt, Then At Least Admit To Being A Racist Cunt

You know who I hate more than racists? Blissfully self-unaware racists. Watch this brilliant piece of reporting by Al-Jazeera. In particular, listen to the woman at about the 0:30 mark, who claims "I'm not a racist or anything like that".




Along the same lines, watch this clip from the Daily Show a few days ago, featuring voters from West Virginia, a state where Hillary crushed Obama. Listen to voters tell us that "He's a Muslim, and that has a lot to do with it" and "I don't like the 'Hussein' thing".





And if you think this phenomenon is limited to poor, ethnic Anglos in middle America, think again. Check out
this article in the NYT, where Obama's problems with Jewish voters, particularly older Jewish voters, are dealt with in depth. Watch out in particular for the man who says he's not voting for Obama because he's black, and then claims he's a "semi-racist". Motherfucker, there's nothing "semi" about your racism. Cunt.

Anyway, while all this is fairly pissing off, the more important question one should be concerned with is: will this matter? In other words, what are the practical electoral consequences of Barack Obama being black? At this point, he's the favorite. First, he's outpolling John McCain nationally (though polls this early tell us very little about the final outcome). More importantly, most political scientists tend to believe that the rate of change in economic conditions in the year preceding the election is the most powerful predictor of Presidential election outcomes - a finding that clearly supports the Democrats, with the U.S. mired in a recession right now. Finally, two other important predictors are the incumbent's approval ratings (higher ratings result in a greater likelihood that the President's party is voted back into power) and the length of time the incumbent party has spent in the White House (voters tend to want to return power to the other party if one has stayed in power for eight years). Each of these indicators favor Barack Obama and the Democratic Party.

Now, can he lose? Of course. A million different things can go wrong between now and November. But his race, I don't think, should be a factor - the pricks featured in the above videos would never vote Democrat anyway (seriously, West Virginia and Kentucky!), so it really shouldn't bother Obama that they won't vote for him.

12 comments:

AKS said...

Polls may not be as effective in this election as they have been in the past.

For years T.V. ratings in the U.S. were calculated using volunteers representing a sample of the population. Then Nielsen (the rating company) introduced set top boxes in the houses of the volunteers which would automatically record data on which channels were being watched and for how long. PBS suffered the biggest fall in ratings. Volunteers deliberately lied on questionnaires to seem smarter.

My point is that Obama doesn't need to worry about the blatantly racist (as you point out they probably wouldn't vote for him even if he was white) but he needs to worry about those hiding their inherent prejudice towards a black candidate. They wouldn't want to seem racist so they may tell a pollster that they're voting for Obama but when filling out their vote in a solitary voting booth they might not vote for him.

Ahsan said...

Yes, this phenomenon is called "The Bradley Effect". I had a post on it after Hillary's New Hampshire victory.

http://fiverupees.blogspot.com/2008/01/bradley-effect.html

wasay said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/18/opinion/18friedman.html?_r=1&ref=opinion&oref=slogin

A NYT article by Thomas Friedman on the same topic.

Anonymous said...

You could easily run around looking for poor black communities who wouldn't vote for white people either. Or Democrats who won't vote for Republicans. This sort of journalism is really poor to suggest there's a general problem just because some people are racist.

Ahsan said...

anon1012:

I strongly disagree. First, poor black communities HAVE voted for white candidates consistently - partly because there's never been a viable black candidate. Second, if poor blacks don't vote for whites, it would be on the basis of historical injustices. By contrast, the voters profiled in the videos are explicit about the fact that it's POTENTIAL injustices that they would have to put up with that make them leery about voting for a black candidate. One side's anathema is seeped in history, the other in fanciful thoughts of victimization that could never happen.

Most importantly, however, is the fact that these are NOT isolated cases. Yes, journalism at its worst tends to produce trends or patterns where none exist, solely on the basis of a few interviews ("the plural of anecdote is not data" as the saying goes). However, in this case, we DO have hard data that support the sentiments cited above.

Consider that according to exit polls in Kentucky, one in five white voters said race played a role in their decision. This is about 5-6 times the national average on such figures, and what's more, is probably understated because many don't want to appear racist. So we can safely say 25-30% of whites voted "on the basis of race", which is code for "I ain't votin' for no nigger". This is confirmed by the fact that 90% of this group voted for Clinton over Obama. The numbers were very similar in West Virginia.

Kentucky:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080520/ap_on_el_pr/campaign_exit_poll

WV: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21226014/

naqiya said...

i love having the last name hussain in this country. people through candy , flowers, and love at me sometimes. its nice.

Ali said...

i think you guys aren't realising how much class has to do with this, as much as race. yes race is a huge problem (i'm one of the first people arguing its existence) but then we isolate the class issue - by villifying poor white people who are ignorant because they are the working class that gets screwed over by the ruling capitalist supposedly "non-racist" educated class and then resort to blaming their troubles on "minorities", "blacks", "negros", "immigrants". the exact same thing happens in the UK. this is a race thing as much as a class thing.

reminder: remember the shilpa shetty-jade goody big brother "race row"? another classic example of class and race. Jade goody, of a working class "poor" white background, (not because black people or indian immigrants made her that way, but because the ruling white elites create that system) sees an indian girl and feels threatened because the indian girl is more educated/speaks better english/associates that with the jobs being outsourced or given to coloured immigrants - she doesn't know any better. and then upper class and upper-middle class white people look down on jade and the 'working class' for being racist and uneducated, rather than confronting their own comfortable system which results in having an uneducated ignorant working class that blames coloured folk for the short ends of the sticks the ruling white classes give out to them.

sorry for the rambling, i'm ill as a convict who kills for phone time.

Ahsan said...

ali:

I can promise you, there is nothing "lower class" about Jews in Florida.

Ali said...

i wasn't talking about the jewish bit, i was responding to the first clip about al jazeera's reporting.

and i find the bit about the guy worried about "repercussions" by a "black president" to whites quite funny - what is obama gonna do? pass out reparations checks? enslave white people in plantations and post black overseers outside black mansions? how about something more concrete? what exactly? institutionally ostracise white working class - wait, they already are. what else could obama actually do to take out revenge on white people? last time i checked obama is a far cry from the black panthers or the nation of islam. Even if he does do 'something', will the powers that be actually let it happen? Check out the Jeremiah Wright incident - how dare Obama associate himself with such a reverend! (sarcasm)

If obama ever dreams of taking revenge on white people* he better wake up and apologise!

*the general term 'white people' - transcends class and religion.

Ali said...

in addition, i don't think 'jews in florida' dislike obama for the exact same reasons as the truckers in kentucky/tennessee/indiana etc. otherwise it would imply obama's critics and enemies are a monolith.

Anonymous said...

You do realise that Obama says that if he is elected he will bomb the Northern areas of Pakistan without Pakistan's permission: http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSN0132206420070801

Ahsan said...

anon1243:

Yes, I do realize this. But I fail to realize the statement's importance. First of all, his claim was that IF the U.S. receives "actionable intelligence" on high-value al-Qaeda targets, and IF the Pakistan government is unwilling or unable to take action, then the U.S. will.

Such a policy stance is already adopted by the U.S. government; indeed the current strategy of the U.S. goes even further than what Obama says (currently, the U.S. does not ask for permission when bombing high-value targets; Obama's remarks implied he would run it by the Pakistan leadership).

Second, nothing he said publicly wouldn't have been said privately by both Hillary Clinton and John McCain. Indeed, of the three candidates, Obama is EASILY the most dovish when it comes to foreign policy. As a citizen of the world, I rest far more assured with Obama at the helm of the most powerful country in the world than the others.