Monday, October 15, 2012

Drawing The Line In The Sand - Race 2012

I've read just about everything I can on Romney and Obama. I have watched interviews, sat through debates, and even cringed each morning when I would turn on my laptop and read the Huffington Post's headlines. Everything is just so far right or far left in this presidential election, and it's a tough pill to swallow.

When I agreed to write a few posts for my blog friend, Monica at Monica's Tangled Web (who happens to work for PBS and just so happens to be friends with the documentarian of RACE 2012 to air on PBS (nationally) tomorrow night,) I never knew how much it would ruffle my feathers. Not the idea of writing, on the contrary, I was thrilled to be involved. It was more so how the country is behaving.

I know this is not the first time a candidate has drawn a line in the sand before an election. I would be bored to tears if things did not get a little heated. But this election is different - this election involves a white man and a black man (bi-racial.) Which means, when people start waving their political flags pronouncing who they plan to vote for, and if they really don't understand the policies - they turn to racial slurs to get their point across.

That's what ruffles my feathers.

I've seen it happen on both side of the spectrum.

By agreeing to do this blog series, I have opened myself up to actually paying attention and reading the crap on the internet. I have to purposely open up the comments below some ridiculous cartoons on FB and read what each person has written. I did this, but only to see if there really was warrant to the whole idea that race plays a role in the way people vote.

From what I can see, I am afraid it does.

I remember the first time around Obama was running for president, my friend, Tiffany and her boyfriend, Sean, told me to take a look at Obama's ideas. I was skeptical, having voted Republican in every election. But this go around, I really wanted to see if there was someone different, someone who lined up with my beliefs. Someone who could possibly bring change to Washington, and thank goodness, I found my candidate.  I was tired of the war in Iraq. I had a Kurdish Exchange Student, and she and I were just watching each week as more people were losing their lives. She was scheduled to go back to Northern Iraq, and it concerned me. Just a few months later, I would find myself going through the immigration process with my future husband (who happened to be Egyptian.) I needed things to change there also. I was worried about my pre-existing health conditions.. I was worried about the economy - I was worried/worried/worried - and like magic, Obama had the answers I was looking for.

It had nothing to do with his race. But his policies.

Then I was invited to meet Obama and campaign for him in Birmingham with my two friends. I had no idea I would get to stand and actually have conversation and a picture with him. It sort of sealed the deal for me at that point - this was the man I wanted representing the United States of America.

One thing I noticed at this event, probably 97% of the audience was African American. I can understand the allure, and yes, I was voting for him, so anyone in that room thrilled me, but why were the majority black?

I am ashamed to say this, but before I even ask someone who they are voting for, I sort of play this little game where I bet I can guess who it is. I am usually right, not all of the time, but for the most part. It never fails, but the people who I know have used racial slurs, or have joked about things that are completely inappropriate, and are (in my opinion,) a bit on the redneck side, are voting against Obama. It never fails.

That does not mean the people who support Romney fall into that category. No, I'm not talking about the people who like Romney's plan - I'm talking about the people that are in desperate need of some of the social programs that Obama wants to keep and Romney wants to cut. If they took the time (and maybe they did,) to read the fine print, they would more than likely line up with a different candidate.

But it's not about that. I think it goes deeper.

I think it goes back to race.

I hope I am wrong.

With all of that being said - tomorrow night PBS will air RACE 2012. Check your local listings for the time. Race 2012 is a conversation about how race will affect our next election and how politics are changing the face of America. For more information on the documentary - please click on the RACE 2012 logo on the upper left side of my blog.

What are your thoughts? Do YOU think race will affect the way you will vote? How about your friends or family? Which of my readers are brave enough to share their reasons for the way they are voting? Who would be willing to discuss race? Feel free to leave your honest opinions below. I will not be responding, but will read... and I will continue to listen.

Thanks for following me this month!


Anonymous said...

Ooh, I'll go first! :) Race will not be THE deciding factor in how I vote. I believe principally in the agenda of POTUS Obama for America, versus the one that I hear about from Romney.

I am always less than impressed by the folks that will vote against their best interests simply because they do not want to vote for Obama. When challenged, they fall back on their ignorance and emphatically declare that they will not be voting for Obama because of his "performance" and "poor leadership"; however, it is clear that they did not hold his predecessors to the same standard. There seemed to be much more tolerance for the mass malpractice in Washington, DC until the time that President Obama took office. The same conveyors of such ignorance also bank on "change" being an overnight sensation. Again: different man, different standards. Same America? It's hardly a post-racial era, so I anticipate that the vitriol will continue. Sadly, we live in a society that thrives on instant gratification, so when things aren't working quickly or substantially enough, there is an inclination to resort to hitting the reset button even if it means reverting to policies that failed America in the first place! Hello!

I prepare myself by not subjecting myself to outlandish, generalized, broad-sweeping claims that are fueled mostly by rage (wanting someone to blame), but aren't supported by facts. As for the commenters on many of the news blogs and elsewhere online, they can't even construct a perfect sentence, so I usually don't comment. I have a low tolerance for stupidity and/or ignorance. This post, on the other hand, engages and invites the reader. Thanks for the opportunity, Nicole.

Peggy K said...

Nicole, I respectfully disagree with you on this being a race between a black man and a white man. That's what it was four years ago. That was label "historic." This time, it's about the economy. It's about jobs. It's about energy. And it's about health care.

It might be more racial in your part of the country, but I live in Illinois. Obama was our senator. And I will tell you that I have seriously looked at issues. I've tried, more than once, to read thru the bill that is nicknamed "Obamacare." I've seen the crap on the Internet. I've had heated discussions at home about both sides. I have given this plenty of thought. And I will vote for Romney. I firmly believe that as a businessman, Romney better understands the logistics of running this country like a business. And we need that understanding to turn things around.

Just as the previous commentor has a low tolerance for stupidity and/or ignorance, I too am reluctant to put my comments "out there". So I thank you for opening up this discussion.

Now if I can just persuade you to vote for Romney. ;)

Julene of said...

Hi Nicole,

I am a fellow Race 2012 blogger. Anyone who feels this election is not about race is sadly mistaken. It's unfortunate. We have to look at the demographic of voters. That is a tell-tell sign, for one.

I saw that one commentator thought to persuade you to vote for Romney based on his business experience. That thought is scarey.... government being ran as a business. I think we have enough of it. Policies are reflective of such. Not only do we have a tremendous deficit, we are borrowing from a private bank. This money has to be paid back with interest. This sort of thing is literally bringing countries to their knees. The very dollar you and I utilize from day to day has no value. The American people have no serious control over their day to day lives. I fear digging our country deeper into such a fate.These are things we are NOT addressing as a country. The debates are pretty disappointing because they don't address these concerns of course.

Private entities genuinely are not concerned with people. Businesses have no obligation to do so. Romney has displayed this sort of character.

The American people need a president that cares about them. The issues are pretty black and white. It doesn't take an MIT expert to understand that we are shifting towards a privatizing dream, one that feel that in order from some people to succeed, others have to suffer.

Women For Action


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