The election of Barack H. Obama to the office of President of the United States was hailed as a monumental step forward in race relations. His inauguration created what many referred to as a post-racial era in American history. We were finally beyond race! The land of the stars and stripes became a meritocracy. All was right with the world.
It was hard to finish that. My fingers kept catching spasms due to the unexpected rise in bullshit that I was typing.
For those of you paying attention (not to this post, but to life in general), you’re fully aware of the 2 years of rising racial tensions in the country. From the arrest Professor Henry Louis Gates, the horrendous grilling of now Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor, Joe Wilson’s infamous yelling of “You Lie” in congress, questionable immigration laws all the way to the firing of Shirley Sherrod. The United States of America is covered in race like Christine O’Donnell is covered in unexpected irony and absolute contempt from people with common sense.
The latest in race-related craziness comes courtesy of last week’s Gallup poll giving the breakdown percentage wise of the approval ratings of President Obama:
At first glance this isn’t shocking. Southern Old White Republican Men arent big fans of Obama. Shocker. Democrats and Blacks? All on board. completely reasonable right? Well obviously you aren’t a Republican.
“Allow me to suggest that a look of the President’s approval numbers may suggest the opposite, African Americans are 65% more likely to approve of President Obama than Hispanic Americans, twice as likely to support Obama than the general population and 2.6 times more likely to approve of the POTUS than Non-Hispanic Whites. That suggests that if there is Racism in Obama’s approval numbers, it is coming from the African-Americans who support him, rather than the Caucasians who do not.”
“…Bush only enjoyed an average of about 32 percent approval amongst black voters two years into his first term. And we haven’t even mentioned Bush’s historic cabinet level appointments of blacks or his unprecedented AIDS funding in Africa. Much to Kanye West’s chagrin, it turns out President Bush did, indeed, care about black people.
Still, some argue that black support of Obama is merely a function of “black solidarity”; that birds of a feather flock together. But that in itself is racist. After all, can you imagine white voters lining up 9 out of 10 to stand in “racial solidarity” with an elected official who was the equivalent of a wrecking ball slamming through their lives?”
Which brings up the question of why. Why do blacks continue to support the president in such unprecedentedly high numbers? It is a question no pollsters seem to have asked, so the answer is open to pure speculation at this juncture.
One possibility is unvarnished racism. It is possible that blacks’ unwavering support for the president is based on the color of his skin rather than on the job he has done in his twenty months in office.
Hmm. Are Negroes racist for approving Obama when 36% of White’s don’t? These numbers are FACTS right? If the majority of White Americans aren’t pleased with the job he’s doing yet Blacks are then something must be a foot!
Or we can look at the numbers.
Only 36% of White’s approve of Obama. The first question that should be asked is what’s the breakdown of Dems/GOP in this sampling? I went to Gallup and they didn’t say. I would argue that using the rules that Gallup does (spreading polling phone calls across the country) the odds of it being more Dems than GOP would be terribly slim. Are they using half Democrats and half Republicans? If so, Republicans who we KNOW don’t like Obama, would obviously be in the “disapprove” column. Also, they would be overwhelmingly White. Another recent Gallup Poll stated that the Conservative base of the Republican party is primarily White. So if you ask 100 white people, 50 Democrats, 50 Republicans, you’re going to most likely get a 40% approval rating (creating an 80% approval rating from Democrats). The GOP don’t often break rank. The Democrats do. The 36% White approval rating isn’t shocking and definitely doesn’t call into question the approval given by Blacks.
Black people support the Democratic party in very large numbers. 80% to 90%. The numbers simply make sense. Now if you want to argue about why Blacks lean towards Democrats so much, that’s another topic for another day. But I’ll leave you with 2 phrases to think about for that discussion: The Lily White Movement and The Southern Strategy.
Do the pundits (Republican and Liberal) understand how insulting it is to imply that Blacks are so stupid that they would support an incompetent POTUS simply because he was Negro? The media (as seen from the above clip) is trying to make it a solidarity argument. “Blacks are for the Black guy!” I’m sure some are (just as much as I’m sure that some are against Obama because he’s Black) but that isn’t the way Blacks and politics work. We’ve seen Black candidates before who were NOT supported by the Black community. Hell, Obama wasn’t supported by the Black community early on in the primaries. As much as everyone wants to be able to categorize the Black vote by some weird rule book their writing even when you guess what we’re voting for you probably don’t know why.