by nycweboy1, Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 05:07:24 PM EDT
Although this is my first entry at MyDD, I have been blogging for about a year and a half on my own; the election, and writing about it, has helped attract readers, and bolster my confidence as a writer, things for which I am grateful. It's a little odd to me that I would choose a dicey subject like our racial divides as a jumping off point, but it's something I care about (and have written about, as the links will show), and I think someone has to try. My intent, of course, is not to offend, but to invite a dialogue, and a way to get into a difficult subject. Whether it succeeds or not... is up to you.
It doesn't surprise me that one outcome of this week's primary results is that the tensions of talking about the dynamics of this election season have gotten rougher; a lot of Obama supporters - which could easily be described as "the media" - have had to readjust to the fact that Clinton's win in PA was solid, as good as her supporters expected, if not better, and made it clear that things we'd been saying were turning out to be true. And that, in turn, has led to some expected hand-wringing about the kind of divide the results exposed.
Put another, less PC way... it's gotten hard to ignore that some white people don't vote for Barack Obama.
The question, of course is why. And in order to discuss that, naturally, we need to talk about some difficult subjects. And race, really is only part of it. It's also class, and economics, and cultural tensions... but simmering under and around all of it is people talking frankly about race in a way that most people find uncomfortable, a way that has to acknowledge perceptions and prejudices without, necessarily, giving into them.
And I mean that both ways: some, I think, struggle with a way to talk about working class white voters that doesn't resort to "redneck" or "trailer trash" type stereotyping; the opposite, of course, is sweeping generalizations about black people that are clearly prejudiced if not flat out racist. Complicating it are perceptions, stereotypes and casual notions many of us hold, things we rarely admit, or discuss with strangers.