Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Race Card:Politics "Draw Four"

Lot of talk right now about Joe Biden's most recent 'gaff'. Joe said the following
“We got a real clear picture of what they all value,” Biden said. “Every Republican’s voted for it. Look at what they value and look at their budget and what they’re proposing. Romney wants to let the — he said in the first hundred days he’s going to let the big banks once again write their own rules, ‘unchain Wall Street.’ They’re going to put y’all back in chains.”
There has been a lot of talk about the context of the comment having racial under tones. People on the right have been in an up roar about the comment being an under-handed way of calling their ticket racist. Was it?

MMMmmmm, Maybe.

   Let's go back to 2008 when many on the right accused Obama supporters of "Drinking the Kool-Aid" when referring to people overly buying into the "Hope and Change" rhetoric of his campaign. Now there was a lot of people on the left that felt "Drinking Kool-Aid" was hidden racism because of the association between blacks the derogatory "Chicken and Kool-Aid" stereotype of African Americans. People on the right defended that comment stating "Drinking the Kool-Aid" was a reference to cults that would carry out suicide pacts by drinking poison laced punch. Which is a true allusion, and an apt metaphor when applied appropriately.

  During that time people on the right where pleading, "Please don't automatically assume racism when we make statements!". And people on the left were just as adamant when insisting "Please don't ignore the undertone of statements made".

   Flash forward four years.... and my-oh-my what a role reversal we see here. Now we have people on the left saying "Hey look at the context of what he said before assuming it was racist!" And people on the right playing the same race card they once claimed was over played! Could Joe Biden have been insisting that Romney/Ryan ticket was intent on reinstating slavery and there by racist? Yeah, if you believe conservatives call Obama Socialist because saying Nigger is passe. Or could he have been making an allusion to financial slavery as he claims? Well Yeah, if you believe "Drinking Kool-Aid" is simply an allusion to following with blind faith and was not used with any racial undertone.

   Let's face the truth there are plenty of racist people on both sides of the isle, and from time to time their views will seep into the nation discourse. And there is some real racism that has to be confronted. The only way we are going to be able to get to the point where we all realize things can be taken many ways depending on context. And we have to address each issue with empathy and understanding, not over-reaction and defensiveness.

  As for "the race card", and who gets to play it. Think about it like this: when it comes to politics the race card is just like the "Draw Four" in a game of UNO. It is best played when you are behind in the game to change the color of the game. And no matter if you are sitting to the right or to the left, anybody at the table will play it if it helps them win.

Makes common sense to me.