November 26, 2012

Gates and the Election

"Race has become a trope of ultimate and irreducible difference between cultures, linguistic groups, or adherents of specific belief systems- which more often than not- also have fundamentally opposed economic interests." (Gates 5)

The above statement by Gates is a powerful one yet offers a distinct truth, or so it may seem. The idea of race has divided and separated people for many years. While many nations strive for equality of all people, there always seems to be an unfortunate stigma attached to each racial group. I am not entirely sure if I dare to tackle the 2012 election since it is a delicate issue but my blog should taken as part of a discussion and not a political stance. Democrats and Republicans will fight for their beliefs to be in office no matter what it takes however in recent years, our Nation has had to face the concept of race along with the economy headfirst. While politics are far beyond my realm of clear understanding, it is fairly clear to me that the statement above could be seen in the election in this year and past years.

Barack Obama having been the first black man to run in an election had many supporters simply because of the color of his skin yet he also faced much opposition for the same reason. In 2008, when Barack Obama first won the election the country was in an uproar. The United States of America sensed a change of pace and while some were severly opposed to this change, others were ready for it. But why? I have seen and heard interviews with Democrats, Republicans and everything in between and while a decent amount of Americans had politically sound answers, there were a few people that provided answers that seemingly had nothing to do with the debt ceiling or the War on Terror but more or less discussed the concept of the "black president". Some Americans saw the color of his skin to be a new look at the economy and some Americans saw the color of his skin to be a detriment to the economy. My question being, what does a color scheme have to do with a dollar sign? We can sit around and discuss all day about how one party is better than another just as much as people in an older time sat around and discussed about how one race is better than the other. Black or White, Republican or Democrat; there differences between each and every one of us however I hope that it never gets the best of us.


HScott3 said...

A skin color shouldn't have anything to do with a dollar sign yet things aren't all correct in America. Gates was accurate in his description of a race as a trope. What should be a classification of a skin pigment has adjusted to concern a much more ambiguous term. I identify as black and always deal with the questions attached because certain features of my skin don't correlate with African American culture. In terms of Obama I hated how his race was more of a hype than his qualifications. Although its good to acknowledge such a landmark and an achievement it's still another example of how one word can gain so much power.

Joel Bergholtz said...

President Barack Obama should have his votes earned because of his views, not his skin color. I believe President Obama was very careful during both of his campaigns to keep his focus on his views. However, his views are democratic, and aim to give a stronger helping hand to the lower class. In a perfect example of the many harms of classifying Obama according to race, many Americans painted him as a black man trying to take from the rich and give to poor, which in America has often meant taking from the privileged wealthy white America and giving to the poor, lower class black people. Because they saw according to race, they felt enraged by his views, and believed his views were shaped this way because of his race. Much of the anger aimed at Obama still resides in this initial implicit feeling felt by many Americans who do not believe they are racist but happen to have views which rest on stereotyped views of the black man in America. If we instead judged his views according to math, science, statistics, historic success and failure using the said model/approach, we could as a nation have a much clearer, and more intelligent, view of what we are voting on. However, because race dictates so much of the public opinion, this does not happen. Here we can see another instance of the dangers of judging and reading according to race, which is fictitious and stereotyped.

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