Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Blackwell and Race, Part 565615b

Why do I have the feeling that this will not be the last time we write of this topic?

From an editorial by the Dayton Daily News:

The best news about Ohio politics so far this year is in the realm of race.

From a historical perspective, the striking thing about the year doesn't concern scandal or taxes or the problems of Republicans.

It is that a major-party nominee for governor is black.

He won a hard-fought primary against a formidable opponent, in a contest that, while nasty at times, never turned racial.

The most remarkable thing of all: Reams of articles have been written about Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell that never mention that he is black. Not that anybody is trying to keep a secret. It's just that the "issues" haven't been racial, and race is often considered irrelevant.

Progressive people everywhere must be happy about all this, at least those who remember when this situation would have been unthinkable.

In truth, however, many of the people who have fought hardest for black advancement are not entirely pleased. Black and white alike, they are deeply frustrated that the party making this breakthrough is the Republican Party.

The Democrat Party had a chance to nominate a black man (Columbus Mayor Mike Coleman) for the top post -- they chose the white guy.

After all, millions of people across the country are Democrats precisely because they see that party as the one that has traditionally been more likely to fight for equal opportunity for minorities.

The Democrat Party was the party of racial equality ... almost 50 years ago. Then again, The Democrat Party was the party of segregation 50 years ago as well! The Democrat Party is now the party of racial quotas and divide and conquer politics.

Forty years ago, a Democratic president pushed historic civil-rights legislation through a Democratic Congress.

Push is right; Democrat senators kept filibustering the darn things. And standing in school house doors. And donning white sheets.

The Republican Party was in the minority in 1964; they couldn't have stopped the bill if they wanted to -- and want to they did not. As a percentage, more Republicans voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Act than Democrats.

The next president, Republican Richard Nixon, responded by adopting the "Southern strategy," designed to take advantage of the backlash among Southern whites against Democrats, against civil rights.

True; to a point. While it was true that for a short time, liberal Pres. Nixon had a racial tinge to his election strategy, Mr. Nixon was also the one to take JFK's "outreach" Affirmative Action and morph it into full blown racial quotas.

For some Democrats, seeing Blackwell's conservative cause benefiting from the racial tolerance they have fought for is teeth-grindingly maddening.

Mr. Blackwell might also lose votes because he's black, of course. But the race factor didn't seem to hurt him much in a primary where nearly all the voters were white and conservative.

Not long ago, it was conventional wisdom that black candidates did worse in elections than they did in polls, because some people who were planning to vote along racial lines wouldn't admit that to a pollster.

But that was back when black candidates were always Democrats.

White conservatives from Southern Ohio voting for a black man while Democrats from all over Ohio ran their black candidate out months before the primaries? What kind of drugs must "progressives" be taking to deal with such a "surprising" paradigm?

1 comment:

Oldsmoblogger said...

"He won a hard-fought primary against a formidable opponent, in a contest that, while nasty at times, never turned racial."

He must not have seen the anti-TEL ads that ran in Greater Cleveland, featuring black hands stealing a book, a toy, and a blankie from an adorable tow-headed white kid.