Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Is Jim Crow voting?

By Isaac Bickerstaff

Some may dismiss Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius notion that race is the reason that the presidential polls are so close as pure rhetoric. But does she have a point?

What would the blogs and media say if Michelle Obama had stolen drugs from her charity and made her employees write fake prescriptions?

What would we be talking about if an Obama child was pregnant while still in High School? Where would the Conservative Family Groups be on that issue? What would the reaction be if the 17 your old male was a black kid with low slung jeans who listened to Young Jeezy instead of a gun toting, self professed "F*#*ing Redneck"? These are interesting questions to think about. Will views on race tilt this election to John McCain?

Michael Grunwald has an interesting piece on what he calls the Elephant in the Room in this week's Time magazine.

Are words such as "elite", "flashy", "aloof", "exotic", "good talker" code for uppity black man and do these code words play in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, and Indiana? I called a well respected black lobbyist in Washington, DC, who was Chief of Staff to two black members in Congress and sits on the Congressional Black Caucus Institute Board. He headed a large transportation company's congressional office and has worked with congressional delegations of those states and has been in many of them on site visits over the past 10 years. He assured me that those code words would have a detrimental effect on a certain type of voter. Usually a White Male above the age of 47, non urban, and blue collar. He said it could be telling in parts of Ohio and West Virginia but hastened to point out the new registration voter numbers in Virginia, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Colorado.

Bickerstaff wonders if the younger new voters, who never knew busing, the Civil Rights movement, or rotary phones for that matter, will be a counterbalance to an almost certain voter cognitive dissonance on voting for a black man? Is the race issue a tactic that will be subversively used by Republicans this election?

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