In today\’s Washington Post magazine, Donna Brazile – former Campaign Manager of Al Gore\’s 2000 presidential run, current Vice Chairperson of the DNC and frequent guest on cable news shows, is quoted as saying this:
“Inthe aftermath of President Obama\’s election, I really thought itwas time to write a book on reconciliation. That was 2009, a momentof euphoria. And I must tell you, I have been so disappointed. Imean, I understand the partisanship, because I\’m political. Butwhat I don\’t understand and what I haven\’t been able to wrap myhead around is why all the vitriol? Simply because you want todestroy his presidency, you\’re destroying the country?
“Sowe have not turned that corner. We are not post-racial. And in manyways we don\’t even know how to have a conversation about beingpost-racial. Until we get out of that old-school way of thinkingabout race and opportunity and the ability to transcend some of thepast of this country, then we\’re going to be stuck in the20th-century” conversation about race.
Is she right? Well, to quote a famous politician Al Gore had a bit of history with, that depends on what “is” is.
-Is this about whether racism exists in the USA? If so, she is dead-on correct. The sad reality is that racism is fully alive and well. I don\’t know who you are, but I would bet body parts that you know people – plenty of them – who are racist; some not even realizing it, others realizing it perfectly well and not caring at all.
-Is this about negative reaction to Barack Obama as a President? If so, that is another story entirely. While it is true that some White people never gave Mr. Obama the time of day because he is Black (and, Ms. Brazile, just as true that some Blacks never can find a reason to criticize him for exactly the same reason), it is also perfectly reasonable for people to dislike, even despise, Barack Obama\’s presidency without regard to his skin color.
I suggest that Donna Brazile reacquaint herself with some – make that a ton of – the negative, vicious, hate-filled things that her fellow Democrats said about George Bush when he was President. Does she think they were said out of racism? I doubt it. And if one President can be attacked that way for reasons other than race, it follows that another can as well.
In fact – and consider this a heads-up to Ms. Brazile – her assumption that strongly negatively reactions to Barack Obama must be due to his race is, itself, racist. There are many reasons to strongly dislike President Obama which have nothing to do with race at all.
Take me as an example. I think Barack Obama is a supersedingly terrible President. And, as any regular reader of this blog certainly knows, I despise racism.
If Donna Brazile cannot reconcile those two positions, the problem is her.