Thursday, January 15, 2004

The Race Card

January 15, 2004

The Democrats vying for nomination in this year's presidential elections are using a tactic that served nominee Al Gore quite well in the last election: televised debates. This format catches people up in the fervor of politicking and also provides a great deal of public exposure at relatively little cost to the candidates, but it puts the discussion under the control of moderators chosen by the organizations that sponsor these forums.

Minority and race issues have been represented out of all proportion in this election period's round of debates thanks to sponsorships from groups like the Congressional Black Caucus, and Sunday's debate in Iowa was actually called the Black & Brown Presidential Forum. For all the Democrats' talk of Bush being in the employ of lobbyists and big business, the Democrats are aligning themselves with organizations which push their own agendas just as hard. Nearly a full third of Sunday's debate was devoted to minority questions and racial character assassinations.

Al Sharpton, who seems to be running based solely on his popularity as a spokesperson for African-Americans, attacked Howard Dean on the fact that in his tenure as governor, Dean has never appointed a black person to his six-member cabinet, and I must respond with a resounding, "SO WHAT?" Race should not be an issue in modern American politics. I know a lot of people are going to dismiss my opinion on this immediately because I'm a white male, but I hope that more of you will understand when I say constant harping on race relations obscures the real issues of the dismal state of American education (look around, people!), war abroad, and Bush's continuing deficit spending.

Does racism still exist in America? Certainly, but more self-righteous talk is not going to change those still entrenched in a racist mindset; they only perpetuate a biased system. Howard Dean said it himself in response to Sharpton's attack: "You can't end racism by making white people feel guilty."

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E-mail me at SauceFiller@hotmail.com

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