Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Race and THE RACE

And In The End, The Race For President Will Be About
WHAT RACE the Voters Are For!

Today I was tutoring my good friend April, who is minoring in African American Studies at Berkeley. I love doing it, because she helps give me a different perspective on the subject.

Tonight is, of course, the vice presidential debate between Sarah Palin and Senator Joe Biden. No doubt, foreign relations will be discussed - that being the main issue, since both sides have tauted their V.P. picks as having experience.

However, it would be great if there were a question concerning race, or one concerning immigration. We already know that Biden, as the head of the Senate's Foreign Relations Committee, has experience, while Palin crows about the proximity of Alaska to Russia. But since Dick Cheney has seen to it that vice presidential powers have been expanded, the position will be held accountable on domestic issues as well.
So how do Palin and Biden see race as a factor of domestic policy? Do both of them admit that race will be a factor in voting? How much "experience" do Biden and Palin have in dealing with race?

The Native American factor and the African American factor cannot be reconciled: they are incredibly different in size and scope. Joe Biden's state of Delaware has a larger population than Alaska by about 150,000 people. Over 20% are African American, most of whom reside in Wilmington. By contrast, Alaska's African American population is below 2%, while the Native American population makes up about 15%.

As a social demographic, Alaska has the highest incidents of rape in the United States per capita, of which Native American women are at high risk. The two most serious problems facing Alaska are alcoholism and domestic violence. Wilmington, Delaware has a crime rate higher than the national rate, but it is the only city in the country to have its entire downtown put under video surveillance (enacted just last year).

Can Palin answer questions on race sufficiently to satisfy city Republicans? I doubt it. And since she will never be given the chance to speak spontaneously about the subject of race, we can be sure that all answers will coincide with McCain's formal statements.

W.E.B. DuBois

Parrot more than puppet.

Parrots talk and have brains -bird brains to be sure, but brains none the less.
Thank you, April, for giving me a new perspective on the campaign. And as far as perspectives go, The Talented Tenth article by W.E.B. du Bois is worth looking at today: it represents one African American man's expression of success. Click below to see the Wordle I created so you can see for yourself which themes were stressed.

It isn't difficult to see that education stood out in the mind of duBois. How many African American citizens have been saying the same thing since then? Just a thought.

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