Identity Politics

If you’ve been following political news lately you’ve probably heard about the fight over race between Obama and Clinton. Basically the Obama campaign, mostly through surrogates, is accusing the Clinton camp of being racist because of a few “selectively interpreted” things they said while on the stump. (You can see one of their ludacris examples here.

Of course the Obama camp is claiming that they have nothing to do with the race backlash the Clinton’s are facing, but in reality, they circulating talking points and press memo’s trying to turn a spark into a bonfire.

The Clinton’s of course are calling bullshit on the idea that they are racist, I mean Bill Clinton was the “first Black president”. After mostly staying on the defense, because of the sensitive nature of talking about race, Bob Johnson, the African American founder of BET, fired back with this shot to the knees

“As an African American, I am frankly insulted that the Obama campaign would imply that we are so stupid that we would think Hillary and Bill Clinton, who have been deeply and emotionally involved in black issues, when Barack Obama was doing something in the neighborhood that I won’t say what he was doing but he said it in his book… When they have been involved, to say that these two people would denigrate the accomplishment of civil rights marchers, men and women who were hosed, beaten and bled, and some died… To say and to expect us now all of a sudden to say we are attacking a black man. That kind of campaign behavior does not resonate with me or a guy that says I want to be a reasonable, likeable Sidney Poitier ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.’ And I’m thinking to myself, this ain’t a movie, Sidney.”

Ouch. The truth hurts. I’ve been saying the same thing though. It’s pretty insulting that

1. Obama is playing the race card to make up for his loss in New Hampshire. that he’s accusing the Clinton’s of being racist.

2. The idea that saying MLK wasn’t soley responsible for the civil rights movement, especially the legislative aspects of it. As I’ve said before, Martin Luther King built public support which galvanized democrats to take action. However, one they decided to take action, passing the civil rights act was a difficult almost impossible task which required arm twisting, politiking, and political savy. And even once the bill was passed in many ways it was a pyrrhic victory, as democrats lost nearly their entire southern voting bloc , which was previously their main stronghold. This is the reason why Republicans essential control the south and the significant electoral advantage that comes with it.