“The Race Card” vs. Race Baiting
I can’t believe I’m saying this: a recent article by Pat Buchanan may be right. In it, he argues that the Clinton campaign has deftly boxed Senator Obama into a racial corner, painting him as “the black candidate” rather than the transformational figure he had potential to be.
And that got me thinking. The media and punditry have been describing her recent moves to push black voters into Obama’s camp so she can cleanly sweep whites and Hispanics as “playing the race card”, as if it were an item in a deck of cards that could be used to win an elections. But there’s another name for “the race card” – race-baiting.
When you think about it, though, you only hear the term “race-baiting” in the context of racially insensitive conservative politicians who exploit racial divisions to win general elections. You never hear a liberal politician described as “race-baiting”, not in the general election and certainly not in the primaries. But it is fundamentally the same thing – hoping that discontent between whites and blacks could be used to segregate the races for political gain.
Such activity was the stuff of white Southerners for decades. And you would have thought the wife of “the first black President” wouldn’t stoop so low as to engage in such funadmentally racist behavior. But she has, and it sickens me to think she just might pull it off.