Race - does it win votes or cost votes?

When union leader Richard Trumka of the AFL-CIO addressed the touchy issue of working class whites not wanting to vote for Sen. Barack Obama because of his race at a convention back in July, it created a buzz on the Internet. A video clip of the speech posted on YouTube (see below) has since been viewed more than 300,000 times. We asked our Observers if racial prejudice could lead to Sen. Obama's defeat.

'In the Army I have heard MANY racist comments'

Ernesto Haibi, US Army medic, Copperas Cove, TX (Independent)

As a Hispanic I see Obama as an American politician. Old folks and people raised in openly racist communities see Obama as black.

I can't say I don't have reservations about a black president, but I have to temper that with reason. There is a Black American culture. Obama comes from both worlds, being raised primarily by whites yet being seen by others as black. His wife, his church and his friends are black. Again, as a Hispanic who grew up solely Hispanic, anything not Hispanic is alien to me. Black, white, plaid; it's all white/black American nonsense.

Sadly, though, in the Army I have heard MANY openly racist comments about Obama. "He's a muslim." "He's an Afrocentrist." "Are you really going to vote for a nigger?" Yes, that and worse. One soldier told me he wasn't going to vote for Obama because "many of our brothers died fighting people with names like that." Most of America has a racial slant.

I wish it were different, but after 41 years in America and spending the better part of 20 years around White Anglo-Saxon Protestants I can say they tend to feel discomfort around anything other than WASPs.

We like to think that we have no racial bias until our daughters bring home someone different from us. I hope that he wins or loses based on his ideas and not his tint.

'Blacks vote for Obama because he's black - that's racism'

Jim Wilkinson, business owner, Mercedes, TX (Republican)


According to polls, Obama can expect to receive well over 90% of the black vote, so it would appear blacks vote for Obama simply because he's black.

That's a real example of racism. Indeed, there are some whites that will not vote for Obama because he's black, but there are also many whites that will give Obama their vote because he is black... what some folks call "white guilt." That pretty much evens it out.

The vast majority of people who vote against Obama do so because of his very liberal policies. If racism is indeed a factor it's exemplified by the fact that blacks vote for blacks, regardless.

The Black Elephant in the room

Linda Sharp, parenting writer, Austin, TX (Independent)

The smell has been lightly lingering for months, like a dead mouse behind a wall or an orange gone bad in the back of the fridge.

But as Election Day draws closer, the stench has grown stronger. RACISM. And it stinks to high heaven and the very lowest depths of hell.

We have already seen that it doesn't matter who runs on the Republican ticket - hell, at this point I believe they could have picked an actual pit bull - that it doesn't matter what lies are told repeatedly, how truths are distorted, how things like being a "community organizer" are somehow smeared to sound like "Nazi skinhead".

If you have your reasons and they have NOTHING to do with that little thing called bigotry, fine. But racism is still alive and unwell in this country. I hear jokes murmured about Obama on the sidelines of soccer games, slurs drunkenly made at parties, repetitions of the Muslim garbage in casual conversations.

And it makes me sick. Sick at heart because we should be better than this, farther along than this. A person's skin color has no more to do with their ability to lead than their eye or hair color. Or what cereal they eat. What size shoe they wear. Are they left handed or right? 20/20, near sighted, or far? IT DOESN'T MATTER. IT SHOULDN'T MATTER.

What's funny to me is the reaction I get when I remind these people that Barack Obama is only HALF black. His mother was white, his father was black. "Eh. Details. He's still BLACK. And you know what that means." Um, no, I don't know what that means other than he has to put up with STUPID BIGOTS like yourself. The man is qualified. The man has galvanized millions of people in this country, and millions more around the world. That's not "celebrity", as the McCain campaign would write it off. THAT'S INSPIRATION.

And I will take that in whatever package it comes. Black, white, purple, plaid, or a rainbow like a Skittles bag. HIS skin color is not the problem. It's the skin color of the closeted bigots in this country that is. And this is not a playing of the race card. This is the race REPORT CARD. And sadly, this country still fails miserably.

'A strategy to deflect attention'

Alexander Stone Dale, ex-taxi driver, Manhattan, NY (Republican)

The line used to go “patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel,” until all the scoundrels abandoned patriotism.

They found asylum in accusations of racism instead. When Democrat Congressman Barney Frank tries to deflect attention away from his complicity in the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac collapse, he cries ‘racism.’

When Obama supporters try to deflect attention away from the Senator’s terrorist and vote fraud connections they cry ‘racism.’

Are Barack Obama’s final vote tallies going to be less than the polls would suggest? Yes. But not because a Republican has a problem telling a pollster that they’re not voting for the Senator - because he’s a Democrat. It is within Democrat circles that there will be a discrepancy between the polls and the polls. But look on the bright side. At least they don’t want to admit publicly that they’re racist.

‘In Heat Barney Frank Has Love Affair With Fannie Mae Worker’ at current.com ‘Democrat Barney Frank Blames Subprime Anger On Racism’ at poligazette.com ‘McCain’s Usage Of ‘That One’ Sparks Questions Of Intent’ at foxnews.com ‘AP-Yahoo News: Race And Competency Drive White Democrats Away From Obama’ at digitaljournal.com

'Viral propaganda'

Tim Kenney, Branding consultant, Bethesda Maryland (Democrat)

I was THRILLED by Richard Trumka’s speech denouncing racism as a reason to vote against voting for Senator Obama. And glad that someone finally spoke up, and spoke so loudly about it.

Speaking personally, if someone asks me whether Obama’s ethnic origins would affect my vote, I wonder about THEIR secret prejudice, not mine. Why on earth would they ask that question, unless it concerned THEM, not ME.

I believe, deeply, that you:

• hire who’s qualified

• vote for the candidate who demonstrates he OR she can lead wisely.

Race and gender are simply... irrelevant.

Which is one reason why McCain — who used to have my respect — is rapidly losing it. Here is specifically why: John McCain’s actual EXPRESSED RACISM.

He called any Vietnamese or Southeast asian person a “gook” for 27 years — until he decided to run for President.* Sure, he was captured by the enemy in wartime, But the word “gook” is a term of war, and we have not been at war with Vietnam in 33 years.

This recent hush-hush clamor about racism appearing so late in the race bothers me, and makes me suspicious. I think it’s viral propaganda. And as a branding consultant, believe me, I know propaganda. And this stinks.


Source: Video posted by cameo9876 on Youtube


Steelworkers convention

Thank you, thank you. We are all in this together. If the color of one's skin becomes the basis of our vote then we as a country are surely doomed.

Please vote on election day but vote on the issues not lies, misrepresentation, fear mongering , and hatred.

God bless this earth.

Misconceptions of Obama fuel

Misconceptions of Obama fuel Republican campaign - 13 Oct 08



It is only in the ignorant white man in europe that race is always on the agenda,get educated your white surpremacy days are over.this is the 21st century ,not medieval times.

The McCain-Palin

The McCain-Palin Mob

enough said !


'That', is a demonstrative pronoun! It is not racial. Don't you remember, "That Girl". was that racial because she was white? One of your panel whining about the term "Gook", to us they were and to many still are GOOKS. They tortured, they used children as bait, and used villages for stikes and when we burned these villages our on military turned against those troops.
Racism roars in head in every part of the world; it will never change. Obviously there are just as many,maybe more, racist in the black community as the white, I'm talking precentage here. I'm not voting for Obama because of his policies, and the way he said one thing to win the democratic nomination and changed his mind on virtually every stance, ie.. pull out of Iraq now! no sorry I've changed my mind we will see what happens by the end of 2009. Even you Obama backers can't argue that one.
Obama's associations should have open America's eyes, but they didn't, Wright,Ayers,Farracan(spelling), and ACORN. Terrible people and a terrible organization. If McCain had associations with David Duke, the Klan and went to a church that preached white supremacy, get him, attack him. If you do it to Obama, you're a racist!
Like marine said to Chelsey Clinton, we fear 3 things.. Osama, your Mama and definitely OBAMA!

Shaddup !!

Shaddup !!


Nice response IDIOT!!!! How many years did you esrve your country? ZERO!!!!

I'm surprised why no one has

I'm surprised why no one has attempted to link Barak Obama to Sadam Hussein yet! ;-)

GOD wouldn't bless America without Obama at capitol hill.

If time is the healer, the truth comes a close second - ignorance is a disease and for that reason, the only way so many people can find the cure is to vote for and have the deity (BARAK OBAMA)in the famously painted white house currently the blackest building in the world. If you intend to have the house white again, I bet you,the only ace you have left is BARAK OBAMA - folks !! there isn't any "Ifs or Buts" about this, just do it. You may not realize that you've made more enemies than friends for the past eight years. You are being isolated a lot whether you pretend to be self-sufficient or so full of yourselves with looming ignorance. Humans have just a mouth and two ears - Americans, listen more with two GOD-given ears and speak less. GOD created all and not vice versa so, do the right thing and vote BARAK OBAMA,he is GOD's gift to you as one last chance; reason why he (BARAK OBAMA)will move into that building and just a touch/word of his will do so much. Americans, open up and let GOD come in through BARAK OBAMA - if you still have minds that reason correctly with little or no distorted ideas, do the right thing for once - go the OBAMA-way. Don't say I didn't tell you...Goodluck folks.


Obama is God's gift. A man who associated with a racist, a terrorist, and supports abortion. If Mary, a sixteen year old, was carrying Jesus today, Planned Parenthood would coerce her into aborting him. I don't believe God is going to bless this country any more. We have removed Him from all aspects of our government, removed Him from our schools, and attempted to remove Him from our social conscience. I don't think luck is going to make much difference in our future!