Tuesday, October 14, 2008

McCain and the race card

Derrick Jackson of the Boston Globe accuses McCain of playing the race card. My response:

Mr. Jackson,

In your most recent column you accused John McCain of playing the race card based seemingly primarily based on reports that at one rally one supporter yelled "Kill him" while another used a racial epithet against a technician. This is pretty much the sum total of your evidence, which you bizarrely equate with a Wallace rally in 1968. Two people allegedly using hate-filled invective at a rally of thousands and suddenly McCain is playing the race card? This surely counts as pretty thin gruel.

I also noticed that you mentioned various Republican supporters of McCain urging discussion of Obama's use of cocaine and Palin's statement that Obama is "not a man who sees America the way that you and I see America." Palin, of course, used this statement in the context of Obama's links to Bill Ayers, a (white) man whose organization participated in the bombing of the Pentagon and Capitol. And just out of curiosity, was it also playing the race card when President HW Bush referenced Bill Clinton's marijuana smoking by telling his supporters regarding Clinton's campaign rhetoric "don't inhale"?

This race has certainly yielded some instructive information, but it has far more to do with yourself and other media types than McCain. For it is obvious that that only a race-obsessed individual who views everything through the prism of skin color and its various connotations could accuse McCain or Palin of bringing up the race issue. Indeed, what is remarkable is how McCain has been willing to link Obama with Ayers, but has resisted the urge to link him with Wright, who is of course black, despite the fact that this is ground that Democrat Hillary Clinton has already tread.

Perhaps a question worth investigating in a future column is how McCain could attack Obama over Ayers, Wright, etc. and NOT be labeled a racist. What are the rules? Or is any attack against Obama automatically racist simply by virtue of his being a black man? With Obama projected as the next president, its a question that millions of Republicans would appreciate an answer to.



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