An Inevitable Fate?

Last Tuesday in the US, Democratic voters in the state of Pennsylvania sent a message. They made it very clear that no matter how much momentum Barack Obama generates across the country…no matter how many powerful endorsements, YouTube videos or millions in campaign dollars he dums up… America is just not ready to vote a Black man into office.

These statistics based on exit polls by Edison/ Mitofsky say it all:

* White Voters for Hillary: 63% // White Voters for Barack: 37%

* Black voters for Hillary: 10% // Black voters for Barack: 90%

* White men for Hillary: 57% // White men for Barack: 43%

* White women for Hillary: 68% // White men for Barack 32%

* White Protestants for Hillary: 59% // White Protestants for Barack: 41%

* Catholics for Hillary: 70% // Catholics for Barack: 30%

* Jewish voters for Hillary: 62% // Jewish voters for Barack: 38%

* No religion (Hillary): 38% // No religion (Barack): 62%

I can’t help but think that if Senator Obama were a white candidate who had generated the same amount of excitement, this long drawn out and now painful back and forth between he and Hills would have been done a long time ago.

It’s what I, and I’m sure many others, were afraid of from the very beginning. At some point Obama’s race was going to become a factor in this election. No one wanted to address it. It’s simply easier to treat his ethnicity like the elephant in the room and attack him for being “elitist” and unable to reach blue-collar workers. But in reality, we all know in the back of our minds that Obama’s not connecting with this specific base because of his race…something he can’t change with another debate, rally or $25 million donation. And Hillary is using this to her advantage. She’s riding this elitist thing as far as she can and, well, it clearly worked for her in Pennsylvania.

Now—in the latest news, McCain is using the fact that a top Hamas official publicly stated his support of Barack against him. As if he and Barack were homies, conspiring to plan the next 911. Come on! It’s clear that this is a strategy to use his ethnicity to turn ignorant voters against him––and the timing could not be worse.

It’s going to be interesting to see what new back-handed strategies will come out of this process in the months to come. Obama has broken barriers through out the country—generating huge support in states with low African American populations like Iowa and Vermont- and the optimist in me wants to think that, ‘wow—he can really win this thing.’ Obama’s the political Oprah and he motivates people to look beyond race. But here we are…in the final hour… and the true fabric of this country is starting to unravel.

Mahogany Jones

Who is Mahogany Jones? She’s a part time media critic/news addict/marketer who has spent over 10 years analyzing media and pop culture while simultaneously taking part in its very creation. She seeks truth in everything that she does–even when it’s hard to find–and when not obsessing over this year’s election, she enjoys working with teens, gaining perspective from outside cultures and bringing like-minds together to create productive dialougue and change.

(And for kicks- Steely D)

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