Friday, October 31, 2008

'No experience or accomplishments, but he is black'

Undisguised racism has become an unfortunate characteristic of the final days of the 2008 presidential campaign.

The chair of a local GOP chapter in Florida is warning of "car loads of black Obama supporters coming from the inner city to cast their votes for Obama."

The head of the Hillsborough GOP, David Storck, distributed an email from a Republican Party volunteer saying the voters are a threat.


It goes on to say, "This is their chance to get a black president and they seem to care little the he is at minimum a socialist and probably Marxist in his core beliefs." The Republican volunteer says that is because, "After all he is black- no experience or accomplishments but he is black."
Now, the racism involved in characterizing peaceful voters, who happen to be black, as a threat is one thing.

But I would like to examine the part of the e-mail that dismisses Barack Obama as someone with "no experience or accomplishments."

Barack Obama is a graduate of two of the world's most elite institutions of higher learning: Columbia University and Harvard.

He is a former editor of the Harvard Law Review.

He is a former professor of constitutional law at the top-tier University of Chicago Law School.

After graduation, he chose the life of a community organizer over a high-paying career on Wall Street.

Nonetheless, he is a self-made millionaire, the author of two best-selling books.

He is the husband of a loving wife and the father of two adoring children.

He is a former Illinois state lawmaker.

He is a United States senator.

And he is the Democratic Party's 2008 nominee for president of the United States.

If Barack Obama is not accomplished, nobody is accomplished.

Yet, David Storck, the Hillsborough GOP chair in Temple Terrace, FL insists that Obama's only appeal for tens of millions of voters is that he is black.


There is a saying that black parents tell their children: You have to be twice as good to be considered just as good.

In other words, there is no margin of error. If you do not command respect with excellence, nobody will give you the benefit of the doubt. It is not good enough to be as good as everybody else. You have to be better. Then, and only then, will "they" consider you good enough.

But for some people, even an overachiever like Barack Obama must still prove himself worthy of respect. He can never be good enough.

There is no period of Obama's life that is not marked by the pursuit and achievement of excellence. But David Storck, this local GOP chair in Florida, looks at Obama and can't see any of it. He looks at Obama and sees only one thing: skin color.

And to add insult to injury, he denigrates Obama's supporters as the racists.

Nice try, but no sale.

There are plenty of legitimate grounds upon which honest people can disagree about Obama's qualifications for the presidency. But his record of accomplishment is not one of them.

So let's drop the pretense. For people like David Storck, it is not about socialism. It is not about Marxism. It is not about birth certificates or taxes or Islam.

If Columbia, Harvard, the Law Review, the Law School, the Audacity of Hope, the United States Senate, the nomination, the family, and the content of the man's character don't allow you to see anything more than the color of his skin, you sir or madam are a racist.

*Edited slightly for style.

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