Monday, September 22, 2008

The Election, Economy and Race

A new American Research Group poll shows that “[n]o Americans say that the national economy is getting better,” while 82 percent say it is getting much worse. So, the question just begs asking: In the middle of this financial meltdown, why is the election close?

Jonathan Tasini believes it boils down to race. "...certain people won't vote for a black person for president. Simple as that."

How do we combat people's irrational fear? Education. In this case, Tasini gives us a video he filmed at a recent Ohio delegation breakfast meeting where Richard Trumka, secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO, took on the issue of race. It's about 6 minutes long, but well worth watching.

These are some of the important points I jotted down while watching it:
A friend told him she didn't trust Obama because he's black. Trumka tells the woman she's out of her mind - this is 2008. Workers are losing pensions, losing their homes, losing their healthcare and want change, but can't bring themselves to vote for a black man.

Education is the answer. Racism is a tool used to divide working people. The only way working people have ever won anything in this country is by crossing that color line, by turning to each other and not on each other, and by recognizing that our common interests as working people are far more important than race. That's how steel workers organized, that's how auto workers organized, etc.
Watch the video. Trumka is a good speaker and he's funny too. This was my favorite line:
A worker who votes for John McCain is like a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders. If you vote Republican in 2008, you're bound to get plucked.

(Cross-posted at Blogging for MI.)


Frogette said...

That was great. I loved his comment that if McCain was any closer to Big Business he'd be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

JollyRoger said...

The Klanservatives wouldn't have won any of their last 5 Presidential elections without racism weighing heavily in the minds of voters.

Saint Ronnie's "strapping young buck," Bush I's Willie Horton, and Chimpy's gay couple (who were a way of allowing bigots to be openly bigoted again) are the Klanservative tools for election victory. This ignorance must be repulsed at every turn, and those who preach it are going to have to be ignored in favor of educating those who might be tainted, but not yet too far gone. A lot of white people may consider themselves superior, but the way in which they make their choices indicates that they are anything BUT.

abi said...

I saw a recent poll that said race could cost Obama 6% of the vote. That's a lot of voters, but still, I can't believe the election will be close enough for it to matter. McCain is either a confused old man or a flat-out liar, and Palin won't win many swing voters.

Kathy said...

Frogette, that was one of my favorite lines too. The whole speech was great.

Jollyroger, those white people who consider themselves superior need to be reminded who messed things up. It wasn't black people who have been running the show in Washington the past 200+ years.

Abi, I'm pretty hopeful the election won't be close either. In the end, I think people will vote for substance (Obama) over soundbites (McCain).