Obama and Racism

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Abstract From George Washington to George Walker Bush, 43 United States (US) patriots have occupied the most important post of responsibility of the United States of America (USA). Each of these Presidents made history in his own way; George Washington and the American Civil War; Abraham Lincoln on slavery; John Fritzgerald Kenedy and black American civil rights; Lindon B. Johnson, battling the Vietcong; Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the New Deal; George W. Bush a crackdown on terrorism. The question is who next? The run-up to the 2008 investiture in the USA is a one of a kind in the history of the US. Whoever occupies the Oval Office of the White House to influence the world and defend the US Constitution and Freedom will have to first of all convince the US electorate that he or she is the right person for the job and that his views on diverse issues are the right ones for the American people. Hilary Clinton, (Democrat), Barack Obama, (Democrat), John McCain (Republican); these are the three figures presently making hot news in the USA. Some claim McCain’s election to the White House would be a third term for Bush. However, the real attention is in the Democrat house. The two Democrat candidates are tearing themselves apart in a bid to be chosen democratic candidate for the white house. Obama’s election would imply that for the first time a black American would lead policy in the US after more than 200 years of national sovereignty. If Clinton is chosen candidate for democrats and wins the race then she will be the first female US President. McCain’s election may be considered as Bush’s third term. All three candidates have different views on different issues. One of those issues is racism. Maybe Obama’s views on racism should receive more attention because of the color of his skin. This essay attempts to expose Obama’s view on racism in the light of his background. Americans are preparing to go the polls late this 2008. Until now the Democrats still haven’t chosen who will carry their banner. The two candidates trying to influence their choice are Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton. Both candidates have been doing pretty well tearing each other apart on different issues. Both candidates have different views on different issues. One of those issues is racism. Maybe Obama’s views on racism should receive more attention because of the color of his skin. This essay attempts to answer the question whether Barack Obama is a racist or not from the point of view of his background and his views on the issue. Barack Obama; background and views on racism “Barack Obama is the junior U.S. Senator from Illinois and a Democratic candidate for president in 2008.” (E:\\Barack Obama Biography - Biography_com.mht) A deeper reading from the same internet site reveals that Barack Obama was born on the 4th of August 1961 of Barack Obama, Sr. (from Kenya) and Ann Dunham (from Kansas). He got married to Michelle in 1992. They live in Chicago, Illinios and have two daughters, Malia and Sasha. Obama worships in the United Church of Christ. He graduated from the University of Columbia in 1983 with a major in Political Science. He obtained Law Degree from Harvard (1991) - Major: J.D. - Magna Cum Laude. He equally attended Occidental College and is a member of the following Government Committees: - Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee - Foreign Relations Committee - Veterans Affairs Committee - 2005 and 2006: served on the Environment and Public Works Committee He is the author of the following books: Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance (1995) - The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream (2006) - It Takes a Nation: How Strangers Became Family in the Wake of Hurricane Katrina (2006) (E:\\Barack Obama Biography - Biography_com.mht) Obama has the background of rich elite. Speaking in the April 2008 Compassion Forum, Clinton accused him of being an elitist over his statement on the “bitterness” of Americans over their economic situation. In an article published January 22nd 2007 on the American Chronicle website, Syon Bhanot accuses Obama of racism because of a statement he made in one of his publications; “On June 10, 2005, Barack Obama committed suicide by way of shotgun to the face. KABOOM!! GOTDAMN, NIGER!!!!!!!!!!111" (Obama). In effect Bhanot claims state that “the words were more than offensive. They were a racially-motivated death threat.” (Bhanot). Bhanot compares Obama to McCain who treated his captivators in vietnam as “gooks.” However, Obama clearly has a slogan as far as this issue is concerned; "Race Doesn't Matter, Race Doesn't Matter," This may appear absurd because racial issues are still very prominent in the US but Obama has a clear stand; “Race doesn’t matter.” As acknowledged by Tim Wise in his March 6th 2008 articled entitled Racism, White Voters and the Myth of Color-Blindness, “ More importantly, to the extent Obama's success has been largely contingent on his studious avoidance of the issue of race such that he rarely ever mentions discrimination and certainly not in front of white audiences” (Wise). In a comment made on Obama’s favourable position in the US preliminaries, Geraldine Feraro mentioned that if Obama “was a white, he wouldn’t be where he is today.” In response, Obama judged that these comments were “absurd” and “ridiculous.” “If it were necessary to make a list of advantages and disadvantages of a presidential campaign, I do not think that my name or the color of my skin will be in the column of advantages.” (Obama) Racism is still a hot topic in the USA. But for Obama the issue is clear. Race or color doesn’t matter. He does not view the issue as a necessity for his campaign. It would not be too much to say that this candidate for the US Presidential elections is clearly not a racist. One might make certain statements like the statement quoted by Syon Bhanot about Obama but these statements do not necessarily reflect the true thinking and opinions of an individual. However, the new question is that of knowing why Obama avoids the topic so much. Nonetheless, there is only one Obama in the US and no other. His election in the US investiture would probably a big step in the US democratic process. References Syon Bhanot: Barack Obama and the Culture of Racism in American Politic; January 22, 2007: American Chronicle. Retrieved 12th April 2008 Primaires Américaines: Primaires USA – Polémique raciste: Clinton se sépare de sa financière : Retrieved on the 13th of April 2008 National Lawyer’s Guild, Global Research, March 25th, 2008: Barack Obama on Racism: retrieved on the 13th of April 2008 bio.biography.com: Barack Obama Biography (1961 - ): retrieved on the 14th of April 2008 Tim Wise: Uh Obama: Racism, White Voters and the Myth of Color Blindness: March 6, 2008 Obama’08: A More Perfect Union; Speech by Barack Obama Philadelphia, March 18th 2008. Retrieved April 14th 2008

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