Thursday, May 29, 2008

What Oprah might tell us about the election

Oprah has been in the news a lot this week. The main story is how her ratings are dropping. Most of the newscasts have focused on how she has become so political by supporting Obama and how her followers do not want to hear her tell them about politics. First off I want to say do not count out Oprah, there is a reason she is the most powerful women in the world, she will bounce back. Her primetime show and her magazine may fail (primetime show already has) but her regular show is not going anywhere. I find it interesting that the news and talk radio is blaming all this on her political stance. Oprah has always been political. She has supported every liberal Democrat that has run for president since Clinton. There is no way that Oprah’s many followers have never known what party she supports or what ideas she supports. She has not stumped before, but her feelings have always been well known. No there is something different that has hurt her ratings. I believe it is something that I have addressed earlier in a blog about Oprah and her new emphasis on spirituality. Most of Oprah’s audience are white middle class Christians. But now Oprah is pushing these new age philosophies about spiritual matters. I can not speak for all her audience, but for my own wife, who is a big Oprah watcher, it is these shows that have turned her off lately. It is great that Oprah is searching for spirituality, but I believe it is this that is setting her back, not Obama.

However, after saying that if it is because of Obama, I believe the Democrats have something to fear. I have said many times lately that I believe some Democrats are worried that they have supported the wrong candidate and if Oprah’s ratings are because of Obama they have. As I said, Oprah has always supported the Democratic party, is it possible that the dislike of Obama is that much greater than the appeal of Oprah? You could argue that much of her middle class white audience are conservative and would not support any Democrat, but in the past her support for Clinton, Gore, and Kerry did not cause her to lose numbers. If women will stop watching Oprah because of Obama, how can he win? Women are a major asset to the Democratic party, maybe even their strongest contingency (the poor, college students, and minorities do not tend to vote in large numbers); they will struggle without them.

As I said, I do not believe Oprah is in real trouble. She is a pro and will figure it out. I think her new push on religion will fade, or the election will end. However Oprah is a touch stone for much of middle America women, and if her support is decreasing because of Obama, the Democrats need to take notice. Change is a good campaign, it has worked many times in the past. But once the initial excitement wares off, voters want to know what kind of change and what kind of man is expounding this change. As we are getting closer to the election, and voters are looking harder at Obama, some may not like what they see.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Trouble with Hairspray

I posted a blog recently about a historical movie that I believe was inspirational while also very historically accurate. However I also watched another historical movie recently which was neither. My wife mocks me about how serious I take watching movies, but I do believe good film makers are always trying to make more than just a movie. This movie was Hairspray. I understand that many will stop reading this blog now; after all I am talking about Hairspray, a cheesy musical that was not supposed to be taken seriously. Yet the main message of the film was about fighting racial and physical intolerance. This message was a positive one, and anyone who knows anything about the civil rights movement or the plight of blacks in America in the 50s and 60s will agree with the message of Hairspray. My problem with the movie was the way they seeming made light of the struggles black America endured during this time. 1960s Baltimore was a very segregated city. Though in Maryland, Baltimore was always a very southern city and as such had serious racial rules. The main character in the film Tracy (played by Nikki Blonsky) is an outcast who wants to perform on an afternoon dance show. Tracy and her friend Penny (played by Amanda Bynes) while in detention (where all the black kids seemingly hangout) befriend the school’s black students and learn to dance like them. This new friendship opens up Tracy’s eyes to racial discrimination, where black kids are only allowed to dance on her favorite show once a month. Tracy decides to take a stand and convinces the black kids that they should do something about it which results in a protest march where Tracy pushes a cop and has to hide out to avoid being arrested. During their conflicts Penny becomes attracted to one of the main black characters, Seaweed, and they begin a little romance. In the end of the film, the black students and the two girls crash the dance contest, out dance the white dancers, the bad girls are exposed, Tracy wins the boy, the little black girl wins the contest, and Penny and Seaweed kiss. What a happy ending.

This movie is listed a musical/comedy, and I think that is why I had issues. It is a very serious subject not shown in its true light. It is a liberal Hollywood’s version how things should have been, but not how they were. I will only touch on a few points. Is there anything wrong with a black boy kissing a white girl, no. But in 1962 Baltimore that black boy would have been killed. A black man-white women relationship was the number one taboo of racial discrimination. In what the move portrayed as sweet would have ended in the death of Seaweed, and I am not exaggerating this point. This is where white liberal guilt is selfish. The two white girls meant well, but they were pushing the black kids, based on their own standard of right, to do things that would put the black youth in harm, while only minimal hard to themselves (the white girl was in no physical danger while the black boy’s very life was at stake). Whites joining protest marches are one thing, whites instigating the march is something else. When Tracy pushed the police officer, she would have been arrested, while the black youth would have been beaten and killed, something that happened too frequently in protest marches. The same outcome would have happened when they crashed the dance show. I do not have a problem with the idea of this movie; they just needed to more historical perspective. The kiss at the end bothered me the most, because they did not show the consequences of those that did fight the system. I do not have a problem with musicals, in fact I like them, and other musicals have taken on racism without the cheesy factor (Showboat, South Pacific).

In history there were men and women who stood up to racial intolerance, but they did not win dance contests. Fannie Lou Hamer as part of CORE boarded a bus and rode it across the south to protest discrimination at bus terminals. When she and her fellow passengers reached Mississippi she was drug off the bus and beaten within an inch of her life. She was beaten so badly that her eye fell out never to be used again. She was jailed for several weeks, only given bread and water, beaten every day and raped with a pipe (excellent bio of Hamer called For Freedom’s Sake by Chana Lee). In real life kissing a white girl did not bring happiness. In 1955 a young 14 year old black boy from Chicago named Emmett Till was visiting family in Mississippi. He did not know the rules of segregation and on a dare winked (far from kissing) at a white woman. In the middle of the night he was taken from his home by the women’s husband and friends and never seen alive again. When they finally found Till’s body they could only identify his from a ring he wore, because he was beaten so badly. His testicals were cut off and shoved down his throat. This is the real story of the struggle for civil rights, and how relationships between blacks and whites were handled (a better movie dealing with this black white relationship is Grapes of Wrath). Hairspray would have been fine if Tracy wanted black kids to dance on the show, but the fact that she started the fight and hit the cop and Penny was kissing black kids, minimizes what actually happened and in a time where more and more kids are living in a land with less or no racial restrictions, they know little about those that lived before them, and what they know they know from movies, and I just hope young kids today do not think the civil rights movement was that easy.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


As I have been listening to the radio and watching TV, a thought has came to me. I do not believe this is reality, but if for some very strange reason it is, it is the greatest political con in American History. Four months ago evil personified for the Republican party was Hillary Clinton. For most conservatives, we knew the Republicans chance of winning was slim, but just hoped someone other than Hillary would win for the Democrats. If you have read my blog over those months, I said early on that I never believed Hillary had a prayer of winning her party. Politically and historically she did not make any sense as a candidate. You never run someone that is already hated by so much of the population and is so polarizing. Yet what we have seen over these past few months is even scarier than a president Clinton, a president Obama. In the beginning Obama was just some slick speaker that seemed to bring new life to the Party, but now we are seeing a dangerous demigod, whose liberalism far surpasses our worst nightmares of Hillary. All of a sudden conservatives like myself are hoping that somehow Hillary will pull off the miracle and win her party. I still cannot believe I am saying that. I still do not like or trust her, but I do not believe she the kind of danger that an Obama will be. Just yesterday he said we consume too much fuel and food, and the rest of the world hates us for what we consume and so under his leadership he will cut us back. What if this is all a hoax? What if this is some kind of bait and switch? Our greatest enemy, Hillary Clinton, is now the good guy. Imagine if at the Democratic convention, they nominate Hillary like it was their plan all along. Would we not in some way be relieved? Would that not be amazing that she is not our worst fear. If it happened I believe she walks away with the presidency. She now comes across as confident, a fighter, and much more presidential then she would have if she ran away with the nomination from day one. Wit out Obama we would be spending all our energy killing her, instead of men like Rush telling Republicans to vote for her. I do not believe this is actually what is happening, I am not sure the Democrats are that smart to pull this off, but if they do they must be applauded for the most brilliant campaign of all time.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Importance of Boxing in History

I watched a movie over the weekend, it is a few years old now, but watching it made me remember how good of a movie it was. The movie is Cinderella Man staring Russell Crow and directed by Ron Howard. It is only a few years old, but when I bring it up in class I am amazed at how many students have not seen it. There are few movies that I think everyone should see, but this is one of them. It is a true story about a boxer named James J. Braddock, but the movie is not about boxing. The true story of Braddock is such an inspirational story, that I am surprised it has not been made years ago. Yes the movie has plenty of boxing, but it is about the Great Depression. There are many movies that show the hardships of the great depression, The Grapes of Wrath is great, but Cinderella Man beats them all. Most of us today have gone through hard times in our lives, but watching this movie puts in all in perspective. The struggles that families endured were heartbreaking. I love the scene of eating dinner where they each got a piece of fried bologna, and the little girl wanted more, so Braddock gave her his. When they ran out of milk (milk consumption dropped in NYC by over a million gallons daily) they added water. I love the images the movie portrayed; they can help any student feel their pain. The parts that tug at my emotions were when the oldest child stole food because he feared his parents may be forced to send him to live with relatives. Braddock looked him in the eye and promised he never would. When they did send them away, you know it broke his heart. The movie did a good job at several subplots, such as Braddock’s radical friend who wanted to fight the government, and how families were torn apart when husbands abandoned families when they lost all hope. I loved this movie because it showed real courage, not boxing, but fighting to stay together as a family in the worst economic depression in history.

I also liked the movie because it showed something I talk about in class. When I teach the 1920s I spend some time discussing the big five, the five most famous athletes of their era, and still some of the best of all times: Red Grange, football; Bill Tilden, Tennis; Bobby Jones, Golf; Jack Dempsey, boxing; and most important Babe Ruth, baseball. Sports were a bit different than today, the three most famous sports were baseball, boxing, and horseracing, and the most respected title in all of sports was the heavyweight champion of the world. Why I discuss the 1920s big five, is that these athletes, outside of Jones, were larger than life. They lived hard, and partied harder. They stared in movies and were bigger than the sports they played in. They were a product of their times, the roaring twenties, where life was about excess. Then came the stock market crash and everything changed. During the depression, the larger than life athlete was not as popular, but instead it was about the underdog. I use athletes and actors in class to try to show that depression effected every aspect of people’s lives and even who they cheered for. It was during this time that Braddock won the heavy weight championship. The movie did a great job showing how he meant more to Americans than just a champion, he brought them hope. Most Americans were desperate, and here was a man, a little older, a little worn down, had failed once, but was given a second chance and made good. Braddock represented them, I love the scene at the church (I will not give it away if you have not seen it), put people needed Braddock. It is in the depression that Sea Biscuit was also big and for the same reason. Not as good a movie, but worth watching. In the movie the owner said the horse was too small, the jockey too big, the trainer too old. Sea Biscuit had broke his leg and was on a comeback, and that’s the hero people wanted in the 1930s, not the big guys of the 1920s. The greatest 1930s athlete has yet to have a movie made, but should soon. Jessie Owens, a black man, walked into Nazi German and crushed the hopes of Hitler’s perfect race. He later said that he was not invited to shake hands with Hitler, but he was not invited to the White House either and still had to ride in service elevators in fancy hotels where he got awards. Talk about an underdog winning.

This is a great movie, and if you have not seen it, or have not seen it for some time, you should rent it. It is very historically accurate. I get emotional every time I watch it. If you are a parent, you cannot help getting a tear in your eye watching two patents struggle to keep a family together. It is a great love story and a story of courage and endurance. It reminds you others have dealt with worse and persevered. There is also some good boxing.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Republican V.P.

I would like to say something about choosing the VP. There has been a lot of conversation lately about Condoleezza Rice being placed on the Republican ticket next to McCain. I do not believe this would be a wise decision. I first would like to state that I believe she is qualified, and would make an excellent VP, but she is just not a good choice for this year. One of the principles reasons Rice’s name is being suggested is that she might draw minority votes to the Republican party. I do not believe this is accurate. I am fairly certain Obama will make the Democratic nomination and with Obama as the Democratic candidate, no black voters will switch sides because of Rice. There will be some blacks who vote Republican, but they will vote Republican whether or not Rice is the VP. This is a separate issue, but unfortunately Rice, because of her success and connection to the Republicans, is not seen as black by much of the black community. Unfortunately there will also be some Democrats who vote Republican this year, because they will not want to vote for a black president, bringing in Rice will only deter those voters from voting at all. Lastly and most important, I do not think it is wise to bring in someone so closely associated with the Bush administration. I am not a Bush basher, but much of our country is, and Rice is not just part of the administration, but a leader of it. Basically, for as good and smart as Rice is, she offers many more negatives than positives.

McCain does need to sure up his conservative constituents, so his VP must be a strong conservative. He could go with either of the other two front runners, Romney or Huckabee. Romney has the economic expertise that McCain is lacking, but brings in the Mormon baggage. Not to mention the two seemed to hate each other during the campaign. Huckabee is a strong social conservative, but outside the South often looks preachy. He seemed to be a sure in until he keep his campaign going, to the annoyance of McCain. What is needed is a social conservative with a strong record with the economy, and not someone too connected with President Bush. Two strong names that could fit the bill are Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Gov. Rick Perry of Texas. Both are strong southern conservatives with good fiscal policies. DeMint does not have much experience but is charismatic and a good speaker, he may be just what an old GOP is looking for. He was partly responsible in killing McCain’s immigration bill, which may not help their relationship, but at the same time McCain may need help from someone like DeMint to get conservative support on immigration. Perry is also a strong conservative and has done well in Texas, especially in courting the Hispanic vote, something McCain has done well with so may not need help there. Perry brings executive experience to the table, something McCain is lacking. Either choice would make for a good strong candidate.

I know there are loud voices within the GOP to diversify, which is not a bad idea, but for this election, up against either the first black or first women, diversity will not favor the Party. Instead Republicans should focus on courting middle America and fall back on the issues that has given them primary control of the White house since 1968 (28 out of 40 years), a DeMint or Perry will help, where as Rice might deter.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

John McCain and Teddy Roosevelt

McCain was interviewed this week on the O’Reilly show and it was a telling interview. He is the best candidate in the race, which is not saying much, but O’Reilly took him to task on his issues. The two points on the first night of the interview that will disturb conservatives was his stance on immigration and energy. McCain has strengthened his stance on immigration since McCain Kennedy, but he has far to go. He also said he supports cutting the gas tax for the summer, which if you read this blog you know my feelings on that. He also said he will not drill for oil in Anwar, which I believe is a mistake. His reason for not drilling at the Pole was because he said he is an environmentalist. Do we really need to keep the poles pristine for all the people who live there? But what I really want to comment on was his statement that he is copying his hero Teddy Roosevelt who was also an environmentalist. O’Reilly reminded McCain that Hillary also cited TR as her political hero, to which McCain responded, yes but he was a Republican. As long as new politicians are going to through out names of old politicians as hero’s we need to understand something about my specialty, the history of politics.

Without going into the complete story of the history of political parties (a two semester class) to understand TR you need to know something about his political landscape. TR became President in 1901 after the death of Pres McKinley. TR’s presidency ushered in a political time known as the progressives. Up till then we had been living in the Gilded Age. During the Gilded Age, we did have Republicans and Democrats, but we would not recognize them with our current beliefs. My main goal in my class is to show how much the parties have changed over the past 100 years. During the Gilded Age the top plank for the Democratic platform was that they were the party of white supremacy. The Democratic party dominated the Southern state under this platform. They were also the party of small government, or the government that governs the least is the best. Because of this most of their power in the North came from immigrants who did not want the government telling them their business. The Republican party was the party of Union war veterans, northern blacks (blacks in the south did not vote), business men, and moral reformers who wanted big government to decided moral issues for the nation (anti-drinking laws). As you can see this is much different from today’s parties, where Democrats want big government and are the party of minorities and the Republicans want small government and dominate the southern states. When all that changed are subjects for other blogs, but the point here is when politicians look at presidents around 1900 and say yes but they are Republican, they may have the same name, but not the same party.

Now look at TR. He was the first Progressive president, meaning he was the first US president to actually think the government should be part of Americans lives. During the first 100 years of this nation, most people had few dealings with the federal government. The only things the Federal government did that affected the average person was give pensions to Union Civil War soldiers, pass tariffs to help the economy, sell cheap land out west, and occasionally send in the army to break up strikes, other than these they did nothing. When TR took over the White house, he launched the nation into a series of reforms and made the government the biggest it had ever been. Only two other presidents had made the office of the president as big as TR, Andrew Jackson and Lincoln, and neither of them went as far as TR. So for a Republican today, who wants small government, to say they want to be like TR does not make sense. As far as being an environmentalist, yes TR was one. He loved the outdoors and wanted to save some wilderness and created many of our national parks today. But what is not talked about was the land given to major companies to use their resources. He believed some land needed to be set aside for future use, not just to hike in, but eventually use their resources. I do not know, but I believe under our current energy crisis, TR would have no problem drilling in Anwar, the benefit to our nation would way out do any environmental impact.

There will always be certain historical figures that all politicians want to compare themselves too, Jefferson, Lincoln, TR, FDR, and JFK, but at times they might want to understand exactly what they stood for or what their parties stood for. Lincoln was the first Republican president, but he was liberal enough to make most Democrats happy today (he freed the slaves, you can not get more liberal than that). Ex speaker of the House, Trent Lott, would have been smart to have a historian read his speech before he said to the world that we would have had a better country if Strom Thurman had won in 1948. Thurman ran on the platform of white power and segregation, if Lot would have paid more attention in history he might have remained Speaker.

So my suggestion to all politicians is that before they speak about the past, they first need to understand the past. I believe understanding our political past is vital to understanding our political future. I would recommend everyone read about past presidents, they are not only entertaining, but can be informative about our future. Or move to South Texas and take my political parties class.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Clinton's Gas Problems

I watched an interview with Clinton on the Today show with Meredith Vieira. I believe Clinton has come on strong lately and has made her party question their decision to support Obama, but this week with a very good interview of Vieira, Hillary cracked a bit. Hillary, for the first time, looked like she was losing and was grasping at anything she could to still try to somehow win over her party. Vieira was questioning Clinton about her proposal to fix gas prices. My opinion was that Hillary looked very weak. She has proposed a plan to cut the gas tax during the summer months, something that almost every economist disagrees with. When Vieira brought that fact to Hillary’s attention, she said she did not care what economists think, basically applying that she knows more. I believe this is a political trick that I hope America can see right through. First off, even if she is elected, it would not be until November and she would not take office until next year. So for now, she can say anything she wants about this summer, knowing she will never have to put her money where her mouth is. She can play to angry Americans who are paying too much on gas, but yet not have to act so she will not have to deal with the political fall out. This is like a high school election, when candidates are promising to have less homework and better food, yet know that if elected they have no power to do either. Hillary is making promises that she can not act on, but knows she will not have to. To me this is a sign of a desperate woman.

Why is cutting the gas tax bad? There are complicated arguments against this, and I am not an economist, but as I see it, our country makes a lot of money from the gas tax, needed money, and cutting the tax does not guarantee a drop in price, just a higher prophet to the gas companies who pay the tax. The idea for Hillary is if you drop the tax, the gas companies will drop their price. But why would they? Gas companies are private businesses who want to make as much money as possible. People are willing to pay $4.00 for gas, they will yell and complain, but they will pay. Why would the gas companies drop their prices just because taxes are dropped when they can continue to make money. The only way to drop prices is to decrease the demand or raise the supply. Either we stop driving our cars or drill in Alaska, but we do not seem willing to do either (Hillary, the one who claims to want to find a solution voted against drilling in Alaska). We need to make the market work, but we are not willing to inconvenience ourselves and shop around. If we boycotted the most expensive companies they would have to lower their prices, we need a price war. I do not see any solution coming soon, but until it does, gas will become the primary battlefield in the presidential election, and we will continue to see politicians making promises they can not keep

Monday, May 5, 2008

Cinco de Mayo

Because today is Cinco de Mayo, I now that I live on the border of Mexico, I thought I would write a few things to clear up what the day is. Many around the country will drink Mexican beer and Tequila and make fools of themselves as a way of celebrating this holiday but they have no idea why they are celebrating. The inspiration for Cinco de Mayo comes from a battle fought on May 5, 1862 where the Mexicans beat the French army. It has nothing to do with Mexico’s Independence day as most believe, which is in September. A little background, in 1821 Mexico won its war of independence from Spain. Over the next several years Mexico was run by the first and second estate, meaning the elite white Mexicans (European decendents who never mixed with Indians) and the Catholic Church. By the 1850s there was a large liberal movement in Mexico which led to the 1857 reforms. The most important reform was the fall from political power of the Church, whose land was taken and redistributed. The Catholic church was not too happy about this new Mexico and so with the support of the French army led by an Austrian named Maximilian they invaded Mexico. The date here is important, if you know your American history, it is during the Civil War when America was too busy to care about Mexico being invaded by a European power and breaking the Monroe Doctrine. So on May 5, 1862 the French force arrived at Puebla only to be beaten by the Mexicans. This is the case of winning the battle and losing the war, because by the next year the French had captured Mexico and set up Maximilian as the Emperior of Mexico.

So why is this battle so important? Mexico was a divided nation. There was a strict class society in Mexico with the white elite, the regular Mexicans (mixing of Spanish and indians) and the indians. What the Battle of Puebla did was help create nationalism. They were able to defeat a powerful European nation, and brought a sense of pride to a struggling nation. With this new pride, they saw themselves not as different classes but as Mexicans. It is like they won their independence in 1821, but did not become Mexicans until 1862.

The holiday itself is interesting, because it is not celebrated in all of Mexico. It has become more of a popular holiday in America, like St. Patricks day, Mexians can show off their heritage, and it gives white Americans a chance to make tacos and drink alcohol. Drinks aside, it is a fun holiday and a chance to celebrate a different culture. Down here in south Texas it is a big deal, but suprisingly not as big as places with a smaller mexican population. Every day here is Mexican cultre day, where as in places where Mexicans are the minority they do more to hold on to their heritage. So I hope everyone has a happy Cinco de Mayo, and make some good Mexican food, and celebrate. And now you even know why.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Democratic Troubles

I believe the Democrats are in real trouble. I watched two interviews in the last two days, one with Hillary on the Bill O’Reilly show and the other with Obama on the Today show with Meredith Vieira. From my perspective, I believe the Democrats have realized they have backed the wrong candidate. Obama will still win the Democratic nomination, and will continue to win votes in the democratic primary, but as Hillary has brought to her parties attention, Obama is slowly losing a grip on swing voters and independents. What I saw in the interviews was a confident Hillary and a nervous Obama, and Hillary was being interviewed by her political enemy while Obama was interviewed by a soft today show. The biggest thing Obama has had going for himself in the past months was his charisma and speaking ability. But now that he is on the defensive and trying to justify his own actions and statements, he seems nervous and fidgety. Vieira did not throw hard balls at the Obamas but she did try a few times to get Michele Obama to say what her personal feelings were on Reverend Wright. Michele looked very uncomfortable and would not answer the question, but instead kept saying we need to move past this. Of course the Obamas want to move past this, Rev. Wright is killing them. They have to walk a fine line in distancing themselves from Wright to appease a white audience who find Wright offensive, while not do anything to provoke their black audience that support him. Again in my simple opinion, Obama’s speaking charisma has waned and is not as effective as Americans have become sensitized to his personality.

In the beginning of the campaign, Hillary seemed to be the time bomb, the candidate who was so polarizing that she could never win a national election. Yet as more information surfaces about Obama, his own statements, and a brilliant campaign from the Clinton’s in the recent months (3 O’clock in the morning phone call), Obama has become the more polarizing figure. The biggest hot button issues for Obama right now is his relationship with Rev. Wright, his comments in San Francisco, and his wife’s comments. Obama has denounced Rev. Wright, but to many it was too little too late. He said Wright is not the same man he knew 20 years ago, but yet he has been attending his church for 20 years and only this week separated himself from his minister. I still think the more damming issue is his statement in San Fran, that the only reason middle America believes in God is that they are economically oppressed. Obama has said his comment was taken out of context, but I cannot think of any context where this statement would not be negative. In his interview on the Today Show, he defended the accusation of an elitist by pointing out his own humble background (See William Henry Harrison post). However his comment was not aimed towards urban poor, but small town poor, and I would add had a racist component. I am fearful of the direction Obama will take from here out. Also in the interview he blamed the recent attacks on him as a result of America being afraid of a black man winning, he has now used the race card. As his character and his own statements are coming under attack, he is seeing his best defense as they are doing this because I am black. In the long run this approach will not work on America. Americans need to be able to criticize their president (look at Pres Bush), and they need to feel they can criticize without being labeled a racist. The most interesting aspect of the particular race card is it is being directed towards his own party. Much of the criticism thrown towards him is from his own party, namely the Clinton campaign.

I would like to make one other comment about the Wright situation. Why would Wright want to hurt the Obama candidacy, because that is what he is doing. I believe the answer is two fold. One, it is simply about greed. Wright is a wealthy man, and this controversy has only made him more public and more important in certain circles. He cares more about himself and his standing then he does in helping Obama get elected. Second, and I will admit I have no factual bases for this other than my gut, but an Obama victory has the potential of being damaging to men like Wright, Jesse Jackson, and Farakon. All these men derive their power from the perception of a racist American and also a racist government. The discussion of race will have to change dramatically if we elect a black man. How can they fight against a racist government if the government is led by a black man. With no racism, they have no power. They either need Obama to lose and call the nation racist or if he wins, make him an uncle Tom, similar to what black leaders have done to Condi Rice.