McKee: Obama's Race-Card Strategy Is Disingenuous

Wednesday, 27 Jun 2012 03:10 PM

By Clarence V. McKee

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Clarence V. McKee's Perspective: In 2006, then Sen. Barack Obama went to Maryland's oldest historically black university, Bowie State, to campaign for a white Democrat who was running against black Republican Lt. Gov. Michael Steel for the U.S Senate. He said: “You don’t vote for somebody because of what they look like. You vote for somebody because of what they stand for.”

Two years later in 2008, black and white liberals hailed Obama’s election as the dawn of a “post-racial” America — no more double standards on “race-card” politics.

obama-and-holder.jpg
Attorney Gen. Eric Holder (left) addresses reporters as President Obama looks on.
(AP Photo)
What is the reality today?

Edward Klein writes in “The Amateur” that Obama’s chief strategist, David Axelrod, has nicknamed him “Black Jesus;” syndicated radio show host Tom Joyner urges blacks to support Obama “. . . because he’s a black man;” Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith says in an Obama campaign commercial: “. . . it’s left up to us, as African Americans, to show that we have his back . . .”; the executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) says that criticism of Obama is “because he's black;” The Leadership Conference on Civil rights (LCCR) tells House Speaker Boehner that Attorney General Holder should not be held in contempt of Congress because he is doing an “exemplary job” in enforcing “civil rights laws;” and, the CBC invites the IRS and ACLU to a meeting of black ministers to show them how to get around IRS rules in order to repeat Obama’s 95 percent black turnout.

If Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity said we should elect Mitt Romney “because he’s a white man;” if a white NFL head coach appeared in a Romney commercial saying: “. . . it’s up to us as white Americans” to cover his back . . .” there would be an uproar with demands for sponsor boycotts and calls for NFL condemnation.

Regarding Holder, Rev. Al Sharpton quickly dealt the race card: Holder was “. . . mishandled just like the young Black and Latino men . . . who are demonized on our streets everyday.”

On the ministers’ meeting, CBC Chairman Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., said it was called to discuss “. . . Jim Crow-style ‘poll tax’” voter ID laws which are designed to suppress black turnout. Imagine what would happen if Ralph Reed of the Faith and Freedom Foundation had hosted a meeting featuring a George W. Bush Attorney General and the IRS telling white evangelicals how to get around IRS rules to get out their voters.

How do we go from “don’t vote for somebody because of what they look like,” to an almost race neutral campaign in 2008, to today when Obama’s color is on the front burner — for blacks?

The Obama team knew they had the black vote “in the bag.” The problem was keeping the Sharptons and other black leftists in the closet so as not to frighten whites. Put “Oprah” out front to reassure and get enough white votes to win.

Today, she has been thrown under the bus and is nowhere to be seen. Has anyone asked her why? Many of those whites who supported Obama are having “buyer’s remorse” over his failed economic and left wing policies. So, they must repeat the 95 percent black turnout.

How? Take a page out of the old Southern Democrat racist playbook — but direct the blatant racial appeals to blacks. Bet that black voters care more about Obama’s color than the color of their money; that unlike most voter groups, will not ask “what have you done for me lately?”

Frederick Harris wrote in The Washington Post that, during a Howard University speech in 2007, Obama promised to “. . . ensure fairness in the criminal justice system; assist in passing a federal racial-profiling law; encourage states to reform their death penalty laws . . . and rethink the wisdom of locking up first-time nonviolent drug offenders for decades.”

They are still waiting.

What has “Black Jesus” done to pay off non-black disciples? For wealthy white elites, hobnobbing at lavish fundraisers; for Hispanics, a constitutionally dubious work permit program; for gays, repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and non-enforcement of the Defense of Marriage Act; and for Planned Parenthood and feminists, opposition to a ban on race and gender-based abortions.

The payoff to his and the Democrats’ most loyal followers suffering under 40 percent youth unemployment: avoiding black neighborhoods on his Midwest bus tour; telling blacks to stop complaining, crying, and grumbling; and, directing his surrogates to tell blacks to vote for him “. . . because he’s a black man.” Their response: lay palms at his feet and sing the race card hymn.

The race-card strategy is disingenuous, hypocritical and demeaning! The real reasons they do it is because he — and Holder — are black liberal Democrats!

If race were the real issue, the “defenders of blackness” would have condemned racist characterizations and comments — by black and white Democrats — against Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, Michael Steele, Herman Caine Congressman Allen West, R-Fla., and Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll — black Republicans all.

Instead, they either joined the lynch party or smiled as they looked up at the tree.

Will Republicans fight back and call the race-card hand? Don’t bet on it. They will probably fold so that they will not be called — you guessed it — “racists.”

Clarence V. McKee is President of McKee Communications, Inc., a government, political and media relations consulting firm in Coral Springs, FL. Contact him at clarencemckee@gmail.com. Read more reports from Clarence V. McKee — Click Here Now.

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