Monday, December 3, 2007

There is just no way that Hill or Barack have a chance

The next President of The United States?

I hope that all of you by now have given some thought as to who will be the next President of The United States. I have and here is what I think.

First I must warn the idealists amongst you that my opinion may offend your idealist sensibilities.

Rudy Giuliani is going to be the next President. I think so because I think that Hillary is going to get the Democratic nomination. In fact in order for any Republican to win the White House in 2008 Hillary MUST win the nomination.

If Hillary does win that will bring out every single conservative, conservative leaning, semi-conservative, evangelical voter in America. Hillary Clinton is the most hated politician in America. More people hate Hillary than those who hate George Bush. And trust me the conservatives and evangelicals really know how to hate.

Hillary Clinton garnering the Democratic nomination will be a bonanza for the Republican nominee. He won't even have to do anything major except not mess it up. Just say as little as possible and keep repeating that Hillary Clinton is the opponent. That's it and the White House will be his.

Also for those of you still living the fantasy of Barack Obama getting anywhere near the Democratic nomination, please allow me to squash that little fantasy.

We live in the most racist nation in the world. A nation that loves to hate Black men like it loves nothing else. America has been honing it's Black man hating skills now for several hundred years. We have seen in the last year or so that racial hatred in the U.S. still exists in forms that we thought were gone forever. There have been a rash of cross burnings, noose incidents and black face parties.

The media still portrays Black men as the archetypal miscreant.

It matters not the Sen. Obama's father was Kenyan or that his mother was a White American woman. Barack Obama is a Black man. That's what it boils down to. His campaign has just been an amazing opportunity for White liberals to show how liberal they are by showing up at his campaign rallies and wearing Barak Obama buttons.

When the chips are down and those voters are in the privacy of the voting booth there is no way in heck they are going to vote for a Black man to be the most powerful man on earth.

So, that brings me back to Hill. She is the likely democratic nominee. I'm sure that there are Republican operatives donating to her campaign and campaigning for her at this moment. There is nothing more that the Republicans want than for Hillary Clinton to be the Democratic nominee.

If indeed Hillary is the nominee then the Republican candidate will win. And that candidate will be Rudy Giuliani. I think that will be the case because he will win the nomination by default. Americans, especially evangelicals are not going to let a Mormon get any where near the Presidency. And enough non-evangelicals think that Mormonism is some sort of cult that they won't vote for Mitt Romney either.

Who else has a chance? Well Huckabee is surging at the moment but I don't think he has a good chance. I don't think he has the charisma to beat Giuliani in the long run and probably not enough money either.

Fred Thompson has been a bust. I hope he is memorizing Law And Order scripts for next season. He just doesn't have IT, whatever it is.

So it looks like the Republicans will win the White House and the way the Democrats have screwed up having a majority in Congress there is a good chance the Republicans may take that back too.

Do you agree or disagree with my assessment? Do you really think Barack Obama has a chance?

And by the way, why hasn't Microsoft added Barack Obama to spell-check yet?


browngirl said...

lmao...." and let the people of the church say aaaaaamen!"....

DMB said...

Interesting. I agree but, I say that with gritted teeth because I can't imagine Guiliani getting to the presidency. He's still too ethnic for mainstream America. A 'New York Guido' (as some biased folks might say--not me!) is okay for New York, but Middle America?

Not sure.

Mes Deux Cents said...


I understand your point about Rudy. But he has a lot of 'street cred' with middle America after 9/11.

They still don't get it that many of the firefighters would have gotten out of the Towers had Rudy fixed the FDNY communications system.

Also I think they will see him as the lesser of two evils, a mormon or..... (lol)

Greg said...

I disagree that this is the most racist nation in the world. There are plenty that are in a worse state racially than us. That said, racism does exist here, but we've come a long way. We are at a point where racial cultures are starting to blend, rather than pull apart.

Economics is probably the largest factor in this shift. Many prominent blacks dominate entertainment and generate lots of money for the economy. This in turn attracts people regardless of race. Socially the benefit is a blending of our cultures. What this nation has needed for a long time is a merging rather than the divergence that has happened in the past.

This is mainly occurring with the younger generations. A common identity is forming as Americans rather than African-Americans, or Mexican-Americans, etc. Once people of different races start sharing a mutual culture in their music, literature, and other forms of entertainment, racial tension will ease as it has been doing steadily.

So while Colin Powell probably would not have had much of a chance a couple of election cycles ago, Barrack Obama's race probably won't be much of a factor. This is the same as Geraldine Ferraro’s chances in the past compared to Hillary Clinton's today.

Obama does have a chance if people are reminded how much the Clintons distracted the nation with their personal problems. What will hurt Obama is not his race, but his refusal to say anything negative.

Giuliani will have more trouble than Obama. He's too liberal for his party on social issues. And as the last couple of weeks have shown, he brings a lot of personal baggage that the Republican Party has had enough of in the past couple of years. Huckabee is the Republican Party’s strongest chance to keep its base together. He suffers from the same niceness as Obama, but can speak up if pressed. He lacks a foreign policy background, but so does everyone else except McCain, who alienated most of his supporters in the past.

Overall you are looking at this from a Republican-Democrat standpoint, which I think is incorrect. The real power divide is between those that want a strong central government and believe that those who own the most assets should run the country, and those that believe in a limited central government and reserving much of the power for the states and the people. I'll call the first group Centralists and the second Regionalists.

Centralists have existed throughout political history. George W. Bush is a Centralist as well as many of his political appointees. If we follow this ideology back through history, we will see that they have been also known as Federalists, and before that Royalists. The idea is always the same, a central leader (a monarch or president) is supported by those who own the country (the nobles or large corporations).

Regionalists put more emphasis on giving states as much power as possible. There are Regionalists in both major political parties. This ideology recognizes that it is too difficult to maintain political control over vast regions of land with a central authority. This gives more power to local authorities and therefore more power directly to the people. The Persian Empire and the Roman Empire at its strongest followed Regionalist politics.

So Guliani, Clinton, Romney, Obama, and McCain are all strong Centralists. Really most of the candidates are. Ron Paul, Mike Gravel, and Dennis Kucinich are the closest to being Regionalists so probably won't have any chance since 90% of media is owned by major corporations. The rest lean toward being Centralists.

Politically, Clinton will act like a smart George W. Bush. She'll pander to large corporations and look out for her own interests. The Republicans will probably not win no matter who wins the primary. Their base has become too divided and the country wants change even if they don't get it.

Edwards still has a slim chance, but something dramatic would have to happen to give him any favor. Obama just needs some of the Clinton past to resurface. Nothing about Bill's sex life, but about the other scandals involving both of them and about their evasiveness when brought into question. The country has had enough evasiveness between Clinton I and Bush II.

So yes, Obama still has a chance. He's still good for corporations and intelligent and articulate so will restore our credibility in foreign affairs. If Obama can raise his last-minute sales-pitch to American corporations he can beat Clinton II. Clinton’s largest issue is that she can’t be trusted with anyone’s interest but her own.

If we look back at the presidents of the United States, we will find an odd pattern that mostly looks like a royal succession. The number of cases where presidents are related to each other or to other powerful leaders should be statistically unlikely in a democracy.

Tami said...

Despite what the media is saying, I think it is anybody's game on both sides of the fence. Obama and Edwards are breathing down Clinton's neck, and the Republican race is all over the place. Iowa is not such a sure thing for Clinton anymore, and Mike Huckabee seems to be coming out of nowhere to edge closer to Romney and Guiliani.

I do agree that if Clinton gets the nomination (and I hope that she doesn't), it will energize the right. I don't understand why her supporters don't get that.

That said, I think if Guiliani is picked, he will split the Republican vote. He is a pro-gay rights, thrice married New Yorker. And I think pro-choice, too. I have a hard time seeing the Evangelicals getting behind him. If nothing else, with Guiliani as the Republican pick, the right will have a hard time picking at the Clintons' marriage and Bill's moral foibles. Guiliani brought his mistress into Gracie Mansion, for God's sakes.

Mes Deux Cents said...

Hi Greg,

"Many prominent blacks dominate entertainment and generate lots of money for the economy. This in turn attracts people regardless of race. Socially the benefit is a blending of our cultures."

This entire passage is problematic on many levels. I think though that we should leave the reasons why for another day. It suffices to say that if celebs such as rappers/ actors/ athletes are thought to be representative of African America at-large then there is a serious problem.

Regarding Sen. Obama; Race will be the deciding factor in the Mr. Obama's run for the White House. As I said in my post there are many White liberals who publicly state their support for Barack Obama, but electing him to the office of the President is something that I don't think these liberal White supporters will do.

Despite the somewhat rosy picture you paint the problem of race is as great as ever amongst the majority of likely voters. This group is made up mainly of people over the age of 30. This group is hardly progressive on the issue of race.

Also you talk about a younger generation being less likely to consider race as a factor. I would remind you of the epidemic of "ghetto parties" on college campuses around this nation. We are not talking about poor uneducated White students taking part; we are talking about mostly middle class, children of so-called liberal parents. Possibly you are fortunate enough to be surrounded by a more enlightened group of people in your life.

So, Sen. Obama I feel will not be able to overcome his race in the run for the White House. The proof, as they say, will be in the pudding. So we shall see.

On Sen. Clinton; I hope that the American people will wake up and decide that they don't want a Bush-Clinton Dynasty to continue. If that happens then Edwards I feel would be the alternative. This scenario is the one I would wish for.

On Rudy; you make valid points. I think that you may be underestimating the unwillingness of many Americans to support a Mormon. I know that some think Huckabee is a viable choice but I don't. I really don't think he will survive very far into the primary season, mainly because of money but also because despite what many think, Giuliani will be able to garner support from the evangelicals as the "lesser of two evils".

After all didn't Televangelist Pat Robertson recently endorse Rudy?

Thanks for stopping by

Mes Deux Cents said...


(lol) I totally agree about Rudy and the evangelicals but Pat Robertson has endorsed him. That says a lot. I think that the evangelicals are more concerned with backing a winner than their ideology at the moment. Some might call them hypocrites, I won't though. (lol)

I think Edwards has a chance if Hill slips or if as Greg mentions, her past (husbands past) comes back to haunt her. Having an ex-President as your husband is really heavy baggage to carry on the campaign trail.

My money is on Rudy. I don't want it to happen, but I think it will. (sigh)

Liz said...

I think about this sort of nightmarish scenario quite a bit. It just can't go down like this. I know the pollsters wrote off Obama in Iowa weeks ago but now he's making his comeback. Edwards just seems to be playing third wheel right now, but maybe it'll come out that he's actually the one with some real ideas and vision.

Rudy? I can't picture conservative ladies voting for a cheater. But they might turn around and feel sorry for a woman who's been cheated on, Hillary Clinton.

I will say that at least Rudy puts all his drama out on Front Street so America can get used to it and get past it.

Mes Deux Cents said...


Everyone expects Rudy's past to be a factor but the evangelicals are starting to back him.

There is a lot of shady stuff in his past even beyond the affair thing, but so far he's teflon.

Monica Roberts said...

Ms Deux,
I respectfully disagree with your assessment.

What you are forgetting is that a Hillary-Rudy race already took place in 2000. (NY senate race) Hillary was cleaning his clock so badly that Rudy used his cancer discovery as a way to pull out.

Rudy also has a negative record BEFORE 9-11, his buddy Bernard Kerik who's under indictment, and the crappy way he treated his second wife while he was mayor.

Rudy will not win the GOP nomonation. Bank on that. Yoo much baggage that the Dem nominee will gleefully remind the country of if he does.

Something else you can bank on is that the GOP will LOSE seats in the Senate. They have to defend far more senate seats than the Dems do in this cycle. Some of their incumbents, like Idaho's Larry Craig and Alaska's Ted Stevens are embroiled in scandal while others are dealing with high negative ratings.

For example, in my home state od Texas John Cornyn is polling in the high 30's. Mitch McConnell is in major trouble here in Kentucky. Elizabeth Dole in NC is polling in the 30's

The point is that the Dems need 60 seats in the Senate to be able to pass legislation WITHOUT major interference from the GOP. Until they get those 60 seats, they can't do jack because the GOP can use procedural rules to gum up whatever the Dem House passes.

The bottom line is that we WILL have a Dem president. The GOP has had eight years and royally jacked up this country. Sensible people realize that the only way to get us back on the right track is to let the Dems run thangs.

As far as Barack Obama having a chance, he has to win in either Iowa or New Hampshire. He has to break the aura of inevitability that Hillary has right now.

Even then I worry that Barack is gonna run into the 10% problem.

Ten percent of the white US voting population will NOT vote for an African-American candidate no matter how qualified they are.

Mes Deux Cents said...


Only 10%?

I think Rudy is going to win by process of elimination. I know that Hill beat him in N.Y. but I think a nationwide race will be different.

Don't underestimate the dislike of Hill in 'middle America'.

About congress, that's true but they (the dems) need to do a better job of letting voters know why they aren't doing anything.

Greg said...

Mes deux cents,

I think you've missed my point entirely. Racism is the effect of divergence in culture. This is why I believe an African fostered identity for black Americans and a Euro identity for white Americans tends to stoke racism.

Black pop stars and idols are not representative of the black population as a whole any more than any other race of star is representative of their demographic. That would be a bit like saying whites are represented by Paris Hilton and that "git er done" guy.

What I do write is that black pop icons are merging the cultures of newer generations of Americans regardless of race. And this is all a factor of economics. Those who make a lot of money and create markets greatly effect our culture. So you have millions of white and black and everything in between growing up on a blended culture.

Those who make a living because of racial differences tend to avoid the fact that they really don’t play a major role in resolving racism. It is the cultural merging of new generations that has been the main factor over the years. Because it requires a lot of time, the net effects are slow to be realized.

Your reference to the "ghetto parties" actually supports this point. The major problem here was a divide between generations of thinking (though not necessarily age groups). Those influenced by the older generations, looked at these parties as racists, because that's what they were brought up to look for: racism. The one's throwing the parties stated (to my limited knowledge on the subject) that they didn't mean to be racists. That opens the possibility that these kids threw these parties because they thought it would be cool. There has been a resurgence of 70's style. So add to this the huge popularity of rap and R&B, and combining these makes sense for youth.

I can equally call the deans and others who called these parties racist, racists themselves. If the party was thrown by black students, or if the white students dressed in disco garb, nobody would say anything. Racism is all about the divergence of culture. When we can freely share, or better blend, our cultures into one American culture, that will be when racism is under control.

Racism requires hate. If the hate isn't there, no matter what they are doing, it isn't racism. Everyone should be able to use the 'N' word as long as there isn't hate behind it. Everyone should be able to dress however they want, no matter how ridiculous, as long as hate isn't behind it. And so on. What is most important to our country is that we identify with each other by sharing a common culture.

That said, yes there are a lot of idiots, black and white and in-between, doing a lot of hateful stuff. But we are in a much better position as far as black-white racism than we were five, ten, fifty, one hundred, and definitely one hundred fifty years ago. Lots of people like to pretend it’s still as bad today as it was yesterday. It isn't. Yes we have a long way to go, but not as long as the distance we have already traveled.

So my main argument centers on how economics is the main factor in our country as of today. Economics directs our culture which is in turn helping reduce racism. This same economic force is what is going to decide the next president.

The positive thing about money is that it is green and people aren't. So being white, black, Latino, or whatever won't make much of a difference when money picks the next president, because that is exactly who will be picking the president, money not people.

Now I'm not referring to how much the candidates can raise, that has significance, but doesn't determine the winner. I'm referring to how much money the candidate will be worth to corporate America.

Centralists or Federalists have mainly controlled our government for over a hundred years now. So we won't see a representative of the people ahead of the pack. Corporate America is still trying to decide which candidate they will sell the American people. They control 90% of the media so will do a pretty good job.

If we transfer that percent to the public, then we can say that the people will represent only a 10 percent unknown. Meaning that as long as corporate America can sell their candidate by an 11 percent margin, they have nothing to worry about.

Clinton II changed her stance on many of her issues to directly cater to corporate America. For example, a big talking point for her is how she sat down with the major drug and insurance companies to work out health care (a drastic change from her first disastrous go at health care while first lady). This is a pitch letting corporations know she will work with them. As I said, she can't be trusted because her number one interest is herself.

Obama is extremely smart. He has always worked with the corporations around him. Foreign affairs are critical to multi-nationals and his race will actually be an asset in this area while working with leaders in the Middle East and Africa (more oil).

There isn't a lot of difference between Clinton II, Obama, Giuliani, Romney, Huckabee, and McCain. They have slightly different packages, but what they are selling is basically the same. The president will be the one who corporate America thinks will be the most effective salesperson. At this point it will be Obama v. Huckabee.

I'd personally like to see Obama getting more experience through the Senate (or vice presidency) first before taking on president, and maybe a vice-president Huckabee. Edwards v. McCain would probably be better for the country as a whole. So a good race would be Edwards/Obama v. McCain/Huckabee. That could happen, but not likely.

Only if Obama grows a pair can he slip past Clinton II (his winning demands it so he will). With the Republican far right already stating they are supporting a third party candidate, only Huckabee with his strong religious background has a chance of pulling them back. But he needs a pair himself, a pair as big as Hillary has.

Giuliani or Romney are unlikely to win against any of the top three Democrats (Clinton II, Obama, or Edwards). Both divide their own base with there liberal history (Giuliani from N.Y. and Romney from Mass.). McCain supporters feel betrayed because of his poor attempts to cater to the religious right in the past. That leaves Huckabee as the dark horse candidate.

The rest of the candidates that I left out need to keep their day jobs.

Mes Deux Cents said...

Hi Greg,

"Your reference to the "ghetto parties" actually supports this point. The major problem here was a divide between generations of thinking (though not necessarily age groups). Those influenced by the older generations, looked at these parties as racists, because that's what they were brought up to look for: racism. The one's throwing the parties stated (to my limited knowledge on the subject) that they didn't mean to be racists. That opens the possibility that these kids threw these parties because they thought it would be cool. There has been a resurgence of 70's style. So add to this the huge popularity of rap and R&B, and combining these makes sense for youth.

I can equally call the deans and others who called these parties racist, racists themselves. If the party was thrown by black students, or if the white students dressed in disco garb, nobody would say anything. Racism is all about the divergence of culture. When we can freely share, or better blend, our cultures into one American culture, that will be when racism is under control.

Racism requires hate. If the hate isn't there, no matter what they are doing, it isn't racism. Everyone should be able to use the 'N' word as long as there isn't hate behind it. Everyone should be able to dress however they want, no matter how ridiculous, as long as hate isn't behind it. And so on. What is most important to our country is that we identify with each other by sharing a common culture."


Okay you think the kids didn't mean to be racist and that they thought it would be cool?

I'm not even sure where to start. If those kids are so astoundingly dumb that they would not know that dressing in blackface would be considered offensive then how in the heck did they make it to college?

Blackface is not emulating a style its emulating racism. If you don't realize that
then either you are very naive or an apologist.

Furthermore racism does not require hate to be racism. All that is required is that some sort of impediment has been placed in a person’s way because of their color.

A human resources manager that does not hire Black people because he or she prefers to work with Whites is still a racist even though they may not hate Black people.

Thanks for stopping by

Ehav Ever said...

A few comments I would like to make on the racist debate.

1) Racism is more than just hate. Racism has many definitions, the most common and widely accepted being the belief that members of one race are intrinsically superior or inferior to members of other races. A person doesn't have to hate someone to feel superior to them.

2) There is no such thing as an African culture. Africa is a continent with thousands of ethnic groups, and thus thousands of cultures. For example, Kente cloth only represents certain ethnic groups in West Africa. It is not worn in the ethnic groups in East Africa. Yet, often in America this is touted as something African. Most African Americans do not practice an African culture, just as most Euro-Americans do not practice a European culture. The cultures that many people whose families have been in America for more than 3 or 4 generations practive are American made cultures. Very few 5th or 6th generation Americans can trace their cultural, not ancetral, norms and origins to a specific people.

3) There really is no such thing as an American culture to begin with. There are things that are touted as such, but much of this was of Euro-American creation or origin. So if all the races blended what they would be practicing is the culture of the majority, not a combination of them. Even rap, R&B, etc. can't really claim to be directly derived from a specific African ethnic group. These are musical traditions that can only be traced within certain American music traditions from about the 1800's to the present.

4) Racism in America, towards African Americans, began when slavery was institutionalized towards African Americans whether free or not free. The ideology of racism towards African Americans began, not out of hate or culture, but out of the need to keep enslaved African Americans within a certain context. That context was to keep the economic system that was fed by slavery active as long as possible. Most humans would not agree to the torture of another human, but if you can convince them that said person is really not human then you can convince people that torturing them, or keeping them enslaved is okay. Slavery started in America out of ecomonic considerations, not because they hated Africans. The ending of slavery was also had economic ties envolved in the North (industrial) vs. South (agricultural).

5) The idea for racism to end by people having to mix and become one group is flawed and selfish. People should have the freedom to be who they are without having to worry about people who don't like them lynching them or preventing their economic success. People who are of the same family can hate each other, and they are mixed. People of the same family sometimes hate each other more than people they are not related to. That is like saying that marrying someone will make them love each other. What happens then when the mixed society begins to divorce members it doesn't like anymore? Besides people often find reasons to hate people even when it appears they are the same. If the races have to mix in order for racism to end, what do you do about sexism, classism, or elitisism? Do you erase male or female? Do you erase the rich or the poor?

Hate has ALWAYS been a part of the human experience because people can come up with some creative reasons to hate other people, whether they deserve it or not.

Also, what do you do when people don't want to give up their cultures? Are they then forced to give it up so that other races won't hate them? If so that is very shallow and is a flawed society.

Mes Deux Cents said...


Thanks, well said.

Greg said...

Mes deux cents,

As far as the "ghetto parties" I only read about one case, and in that case, blackface was not mentioned, only dressing up and wearing afros. Pretty much like Snoop Dog did in the Starsky and Hutch movie remake. I did state my ignorance on many details of this subject because I had not heard about them until reading this post and looked them up. And I stated that their statement leaves a possibility of not being racially motivated. I don't have enough information to actually make a judgment.

So far based on what you say, then I would suspect that some of these parties may have had racial issues, but I don't know enough to say all or any of them did. It is still possible race was not an issue at some. I tend to reserve judgment until I have information. There is always the possibility that the kids were just assholes and not racists.

Maybe hate is too strong of a word. I generally think of it as a lack of acceptance. The actual feeling of the person doesn't matter; it is the actions of people that count. People should always be allowed to feel any way they want, but when their actions involve others, this is what calls for social attention. I would agree with the examples of the HR person and actions stemming from a feeling of racial superiority, but would argue these have elements of hate behind them, but that is a minor issue of semantics. I do agree with these as long as we are talking about actions that come from these.

I do disagree about what you imply in regard to wearing blackface. Yes, I agree it is found to be offensive by many people. But this alone should not be considered a racial slur. We would have to look at the larger context to make that determination. What offends people is one thing, what is racism is completely another, but the two often get mixed up.

There are lots of examples of people wearing either blackface or whiteface that should be considered racism, but there are many that should not. Ted Danson in blackface at the Friars Club while he was dating Whoopi Goldberg, Gene Wilder in blackface with Richard Pryor in the movie Silver Streak, Dave Chappelle in whiteface on the Dave Chappelle Show on Comedy Central, and the Wayans brothers cross both race and gender lines in the movie White Chicks. People probably got offended, but these aren't racism. Here's a further list of entertainers, many black, who performed in blackface:

It is racism to hold certain people to one standard, and not expect others to hold to that standard simply because of there race. The "it's ok because they're black" or "it's ok because they're white" doesn't fly. Something is either acceptable or unacceptable across the board.

In response to Ehav Ever:

(2) The context of my referral to African cultures was in a general sense the same as the general sense of my reference to Euro-cultures. I assumed most people would get there are many countries and cultural boundaries within these continents without me taking the time to name them all.

(3) You're writing in circles. First you claim there is no American culture, then you end writing about American traditions. Any people brought together by geography or a common need form a distinct culture. You allude to this American culture in #2 but don't articulate it very well.

Much of what we have here in the States was born here. I agree with Ehav Ever that much of this Italian-American (or Euro-American in general) identity is actually a local tradition and bears little to no resemblance to its namesake. The same goes for the African-American identity (and yes I completely agree that term is over generalized and should not be used because it is wrong on many levels). And the same goes for Asian (again in general) Americans, Latino-Americans, etc.

We have a strong culture that is often taken for granted. Blues is a great example. It came directly from black American slave spirituals, but it didn't exist outside of this country. We have this ugly stain on our history, but from it, a lot of beautiful things have come out of it. Rap didn't come out of Africa, it's from this side of the world. Yes, we can still trace some influences, but then all of us can trace influences in everything from Africa.

When we have young white kids growing up on music that rose out of black (American) culture, this is a signal that a common culture is forming. We even have some white rap artists that don't completely suck. This melding of culture creates a bond between people. Rap music has moved from only being black American culture, to part of American culture as a whole. This will do more to reduce racism than most other things.

(4) Brings us back to politics. And you are wrong on many points. Racism did not come out of slavery, but out of the artificial cultural divide that American slavery created. This is a subtle but important distinction.

Slavery was not born in the U.S. It probably started with our early civilizations in Africa. Prior to American slavery of blacks, slavery was common across African nations. It was custom that when one nation attacked the other, the loser would become the slaves of the victor. And since all of us come out of Africa at one time or another, it is logical that slavery started there with the dawn of nations and spread out to the ancient Middle East and Asia and Europe.

Much of the racial tensions found across the world are a direct result of the cultural divide created by slavery being instituted by one people against another. Prior to the age of discovery, slaves tended to be racially similar to the slave-owners. So within a similar group of people, the artificial divide created by slavery also created new cultures to rise and compete with the enslaving culture.

A great example of this is Jewish culture. Much of their belief and culture was defined during and after the period called the Babylonian Captivity, which resulted from a defeat. A much milder example can be seen with the Normand invasion of England. To this day many Anglo-Saxon words are considered "bad" words.

So the Europeans had white slaves long before our image of the typical American slave was formed. Yes economics is always looking for cheap labor, but only to the extent where the finished product can find a consumer. Consumers are much more important because only when a demand is found can a product be successful. Ultimately slave labor must give way to free or trade labor in order to create more consumers.

Slavery was occurring in Africa just as it had been occurring in Europe before the European expansion there. When they did arrive, they bartered with locals and purchased black slaves from black slave-owners. The Pandora's Box here was the new institution of black nations selling black slaves to whites.

The obvious advantage to having black slaves over white slaves is that they are easier to identify. So economics does enter at this point a bit in terms of practicality for the slave owners. The market of Africans selling other Africans to Europeans occurred for many years before Europeans began actively capturing them.

Africa is still full of conflict including black fighting black. Like Europe, much of this stems from the long history of tribal and nation wars. Many African nations have far worse racial problems than the U.S. currently has.

Back in the early American colonies the difference in color added to the cultural divide that slavery creates and these new black Americans formed a unique culture that was different from the various African nations they came from. When slavery occurs between neighboring states, a mutual culture generally can survive the slavery rift. The net result is that the slaves, overall, are treated with at least a minimal respect as human beings. But America was different. It brought together people from different parts of the world and put one in a position of power over the other. The result is an inability to identify with each other, and the new black Americans were treated with little to no respect.

So it isn't that blacks were enslaved because whites thought they were superior. Slavery was an established tradition. It was the difference in culture that slavery fosters that formed a sense of white superiority in early America.

As far as the American Civil War, slavery was just Lincoln's call to arms. It was popular in the North because big business wanted trade labor (as Ehav Ever suggests). But the real issue on the table was State's rights as opposed to a centralized government. If you read Lincoln's first inaugural address, he explicitly says that he has no intention of taking away slaves from the South. He's already elected at this point so he's not making stump speeches here. He uses a popular cause, human rights, to further his agenda of a strong central government and reduced states' rights.

The very name the south took on, the “Confederacy” means an association of independent states that share an agreement for mutual protection. Lincoln was the first president of the new “Republican” party. This name attempts to make a claim as a party of the republic (or pro-state rights), but was really a new front for the old Federalists. And the North’s name of the “Union” emphasizes that the main issue was the divide in where power should be, with a strong central government (Union/Federalists), or in a true republic (Confederates).

Lincoln's move was brilliant politically because even today how do you argue with it? Not end slavery? No human being should be owned by another. But it cost us power in local governments. And since history is written by the victor, you have a difficult time arguing for states’ rights (and therefore more power to the people) without being associated with slave owners. What do you call yourself? Confederates? No way. =slaves. Republicans? Doh! The Federalists co-opted it. Brilliant move politically.

(Bush II has actually used many of Lincoln’s tactics to mold our feelings about the Middle East. Instead of slavery, the key issue is terrorism. It’s funny how Ehav Ever used a modern issue and a Civil War issue in the same sentence: “if you can convince them that said person is really not human then you can convince people that torturing them, or keeping them enslaved is okay…” We could have used diplomacy in the late 1800’s the same as we could have used it today to solve our problems, but the underlying issues which would most likely be unpopular would not get resolved to those in power’s liking.)

I read somewhere that all other countries managed to abolish slavery without having a civil war. My answer to that is because the Civil War wasn't about slavery, even though it was its cause. The America Civil War was about state rights.

We feel it today in all our big issues. States can't decide for themselves anymore. Roe v. Wade created a blanket case for all states. Gay marriage may suffer the same fate. America is supposed to be a nation of diversity, yet federalists since the beginning of our nation have tried and are succeeding in making us all servants to a monarchy.

There exists a large divide between sharing a culture and being forced to share a culture. People came here to escape persecution but have succeeded in bringing it with them from slavery to rights of privacy and choice.

And (5): I'm not saying to force anyone into anything they don't want. I'm only making an observation that black and white and other cultures continue to merge. And I am stating that this mergence of cultures is healing the cultural separation that slavery fostered.

Cultural change occurs with generations. It isn't something you can have handed to you or take away. So we can't look at just one generation for change, we have to compare generations, and this is what I am stating. The generational cultural shift is moving toward a common American culture that transcends race. It is happening slow so you really have to look. But it is there. Pizza is an American icon today even though it came from Italian-Americans, and before that Italy, and before that Egypt.

This brings us back to why Obama still has a chance. Because we have little white consumers of traditionally black culture. That's why. Economics. Barrack Obama could be our next president because that annoying little white kid in suburbia with no rhythm and clothes that don't fit is spending his parents' money on rap music.

Ehav Ever said...

Greetings Greg,

In terms of American culture and traditions, what I was saying was there is no such thing as a united American culture that is inclusive (singular vs. plura). There are many ethnic groups and regions in America who have practices and such that are completely different, but how one defines an American culture differs from person to person and region to region. I.e. even with a common cause how it is interpreted creates differences. That in itself can spark hate, or a form or racism based on how different people interpret things or how they look. Besides in order for America to create its current variety of cultures, notice that the difference I have been making is between a singular culture vs. plurality of cultures, a number of cultures had to be destroyed. Some ethnic groups had to be almost wiped out by force in order for this to happen. Thus American culture, singular, is really not a clear concept. Even if it were it would most likely be defined based on the majority group. Even now the various ethnic groups in America are defined using the model of the majority group.

In terms of slavery. I didn't say that slavery started in the US. I also didn't say that slavery was connected to superiority. What I said was Racism has many definitions, the most common and widely accepted being the belief that members of one race are intrinsically superior or inferior to members of other races. Also, I said that racism against African Americans was the result of the US based Institutionalized Slavery. Everyone knows that slavery has existed around the world since the dawn of time, in all kinds of forms. Everyone knows that propaganda was often used to keep various forms of it alive throughout history. Yet, racism towards African Americans i.e. people of VARIOUS African origins living in America only began after there was an institution that needed racism as a way to maintain itself for the reasons both you and I mentioned. Thus as I mentioned before racism towards African Americans was only necessary after there was an institution that needed it in order to maintain itself against a particular group of ethnicities in a particular location.

In terms of the Civil War, I actually agree with you that slavery was really not the issue. But you have to remember, I didn't mention the Civil War, I mentioned the ending of slavery had economic ties behind it. Just as you mention, the Civil War was a completely different story than slavery. The two got linked together on some level, but the issues were not the same. Besides there was slavery in the North. It just wasn't the same as in the South. You say it is states rights, but I also say that issues of states right is also economic. I know about how Lincoln wanted to get the union running again REGARDLESS of what it took. Slavery or no slavery, either way. Yet, much of politics is based on some kind of economic concern for someone or some entity somewhere.

In terms of your statement about how of Jewish culture being a result of a defeat during the Babylonian conquest I would disagree with you on that. As a Jew, I can tell you that most of culture had already been in place before the Babylonians ever attacked ancient Israel. One of the proofs is in the culture of Arabian Jews who ancestors had left ancient Israel about 40 years before the Babylonian conquest. They are not much different than Jewish communities from around the world.

This can be seen in both the Jerusalem Talmud and the Babylonian Talmud and the Midrashic literature. Certain Jewish practices began to be written, rather than Torah Sheba'al Pe (oral) after the Roman conquest because the Greeks and then the Romans were more interested in either wiping out or acculturated Jewish cultures. The Babylonians were fully supportive of Jewish culture remaining separate. In the Mishnah Torah and the Morech Nevuchim, both written by Rabbi Mosheh Ben-Maimon he discusses how from the Moses to his time how most of Jewish tradition was passed down, and elaborated on with each generation. We call that Shalsheleth Qabalah (Chain of tradition). Yet, it is clear from him and the Talmud's that most of Jewish tradition was ALWAYS in place. Small things here and there were added, based on the tradition of a Judicial system called the Sanhedrin. The Sanhedrin system had existed since the time of Moses.

In terms of the merger issue. What I am saying is that if a person's hate of someone else is dependent on one of the people having to mix with the other, or a melding of cultures, that is a shallow reason to have do such a thing. Human logic would dictate that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness can easily be fulfilled with people of completely different cultures existed as separate people. The problem rises when one group or a subdivision of one group decides that cultures different than theirs are either inferior or are unworthy of their respect. So even if the cultural differences were to disappear the dominant group can decide that if the other groups physically look different they are inferior. So then you have to find a way to erase physical differences so that people can't be hateful (in a racist way) against a group that looks different, even though they share the same culture.

This goes beyond slavery. Just look at Darfur. Both sides have religion and elements of culture in common yet, one side claiming descent from a particular part of their religion and culture has decided that the those not on their side are their enemies. There is also talk of a part of being rooted in climate change, etc. I know that is simplifying it a bit, but you can find the same problems in nearby Ethiopia. When I was in Ethiopia I met a number of people who come from ethnic groups who though they merged to some degree with the majority culture they were still viewed as different people. The whole black vs. black thing is something that existed in Africa also from the dawn of time. It is not black vs. black it is ethnic group vs. ethnic group, family vs. family, region vs. region just like in every other society. Some of the modern problems are SOMETIMES due to the type of nation building that took place after colonization. Just look at the Biafra War in Nigeria. There has never been a unified Africa so it is hard to expect there to be one now.

My entire point is that if people are racist only because another culture exists, then those people are very shallow. To me that is like the KKK saying, we would not do this to you if you would just merge with us and become one culture. If another culture has to submit itself to a majority culture, almost begging to mix with them so they can be left alone that seems to fly in the face of the supposed ideals of the Declaration of Independence. Besides after the cultures become one, as if there really is such a thing, there are those who can still hate people for whatever reason they choose. It then becomes a new form of racism, and the problem (people ethics) is never addressed. Look at rap as an example. Rap hasn't caused a unified culture to take place. It has created a number of NEW cultural differences world wide. Even the Skinheads are doing rap, as much as they hate African Americans and Latinos.

It is ear

Ehav Ever said...

Hello Greg,

I know you are not saying that force must be used to erase differences. I am saying that this is what the result of he melting pot. In order to have a melting pot some of the lessor materials are burned away. Not taken away nicely, or put aside, burned away.

I live in Israel and there was an attempt to do the melting pot to have a universal Jewish culture. The problem was that there is already a universal Jewish culture. Yes, it is a tree with many branches, but there are A LOT of universal things you find in every Jewish community that have always been enough to unite us.

The problem with the attempt was that those pushing for the melting pot were made up mostly of non-religious European Jews. Their idea was to make a Jewish Europa in the Middle East. Because they had the ability to start such a process they did. Some of them clearly stated that they didn't want the culture of Middle Eastern, African, Spanish, or Asian Jews here. Even though the cultures of the Middle Eastern Jews are more ancient. They wanted the Jews from these locals to be here, but they didn't want their cultures here. They wanted these Jews to become more Eurocentric.

Thank God this ideal failed, but the attempt to do it has caused problems that we modern Israelis face even today. Had the idea simply been to accept all Jewish culture as valid and let it work itself out from there, there would have been less of a problem.

So back to the American melting pot. The problem I see is that if the option is We will hate, unless you merge with us that sounds like the Borg from Star Trek. I know this is not what you saying, I am only saying that is the result of such a concept. The Majority or the ruling class get to call the shots on what they want the culture to be and not to be. They get to decide what is in and what is out. They also get to decide how history is devised and recorded. Those without a strong enough voice get lost in the shuffle or burned away.

Greg said...

In reply to Ehav ever:

I agree that a singular culture cannot be defined, but this is not an exclusive characteristic of the U.S. This is a characteristic of culture. Only when you compare cultures can you identify what a group of people share in common. We can do this when we compare subsections of the United States like New York state and California. Cities like New York City and Albany, NY. Or on a larger scale, political states such as the U.S. and Iraq. Our entire universe moves toward entropy so even if it were possible to find a singular culture somewhere, a subgroup would most likely form to create tension.

Cultural identity only exists as a contrast to something else. In theory as we move from local boundaries to the larger political boundaries, the comparison between similar sized groups should be more marked. The problem I attributed to racism comes from marked distinction when the group size is relatively small, like comparing a group of black slaves in pre-Civil War U.S. with white slave owners within a single plantation. In modern terms we can compare predominately black urban populations with predominately white suburban populations only a few miles away. A highly marked difference in culture will foster an increased likelihood of racism. So my original argument in these terms is that as we reduce the markedness between these groups, such as the natural intermixing of populations or the natural generational intermixing of cultural artifacts (e.g., rap music), then the likeliness of racist acts will reduce also.

I understand you did not directly state things such as the origin of racism, but I wanted to clarify this because your statements might be read by some as making such claims. And not everyone is aware of the extent of slavery and that it did not apply to only blacks. Nor is everyone aware that black slavery existed in Africa prior and during the time of slavery in the U.S. Nor is everyone aware that black slaves were originally bought from African black slave owners.

Your claim that racism against black populations stemmed from American slavery is not sound. Sure it looks that way, and slavery in the US may have acted as a catalyst, but I must return to the cultural difference argument. Racism is not an exclusive problem for black populations. Almost every other race, if not all races, suffer from racism around the world. Not all of these, and in fact, few of these, can be traced back to enslavement. The reason racism seems to have been caused by black slavery in America is because that is about the time when black culture collided with white culture. White culture unfortunately had better guns at this time. We can compare this same culture clash between whites and Arabian culture and see similar results. Racism existed to the extent of xenophobia. The difference here was that the Arabs were a match for whites militarily. A better argument is that slavery like racism is a result of cultural clashing or differences.

In terms of economics, I think we would probably tend to agree more than disagree. We can probably spend many hours debating the finer points. Most things in life for me fit one economic theory or another. Our debate will most likely be as to which of these theories apply. Yes I see state rights as an economic issue because I believe strong state or local rights better suit a regulated capitalistic model than a strong central government.

And I went into some of the American Civil War in order to bring the topic back around to if Obama has a chance. Because he is somewhat of a federalist, yes he has a chance, and because of the merging of cultures he has a good chance (etc.).

I would have to defer to you on Jewish culture. And I didn't mean to imply the entire culture formed at this time, but some significant Jewish law that transformed or refined the already existing Jewish culture. But again I'll defer to your greater knowledge on the subject.

Everyday people don't think in terms of culture. They act based on what makes them comfortable or uncomfortable. How a person looks really isn't the issue. What is the issue is how comfortable a person is with how another looks. This is an aspect of familiarity. When we lack experience with how a person looks or dresses or acts, it is easy for fear to enter and from this racism. But when people are living with each other for a long enough time (across generational borders) tensions ease because cultures become familiar to each group.

Merging cultures is not something anyone should do actively; it probably can't be done actively. Cultural merging is a natural (and social-economic) process that just occurs on its own over time.

In terms of Africa, I totally agree with your statement about it not being black on black but ethnicity differences. My words were used for expedience, yours are more accurate. There are lots of reasons for the localization of violence there. My thought is that a major contributor is geography and how much Africa as a whole is cut off from the rest of the world. So those small differences between warring nations or ethnicities are amplified because of isolationism. I believe that the best path toward relief there is encouragement to get more African nations into the world market. They don't have to unify any more than any other continents nations should. (And this is an argument against isolationist such as Ron Paul and early Woodrow Wilson.)

Unfortunately most of the world relief that manages to get to the people of African nations exacerbates the problem. Supplying food and health care without building an infrastructure encourages population growth where the current population cannot be sustained. Africa's main hope is to industrialize and enter the world market, but this will take many decades and result in other undesirable side-effects.

Yes, most people are shallow. Average intelligence means most people have average intelligence. It isn't rational to hate someone because they are different, yet many do this. Racial supremacist groups say a lot of ignorant things, and if you recall at least one actually did try to force the one culture thing to an extreme. Even if they succeeded, you are correct that within this "pure" culture, another would emerge, that is the law of entropy.

Cultural mergence cannot be forced nor can it be resisted. It's a lot like marketing, with enough exposure, people get used to the differences, and some of them accept the differing cultural aspects in their own lives. No there will never be a unified culture, but the group when compared to a similar sized or structured group will begin to form distinct aspects of a culture as a whole.

Forcing cultural change comes from the ideas of social Darwinism. That movement was strong in the U.S. and Europe pre-WWI. It is what fueled Nazi Germany. What is often overlooked is that social Darwinism and similar systems like unregulated capitalism thrive on chaos and are not conducive to political rule.

Human beings created their own systems of law because any form of natural law doesn't have our best interests in mind. We require regulation. Even Adam Smith, the father of capitalism, advocated regulation as a need within a capitalistic society.

And that is why Obama still has a chance (abrupt attempt to return to topic).

Ehav Ever said...

Hello Greg,

In terms of the topic, I agree with you that Obama has a chance. I do believe that chance is slim unless he can do something to really galvanize Americans behind him. I don’t think his campaign has made a strong enough statement at the moment. I also think how much of chance he has is dependent on what the other candidates do or don’t do in the next few months as well as what things happen in the current US government in the next few months.

The only reason I think Obama has a chance is because none of the other candidates are dynamic and they really don’t stand out. Giuliani to me doesn’t have anything to stand on outside of 9-11 and his record there is not that good. Clinton is questionable to me because so many people hate her. When it comes to the other candidates I keep thinking…who?

I think the only way Obama can win it is if he is willing to go out and be confrontational on the issues. Not in terms of challenging other candidates, but challenging America. If he was to for example say, I can’t change America alone, but if the right Congress is in place. If state governments work with the president, if local governments work with the president, and if ordinary citizens work with the president than together they can change the US. If he were to make that his message and take it boldly to the people he could possibly win. Making this his message could also give him the ability to transcend the race issues and arguments.

Ehav Ever said...

So back to the other areas we were discussing.

I still disagree with you in terms of when it specifically comes to American racism towards African Americans. I agree with you that racism has existed in one form of the other throughout history around the world, but once again we are talking about a specific type of racism. Institutional racism (also known as structural racism, state racism or systemic racism) is racial discrimination by governments, corporations, educational institutions or other large organizations with the power to influence the lives of many individuals.

This type of racism being directed towards people of African descent in the Americas began as a part of a system that needed it to justify itself. What I am saying is that this particular type of racism was fueled by the institution of enslavement of African Americans in America. Sure there was racism against other groups, but that was for other reasons. Racism towards those other groups was a result of things those other groups was simply due to their presence in the US. Towards African Americans it took its full swing when it was being used to maintain an institution that originally was toward indentured servants and was changed to be towards African Americans.

Just as Gearald A Foster writes in American Slavery: the Complete Story, 2 Cardozo Public Law, Policy and Ethics Journal 401- 420 (May, 2004) The institution of racism is the omnipresent progeny of the nineteenth and twentieth century manifestations of slavery and its bedfellow, race. Racism in the western world stems primarily from two related historical processes: taking land from and destroying indigenous people and enslaving Africans to work the land.

The history of slavery in the United States (1619-1863) began soon after the English colonists first settled in Virginia and lasted until the passage of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In the very early decades of the institution, there was indentured servitude, which typically lasted a period of four to seven years for white and black alike; by 1662 the American incarnation of slavery was established by court ruling. By the end of the 17th century slavery was far more common in the Southern colonies than in the North.

So what I am saying is that when dealing with this specific topic there was no culture class that precipitated racism against African American. At that time there was room for a lot of different cultures without clashing. In order for the institution of slavery towards Africans and their descendants in the Americas to continue to exist there had to be a system setup so that they had nowhere they could go, nowhere they could hide and blend in, and no access to the same rights as other citizens. The racism that existed after slavery, in my opinion, was the result of the racism used to maintain it.

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About Me

West Coast, United States
African American, Poet?, Vegetarian, Music lover, Agoraphobic, Social Phobic

My Favorite Poet

My Favorite Poet
Staceyann Chin

My Favorite Track Athlete

My Favorite Track Athlete
Christine Arron