Friday, October 24, 2008

Race is an issue on the ballots

From the 27 October 2008 Greater Niagara Newspapers

By Bob Confer

Though the national media won’t touch it with a 10 foot pole, race is a key issue in the November election. For a good many people it will be the sole deciding factor. There are a lot of people who are voting for Obama just to put a black man in the Oval Office and there are just as many people who are voting for McCain to keep a black man out of the Oval Office.

In some polling locations the presidential lever isn’t the only place on the ballot where race will come into play. Voters in two states – Colorado and Nebraska – have the chance to vote for the end of affirmative action in their public colleges, state employment, and government contracts. If the voters pass this they would join California (1997), Washington State (1998) and Michigan (2006) as states that have successfully put an end to preferential treatment based on race or gender.

This movement has been a long time coming. Its proponent and primary financier, businessman Ward Connerly (who is black, by the way), has indicated that it’s not a sprint but a marathon. He figures if he works slowly but surely, one or two states at a time, he can most effectively get all Americans on board with his desire to promote real, not forced, equality.

Connerly is right. It does take time. Look at how long it took the women’s and civil rights movements to bring about much-needed change in America. Putting an end to discrimination and hate is no easy task. And, that’s what affirmative action is…it’s racism with a smattering of sexism thrown in. It’s racist against whites and sexist against men. This brand of hatred needs to be killed. Just as we’ve been hearing from the hypocritical discriminated masses for years, real equality needs to be based on who you are and what you’ve done as a human, not on the color of skin or what reproductive organs you might have. A productive citizen should never be cast aside because a bleeding heart requires an underperforming minority or woman to take his place because it feels good; it’s a bad practice - both philosophically and operationally - in which everybody loses.

Connerly’s most recent efforts for this cause couldn’t come at a better time. It seems custom-made for this November’s election. Based on what we’re seeing in the national political scene it seems that affirmative action is a moot point. Barack Obama didn’t get to where he is because of a race quota in the presidential campaign. He got there because of his accomplishments. Similarly, Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin didn’t give him a run for his money because we felt it legally necessary to place women into the fray. They, too, got where they are because of who they are not what they are. This contemporary, well-documented success of blacks and women sans helping hand might heavily influence the voters of Nebraska and Colorado.

Not only is this timely, but the initiative couldn’t happen at a better place, either. It’s believed that the outcome of the vote in Colorado will determine what America as whole thinks about affirmative action. That’s because Colorado, a key battleground state, is a perfect snapshot of our collective America. It is looked at as a “purple state”, one that is neither decidedly Democratic nor Republican by majority and whose leanings can change on a whim. The most recent Rasmussen Reports show this. According to the poll, Obama leads in Colorado by 5 percentage points, while a month ago McCain led by 2. That leaves one wondering what will come of affirmative action. You just don’t know if the Democratic trappings (pro-affirmative action) or the Republican’s traditional values (anti-affirmative action) will manifest themselves…just like on Main Street, America.

So, on the morning of Wednesday, November fifth I and many others will be looking at more than just the presidential and local results. We’ll be watching Colorado and Nebraska with interest. You can’t blame us. We’re curious as to what mindset we’ll see at the polls. Will the America of old - one that was built on the foundation of hard work and real results – reign supreme, bringing an end to affirmative action? Or, will the New America – one of entitlements and ugly liberalism – maintain its stranglehold on us, keeping affirmative action alive?


Anonymous said...

GO Obama!

John Restaino said...

Bob, we will have to talk about this on wednesday!!!