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Cleansing Sins, All Around

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There is probably some truth to the fact that many white Americans feel a little bit better about themselves when they vote Obama. At least that’s what the two bit psycho-babblers out there have told us — white people can feel less guilty about America’s racist history by supporting an African American presidential candidate. “Me racist? But I voted for Obama.”

That’s one of the rationales that some African Americans had early on for being suspicious of Obama’s popularity amongst whites — maybe white men, especially, thought they were getting an “out of jail free” pass for jumping on the Obama bandwagon. Heck, even Stuff White People Like tells us that white people like supporting Obama and feeling like they understand minorites.

As mentioned, I don’t deny that there is some truth to this. But I do believe that Obama’s appeal goes far beyond his race — if it were race alone, then you’d have a dozen African American candidates running for office. Rather, Obama’s appeal has to do more with the fact that he treats voters like they’re adults and doesn’t condescend to them, a perfect example of this being his recent speech on race in America.

Ironically while some white Obama supporters may feel less racist for backing him, so now do his detractors. Since the outcries against Obama’s former pastor and his aforementioned speech, conservative white America has also found the perfect opportunity to atone for their racial sins and feel better about themselves. They have also found the perfect way to criticize Obama, taking their own pseudo-post racial highroad, without running the risk of being called racists. “We’re not racists, it’s Obama’s church that is racist”. Continue reading

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