The election-related political chatter is in full tilt as we approach election day. And this morning the “talk back” topic on CNN is about race and voting. In particular, asking why Obama is polling so poorly with “white voters”: https://www.facebook.com/CarolCNN
As somebody who studies cultural context for a living, I always get a little perturbed when issues of ideals and ideas and values and preferences are boiled down to “race”: which in our American culture is tantamount to skin color: as though all white people come from the same cultural, socio-economic or ethnic context. I get similarly annoyed with the lumping of any “demographic” group. For example: the assumption that “Hispanic” somehow sums up the vastly diverse set of Latino ethnicities and cultural traditions / heritage that occupy North America.
I suppose my issue is in seeing this type of conversation promoted on a news channel. Isn’t it the obligation of media to show us the light and not muddy the waters? If you want to understand the “white vote” you really do have to dig a bit deeper…as with anything. The truth of the matter is that it’s not a black/ white / hispanic / asian / “other” issue. Politics is about a whole set of issues: what people value – their dreams, fears concerns, needs, challenges and day-to-day realities. A single mom working a blue-collar job has a far different reality than an upper middle class married professional or a twenty-something recent college grad.
Lets not pollute the airwaves with pedantic pontificating about race. If you want to be strategic about your analysis of politics then give us something to really think about / talk about.
The Narcissistic Anthropologist
- Some of My Best Friends Are White People (thenarcissisticanthropologist.com)
- Huge racial disparities in political journalism (salon.com)
- White Analyst Calls Out Republican’s Veiled Racism With New Book (newsone.com)
- LA Times : Always Blame White People First (stevengoddard.wordpress.com)
- Romney Campaign Plays The Race Card With Powell Endorsement (thedailybanter.com)
- Could Obama’s struggles with white voters cost him the election? (cnn.com)