Sunday, October 26, 2008

How sleepy is the giant?

And now for a quick diversion into politics. It's completely off the subject of this blog, but at least it distracts me from peaking at my 200.5K (formerly 401K) account.

I know a public schoolteacher in a multi-ethnic district who went to a doctor whom a friend recommended -- then walked out when she discovered the doctor was black. I would bet she's not voting for Barack Obama next week. I'm also guessing that, if a pollster asked her, she wouldn't admit why she's voting against him and might not even reveal that she's made up her mind for John McCain.

The point is that, despite what the polls say, Obama does not have this election in the bag. He has done an excellent job of not waking what one Southern black politician used to call "the sleeping giant" -- racism. But the giant will still influence many voters this year, and some of that influence is not showing up in the polls. In fact, there is a pattern of black candidates doing worse in actual elections than the polls predicted.

Besides, there is still time for an October (or even November) Surprise. Don't be astonished if rumors of Obama's relationship with a white woman start circulating. It doesn't matter whether they are obviously false, just that enough gullible people believe the rumors and repeat them -- as with the "Obama is Muslim" lie that took so long to dispel.

Am I attacking McCain's character? No way. Both candidates are too busy to control or even know most of what their campaigns are doing. At this point in an election, people working in the campaigns tend to view the race as Armageddon, thus they justify any dirty deeds that might help the Forces of Light overcome the Forces of Darkness.

A personal note: As a child in the South, I heard the epithet "nigger lover" a few times and even witnessed a burning cross on our front yard because of my family's beliefs and actions. To see a black man in serious contention for the Presidency affirms that, to paraphrase James Weldon Johnson, "our weary feet have come to the place for which our parents sighed."

No comments: