Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Race and the race

Jimi Izrael asks a question I hadn't thought much about in recent weeks but, nonetheless, could prove important at some point: is Sarah Palin colorblind?

... what does Sarah Palin know of people of color? She doesn’t have to be former a Soul Train dancer or charter member of the NAACP. She doesn't even have to line dance or play saxophone. But tell me something. Maybe she's colorblind, in a bad way, as in, she doesn't even acknowledge people of color or the racial divide in America. I’m concerned that someone who probably has had limited interaction with people of color could possibly be the president of the United States.
I'm not sure black people - or anyone, for that matter - should depend on Palin or the federal government to be particularly responsive to the important issues that meet at the nexus of culture and politics. What's more, the problems that afflict the so-called black community are the same ones of dire importance to the rest of the country: the massive credit crunch, the war in Iraq, rising fuel costs and the health care crisis - to name a few.

Obviously, as an example, we can speculate as to the reasons behind the delayed response in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. But that massive federal failure should be of concern to everyone, not just the unfortunate dark-skinned souls who were stranded and scrambling in the days after the storm.

Still, Izrael asks an important question. One that, like a lot of other things, that Palin likely hasn't given much thought. It'd be nice if she was a charter member of the NAACP but it's not necessary. I just want her to give us black folks in the lower 48 the same consideration she gives those moose-hunting, ice-fishing hockey moms in Wasilla. It's not much to ask, I think.

UPDATE: One of my good friends from Shreveport, Tyrone, actually went to college in Alaska after being discharged from the military. He talks fondly about those days. So, I guess there's always that.

UPDATE 2: Speaking of race and the upcoming election, this video is really sad. But it feels and sounds very, very familiar to me.

UPDATE 3: In case it wasn't evident, Tyrone is black.

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