There has been a lot of chatter of Fr. Andrew Greeley’s column yesterday Fall election hinges on race.
In fact, only a little more than half of the Democratic voters chose the senator from Illinois as their candidate. Were the other voters racist? Influenced by racism? Inclined to racism, which they hide even from themselves? Surely all of these factors were at work, but it is virtually impossible with the current research technology to sort them out. Moreover, is the voter a bigot who says — to himself or others — “He’s too young for it,” “I don’t know anything about him,” “He’s an elitist,” “He’s just a lot of fancy talk,” “The country isn’t ready for a man like that,” “He’s weak in his support of Israel,” “He’s Muslim, possibly the anti-Christ!” Are these hints of lurking prejudice? Are the voters of regular members of the Democratic coalition — Hispanics and union members — against Obama partly because of racism?
Racism is of course still with us, but blessedly reduced. No doubt there were some within the Democratic Party that voted against him on race alone, though I don’t think it is a very large segment. Though articles like this never mention the large numbers of blacks that voted for Barack Obama. Surely some did so based on the color of his skin and it seems to me when you take that into consideration when you vote that is in fact a form of racism. Though you also had class warfare in terms of gender where some women voted for Sen. Hillary for the simple fact that she was the same gender as them. Look at the fallout when Oprah endorsed Barack and many women were upset that she had done so.
How many of the male readers of this column who are habitues of bars, locker rooms, commuter train bull sessions, pool rooms and men’s clubs have not heard the indigenous racial slurs of such environments applied to Obama?
I do wonder who Fr. Greeley hangs out with. I have to really go back in time about twenty years to remember the last time I heard someone make a racial slur within my hearing. The guy making the slur was a class A idiot who actually believed Robin Trower did the music for Jimi Hendrix. Everyone in the shop I was working in at the time would immediately go on the offensive on this guy when he said something racist or sexist. I suspect that Fr. Greeley just projects this as happening as frequently as he thinks.
And surely some of the explicit chatter during the campaign was racist, especially the obsession with the various clergy who mounted the pulpit of his church. By what stretch of sick logic could the candidate be responsible for what his clergy said and did?
So by this logic I guess you could attend one of the racist white supremacist churches and not be accountable for the rampant racism that was taught. Plus Rev. Wright was not just some clergy in a Church he attended, he was a personal friend also involved in his campaign and someone Obama had written was a great influence and advisory. He book “Audacity of Hope” comes from one of this sermons.
Certainly there are solid political and personal reasons that some Americans might have had for voting against the senator that would not be in principle racist. He is one of the most “liberal” members of Congress. He stole the election from a woman who was entitled to it. He is one of the “boys” beating up on the female candidate. He is a not a patriot dedicated to final victory in Iraq. He is weak on national security. He lacks experience. He supports abortion. Yet behind these arguments, might racism lurk?
Certainly it might lurk, but predominantly you are going to find people who oppose Obama because of the positions he holds and at least Fr. Greeley even mentioned that abortion might be one of those reasons. Original sin is still with us and the evidence for concupiscence is always increasing. We are nowhere close to judging people by the “content of their character” and can come up with vapid reasons to support someone who fails on these counts. Now we all know that if Sen. Obama fails the media will not see it as being the fault of his radicalism, but only in terms of race. That somehow if I oppose someone who is the most extreme supporter of abortion running for president ever, someone who supports cloning, ESCR, euthanasia, homosexual marriage – all intrinsic evils – that it makes me a racist. Gee I thought it made me a Catholic or someone who takes the natural law seriously. I guess the fact that I have voted for Amb. Alan Keyes multiple times just makes me a confused racist.
The point is that racism permeates American society and hides itself under many different disguises. The nomination of an African-American candidate was a near-miracle. Only the innocent and the naive think that the November election will not be about race.
I would like to know how racism permeates the society when he says there is no “current research technology to sort them out.” How does he know this? Or is it just calumny based on what he wants to believe? I guess for Fr. Greely you can make uncharitable judgments on what you think motivates most people. But then again Fr. Greeley supports a candidate that supports intrinsic evils that will continue the culture of death, so his judgment is questionable in the first place.
Greeley is a true enigma: half the time, his comments are dead-on. And the other half, he’s so far removed from reality – indeed, any semblance of reality – that it makes me teeth ache.
The funny thing here is if you read it he never comes out and endorses Obama. He never says where exactly he stands so if question by the authority he can say he was simply posing questions and didn’t mean to posit any position on the election. He chooses his words carefully.
Notice that his stance on abortion comes near the end of the list of possible reasons not to vote for Obama. I am biting my tongue.
Notice that it is voting against Obama and not for someone else. If you did not vote for Obama, you voted against him, and not for someone else. Very interesting how guilt is placed on those who disagree on VERY sound moral principles.
My only disagreement:
it seems to me when you take that into consideration when you vote that is in fact a form of racism
I know of folks who WOULD take race, sex, hair-color and such into consideration– not because they care about it, but because they know that they’re choosing a figurehead for the nation, and they want to choose someone who won’t be instantly ignored/rejected.
(Personally, I’m more of a “screw what the world thinks” person, but I’m not very diplomatic.)
Fr. Greeley lost me at “young fogey.” This guy is completely out of touch with the John Paul II/Benedict XVI generations, and I think we don’t have to take him seriously any more on anything. He’s not a dinosaur as much as an interesting relic of the 1965-1985 era.
Don’t trust anyone over 50 and under 75. They’re the lost generation.
Extend that: Fr. Greeley was born in 1928. But the Holy Father was born in 1927. Hmm….
I’m not voting for Obama because of his rabid love of abortion and infanticide (he voted against the BAIPA, you can’t call that anything *but* endorsing infanticide) and his quasi-socialist policies.
I’m not voting for McCain, either.
Does that make me a racist?
I wonder if Fr Greeley thought that the liberals who opposed the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court were acting out of racism?
He would probably protest and say no, of course they were acting out of principle.
So why not admit the same for those who will vote against Obama because they disagree with his liberal ideas and favoring of abortion? Or does Greeley have a double standard here?
So are members of the majority population in the US always the default racists?
Or to be more frank, are only white people racists? That seems to be the prejudicial judgment of the media, certain politicians, and activist to me.
“So are members of the majority population in the US always the default racists?
Or to be more frank, are only white people racists?”
In the insane asylum that is proggie thought, yes. You see, they are still worshipping two Dead White European Males: Marx and Freud and have merely appended racism to class and sex in the metanarrative. (Homophobia as well)
Greeley is kinda funny…and racism is very much overrated in this country except by those whose livelihoods depend on manufacturing crises. Had Father Funny lived with me in Europe, Africa & Asia, he’d be embarrassed at what pitiful pikers we are when it comes to “being racist”.
FYI, it was Eric Clapton who did the music for Hendrix.
I’m not voting for McCain, either.
Does that make me a racist?>>
No, but it sure does increase the chance that Obama will be president.