Race and politics still taboo: NY Times' Friedman wrote this drivel... half-drivel

Isn't it a bit goofy that some crystal-clear white liberal guilt is the predominant reflection of one longtime NY Times columnist's upon Barack Obama's win? The regular NY Times nay-sayers would think not; it is clearly a liberal, politically correct (favoring not the poor white guy, but favoring everyone else except him and the slovenly rich) newspaper despite its other reputation, as a publication for superior journalism.

Thomas L. Friedman leads from some white liberal joy into a commentary on some real (in his mind) reasons for the Obama win. I am amazed at what this guy does not see, based on his insight for what he does see.

Finishing Our Work - NYTimes.com
This moment was necessary, for despite a century of civil rights legislation, judicial interventions and social activism — despite Brown v. Board of Education, Martin Luther King’s I-have-a-dream crusade and the 1964 Civil Rights Act — the Civil War could never truly be said to have ended until America’s white majority actually elected an African-American as president.

Let every child and every citizen and every new immigrant know that from this day forward everything really is possible in America.

How did Obama pull it off? To be sure, it probably took a once-in-a-century economic crisis to get enough white people to vote for a black man. And to be sure, Obama’s better organization, calm manner, mellifluous speaking style and unthreatening [sic] message of “change” all served him well.

But there also may have been something of a “Buffett effect” that countered the supposed “Bradley effect” — white voters
telling pollsters they’d vote for Obama but then voting for the white guy. The Buffett effect was just the opposite. It was white conservatives telling the guys in the men’s grill at the country club that they were voting for John McCain, but then quietly going into the booth and voting for Obama, even though they knew it would mean higher taxes.
I guess we ought to thank God, then, that we did not elect a woman, or an Hispanic, Native American, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, or someone else. Bobby Jindal, don't expect such a big deal should you be elected to a higher office, because you're just a damned Republican, first of all, and second, it's all about the blacks versus the whites here in the good ole US of A!

Friedman then noted the following, which I think is accurate, fair enough, and not nearly as myopic as his Obama win comments (that fact says soemthing about his perspective, indeed):
Somewhere they also knew that after the abysmal performance of the Bush team, there had to be consequences for the Republican Party. Electing McCain now would have, in some way, meant rewarding incompetence. It would have made a mockery of accountability in government and unleashed a wave of cynicism in America that would have been deeply corrosive.
What I find curious is that he, as everyone seems to, refers to Obama as our first black president. He is, by appearances, our first, indeed. However, Obama's mother and thus half his lineage and half his family is white. Why is this not something to be pointed out, and why do such great writers (though not great thinkers, zing). Is being of mixed race lineage still taboo for the liberals, for crying out loud? Not much to sing about for the white liberals who wish to relieve their racist guilt, then, is there? So where does Friedman fall on the scale of taboos -- pro-mixed race or still afraid of the idea? I suspect he has no issue with mixed race, it's just that liberals like to avoid talking about such things. (It's like seeing something in another's teeth at a Manhattan cocktail party -- best that you say nothing, and love them for the toothy grin they give you, spinach and all. Aw, love them! Take them off my invitation lists! Love them!)

I guess it is a good for a writer to see things through myopic glasses than to suspect the whole gamut of reasons why Obama won, why GOP congressmen lost out, and why people blame a president for all their problems. I would rather contemplate it all, but I guess you can't win Pulitzers if you work that hard.


As for Friedman's piece, be sure to read the last two paragraphs, for the ideas within them. He could have left all the other crap out of it.

I hope we see a new age of public service in the vein of what I saw in Israel. Americans, college-educated or not, around me in my little depressing world are quite selfish little turds. In Israel, they would be the ones getting low-end jobs, or scared shitless in the required military service, prompting change in their attitude. We could use a little scared-shitless in our youths these days that doesn't involve video games or misused firearms.

- jR

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