OBAMA IN PHILADELPHIA March 19, 2008Posted by wmmbb in US Politics.
Strange, but not a surprise, to discover that candidate Obama seems to have been caught in the race question that seems to have dogged the United States of America since its inception. Obama is forced to speak out from his association with his local pastor and on the occasion of the Pennsylvania primary and in Philadelphia – the city of brotherly love. I doubt whether the television stations will be able to show it without interruptions for commercials. Here is the video and the speech:
The criticism seems to be that Obama is too honest and too smart to be president, which by default I suppose leaves the present occupant. Maybe, Americans might evaluate the standing of their country in the world, or its diminished capacity to act.
Glenn Greenwald is of the view that the speech with its appeal to reason and mutual understanding cannot work against the proven methods of politics. He may well be right, but it will be interesting to see how it plays out.
Jamie Coomarasamy for BBC News applies the interesting suggestion as to how it will play with the white working class. I remember reports of Martin Luther King getting a vitriolic response such people in Chicago. Historically, to paraphrase Angela Davis, racism has been used to divide and rule. If Obama were to bridge that gap, and I am not sure he has, he will have done something significant and new in American politics.
Juan Cole has an essay on the effect of racial segregation on Detroit, which he says as a Great Lakes city such as Chicago and Toronto, with significant basic infrastructure of its port and airport, and with appropriate public investment could be a prosperous city. He notes the downturn in enrollments for African Americans in the leading universities, making Obama a last great hope for America. Obama he says, like many of his activist supporters in routed in his local community.
I not well versed on Australian urban demographics, but as far as I can judge populations are distributed by social class, a significant sociology factor in itself (and one that requires some subtlety in interpretation), but not by mechanisms of overt social exclusion, such as racial or ethnic membership. For example, this generalization appears to apply to post industrial Wollongong and my neighbourhood. There would be reasons for the tendency of immigrant groups to cluster, and I would expect to see evidence of that in the overall pattern. Of course, if I were to look more closely at the settlement of Aboriginal people, allowing for the small percentages, I might reach a different conclusion.