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Barack Obama's dilemma


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There’s something the Obama campaign knows, and the McCain people know it too. It’s that little secret many Americans don’t know about themselves: Way down deep in parts of their souls they never visit, they’re prejudiced.

They don’t know it because the prejudice, until now, has remained dormant, waiting to be triggered. Racism comes in many forms. It isn’t just the overt kind-- the bigoted redneck shouting slurs.

Once activated, it’s cunning, pernicious. It steals into our thinking, cloaked in euphemism and rationalization.

As long as Barack Obama stays cool, speaks like a Harvard graduate and wears nice, tailored clothing, he doesn’t present a threat to the average white American. If John McCain gets angry, he’s just a patriotic war hero expressing righteous indignation for the lamentable state into which his country has fallen.

If Barack Obama gets angry, suddenly he’s a Black Panther about to hurl a Molotov cocktail into our gated community. He’s Rev. Wright, Jesse Jackson, Malcolm X, Louis Farrakhan, and Al Sharpton rolled into one. “Martha! I knew it all along! He’s that guy hanging out at the intersection that we roll up the windows and lock the doors against! And HE wants US to give him the keys to the CAR???”’

It’s Obama’s job not to be goaded into rising to the bait that the McCain camp is so generously scattering on the waters, and lose his temper. He’s hobbled in that he can’t really sling it back the same way it’s being shoveled at him. He’s a new kind of politician, remember?

At the same time, nobody wants a man for President who appears weak. If he can’t stand up to John McCain, how will he keep Vlad Putin from using him as a chew toy? Americans like to see a little fire in their Presidential candidates. Well, in some of them.

It’s an almost impossible act to finesse. The race issue, much as we’d like to deny it, is just sitting there, throbbing softly... the cobra in the corner. Whatever the outcome in November, it’s going to take some time and honest self-examination as a people before we realize how truly groundbreaking the Obama candidacy has been in our society.

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Comments

This is so true.
It sure does epitomize "Caught between a rock and a hard place".
Apparently we, as a society,
have not evolved as much as we feel we have.


I think that because he's so perfect, we try to find things wrong with him. We will learn one way or another. If he becomes president we will see great changes for the better but if McCain becomes president then we will pay for it.


Chan, thank you so much for putting this in black and white. We can only make TRUE changes when we admit this about ourselves, we are prejudiced. It may not be overt, but it is definitely there. The man has been walking a fine line since he announced his candidacy and if he is in fact able to step into history, he will continue to walk that fine line throughout his term(s).
I enjoy your editorial cartoons; keep up the good work!


So, you are saying that when Obama doesn't get elected the cause will be an underlying defect with white voters?

Your premise is flawed on so many levels.

Keep it up though, I like the liberal media putting forth this nonsense, it insures an Obama defeat.

Obama is defective, not white voters.

Start there.


There's another little secret about americans Obama, McCain and every other public figure knows: we're incredibly gullible and suffer from collective short memory.
To wit: the perception of Obama as an angry black man more or less cemented itself in the minds of those prejudiced americans when his association with Rev. Wright became public.

Rev. Wright is an angry black man. Not many, including Obama, would argue that. And after sitting in Wright's church for 20 years and breaking bread with the man it would be pretty safe to assume that Obama shares some, maybe many, maybe all of Wright's views.

After all, if the roles were reversed and it was a white candidate associated with a lunatic fringe, racist pastor it would be a foregone conclusion that the candidate shared those views.

But lo! Not in Obama's case. He somehow remained blissfully unaware of Wright's views. Knowing Obama to be an exceptionally bright man I'd have to say that he lied, right to our prejudiced little faces, regarding his knowledge Wright's views.

If he didn't lie then maybe he's not so bright after all. Or maybe he just doesn't listen well.

Either way, the deep down prejudiced public doesn't seem to recall a thing about this. Which is just as well, I suppose.

Enough with the prejudiced americans (by which is meant "white" americans) stuff already.
As a hispanic it turns my stomach to see so much hand-wringing on the part of whites regarding this issue as though latinos and blacks weren't every bit, if note MORE, prejudiced than anglos in this day and age.


As JohnKing so eloquently states it insures an Obama defeat. That of course means he wins if his "insurance" covers defeat.


"After all, if the roles were reversed and it was a white candidate associated with a lunatic fringe, racist pastor it would be a foregone conclusion that the candidate shared those views."

Doesn't Palin belong to a church that thinks being gay is a sin, and you can 'pray the gay away'? And doesn't her husband belong to a fringe group that advocates Alaska secede from the US?

People don't seem to mind bigoted a***s, as long as they're white christians.


This is so very true, it is ironic that a developed 1st world country like the US is so backward that we allow racism to divide us and stop progress.


How sad is the possibility of McCain continuing to contribute to the decline of the global economy? A nation that has molded itself into separatism has backed itself into the worst corner ever; having to decide if it's worth setting the precedent of electing a black man president. What may be better is a different perspective; setting the precedent of electing into office a remedy instead of a reference of decline, lies, corporate ass-kissing and bail-outs the likes of which have been standard operating procedure for the past eight years. We've been blind to the arrogance for the past eight years. Let's add color to what we're blind to, and begin to build our country back up again.


Hello Glenn,

You wrote:
"Doesn't Palin belong to a church that thinks being gay is a sin, and you can 'pray the gay away'?"

There's a significant difference between condeming behavior (homosexuality) and condemning race wouldn't you think? You can refrain from acting out homosexual behavior. You cannot refrain from being white, black or green.
I don't necessarily agree that homosexuality can be "prayed away". I also don't believe that it's normal behavior any more than adultery is.
Can you explain why condemning behavior is considered bigotry in your view?

You also wrote: "And doesn't her husband belong to a fringe group that advocates Alaska secede from the US?"

I don't know but assume he does. How is this abnormal or immoral or bigotry?


You: "People don't seem to mind bigoted a***s, as long as they're white christians."

That's kind of bigoted isn't it?


Racism is a 2way street. The so called black "leaders" are race baiters/pimps who make their living stirring race issues up. Racism is a learned behavior, if it can be learned, it can be unlearned. Grown up people.


"There's a significant difference between condemning behavior (homosexuality) and condeming race wouldn't you think? You can refrain from acting out homosexual behavior. You cannot refrain from being white, black or green.
I don't necessarily agree that homosexuality can be "prayed away". I also don't believe that it's normal behavior any more than adultery is."gotry in your view?"

Are you seriously comparing homosexuality to adultery? Homosexuality isn't any more of a behavior than anything a heterosexual person does, which I am sure you would consider "normal." Just because someone doesn't share your Christian cookie-cutter image of what a person should or shouldn't be absolutely does NOT make them abnormal. It makes you small minded and ignorant.


Hello Christina, thanks for replying.

You wrote: "Are you seriously comparing homosexuality to adultery?"

Me: Yes. A better correlation would be individuals who are aroused by images of children. No one is harmed by the act and consent isn't an issue.
To the person acting out the behavior it seems right. But "seeming" or "feeling" right doesn't make it right. Both, in fact, are simply wrong.

You: Homosexuality isn't any more of a behavior than anything a heterosexual person does, which I am sure you would consider "normal."

Me: "Did you mean to say that homosexuality isn't more of an ABNORMAL behavior..."?

You: "...than anything a heterosexual person does, which I am sure you would consider 'normal.'"

Me: It's vastly different than what a heterosexual does. And yes, I consider heterosexuality normal. The proof is in the pudding: neither one of us would be here discussing this if it wasn't.

You: "Just because someone doesn't share your Christian cookie-cutter image of what a person should or shouldn't be absolutely does NOT make them abnormal."

Me: Of course, just because someone doesn't share your non-cookie cutter image (which is itself a cookie cutter image) of what a person should or shouldn't be doesn't make them normal.
Your statment works both ways, see?

You: It makes you small minded and ignorant.

Me: But the same would go for you. See the previous reply.

Mind you, I'm not in favor of throwing homosexuals in jail as pedophiles should be. I'm not in favor of taking away they're right to make a living nor much else. Like everyone else, they have a right to live. I'm saying it's abnormal and immoral. Like adultery.


Not only did you just compare homosexuality to adultery but you just compared it to being a pedophile. The reason a pedophie is immoral, illegal and frowned upon is because it involves a CHILD who cannon process the necessary feelings required to be involved in a sex act so it is a one-way street. Homosexuality is not. Explain to me who exactly is hurt or otherwise bothered by two consenting adults making a choice to love each other in a manner they see fit. Regardless of if the "proof is in the pudding" (I assume you mean in the context of procreation, if that were true then what about strait couples who cannot produce due to one persons physical limitations, impotence and such, does that make them less of a couple in your eyes? Do they become abnormal? or Immoral for having sex for reasons other than procreation? At that point their having sex becomes simply an act of pleasure or expression of love and not of procreation, which is the same as homosexual sex.)


What's defective about Obama? And please, none of the usual soundbites that are basically crap. Thanks in advance.

P.S. If you vote for McCain, you may as well empty your savings account and flush it down the toilet. At least you'll have control over its demise.


Conservatives when Jamie Lynn Spears got pregnant:

BAD PARENTING! THE PARENTS ARE TO BLAME!

The same conservatives when Bristol Palin got pregnant:

WHAT WONDERFUL, SUPPORTIVE PARENTS! THEY CHOSE LIFE!

----

Anyone see any hypocrisy here?


Hello Drew; thanks for your reply.

Before answering, keep the word "arbitary in mind:
Webster's defines it like this: "based on or determined by INDIVIDUAL PREFERENCE or CONVENIENCE rather than by necessity or the intrinsic nature of something".
With that in mind, here's my reply to your reply.

You: The reason a pedophile is immoral, illegal and frowned upon is because it involves a CHILD who cannon process the necessary feelings required to be involved in a sex act so it is a one-way street.

Me: According to you and others that's why it's wrong. According to pedophiles and others that's not a good reason. Why is your reason better than theirs?
Moreover, given the broken relationships, divorce rates, domestic disturbances, Jerry Springer episodes that occur among consenting adults what makes you think adults are any better able to "process the necessary feelings required to be involved in a sex act"?
Finally, using the effects of pedophial on a child as justification to make it illegal is purely arbitrary. It's something you and many other take for granted. Why, after all, should we be concerned about the child's welfare?
Forget that it sounds like an unreasonable question. Give me answer that isn't arbitrary.

You: Explain to me who exactly is hurt or otherwise bothered by two consenting adults making a choice to love each other in a manner they see fit.

Me: our culture. In a moral sense. I believe that a lot of things hurt us from a moral standpoint and eventually that trickles down to the physical. If we accept the proposition that homosexuality is ok then we'd have a difficult time not accepting other kinds of taboo relationships like human/animal and adult/child. The justification for accepting homosexual relationships seems to work equally well for others.

You: Regardless of if the "proof is in the pudding" (I assume you mean in the context of procreation, if that were true then what about strait couples who cannot produce due to one persons physical limitations, impotence and such, does that make them less of a couple in your eyes? Do they become abnormal? or Immoral for having sex for reasons other than procreation? At that point their having sex becomes simply an act of pleasure or expression of love and not of procreation, which is the same as homosexual sex.)

Me: I was being a bit facetious with the "proof is in the pudding" line, although, of course, I believe the survival of the species is a good thing and in that sense, heterosexuality trumps homosexuality every time.

I believe that the bounds of sexual behavior are set by God, of course. Any other attempt at setting those bounds leads to arbitrariness and, ultimately, a "might makes right" approach to morality. Unfortunately, this leads to trouble.

I understand that you and others don't agree. I respect your right to disagree. I just think your reasons aren't very good or well thought out.

We seem to have wandered off the original topic, Obama and race, but I don't mind.


You. Me. You. ME. you.... ME ME ME.........y...ou..........ME ME ME ME ME ME.........y......o......u.............MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! you?...........
YEAH! MEEEE MEEEEEEE MEEEEEEEEEE!!!!


Alan Fundt: You.
Me: Me.
You: Me.
Me: You.
You: Us.
Me: Them.
You: Up.
Me: Down.
You: You.
Me: Yes.
You: You.
Me: Me.
You: Me.
Me: You.
You: Yo!
Me: Yo.


What's defective about Obama? And please, none of the usual soundbites that are basically crap. Thanks in advance.

Racist background, lack of accountable experience (voting "present" is not leadership), you don't get extra points for attendance. Thats enough for the Superman cape to come off of your hero Obama.

Any parent will tell you that who you hang around with is where you are heading. Hanging with Reverend Wright for twenty years, The Ayers guy is another foul relationship. Would you let you kids hang around with them.

All praise the lord Obama!

You Obama supporters really need to examine you own mental health, hero worship is a symptom of far greater "issues".


Hero Worship

A cult of personality or personality cult arises when a country's leader uses mass media to create a heroic public image through unquestioning flattery and praise. Cults of personality are often found in dictatorships but can be found in some democracies.

A cult of personality is similar to general hero worship except that it is created specifically for political leaders. However, the term may be applied by analogy to refer to adulation of non-political leaders.

Link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cult_of_personality

You Obmamorons are falling for dictator tricks, be careful out there, you may just get what you long for.

A dictator committed to "change".


"Me: our culture. In a moral sense. I believe that a lot of things hurt us from a moral standpoint and eventually that trickles down to the physical. If we accept the proposition that homosexuality is ok then we'd have a difficult time not accepting other kinds of taboo relationships like human/animal and adult/child. The justification for accepting homosexual relationships seems to work equally well for others."

Thats where the problem with right-wing conservatives starts. Just becasue someone does something different doesn't mean that it weakens or mocks your own accomplishments. My parents have been married 40 years, just because a neighbor or someone else's son decides to marry someone of their own sex doesn't take away from the fact that my parents have been married for 40 years. It doesn't make it any less special. I was raised Catholic and I understand the concept of evangalization, I just completely disagree with it. And that is the basic idea behind all strong-arm conservative points of view. You're different but I want to change you so you aren't different, the sad part is in politics they use this idea and wrap it up in the flag and THEN (this is the irony) talk about how they are "defending freedom" now if you have an entire country of people where society pressures them to be the same you've in a sense taken away their freedom and you've created communisim. Thats how the topic of race, sex, gender and all that works back into this discussion. Most right wing conservatives can't stand it when people think, act, believe or live differently than they do. They think its an affront to their faith. Stangely enough, thats exactly what the Muslim Extremists think about us. Oh, lastly. Relationships with children, animals, things, etc aren't in the discussion here, they don't vote and they haven't been given specific legal rights to be recognized as equals.


"I understand that you and others don't agree. I respect your right to disagree. I just think your reasons aren't very good or well thought out."

You took the words right out of my mouth.


Drew: Just becasue someone does something different doesn't mean that it weakens or mocks your own accomplishments.

Me: Agreed. I don't think that homosexuality weakens or mocks anyone's accomplishments.

Drew: My parents have been married 40 years, just because a neighbor or someone else's son decides to marry someone of their own sex doesn't take away from the fact that my parents have been married for 40 years. It doesn't make it any less special.

Me: I agree again.

You: I was raised Catholic and I understand the concept of evangalization, I just completely disagree with it.

Me: I can respect that.

You: And that is the basic idea behind all strong-arm conservative points of view. You're different but I want to change you so you aren't different...

Me: That may be the case for others but not for me. I'm saying that the behavior of others ends up affects me and a bunch of other people. Sometimes the behavior and the rationale for it seem noble and right but in the long run it turns out to be a bad move.

You: ...the sad part is in politics they use this idea and wrap it up in the flag and THEN (this is the irony) talk about how they are "defending freedom"...

Me: I think you're right about that.

You: ...now if you have an entire country of people where society pressures them to be the same you've in a sense taken away their freedom...

Me: That's certainly a possibility. But in another sense we limit freedom all the time. That's why pedophiles and murderers and thieves are in jail. We limit their freedom because it's in the interest of the public good (or so they say). So limiting the freedom of some because of their behavior happens all the time and is often necessary.

You: ...and you've created communisim.

Me: Not really.

You: Thats how the topic of race, sex, gender and all that works back into this discussion. Most right wing conservatives can't stand it when people think, act, believe or live differently than they do. They think its an affront to their faith.

Me: Some certainly believe that. But I've never said it's an affront to my faith. I'm arguing that it's not in the interest of our culture.

You: Stangely enough, thats exactly what the Muslim Extremists think about us.

Me: Of course, that's what you and me and almost everyone thinks of them, as well. Your comments work against you, too.

You: Oh, lastly. Relationships with children, animals, things, etc aren't in the discussion here, they don't vote and they haven't been given specific legal rights to be recognized as equals.

Me: I know. And it's utterly arbitrary. And working under your assumptions you have no rational justification for denying them those specific legal rights or for not recognizing them as equals.

I hear what you're saying and I've obviously offended you though that wasn't my intent. I apologize if I have. It's also obvious that you're passionate about the subject. My only request is that we address the issues I refer to.
I'm pretty willing to be rethink my position if it can be shown to be wrong or if there's a better argument for your position. I've had to before so changing my view isn't that big a deal. I may be completely wrong; it'd just be nice to be shown in a reasonable way.

Finally, you're right about one thing for sure: many who share my views are complete ***holes and have done a poor job of discussing these issues. Hell, I've often been unpleasant when talking about this. I wish I hadn't been and I'm sorry others are.

"I understand that you and others don't agree. I respect your right to disagree. I just think your reasons aren't very good or well thought out."

You took the words right out of my mouth.


I agree with the cartoonist. And disagree with the negative comments about Obama which are truly slippery slopes and biased. Hero worship? Hello! people he is just a man, and a decent one no doubt as is McCain. Can we say Tangent? Don't let your fears paralize you to the degree that you begin a self fulfilling prophecy. The article is good and on point. Of course it doesn't apply to every person. When the next cartoon comes out, I hope some positive and constructive criticisim can be done by America.


Isn't it the ultimate racism when Barack Obama cannot run the race on his own merits but only as a black man? If he wins, it is because he is black. If he loses, it's because he's black. Perhaps the fate of this election could be based on more than just race. I, for one, and tired of the race card.


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About the author
Chan LoweCHAN LOWE has been the Sun Sentinel’s first and only editorial cartoonist for the past twenty-six years. Before that, he worked as cartoonist and writer for the Oklahoma City Times and the Shawnee (OK) News-Star.

Chan went to school in New York City, Los Angeles, and the U.K., and graduated from Williams College in 1975 with a degree in Art History. He also spent a year at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.

His work has won numerous awards, including the Green Eyeshade Award and the National Press Foundation Berryman Award. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His cartoons have won multiple first-place awards in all of the Florida state journalism contests, and The Lowe-Down blog, which he began in 2008, has won writing awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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