So at Folk Choir rehearsal tonight, I heard about an incident that happened here in southeastern Massachusetts, which happened roughly like this:– white woman with two black children in tow walks into a store, a couple of young white men ask her if she’s going to vote for Obama, she says yes, they say they hope Obama doesn’t get into the White House because then it would be the “black house,” the N-word was thrown around, and that was the end of that. Well, that was the end of that except for going home and taking a long hot shower to wash the slime off, and then calling some friends to tell them about it, one of whom was a member of our choir.
Oh yes indeedy, there are people like that here in liberal, blue-state Massachusetts. But you know what? The effectiveness of racism as a political strategy is finally waning. Obama is going to win this state and all twelve of its electoral college votes no matter what those two young white men said. And I think most of us would agree that throwing the N-word at a couple of little kids in order to support your own political candidate is only going to make your candidate look bad. So we have made progress, since back when I was a kid, thirty or forty years ago (all right, forty years ago), veiled racial slurs were still an effective political weapon. No matter who wins tomorrow (and at the moment the polls are leaning towards giving Obama the electoral college vote), this is the year we discovered that racism, no matter how veiled, just doesn’t work very well as a political strategy any more.
On the other hand, it looks like calling someone a Muslim has become a pretty effective political weapon. No wonder I hate politics.