Al Sharpton joins a Philadelphia Protest of Police on July 23, 2000
William Thomas Cain/Getty Images
His (marginal) lead in polls of registered voters notwithstanding, Barack Obama is going to lose this presidential race, and he is going to lose significantly. That is my Election Day prediction. At present, however, I prefer to discuss my prediction concerning the day after Election Day, regardless of whether Obama wins or loses.
Many whites are hopeful for an Obama presidency because they genuinely believe that it will mark the decisive moment at which America will pass from one epoch to another, from an old dispensation of inter-racial strife and inequality to a new post-racial age. Although they won’t state it in such stark terms for fear of sounding exceedingly naïve (or politically incorrect), many whites long for Obama’s victory over that old white guy because they think that it will prove, once and for all, that America is no longer a “racist” country.
In all fairness to such whites, Obama, his campaign, and many in the media have, at least implicitly, done their share to plant this idea in their minds. Michelle Obama, let us not forget, admitted to discovering a new found pride in the United States only after her husband began winning primaries.
Translation: America just might be moving beyond its “racist” past.
Barack himself told an audience that he feared it was just a matter of time before his Republican opponents exploited his race for political gain, and he had said that he is the true underdog in this race “for reasons that should be obvious.”
Translation: Because America has always been a “racist” nation, it will be particularly challenging for him to win the White House.
Numerous pundits have been continually describing this as an “historic” election season.
Translation: Unless you want to stand in the way of “history,” you will support the black candidate.
These same pundits spare no occasion to suggest that Obama’s inability to leave McCain in the dust in the polls may, by no small measure, be due to his race.
Translation: Americans’ “racist” hang ups continue to prevent them from “making history” by voting for the black candidate.
The notion that charges of “racism” against American (white) society will diminish or cease with an Obama presidency cannot be seriously entertained. In fact, if Obama wins, the cottage industry devoted to “combating” the evil of “racism” that emerged in the 1960s and which continues to thrive today, will expand exponentially. That things couldn’t really be otherwise becomes obvious once we consider the extent to which so many activists, politicians, intellectuals, academics, and pop-culture celebrity figures of various sorts have invested their very lives into sustaining and growing it. It is not just money and fame, but immense psychic and emotional satisfactions that are among the dividends for pitting oneself against the omnipotent and omnipresent forces of “racism” in our “politically correct” culture.
Every criticism of Obama and of his policies will be construed as “racist.”
The fact that his margin of victory won’t be larger than what his supporters believe it should have been, will surely be cited as proof that “racism” is alive and well.
Of course, if Obama loses, the “‘racism’ industrial complex” will witness its profit margins soar. Americans will be treated to a seemingly endless supply of print and television editorials explaining his defeat in terms of an electorate that “just isn’t ready for a black president yet.” Left-leaning television pundits like Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann will have a parade of left-leaning guests on their shows to lecture America on its “racism” and to offer “remedies,” like, perhaps, more big budget Hollywood films and television programs depicting black presidents, or maybe they will suggest renaming “the White House” because of its “racist” connotations. The possibilities for self-advancement on the part of the race merchants will be limitless.
This is what we can look forward to when a new morning dawns the day after the election.