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Mark my words, Obama's difficulty on race is not so much with whites as it is with Hispanics. Just wait. You'll see.

Blacks are a smaller group than Latinos, and Latinos are growing much faster. Do a word search on Obama's speech. "Latino" appears twice. "Brown" as reference to skin color appears twice. For both words, they appear in lists, mentioned in passing.

It speaks volumes that no one in the major media, or the Democratic Party, or the Republican Party, has mentioned Obama's mere token mention of Latinos in his speech. He analyzed racial issues in purely black and white terms.

Now look at the three largest states in this country: California, Texas, and Florida. In each of those states, which is the largest minority group? How well does that group get along with black people?

Now look at the Republican heir apparent. He's an immigration moderate. Now that the Democratic Party has guilt-tripped itself into a 30-year-old definition of the racial divide, it seems to me that the path is wide open for McCain to come riding in on a (pardon the pun) white horse and reclaim a boatload of Hispanic votes put in jeopardy by the Republican anti-immigration fever.

Obama made a serious mistake by ignoring Hispanics in that speech. No one has recognized it yet, but that's a sign of how out of touch this country's political nomenklatura is with ground-level realities out there beyond the talk shows and Internet blogs. One of these years, someone will learn Spanish and go out and start asking questions.

Originally posted to Rambler57 on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 11:35 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Texas (4+ / 0-)

    has gone Republican since I can even remember, California has voted for the Democratic candidate since I can even remember.

    So now you're down to Florida.

  •  a not yet outdated... (4+ / 0-)

    list of the top three states by population includes NY.

    You'll be right soon, but not yet.

    Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. - Benjamin Franklin (probably)

    by C Dawgg on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 11:42:42 PM PDT

  •  I noticed that too. (0+ / 0-)

    While I think Obama generally handles the race issue with incredible subtlety and nuance, this seems to be a blind spot for him.  Which is actually surprising.

    What I don't quite get is why Obama not being great on Latino issues translates into all the Latinos voting for McCain.  Is McCain really that much more appealing to Latinos?

    "Never be petty; always remember, others may hate you, but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself." - R.M. Nixon

    by jhooversnyder on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 11:43:57 PM PDT

    •  He only mentioned Native Americans once (5+ / 0-)

      I think there's a lot more to be said about the complications of the multi-racial nature of America, but to try to get to it in one speech would be difficult and, perhaps, have looked like pandering.

      If you imagine race relations in the US as something like a web, with a strand drawn between each group representing the (admittedly superficial) relationship between those two groups, you start to see how complex the situation is. White-Black, White-Latino, White-Asian, White-Native American, White-Polynesian, and so on, then do it with African Americans, then Hispanics. Then break those superficial groups down further (e.g. the Black-Korean relationship vs. the Black-Chinese relationship, relationships between whites and Native Americans in New England vs. in the Southwest vs. in Montana).

      Obama could be saying a lot more about other ethnic and racial groups in America (especially considering his background organizing with Hispanics in Chicago), but I think that particular speech was focused on the, um, 'special' nature of the historical Black-White relationship. In many ways, the Black-White relationship set a template for how official America would treat all non-white ethnic groups. Placing the slave trade and the 3/5 clause in the Constitution (along with breaking N. American treaties) was Official, White America's earliest indication of the institutional racism that would and does still plague the country. I think that's what he was getting at in Tuesday's speech.

      •  He should have listed every race and combination (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        petral, jemjo, Leslie in KY

        I just don't get it. It was a superb speech. He didn't say much about hispanics, because that's not part of his personal experience. Part of the point of the speech was to show voters that he can understand all different kinds of viewpoints of different backgrounds.

        I think it would have undermined Obama's speech to get into listing every ethnic group.

        Investigate War Lies --> Evidence for Senate Conviction --> End the War. Got it?

        by bejammin075 on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 02:22:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  and really (0+ / 0-)

          ...a friend of mine is an editor for a very liberal publishing co-op. A few years ago she mentioned to me a project she was working on (don't have the title!! sorry), but basically her point was that the nature of "race talks' in American had changed.  Whereas is used to center around the concept of "white" and "others", it has now moved a bit to be "black" and "others"...that somehow in the American consciousness Asians, Latinos, etc etc had become absorbed into one group with caucasions.  I am not sure if this is an empirical finding...but it is still an interesting concept when you think about what that means for society.  Of course, this was also before the repubs decided to make immigration the gay marriage of 2008. weird.

        •  I never said ... (0+ / 0-)

          ... that he should have listed every ethnic group. I said that there are more Latinos than there are blacks. He should have spent more time on Latinos, and discussed not just the general issue but the divide between black and Latino to a greater degree than a passing mention.

          Generally speaking, I thought it was an eloquent speech. I didn't even think of the Latino angle until a friend of mine pointed it out. Then I sat down and said to myself, "Damn, that's a good point."

          Last summer, the Republicans really screwed the pooch when it came to the Latino vote. Ever since then, the Democrats have been taking Latinos for granted. It's remarkable, when you really think about it, that the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination could give a major speech on the racial divide on not spend a significant amount of that speech talking about about a minority that is, a) the largest, b) a huge current and future Democratic constituency, and c) a group targeted as pretty damn close to terroristic by the Republicans.

          I think the Democratic Party has a loooooooooong way to go when it comes to reaching out to Latino voters. The fact that Republican attacks have improved the Democratic Party's position in this group should make Democrats MORE energetic in closing the sale.

          Apparently, to judge from the defensive rhetoric from the Obamacult, it has done exactly the opposite. If there's one thing that truly chaps my ass about my Democratic Party is its tendency to be arrogant, complacent, and self-satisfied at the drop of a hat. Quit being so damn lazy, and look for ways to improve. Otherwise, November's defeat will not only be certain, but it well be well deserved.

  •  Obama has been on the forefront (8+ / 0-)
    on speaking out on Latino issues this election cycle. Hilary only use them when it was politically convient in Texas. We all know what Republicans think of immigrants despite that John McCain and George W Bush were for comprehensive Immigration reform.

    George W Bush actually speaks spanish, if I'm not mistaken.

  •  Latinos (8+ / 0-)

    are in a different situation.  Some have a perspective  very much in common with that other immigrants such as Italians, Irish and/or Asians - and this is a perspective that Obama did speak about.

    Others have been in America for generations, particularly the mestizos, most westerns states were part of Mexico for longer than they've been part of the U.S.

    It's a discussion that needs to be had, but was outside the center of what he was addressing, however in the end though his point that the concerns and issues of Black, Whites, Browns and Asians have much more in common than anything else.


    •  Nitpick: No Western state was part of ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skippythebox, Over the Edge

      ...Mexico, founded in 1821, longer than it's been part of the United States, since 1848. ;)

      The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppose. - Frederick Douglass

      by Meteor Blades on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 01:09:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  He never said that (0+ / 0-)

      Obama never said that Asians, blacks and browns "have much more in common than anything else." Like so many members of the unquestioning Obamacult, you're projecting your hopes onto your messiah.

      Black people have often had a rough time in America, to put it mildly. No one, least of all me, are disputing that to the slightest degree. But I seem to recall that, last summer, some truly ugly things were coming out of the Republican Party concerning Hispanics, who just happen to be cleaning a whole lot of the bedpans of America as we speak. As do a whole lot of black people.

      If you're going to talk about race, and if you're going to do it as a Democrat, and if you're going to do it in a political speech in advance of the 2008 election, I think it's reasonable to suggest that you just might have wanted to go further than an obligatory, token mention or two of the single largest minority group in America.

      Of course, on the Daily Kos, where even the slightest hint that Obama might not be Jesus Christ restored to a grateful America is greeted as evidence that its deliverer is the antichrist, I realize how horrible it is to utter this forbidden message. Sheesh.

  •  Can we include Asian issues and Muslim Issues (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlackGriffen, wuck, rbile
    as well.

    Cause I'm sure they have some issues with America as well.

    •  What about (14+ / 0-)

      dwarfs, wiccans, obese, and people with restless leg syndrome?

      Look, as soon as you add someone to the list that Obama left out, you can find someone else to add.

      The speech was anchored on Wright and Obama and so it was about black and white, but he didn't focus solely on black and white issues. It was fundamentally about how we have been taught to blame the people beside us and push them down for our frustration rather than the people in power.

      That is the defense of Wright. Where Robertson wants you to blame the gays for America's problems, Wright blames the people running America. Where Wright isn't defensible is by singling out whites in that effort as his own biases have combined white and power, which isn't as true today as it was before. That lesson applies to everyone - including white working class men.

      So the lesson isn't in black, asian, latino, or Muslim issues but in how those in power divide those that are not in order to maintain that power. If we can break that, the individual issues go away - all of them.

      -6.00, -7.03
      Obama '08

      by johnsonwax on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 12:05:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  i agree with you, but (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NearlyNormal, rbile

        obama could have thrown a little more into it than lip service if he had chosen. in class today, one native american student said "i felt a bit like an afterthought."

        he chose to pitch his speech in the way he did, and for good reason.  not disagreeing with you, but his framing was noticeable.

        •  His framing was forced upon him. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BlackGriffen, begone, Tricky

          He's already being accused of shifting the media off of Wright (talk about missing the point), and going further away from Wright wouldn't have helped.

          But the speech isn't an end. He challenged us to have this discussion - so go have it with the native american student.

          -6.00, -7.03
          Obama '08

          by johnsonwax on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 12:18:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  fair enough, and the discussions you suggest (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rbile, Tricky

            were had.  i thought obama opened helpful doors and so did my native-american student.

            i realize the speech would have been pitched (or could have been) in a very different way if he hadn't had to deal with his christian pastor and uproar about wright.  if the speech is looked at and critiqued years from now out of context,  this particular framing will be noted.

            fyi, i donated because of the speech. anyone who takes on the subject that passionately deserves support.

        •  if all you got was lip service then (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BlackGriffen, Tricky

          you must not have been listening.. Obama framed the speech, he outlined everything he was going to talk about, then went into great detail to explain his POV.  To use the term lip service makes me think you've been watching too many sound bites.. Check out the full speech at youtube..

          •  i got what obama was after and why. but (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            it was hard for me to not acknowledge the impression that my
            native-american student had was that that particular "shout-out" was a
            bit of lip-service.  the speech was powerful enough, as i have mentioned, to make me sit stunned for quite some time.  and my student is a huge obama-supporter.  but we always talk about how politicians frame their arguments, why, and to whom.  this particular framing of race was done for specific reasons.  it's not the only way people think about or conceptualize race.  

            it did more on race from a prominent politician than i've ever heard.  opened up lots of good conversations, too.  even a speech so great, can't do everything.  that's all i was acknowledging.

            •  I think you should explain to your student (0+ / 0-)

              that Blacks in America have great reason to be pissed off.  When you pissed off, you don't talk about someone elses problems unless you don't value your own.  At least, not all the time.  Literally 40% of African-Americans are mixed with Native American, seriously.. Many slaves and former slaves sought out Native Americans to have children with, so that their kids might be born with straight hair and considered native american.  Fucked up isn't it?  That's how bad Blacks had/have it in this country..

              It's not lip service.. It's devoting the limited time you have to the most pressing of issues.  Blacks and Whites have the greatest division between them -- no other race in America can say that.  The biggest problem for Blacks is that, they're on the bottom!  

              So when you, or your students hear Barack Obama single out African Americans, explain to them that he does that because African-Americans were singled out in the Constitution, and for 400 years Blacks have been singled out of crowds of people to be raped, lynched, blown up at church, imprisoned, drafted, disenfranchised and now finally -- cheated out of an election.

              •  Could you point me to the source of that ... (4+ / 0-)

                ... idea that slaves and former slaves tried to find Indians to have children with to get straight hair and be considered Indian? I have African, Seminole and Scottish ancestry, and in all my 61 years, I've never heard that claim. Ever.

                The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppose. - Frederick Douglass

                by Meteor Blades on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 01:05:44 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  my student's comments were not a sign of missing (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Over the Edge, johnsonwax

                the point of the speech. it was more of a curiosity about "i wonder if obama has spoken to other inter-racial dynamics".  my reply, not knowing, was "he probably has, and he's probably had to, and he's probably wanted to, and perhaps he will in the future."  but my student was very very well aware of the contingencies and necessities of the speech.

                and obviously obama's goal worked: he got people talking about race openly an productively.  i don't think there were any victims (or grievances) here.  it's an encounter in racial conversation that came out of close thinking and analysis of the speech.  probably what obama hoped for.

              •  I refute that Native Americans have (0+ / 0-)

                any less reason to be pissed off. If we're going to balance slavery vs partial genocide, nobody wins that contest.

                We've relegated Native Americans to this slow flame-out by giving them some crappy land and some marginal independence, while continuing to cut them out of the national economic and social pie. But the black experience is more familiar to us because it is an experience which we interact with regularly. Native Americans were sent off to their rooms where nobody would have to see them so most Americans have no idea what their experience is other than what they see on the way to the casino.

                But like I said, there are lots of people on the bottom deserving of being heard. Obama spoke to what he knows and pointed out that it's not white/black but really top/bottom. In 38 minutes, only so much can be accomplished, and again, I think it's part of the strategy to get us involved. He can give a speech every day on race and it won't do shit if we don't take the time to learn and share and mend bridges and build a new coalition to move things forward.

                What surprised me about his speech was how closely it echoed Edwards in its goal, but with a completely different approach.

                -6.00, -7.03
                Obama '08

                by johnsonwax on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 09:28:48 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  We Indians are ALWAYS an afterthought. n/t (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dadanation, pico, wuck

          The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppose. - Frederick Douglass

          by Meteor Blades on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 12:57:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  it certainly wasn't a narrow speech (0+ / 0-)

        but he can do more. as obama supporters, we can't fear this prospect. and remember that barack tells us he cannot do this alone. he wants us to engage and hold him accountable.

        i deeply appreciate your last comment, but we can't dismiss all critiques of our candidate in order to fight "the system." we can carefully and thoughtfully work on ways to broaden and improve our message. if we're not open to critiques, how we do move forward as a campaign and candidate?

      •  Those issues (with Latinos, Asians, Muslims) (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        are important to address, but I think it does them all a disservice to try to lump them together in one blanket speech about "racism," which really can't get any deeper into the issue than "Racism: it's bad." This would be the typical "speech on race" given by a politician.

        What Obama did was much more complicated--he tackled the specific relationship between Black and White America (in as much as either of these can be considered a monolithic group) which is unique in that it is still overshadowed by the ghost of slavery. I think most of the "low-grade" racism against blacks in this country (by white people who would never think of themselves as racists but find themselves uncomfortable around black people)is actually a displaced sense of guilt and shame over slavery.

        There really is no comparable history with any other minority group--except perhaps Native Americans, the treatment of whom might also lay claim to being one of our country's "original sins."

    •  we all want to improve this country (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      i LOVE that he mentioned the damaging rhetoric of the immigration debate. indeed a frightening reality no one had the courage to acknowledge. he could do more on the muslim front, but he's open and eager to develop and those are great qualities.

      as a supporter (and muslim), while i'm capable of being critical of him when necessary, i'm confident that barack will come out and reject the backlash against muslims with the same vigor he discuses other forms of discrimination.

      you know, there's a reason why the campaign slogan is "yes we can."  barack needs all of us.

      •  one of my favorite moments of a previous speech (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        (i think it was the virginia dem meeting?) was when he specifically went out of his way to condemn hate-mongering against muslims, gay people, and other unfairly targeted groups.  i'm sure he'll come back to that.  hope so!

        •  see, that's totally a barack thing to do! (0+ / 0-)

          he's a community organizer, he agitates and challenges regardless of popular sentiment! i love this about him.

          i wish they would televise those moments more. we're always bombarded with the stuff that denounce his connections to Islam, which is cool... he's not a Muslim after all. I certainly wouldn't be happy if folks wrongfully labeled me in order to undermine my credibility.

          btw, if you or others have documented moments on this issue, please share! i would love to forward this info.

  •  Eh... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlackGriffen, peraspera

    How well does that group get along with black people?

    Pretty well, actually.  This idea of huge friction between the communities was overstated by pundits who were too lazy to do any real research: the Latino community came out more for Clinton because she had earlier and deeper contacts in the community than Obama (ditto the Asian American community, incidentally, a group that you left out of your discussion).

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 11:47:48 PM PDT

    •  also, we have a fair mixture of race in NY (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      i'm not sure what the South side of Chicago is like, but my 'hood has quite a mixture of race/nationality/religion. as does many parts of NYC and State.

      i think in general, Hillary appeals to them more not just because of name recognition. i think it's more in her approach and her sense of fight that she projects. that's also why she gets the blue collar vote and i would say a good part of the womens and senior vote. she gets out there and sits in their living room also. i heard/read Obama was going to try and go out for more of the rural vote in PA, which i think he should. he needs to figure out the right way to gain access to those votes. TV ads aren't sealing the deal. i think once he figures out the formula that works  for him, he will do better in the other demographics.

      and as much as folks like to write off her 35 yrs of experience, a lot of it goes across race/nationality because she works with poor/lower class and children's issues. they effect all.

    •  Yes (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BlackGriffen, peraspera, pico

      --ask Antonio Villaraigosa on the subject (mayor of LA) and he is a Clinton supporter.  He'll tell you that either community prefers people they know (wonder why?) but that doesn't mean they automatically hate each other.

      Also, he did refer to "the immigrant" in his speech.  It just wasn't the main focus of his speech.

  •  What Sort Of Race Do You Imagine Hispanic Is? (0+ / 0-)

    If I speak Spanish can I be transracial?

    There is no white race or black race BTW.

    There are races despite the claims of those who would claim otherwise.  Your lying eyes do not deceive you but your mind must be in gear.

    It is not functioning properly if you think there is a white race or black race or hispanic race.

    Now, you were saying? :-)

    Best,  Terry

  •  When did "Latino" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    become a "race"?

    "I desire what is good. Therefore, everyone who does not agree with me is a traitor." King George III

    by ogre on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 11:55:59 PM PDT

  •  2 diaries and no comments (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ivan, skippythebox


    "lovely little thinker but a bugger when he's pissed"

    by yuriwho on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 11:58:40 PM PDT

    •  Eh, "troll" is an overused word here. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wuck, rbile

      Fact is, the large-scale narratives tend to ignore (at worst) or downplay (at best) the very large and very diverse Latino population in America.  I don't think Obama was under any obligation to make it a focal point of his recent speech because of the circumstances, but it's also not a "troll" question to ask.  

      More accurately: weak diary that doesn't have much to support its claims + weak predictions based on assertions + fly-by diarist who doesn't comment.  But if that's the definition of "troll", then we've got a site full of em.  ;)

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 12:07:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Weak or Inconvenient? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        yuriwho, Jacob Freeze

        Sorry to conflict with the Daily Kos Party Line (TM) that Barack Obama is perfect in every respect, that all his words are as delivered by God, and that anyone who should ever thinking critically is a troll.

        •  Did you even read my comment (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          skippythebox, hungrycoyote

          above, or are you going to leap to conclusions, and be just as bad as the people you're criticizing?

          Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

          by pico on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 01:00:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Sheesh, not to mention (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          skippythebox, yuriwho

          the comment you replied to!  I was defending your right to ask the general question, and that some aspects of it were legitimate.  It's like you completely ignored what I was saying, just so you could throw out your little venomous diatribe.  

          Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

          by pico on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 01:02:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  This doesn't help your argument... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          yuriwho, pico

          ... while I accept that there are certain overly-vitriolic comments being left, there are others of us who are applying critical thinking and reasoning to our comments about your article.

          By responding to the ones that offend you - and in an offensive manner - and ignoring the ones that attempt to spark a conversation, you are missing the opportunity to address the issues you raise and instead buying into the conflict. Either that is because you have been swept up by the comments and allowed to be led off track, or that was the intent of your diary in the first place, which is the definition of trolling.

          I expect the former, because this is not a site prone to extensive trolling, no matter what some may say.

        •  Let's put this into perspective ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Obama's speech will be printed in history books, discussed and studied, years after you are dead and buried. It will be cherished and remembered.

          Meanwhile, your "diary" will disappear into cyberspace in a matter of hours.

      •  You are correct (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        And I am sorry if my comments degraded a legitimate opinion. With out doubt Barrack Obama's speech on race was a moment of truth.....Did it address all the issues Hispanic voters care about? No! Did it address Vietnamese voters concerns? No! You can never satisfy one racial category without alienating others. Did his speech bring more racial discussion and reconciliation to the table? Yes! Did it start "we the people" discussing this topic? Yes!

        So, I accept your thesis that perhaps Barrack did not win the hispanic vote with his speech the other day, but I also ask you......Which candidate will help reconcile the differences and elevate minorities of all flavors in the coming years? In my mind, that man is Barrack. If you think it is McCain......pls provide a logical reason

        "lovely little thinker but a bugger when he's pissed"

        by yuriwho on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 12:49:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Give me a break (4+ / 0-)

    He mentions them in the speech but you still flap your arms over it. And try reading the speech for comprehension and you will see it includes all races as part of the same American family and that unity is needed to address the larger issues we all face (regardless of race).

    Yet here you are dividing people over pedantic nothingness because some set quota of the number of times hispanic is or isn't mentioned by name in his speech.

    •  His mentions ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... were classic tokenism.

      •  sounds like you resent the special place Blacks (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        have in the Civil Rights movement.  Every speech cannot include every race.  It was particularly about African-Americans; however, Obama chose to include other races and cultures to illustrate the general sense of racial inequality and the consequences of peoples inability to have dialog.  You really should listen to the speech again, from the top, and reevaluate what he is trying to say -- instead of looking for tokens, where there are none.

      •  Your whole argument would make a lot more sense (0+ / 0-)

        if Sen. Obama were defending the remarks of his pastor, the Rev. Jorge Martinez.

        I'm here because of Ashley

        by DaNang65 on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 03:59:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  We need the ability to troll rate diaries NT (6+ / 0-)

    "lovely little thinker but a bugger when he's pissed"

    by yuriwho on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 12:00:47 AM PDT

  •  i had the same problem but looked at it this way (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    missreporter, yuriwho

    if the racial thinking of rev. wright is a product of the 1960s and obama's racial mode is a product of the 80s or early 90s, then it will take the next generation of politicians to recognize and speak to how the black vs. white dichotomy does not match up to current realities. part of me felt "left out" but i understand the rationale for the speech.

    despite this serious flaw in his conception of race, i still thought that obama's speech was remarkable in its courage and candor.  but it is quite  old-fashioned to those of us who have grown up more recently or have grown intellectually in more diverse settings than harvard law (in the 80s) or south side chicago politics.  he's a product of his environment, too, as well as someone who has lived the black/white divide as much as anyone could, considering his upbringing.

    after all, when obama went to college, columbia was still an all-male school.  think of that!

    i hope that obama's advisors can get his ear before he starts campaigning in the same way for the general election.

    for that matter, i think that any non-christian listener could be put off by the speech for various reasons, even if they (or i) could find it very compelling as well.

    •  to be clear: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      missreporter, yuriwho

      i am not talking specifically about the discussions about cultural differences (for example, black/white/latino).  i am specifically noting that talking about black and white as the only racial question or problem in this country is not the way that everyone thinks.  

      how, for example, might a japanese-american atheist or a pakistani-american muslim feel they are being fully included in a christian-laced speech about black and white america?  

      this is not a major complaint, and i thought it was a tremendous speech.  but i do wonder if obama will more directly address these other sorts of racial and regional questions.  i'm sure he's up to it.

      •  You Get It (0+ / 0-)

        I can only wonder what world a lot of the people on Daily Kos live in. It must be a world where there are few if any minorities of any sort. Only in such a world could someone imagine that racial issues in the United States are addressed by talking about black people and white people only.

        Come on, folks. Get out on the streets of the big cities. It ain't just black and white. Hey, here's an idea: Go get your car washed, and take a close look at the guy who wipes off your mirror. And then ask yourself whether he's going to want to vote for a guy who thinks that racism in America is a black and white affair.

        Come on, people, take a good, hard, honest look around at a world that had changed.

  •  I get really impatient with this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yuriwho, pico, johnh1993

    "Latino" is a huge, huge group.  I think it's the majority group at my college--if not, it will be soon.  And while around here the demographic (Southern California) tends to be relatively recent and Mexican or Central American, that barely scratches the surface of what "Latino" means in this country.

    It's a huge group that defies easy categorization.  Nobody can claim to have the "Latino" vote.

  •  This speech was about race... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hungrycoyote, johnh1993

    ... because of Wright's comments.

    Obama's candidacy is not about race. Wright's comments and beliefs were, and they were about the contrast between white and black.

    To include latino issues in the speech would have been adding a depth of complexity that didn't address the core issue of Wright's statements and would have confused the issue at hand.

    While I feel latino concerns MUST be addressed - and better - by the Obama campaign, this was not the place to do it.

  •  On Rambler57 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skippythebox, hungrycoyote, ggwoman55

    I knew once I read the words "do a word search" in Rambler57's post that there would be little wisdom in the commentary. That was confirmed by the narrow view that missed entirely the point of Obama's historic speech.
    Alarm! I will now inform Rammbler57 that Jews weren't mentioned, nor were Italians or Poles or Agnostics. If Obama's speech means an end to the Democratic party's phony posturing as if "inclusiveness" alone were a substitute for humanity and justice in the real world then I say, thank God.

    Now let's get on to the real point which is that our American mosaic demands getting beyond our differences and unite. It won't happen as long as Rambler57 keeps jealously guarding group identity as if everyone must be named each and every time a point is made. Is it all about securing an election victory? Why do you think you see the usual disappearing act that most policticans do when the morning after comes and they realize they've pandered too much and have to pull back?

    And by the way, "Speaks volumes?" Let's retire that this year along with "Flys in the face," please.

    •  Typical reaction ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jacob Freeze

      God help anyone at Daily Kos who doesn't fall to his knees worshipping every single thing that Barack Obama ever says. Sorry, kids, I'm not part of the Obama cult.

      •  I think you are a troll, no offense.. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BlackGriffen, skippythebox

        I've been blasted for my POV.. but really, you aren't backing up these statements at all -- and now your bashing dKos for no reason.  I'm not a Democrat and I don't owe any allegiance to dKos but honestly, I wouldn't come here and post a diary and then bash the site unless I was trolling..

        I could be wrong, but for you to change people's minds or at least convince someone of your argument you need to back up your statements with some facts or at least an opinion or two.

      •  i am someone who vehemently defends obama (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hungrycoyote, ggwoman55

        in my various daily interactions because i recognize the exhaustive socio-political barriers he faces, and i have faith in this brilliant campaign. it's startling  that a lot of people on this site continue to fear the slightest critique even from fellow obama supporters. we are the majority here folks, what's the deal? it's not like his reputation is at stake.

        to be fair, it's not all of us and i take issue with the obama cult comment. that's a silly stereotype the clinton camp generated. but if we're going down that road, then it's fair to say there is a clinton or mccain cult.  

      •  No, you're just being willfully ignorant and (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        yuriwho, ggwoman55

        desperately want to find fault. Fortunately, you are in a minority of your own. While you are looking for reasons to tear something positive apart, the majority of the good people of this country are opening their hearts and minds.

        The speech Senator Barack Obama delivered Tuesday morning has been viewed more than 1.6 million times on YouTube and is being widely e-mailed. While commentators and politicians debated its political success Wednesday, some around the country were responding to Mr. Obama’s call for a national conversation about race.

        Groups Respond to Obama’s Call for National Discussion About Race

        All you have to do is read and listen the thousands of personal stories circulating on the Internet, featured on television and radio, and discussed in the homes across this country, to see that you are truly in the minority. All these people are not members of an "Obama Cult." They are citizens of this country who are tired of being torn apart and divided by self-serving politicians. We are the United States of America. Not the Red States and Blue States of America.

    •  Again... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Meteor Blades, yuriwho

      ... although I feel the diarist missed the mark for legitimate reasons, the vitriol of response surprises me coming from Obama supporters, because it bears little resemblance to the response Obama himself would have made.

      How do you think Obama would have responded to this diary? I encourage you to consider that - no small challenge, I admit, and one we would all do well to attempt.

      I, for one, imagine he would respond with his typical depth of consideration and character, and that is how I shall strive to answer this and other diaries.

      We are all Americans - and we are all passengers on the road to the future.

  •  Your diary is misguided. (5+ / 0-)

    Just because there are more Latinos than African-Americans doesn't erase 400 years of persecution and  bigotry, especially since that hatred has been 100% completely directed towards African-Americans.  Not to get into a pissing contest, but no race of people since the Jews in Egypt (and perhaps not even) have suffered more than Blacks in America.  

    The Black-White divide is a completely different phenomena than the Brown-Black/Brown-White divide.  Latinos were never slaves, nor were they subject to Jim Crow.  Quick mental example:

    Imagine watching "I Love Lucy," but instead of Desi Arnez substitute any Black actor of the period.  Think the show would've aired?  Hell, Star Trek was cancelled in most of the South in Season 3 just because Kirk was forced to kiss Uhuru.  

    That's a very mild and general example of what I am referring to.  White working-class people are more likely to vote for John McCain over Barack Obama soley on the basis of his race.  However, if you replaced Barack Obama with Bill Richardson - I'd bet most wouldn't mind voting for Gov. Richardson.

    Keep in mind that Obama's speech was designed to put Rev. Wright's comments (which I mostly agree with) into the context of an oppressed people who are angry and need a means to express it.  Can any Latino actually say that the Constitution of the United States specifically identified their race as sub-human??  My great great grandfather was a slave.  His children were the sons of slaves.  Their children were oppressed to an extent you cannot possibly imagine.  Much of that has passed down to me, through my mother -- who lived and marched during the Civil Rights era.  

    African-Americans are owed a lot by this country, and every person living here today owes their civil rights to the honorable and brave people who fought diligently (this includes whites, blacks, jews, etc.) for that freedom.

    •  Well Said, Can't Improve n/t (0+ / 0-)

      "lovely little thinker but a bugger when he's pissed"

      by yuriwho on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 12:55:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't see any gain to be had from... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dadanation, skippythebox, ggwoman55

      ...saying one people of color suffered more than another in America. They all had it bad. My Indian ancestors certainly didn't get treated kindly.

      The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppose. - Frederick Douglass

      by Meteor Blades on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 01:17:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  the problem isn't barack or the speech (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        we as a nation have a very narrow definition of racism, discrimination and oppression. we have yet to delve into the roots of hate and we fail to see beyond the surface.

        we act like it's a contest as if it's possible to quantify the extent to which one ism is worse than another... as if it's somehow productive to minimize someone's experience to advance another. indeed a disappointing element of this primary season.

  •  It Was a Highly Personal Speech (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yuriwho, hungrycoyote, sumo

    Given his background I don't see how he could have included hispanics, asians, middle easterners, et al in the speech more than he did without straying away from it being that personal. Try to do too much with one speech, and it would lose it's power, its impact.

    I'm not a master speech writer, like Obama, but even I can recognize that much.

  •  I'm Asian - we're one of the afterthoughts, BUT (7+ / 0-)

    I don't think Barack Obama left my race out.  Maybe it just came down to how deeply one comprehended the speech as it unfolded.  I've been thinking a lot about this speech since he gave it Tuesday morning.

    As I was listening to this speech, I knew exactly how Obama was framing and unfolding it.

    1st goalpost: Address the "outrageous" comments of Rev. Wright.

    2nd goalpost: Explain the context of Rev. Wright's comments in terms of the black civil rights history.

    3rd goal: Use black racial issues as a focusing lense representative of the myriad of racial issues of other existent groups that make up our patchwork nation.

    4th goal: Hammer home the ultimate point, like a professor would, that the endemic source of these racial tensions comes from the power movers in our society, how their predecessors have exploited the races, how they continue to do it now, and how we can begin to address what they have wrought.

    5th goal: Finally, an encouragement to open up the dialogue to seriously, openly talk about race issues in the context of overarching domestic issues.

    To be caught up in the details of "Hey, my race wasn't included" would be very well missing the point of the speech as a whole.  It would be better for leaders of other minority communities to charismatically, eloquently speak and discuss these issues out in the open, as their experience would be personal and carry much more weight, as Barack's perspective as half black, half white, was in putting the content of the speech into perspective.

    •  the fact he personalized it, opened things up, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and encouraged a larger discussion definitely made everyone feel much more included.  and i did as well.  it was amazing.

      it would be interesting to see if carries some momentum and encourages other leaders to weigh in from different perspectives.

    •  tanqexe -- well stated (0+ / 0-)

      simply stated, for those who find fault with the obama speech because it was not inclusive "enough," the truth is that nothing would have been "enough."

      he is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't with these "purity forces."  their threshold for what is adequate and enough and good -- as far as obama is concerned here -- is always moving and always increasing and unattainable, impossible to be met.

      the trap is that while their standard for acceptable is always shifting and in flux (in other words, never able to be met), they equally demand that their standard be met, nothing less than perfect is acceptable to them.

      in the comments to thus diary, it is clear the function of the purity forces is to continually raise  questions about obama's speech to try to eviscerate it and diminish its impact.

      and that is sad..  

      and before i forget:  mind you there are also the purity forces aiming their always changing threshold at clinton, but this diary is about obama. just thought i should be fair and not leave it open to wonder if i felt clinton was not also targeted by such purity forces -- she is.


      "Is leor nod don eolach."

      -9.75 (economic), -7.18 (social)

      by dadanation on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 04:00:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Seems like Republican 'pro-Hispanic' stances (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skippythebox, Melchuck29

    have more to do with insuring a cheap labor supply than with anything resembling 'social justice' -

    and Democratic 'pro-Hispanic' policies ignore the very real impact immigration has had on the low end of the workforce (and it HAS had an impact).

    And that 'low end' of the workforce has often been black - people who feel that they are 'losing out' because of competition from illegal Hispanic immigrants.  This was true here in NY in the South Bronx while I was working there - and later in Manhattan when it came to lower paying jobs. Here in the burbs it seems that every restaurant and fast food place is now employing Hispanics - indeed all the behind the counter conversations are in Spanish - whereas years back ther ewould be a healthy mix with many black managers.  My brother in NC notes the wholesale replacement of blacks in construction jobs there (well, when there still were construction jobs there....) Even the 'working whites' have felt the impact.  The second gen Italian kids who thought they'd have a nice lucrative (for a HS education) job in construction found themselves overpriced in comparison to the pick-up labor now being employed.  Even those counting on inheriting their father's landscaping business found themselves out of business - or learned Spanish and started employing those immigrants.

    Reagan pandered to the Hispanic population with amnesty...... McCain would like to.....  but the blue collar white segment of the Repub base has reason not to be happy with that.....    Dems think they're 'doing the right thing' - ignoring the other effects illegal immigration has had.....

    and it's NOT some 'monolithic' Hispanic group..... Cubans in FL are VERY different from Central Americans who are different from South Americans who are different from Mexicans.....  a staunch anti-Castro Cuban has little in common with someone who fled ElSalvador's death squads......

    just some observations....

    •  here, here... (0+ / 0-)

      the Hispanic community definitely has it's own prejudices within.

      Mexicans call other Hispanic groups "chongos" or monkeys and SOME in the Hispanic population call some central American groups "myotes" or.....

      Naturalized Mexicans really don't commune much with Hodurans and El Salvadorans and Cubans have their own politcal agenda. They're just all about hating Cuba, genration to generation. I think some don't even no why they hate Cuba, they're just supposed to.

      Cubans aren't even part of the immigrant conversation. They're aloof of this issue.

    •  you managed to slip into this discussion (0+ / 0-)

      some really harsh "talking points" about "illegal immigrants," especially the one that they are literally stealing jobs away from our neighbors, family members, perhaps even ourselves.

      you say that reagan "pandered" to the hispanic population with amnesty.  surely you are aware of reagan's impact on el salvador, guatemala and nicaragua -- that would hardly be thought of as "pandering."  if reagan pandered, then why do you suppose there was a need for a Sanctuary Movement to help refugees from these war-ravaged countries, wars that we were helping finance and maintain?

      i also note that you rather quietly insinuate the meme that democrats are soft on immigration and have no real idea what to do about the problem that they willfully are turning a blind eye to.


      but you provide not one iota of data to substantiate the regurgitation of these old stories and memes. nop, instead you stoke the flames with the classic reversal of fortune for the poor american family because of these insidious immigrants.  the business that was your birthright is now all run by these immigrants.. etc.

      and to make matters worse, you close with some pretty spectacular over-generalizations.  and so i ask --> it is really a stretch that a staunch anti-Castro cuban would de facto have little in common with a person who has escaped the death squads of el salvador.  on what basis do you make that absurd over-generalization?  

      and you know what?  yes, when undocumented individuals (or "unauthorized migrants") work here in the US, they are disproportionately concentrated in certain sectors of the work-force:

      Unauthorized workers are conspicuously sparse in white collar occupations compared with native.

      "Management, business, and professional occupations" and "Sales and administrative support occupations" account for over half of native workers (52%) but less than one-quarter of unauthorized workers (23%). On the other hand, unauthorized migrants are much more likely to be in broad occupation groups that require little education or do not have licensing requirements. The share of unauthorized who work in agricultural occupations and construction and extractive occupations is about three times the share of native workers in these types of  jobs.


      "Is leor nod don eolach."

      -9.75 (economic), -7.18 (social)

      by dadanation on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 04:27:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's alll about cheap labor - 'globalization' (0+ / 0-)

        if you can't bring the jobs to the cheap labor, you bring the cheap labor to the jobs.

        This applies to higer end engineering and programming jobs as well.

        And much of the problem with illegal immigration from south of the US border is tied to trade policies that make farming unprofitable, and have shipped off manufacturing jobs to China in pursuit of ever lower labor costs......

        People have come here looking for work - any work because there is nothing at home.  As for the problems caused by US political policies in Central America, yes they are real.  But perhaps we should STOP causing such problems. Look at the refugee problem that came out of SE Asia with Vietnam and look  at the current displacement in Iraq.  US support of autocracies is and has been wrong and bad for all involved.

        'Generalizations'? - yes, to some extent.  But if you really think that there are not millions of Americans that believe unrestrained immigration has been a bad thing for them personally - you are naive.  Look at meatpacking.  A crap job that used to pay decent union wages.  Now you make barely more than minimum and most of the staff is immigrant - often illegal.   If you live next to a house that's now a defacto boarding house for a dozen workers, you aren't too happy about it.

        A neighbor had their house painted last year.  ONE f/t employee worked for the contractor - the rest was illegal pick-up labor.  And it's not like the cost of the job reflected the lower labor costs.  In years past, that workforce would have been f/t painters - probably union - with benefits and making enough to support a family.  Find out who the work force is on any construction job...... more and more non-union with much of the force immigrant and illegal.  Hell, the unemployment numbers didn't shoot up when the construction boom ended because half the workers were never officially employed in the first place.  I know a builder here whose whole workforce was illegal - and he damn well knew it.  As long as plausible deniability was provided in the way of papers, he was fine.......

        •  you would blame the undocumented (0+ / 0-)

          for the actions of their employer?  businesses capitalize on undocumented workers because they can hire them at a cheaper rate, provide for them no benefits and frankly take advantage of them because they know that the undocumented individual needs to work and will work for substandard wages.

          the employer holds all the power, pulls all the strings and in doing so rips off the undocumented individual and at the same time screws the american labor force.  they prey on the undocumented who, in escaping dire poverty from their country of origin, are between a rock and hard place.

          i am fully aware of the impact the economy has had on our work force.  but undocumented individuals did not create the problem any more than did say the unions which sought to guarantee american laborers safe work environments, a respectable benefit package and good pay.  

          i would place the blame for the way things are squarely where the blame belongs, on the employer.  having a union work force is more costly (read - less profit) than say having a work force of undocumented individuals.  when the bottom line is the profit margin, when the profit margin is what determines the work environment, the employer is not the one who loses.

          what has transpired over the past twenty years or so is that the villains in this debate have been able to hide and not have to take the heat for their greed and complicity in perpetuating this system in which neither the undocumented nor the american labor force win.

          a little smoke and mirrors, a little "...look here... no look there..." we have a classic blame game that is pits worker against worker.



          "Is leor nod don eolach."

          -9.75 (economic), -7.18 (social)

          by dadanation on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 10:44:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not disagreeing at all. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            But there's never been any real effort to hold employers accountable - and being real - a large number of illegals do NOT have some 'employer' per se.....  

            A friend works for a social service agency trying to help people - including illegals.  Turns out that there's not a lot they can do - EXCEPT help illegals start their own business..... lol.... and lots of illegals DO work for themselves or others.  I doubt more than a fraction of the landscaping businesses here are owned and operated by legal immigrants... it's a low threshold cost business - employing more illegals.... same with cleaning services.....

            As far as the meatpackers and others.... they've clearly made MORE money by employing lower cost labor.... and rarely sufferred any consequences....

            Employers SHOULD be held accountable but never seem to be.  If EMPLOYERS faced prison time or substantial fines those jobs would evaporate.... and people would not be coming to get them... Arizona's draconian local laws ARE having an effect on the illegal population.....

            If you played by the rules as an immigrant and waited your turn to get here - arranged for a sponsor or did whatever, you are penalized when those that do NOT comply with the law get 'amnesty.'

            It's not an easy issue but it IS an issue that can be and will be a major one to many people.....

            And I say that as someone who's from a DAR family but who's married to a first gen American (and whose kids hold dual citizenship).  It was very difficult for my wife's family to get here.

            •  i'm 2nd generation (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              our family has been here in the states for less than 100 years (1923 to be exact).

              2 things --

              1. one of the reasons there has been another shift in the terminology from the really unfair "illegal aliens" term to "undocumented individual" to now "unauthorized migrants" is because of the number of individuals who have papers -- not necessarily their own papers either, but papers nonetheless; and
              1. i think that if in fact as a first step towards a healthy, comprehensive, compassionate and fair immigration reform, if the employers who the system (basically flipping the IRCAlaws etrc off etc.) are instead not congratulated and supported by their boards and stockholders but instead were held accountable and fined and taken to court and have legal action brought against them, it would move the whole discussion light year's ahead.


              "Coimhéad fearg fhear na foighde."

              -9.75 (economic), -7.18 (social)

              by dadanation on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 04:36:54 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Illegal Immigration ... (0+ / 0-)

                ... is a hard issue. My grandparents immigrated in 1923, and they had to have a sponsor. I don't blame Americans for opposing unrestricted immigration, which, as people have rightly noted, has been a union busting tool for the past couple of decades.

                However, the outpouring of hatred on this issue within the Republican Party last year was outrageous. As is so often the case, the Democrats offered confused, weak discourse and little real inclusion to Hispanic voters.

                It's not enough for the Democratic Party to sit back, fat and happy, and expect Hispanic voters to be grateful and loyal because Democrats don't seem to hate Hispanics quite as much as Republicans do.

                What really gets to me about Democrats is that too many of us are in search of a magic bullet, a moment at which the scales will fall from the public's eyes and everyone will suddenly see how right and righteous we really are.

                It doesn't work that way, and it shouldn't work that way. Political parties should earn allegiance and support day in, day out, and they should understand that coalitions are like walls, built brick by brick over a period of time.

                •  i agree with you (0+ / 0-)

                  i really believe that one of the reasons we have been forced to have this debate without nuance and without the facts is specifically because the issue is so contentious and multi-faceted.

                  rather than have a well-researched and well-thought out process to deal with this crisis, we instead get the minute men, fence proposals, a spate of xenophobic punditry and their screeds.

                  the tactic seems to be that if we just keep delaying and oversimplifying the issue and keep delaying a meaningful process to find creative and practical and compassionate solutions to the issue then the weight of frustration will ultimately leave us with bad, simplistic and frankly unhelpful "solutions" (the wall., etc.).

                  the solution is never as simple as the sound bites of the neo-cons and the conservative right and the solutions are neither as amorphous or elusive as some on the left would have us believe.

                  anyway, i'll  stop my prattle...

                  1923 eh?  from where?

                  county cork, all my grandparents. and in 1923 too.


                  "Coimhéad fearg fhear na foighde."

                  -9.75 (economic), -7.18 (social)

                  by dadanation on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 02:16:32 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  MY Irish bailed in the 1850's, her's the 1950's (0+ / 0-)


                    so despite the 1690 Huguenots, 1704 British and a mix of Scots, Welsh, and other 'old emigration' (those who 'left' as opposed to 'immigrants' - those who 'came') in my Revolution fighting, Civil War serving background (last in my family arrived in about 1870) -  

                    my kids are 'Irish'

                    I'm not sure there IS an 'American' ethnicity so to speak.... what does an 'American' do?  what defines an 'American'?  

                    In the absence of any real definition, any other sense of 'ethnicity' trumps 'American'...... what with my wife and kids just back from the St.Patrick's Day parade......

                    But, hell, I'm thrilled.  Holding an EEC passport may be the ticket to sanity and economic security for my kids.

                  •  Maybe Not That Complex (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    Maybe it's simpler than we think: You just say (and enforce) a sponsorship requirement. Of course, this would require regaining control of the border. I think a fence is absurd, but the idea of (much) greater enforcement is not.

                    Fundamental to national sovereignty is control over borders. The United States has an absolute right to close up the borders if it wants to. I'm not saying we should do that, but I think the idea that all immigration must be individually authorized is not a racist or discriminatory idea.

                    People are forgetting that Mexico's government is a disaster on wheels, as are many other governments south of theirs. Not only that, but Mexico's population has utterly exploded in the last 75 years, from 20 million to nearly 100 million. This is a big problem on both sides of the border, and I do not think the U.S. is required to simply merge the countries.

                    "Minutemen" are nuts, and so are border fences, but other measures (heavy sanctions on employers, closing various accommodations other than basic ones) against illegal immigration are not crazy. There's a very big problem at the southern border, and I think most Latino voters would agree.

                    It's a sticky set of issues, but I'm not sure how complicated. The right-wingers are not all wrong on this one. To the extent that they're calling for a clear, enforceable set of rules on immigration, I'm with them. No one has all the solutions.

                    Oh, my maternal grandparents (the 1923 set) came from Austria. My paternal great-grandparents immigrated from middle Germany in the 1880s.

                    •  the whole of the solution is complex (0+ / 0-)

                      it has to be.

                      it is more than simply a function of border control or regulation or sponsorship or quotas or fences.

                      it is also about undoing a historical legacy of rather imperialistic economic poaching of the US abroad and especially in our southern hemisphere. it is also about the us taking responsibility for being one of the destabilizing factors to the central and south american countries were we see the large numbers of undocumented come from.

                      it is also about the governments of those countries taking responsibility for their complicity ad greed and how their efforts to maintain status quo or even "revolution" (leading to status quo) has exacerbated their citizen's health, welfare and safety.

                      it is also about how we either value our labor force.

                      it is also about how we finally change the way employers are allowed to both game the system and get away with it.

                      but i do think your ultimate point is really spot on -- we need to begin and recognize that comprehensive reform is a process and not either a one-shot deal or even possible immediately.

                      but if we do not act for fear of not being entirely perfect, then we will lose.  again and again.

                      that saying "one swallow doesn't make a summer but tomorrow has to start somewhere" comes to mind.

                      i actually have (just need to finish the paperwork and pay for it) my irish passport/dual citizenship.


                      "Coimhéad fearg fhear na foighde."

                      -9.75 (economic), -7.18 (social)

                      by dadanation on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 04:26:40 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Can't Solve Everything (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        When everything is connected to everything, you can't solve anything. At some point, you have to draw lines or you'll never get started.

                        The reality is that, when it comes to immgration (as with many if not most other problems), we'll be lucky if we can do two-thirds of what we wanted to do. So, if you think that we can fix immigration and the socio-economic chaos in Mexico, Central and South America, better think again.

                        If, for instance, the U.S. were to say it was reverting to a system of sponsored immigration, there would be instant ripple effects to the south. We'd probably have to cushion that blow with a guest-worker program, which of course would inspire objections on both sides of the border.

                        I think it was JFK who was credited for saying that the perfect is the enemy of the good. People are going to have to understand that nothing we do is going to make everyone happy. There are millions of desperately poor people south of us, not to mention right here at home. The United States can't solve all those problems, but I think we can get a much better handle on immigration.

                        •  i agree (0+ / 0-)

                          ad i disagree.

                          no, we can't solve everything -- not all at once anyway.

                          but we are on the same page -- start somewhere and start somewhere meaningful.


                          "Coimhéad fearg fhear na foighde."

                          -9.75 (economic), -7.18 (social)

                          by dadanation on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 05:45:17 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

  •  Obama's view isn't outdated at all (0+ / 0-)

    his point was that all races (if i can use that term) have prejudices and grievances that we talk about behind closed doors, but to solve our common problems we need to stop blaming each other, unify and fight the common enemy, the corporate structure that funnels wealth to the few which is killing the middle class.  He was very optimistic that problems can be solved and that America can continue to be perfected.  So while he mainly mentioned blacks and whites, this line of thinking incorporates   Asians, Latinos, and Native Americas (as well as every other demographic group)  

    •  He ONLY mentioned blacks and whites (0+ / 0-)

      I don't count the shout-outs to "brown" (twice) and "Latino" (twice). He didn't have to do some laundry list of every group, but his failure to really incorporate Latinos in the mix was a significant flaw in what was otherwise an eloquent speech.

  •  There is a 230 year old question on race that has (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    not been adequately addressed yet.  That divide needs to be dealt with by virtue of it' age FIRST don't you think?

    Don't you think that once that one is dealt with the others will be oh so much easier?

    You can have the Hispanics jump ahead of the question if you want, but it ain't going to win them many friends in the other two racial communities that want that original question and divide dealt with.  It has been around after all since before there was a significant Hispanic population within the country.

    And I would hope that the Hispanic community has a sense of proportion here.

  •  I apologize for my earlier comments (1+ / 0-)
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    I did not raise myself to the Obama lvl of discourse on a topic of such importance. Nor do I expect I ever will, but I can try.

    Please let me explain myself.

    I am a white guy, my granddad on my mum's side was a country doctor in northern England, grandpa on my dad's side was a volunteer for the war effort from Scotland in 1939.......met his son for the first time when my dad was 7.....1939-1496.....7 years at war.....lots of medals....little family interaction while he was at war. He was a man that answered the call before it was asked for the biggest problem the world had faced at that point in time. He lived to age of 83 (died in 96) and was an elder in the Anglican Church of Scotland.

    My wifes family has a very different story. She was born in french Guyana. Most famous for inability of westerners to colonize that region, and of course Slavery, Devils Island and Papillon. She was the child of a local couple of good standing.....He made money buy smuggling goods to Brazil, she was one of the attractive women that lived wifes mother offers few other details beyond that except that they also have a lot of native South American blood in the family. Luckily they got out of the slavery situation early in time through the sheer difficultly europeans had living there.

    Enter my son, what should I put down on the next census for his ancestry? Is he White? Black? South American Indian? He's all of the above.

    But race is getting harder and harder to define as we all get to know one another genetically. Personally, I like this shift in society. I hope we can all talk about these issues.

    "lovely little thinker but a bugger when he's pissed"

    by yuriwho on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 01:38:02 AM PDT

  •  how dare he not mention pacific islander (0+ / 0-)

    or yellow-skin, or or or have the audacity to bunch Chinese, Filipinos, Japanese under the "Asian" umbrella...

    this is worse than Blizter looking for racial divides in exit polling data.

  •  Hispanic racism (1+ / 0-)
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    is the hidden subtext here.  Many Hispanics consider themselves white in comparison to black people.  There is a disdain for black people that is hidden and not talked about openly.  It is still racism.  As a therapist I have worked with dark skinned spanish speaking people who were ostracized in their families because of the color of their skin.

    Spanish speaking people need to get honest about their internalized racism....because that is what we are really talking about.

    •  Yes, this is also an issue (0+ / 0-)

      I know of what you speak. To really confront every facet of American racism, you'd need a national therapy session. It occurs to me that including Hispanics in that speech might have backfired, at least among those who have no wish to be equated with black people. It's a very complex issue.

  •  Did you listen? (2+ / 0-)
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    condorcet, sumo

    He didn't ignore Hispanics at all. He talked about how jobless whites blame illegal immigrants for economic problems that are caused by corporates.

    If you don't listen, you can't understand. This was a speech for adults.

  •  Bull ! The speech had nothing to do with Latinos. (0+ / 0-)

    It was not a generalized speech on race, it was a specific speech about the people he cares about. If he had generalized it, it would have become just another speech on race.

    PS: He left out Asians, Japanese, and a few other races also. Those Malaysians should really be pissed.

    If you see me behind you..don't assume I'm following you. We just happen to be going the same way and if you slow down, I'll run over your ass.

    by TKH on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 04:52:26 AM PDT

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