Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Politics of Race

America cannot seem to escape an obession with issues surrounding race. Decades ago racial discrimination created huge tensions, and launched the civil rights movement which in turn brought to prominence many civil rights leaders who went on to create significant social, legal, and moral progress in the quest for racial equality.

Now, racial issues are usually talked about in more subtle ways, with many crying foul or, worse, suggesting their opponent is using "code" language to bring a racial attack without actually talking about race.

The mainstream media's current obsession is with two race related stories - Geraldine Ferraro's comments about Barack Obama and Obama's preacher's controversial sermons. Neither story adds much if anything to our understanding of the candidates, and it is unfortunate that we the people find this type of debate more relevant than real issues such as global development, war, health care, and the economy.