The Democratic race now moves to West Virginia. Today, Hillary Clinton claimed she always wanted to be a coal miner. But those dreams were dashed when she was forced to attend Wellesley and Yale.
After last week's primary election results, it looks more than ever like Barack Obama has a lock on the Democratic nomination. Thus, whatever remains to be said about Hillary Clinton's latest playing of the white race card is sort of moot by this point.
First, for the record, here are Clinton's 43-second comments about white solidarity, which she made during a radio interview:
Despite their brevity, Clinton's comments are generating a lot of bloggage because they display several severe errors in judgment. Perhaps the worst is her inaccurate implication that Obama cannot win because he's black, and that white Americans are finally waking up to his blackness as a problem.
What I'm wondering is, why are Clinton's efforts to rally white people together not being called out by the corporate media for what they are--a desperate, remarkably racist effort to solidify what amounts to a White Power Movement?Just imagine how many talking heads would explode if Obama were to ever say such a thing about his appeal to black voters (most of whom, by the way, shifted their early support from Clinton to Obama precisely because of the repeated race-baiting of both Hillary and Bill Clinton).
As I've said before, the main reason Clinton doesn't get nearly as much blame as Obama would for trying to rally race-based support is that white people are not seen by other white people as white people. They're seen instead as individuals. Non-white people, though, are seen as members of a group, and as a result, they're considered unfairly biased.
From a white perspective, Hillary may come across as a racist fool, but if so, it's Clinton herself who's acting the fool--she doesn't represent white people in general. But again, if Obama were to say such things, white suspicions and fears about black solidarity, black bias, black claims to victimhood, and even black revenge would come to the fore.
So, since the producers and actors of corporate news outlets are overwhelmingly white, and since the media's audience and the voting population also remain largely white, Clinton more or less gets a pass for the kind of race-baiting calls to racial solidarity that would destroy Obama's campaign. Obama, on the other hand, has to demonstrate, constantly, that even though he's black, the common interests of black people are not a priority for him.*
As many statistical analysts have shown, Hillary Clinton does not actually have a broad base of support among white voters. Clinton is right about one thing, though--she does still have strong support among certain sectors of the white voting population, especially working-class/blue collar people (which is why, despite Obama's lock on the nomination, she will soon win in West Virginia and Kentucky), and older white women.
Now if she could just somehow combine those two voting blocks . . .
*By the way, I do think that such things as Obama's early work as a community activist and his recent speech on race demonstrate that he understands, and will work to change, the race-based disparities caused by the ongoing fact of American white supremacy. Again, though, I don't think he can openly say such things, since he does want to get elected.