Wednesday, February 17, 2016

On Hillary's Important Speech on Race

Whatever else you want to say about it, give her credit for getting the word intesectionality into her speech.

If you want to know why Bernie has not made big inroads with black voters, that word says it all. And there's no way to say he's made big inroads just yet. 

Since last July he has been saying just wait to they get to know him-they will flock to him en masse. It hasn't happened. While he has gotten a following among a number of white voters, this hasn't happened among black voters. 

The one thought was that it might be a generational thing-the civi rights generation certainly is for Hillary but what about the millennials. But yesterday's numbers put a damper on that for now.

The idea of intesectionality is the idea that there are problems of race-and gender-that can't be reduced to economic issues much less focus solely on Wall St. 

Propane Jane makes the point that the reason we don't have 'socialism'' in the US is racial matters.

Scott Sumner has made this argument as well-though of course he doesn't think we should have 'socialism.'

A big part of why Hilary is getting so much support among black folks was explained by Eric Dyson in his epic endorsement of her months back.

Dyson argued that in some ways Obama did get a pass on racial issues being black himself. His idea is that Hillary could be tougher on racial matters as she is white herself. 

In some ways when you're President it's tough to criticize the other race you could argue. 

Here was a common response on Twitter to her speech:

When was the last time a leading candidate for President put the onus on "race relations" on white people? Has it ever happened before?

This is why Dyson has such hope that she can improve race relations in ways Obama couldn't. I do think Obama did some very important things on racial issues.

For one thing, he showed us that having a black President once you get used to it, is not so different than having a white President or any other race or background. When Obama spoke so often you heard a sort of American midwestern optimism that we are used to hearing from the oval office.

But on certain intractable problems of race it was hard for him-as he ran the risk of seeming to 'root for his own tribe.'

Hillary on the other hand as a white politician will be better able to speak some tough truths to her own tribe.

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