The Politics of Race


Of all the issues that divide and unite us, race is sadly one of the most powerful. I notice here in Central Florida, for example, that Republican politicians tend to be white and Democrats tend to be black.

It doesn’t make sense. But that’s the way it seems to me.

I would think a white schoolteacher has little in common with the scion of a white millionaire family. But the white millionaire usually gets the white schoolteacher’s vote anyway.

What on earth does the color of a politican’s skin have to do with their ability – and willingness – to represent a voter’s best interests?

As one of Sandra’s special-ed students used to say whenever she was asked a question in class, “Beats me, I have no idea.”

Yet I see both major parties playing the race game.

I can understand how Republicans might benefit from such a strategy. After all, at least 65 percent of America’s voters are white. But what do Democrats stand to gain? If they get every non-white vote and lose every white vote, simple math suggests they cannot win.

I would think Democrats would be well advised to focus on voters’ economic interests. All of us, black, white, Hispanic or Asian, have to pay the rent (or mortgage), put food on the table and clothes on our backs, and so on. Surely, we would listen to politicians who promise to make our lives better?

Clearly, the Republicans favor the rich and ignore the needs of everybody else.  Clearly, the Democratic Party is more likely to address the cruel income inequality that afflicts this nation. To me, there’s only one logical way for the average citizen – in any ethnic group – to vote.

But that’s just me. I don’t pretend to understand the American electorate.

Another view of US racism