jueves, 12 de junio de 2008

Obama-Webb y el debate racial

Interesante artículo sobre lo que aportaría un ticket Obama-Webb al debate racial. An Obama/Webb Ticket Could Take Race Talk to New Places

(...) Webb is a gifted writer and intellectual pugilist, a self-styled tribune of redneck (he uses the term) resentment. With the 2004 publication of his book, "Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America,'' he became a one-man anti-defamation squad for the descendants, in blood and culture, of the white settlers of Appalachia and the South. He is a fierce critic of America's growing economic inequality, who two years ago switched parties to win his Senate seat.

He is also, of late, a man who believes Obama has the potential to heal the historic rift between the Scots-Irish and African-Americans -- Webb calls them "tortured siblings'' -- and "remake American politics.''

(...) Ever since the 1960s civil rights movement, the national Democratic Party has occupied what it sees as the moral high ground on race, even if that sometimes more resembles an electoral flood plain. But along the way, as Webb described it in "Born Fighting,'' the nation's liberal elite and "cultural Marxists'' vilified poor and working-class white Southerners as racist, effectively forging what has become the bedrock of Red State America.

(...) But in Webb's view the unfairness reached its zenith with affirmative action, which quickly grew to cover women, Latinos and Asians -- everyone who wasn't a white male. Never mind that, as Webb points out, the heavily Scots-Irish white Baptists shared more in terms of education and income with blacks than with higher-flying Jews, Chinese or, for that matter, most other whites.

In 2000, Webb described affirmative action as a "permeating state-sponsored racism that is as odious as the Jim Crow laws it sought to countermand.'' But in the course of his Senate run, his thinking evolved. He now argues it was justifiable as long as it just applied to blacks, but insufferable when it was expanded to include everyone but whites.

His solution: Either limit it to blacks, for whom it was originally intended -- a political non-starter -- or extend it to poor whites. (...)

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