Thursday, May 01, 2008

Personally, I think Obama would have a harder time if name was more conventional

My thinking is that white America, white liberal America that is, would have a harder time voting and supporting a guy named Derek Johnson who grew up in Chicago and was just a regular African American guy than it has supporting a guy with an exotic name whose father was from Kenya, whose mother is white, and who lived in Indonesia. All these things lend an aura of intrigue to Obama, of interest, as a sort of show piece for white liberals to put in a glass case somewhere and admire.


Not like Derek.

If our hypothetical person tried to run for President saying "Hi, I grew up in a poor family on the South Side of Chicago, worked hard and got accepted to Harvard, received my law degree there, and came back home to be a community organizer" there would be a much greater resistance to him, because the facts of racism in America would be too in the forefront. Obama's exoticism gives people a diversion that they can use to feel good about themselves.

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