« Fact-checking Lou Dobbs on leprosy | Main | Silly NYT story on Obama & basketball »

May 31, 2007


How awful it must be for Brendan to wake up every morning knowing he's a well-educated middle-class white American male; the guilt must be damn near overwhelming.

White liberal guilt is one of two possible explanations for Brendan seeing racism where none exists. The other explanation, somehow more comforting to contemplate, is that it's a just a cynical attempt to forestall references to Obama's former drug use, akin to Democrats claiming their patriotism has been questioned whenever a political opponent has the nerve to disagree with their stance on a national security issue.

But why do we have to choose between alternative explanations? Perhaps both are correct.

Obama himself, in his "Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance," used his race to explain his teenage drug use, writing that taking drugs was "something that could push questions of who I was out of my mind . . ."

When questioned by reporters, his classmates at his expensive school in Honolulu uniformly found this a ridiculous rationalization. Why did all these preppies in paradise, like Obama and his classmates, take drugs on the beach in Hawaii in the 1970s? Because it was fun!

The real message here is just how race-obsessed and self-absorbed Obama's autobiography reveals himself to be, and how naive are the whites who project their social fantasies about how Obama "transcends race" onto an individual who wrote 442 tortured pages solely about his "story of race and inheritance."

What percentage of Americans believe the statements of candidates who claim never to have used drugs?
Do you prefer an accomplished liar to an honest man?

I'd have to say you're really stretching it. I'm no GOP defender, but come on. A candidate, any candidate, who openly admits to the use of any recreational drug is opening him or herself up to attack. Race is irrelevant. True, there may be some whose prejudices lead them to conclude that "well that's just what 'those people' do", but it seems unlikely that (1) they comprise a significant portion of the electorate, and (2) need any help priming racial stereotypes, and (3) were likely to be voting for Obama in the first place.

Race is irrelevant.

Race is never irrelevant in America. Ever. Especially not with respect to attitudes toward drug use.

The comments to this entry are closed.