Obama Won a Race Charged with Racial Emotions

Truth be told, among all segments of the US population, Asian Americans suffered least as a result of the 2008 financial crisis. But we were among the most enthusiastic in support of an Obama second term, according to Tuesday’s exit polling.

There are several good reasons for this dichotomy. To my mind, at least, the most important is the emotional identification factor. Barack Obama is a high-achieving minority male who has had to struggle against the cosmic, desperate illogic that fills the minds of too many white males when confronted with the prospect of being overshadowed.

We Asian men have dealt with this day in and day out our entire lives. We can smell it a mile away. Everything about the Romney campaign was focused on providing laughable rationalizations for why Obama should be ditched. Fortunately, there were enough white male voters who refused to buy in.

It’s no secret that Romney’s support was strongest among white men, with the support of over two-thirds of them. That’s a startling statistic in light of Obama’s success in restoring security and confidence to a nation on the brink of economic destruction. Obama’s victory was cobbled together thanks mainly to disproportionate support from women and minority voters, including nearly three-fourths of Asian Americans — as well as those white men who didn’t fall prey to deep-seated racial motivations.

I don’t believe that the white men who voted against Obama did so for consciously racist reasons. It’s an emotional reflex for them. Their gut-level reaction against electing a black man to lead the nation for a second term was justified by a grab-bag of inane and even insane rationalizations.

Foremost among them is the argument that Romney would be able to produce a stronger economic recovery. How? By depriving working-class families of more economic security to put more money in the pockets of those who had sought to profit from the kinds of real-estate and other financial ponzi schemes that collapsed in 2008, to the greatest woe of precisely those middle-class people who had no part in them.

How could any adult human being believe that Mitt Romney — a man whose heritage, life and career embody the hot-money leveraging scheme that caused the world’s financial collapse — is better equipped to restore economical vitality than Barack Obama, the man who stopped the economic freight train hurtling toward the cliff of another great depression? Because Romney’s white?

It boggles the mind.

A Romney presidency — at least if you believe his campaign rhetoric — would have produced policies to encourage the buildup of new hot-money bubbles that would have inevitably and in short order popped — throwing millions of innocent working-class people out of work again.

Look back at every major downturn from the one authored by George Bush on back through Ronald Reagan, Herbert Hoover and Calvin Coolidge. Each collapse was preceded by a Republican administration that put the squeeze on security for working class families so more spare change could be put into the hands of the wealthy. The inevitable outcome of such policies is to produce — not capital for creating jobs and building up the economy as is always advertised — but greed-driven hot money that creates investment bubbles that inevitably pop within a few years, bringing another round of pain to the middle class.

On the other hand, a second Obama term will slowly but inevitably rebuild the foundation of a secure middle class whose spending will drive sustainable growth. Especially in this day and age of the consumer, the economy can only grow when the middle class feels secure enough to spend confidently. No amount of economic theory will change that fact since all businesses are ultimately driven by spending, not by the chasing of speculative investment schemes by those with extra money to gamble.

This truth is obvious to all thinking adults whose minds aren’t distorted by either short-sighted self-interest or a deep-seated emotional reaction against the right leader who happens to be the wrong color.



Cleo · Nov 7, 02:43 PM · #

Many of the things Obama was proposing and defending actually hit home in my struggling household especially with regard to my brother’s medical care. And coincidentally, Romney espoused positions that would have put working families in jeopardy if they had been implemented. It’s interesting that Romney didn’t SEE that most families in America aren’t doing so well and can’t afford any more belt tightening. My supermarket cashier spends most of her entire paycheck on medication for her husband’s chronic heart condition. It’s so weird that Mitt Romney doesn’t get it. I thought Mormons were supposed to be super smart and well trained but Romney made so many alarming statements that were never contradicted by the media but must have frightened the ordinary person at least in New York City.

It is weird that states like Tennessee and Texas came back with such low numbers for POTUS.

JoeTucker · Nov 8, 10:25 AM · #

I’m a white male and I voted for Mitt Romney.(he was not my first choice) And I’m not a racist. It may be hard to believe that someone simply disagrees with our President. But that’s my case. I would gladly vote for a person of any race or ethnic origin if I agree with the person’s views.

I’m sure some of the votes “against Obama” were cast by racist white males, just as I’m sure some of the votes “against Romney” were cast by racist black males. Racism does exist but, not all white conservatives are racists.

I was offended by your article. Maybe that was your intention.

Zexu Lin · Nov 8, 03:52 PM · #

Racist white males are always the first to be racist when it serves their economic and emotional interests. Racist white males are also always the first to accuse others of racism.

This is simple truth.

Most non-whites will attest to it. It’s just every day experience.

Tuan · Nov 11, 07:03 PM · #

Joe, you’re what I would call collateral damage, coincidently a term and concept created by white men. And let’s not minimize racism. There were not “some” racism, there were a lot of racism by both blacks and whites and you know it.

Carlos · Nov 22, 08:03 PM · #

[Greetings, Asia…Saw this item on the net.]

THE REAL CREATORS OF THE SUBURBS ( I experienced all this while trapped in a large American city.) The suburbs are booming, but not fast enough. Yessir, you ghetto folks in inner cities have started a good thing, but there are still lots of acres outside the cities without any houses on them. So you’ve gotta move into “untouched” city blocks and do the following: Throw trash everywhere. You’ll insure that your friends who pick up trash and distribute free rat poison packets will keep their jobs. And folks can predict the weather by the direction the trash is blowing! Walk down the street. Better yet, rhythm down it. And when I say street I don’t mean sidewalk. Save sidewalks for your friends on cycles. Besides, it’s hard to fit many cursing, screaming, drinking, pot-smoking kids on a sidewalk, and it’s also hard to spot keys and other things left in cars when you’re walking on a sidewalk! When walking down a street, turn your head when you hear a car coming and stare at the driver. For all you know, it might be one of your enemies out to get you. On the other hand, it might be only your neighbor and all that hateful staring might make him want to move out. Be sure to beget lots of unloved, unsupervised, unwashed two-legged “Obama welfare meal tickets” – either through wedlock or (preferably) out of wedlock. And let them often ring doorbells, begging for money. Turn quiet streets into noisy jungles. Have a blast – a long blast with your car horn under your neighbor’s window at 3:00 a.m. Let folks know who the real honkies are! Blow your horn when (1) you see the police coming (2) you want to buy some dope (3) you want to sell some dope (4) for any other reason. Play your stereo so loudly that folks can’t hear sirens going to the latest holdup or arson. Be noisy, man, noisy! Be cruel to animals, especially “man’s best friend.” Tie your dog on a short chain under a blazing sun with no water or food or love or license or dog shots. Make him as mean as you are. Better yet, let your dog run loose. Neighbors love to find freshly killed cats (after hearing their screams) and other goodies on their lawns. Pit one dog against another in bloody “canine cockfights” while friends lounge on car hoods and cheer and make bets! And what madness is it where folks move out and abandon pets in the house, leaving them nothing to eat but their own droppings? This happens often in the ghetto, and almost no one will help the animals. Keep a good supply of Saturday Night Specials – also Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday Night Specials. Your criminal presence will improve your neighbor’s light bill; when he isn’t watching you at night (with his lights off), he will be able to read books at night by the light of the police helicopter searchlights! Here’s more insanity: Uncle Sam spends millions of our tax money to move you into our neighborhoods where we lose much when we sell our homes. So you have your nerve when you glare and swear at us when we don’t move out quickly; but you’re the reason we can’t find good buyers! I really wonder what you and Uncle Sam will do when lots of folks move to the wilderness and live off the land and consequently don’t have to pay taxes to support such sickness! Finally, spread the rumor that all of your troubles are associated with skin, even though you and I know that your problem isn’t skin. It’s sin!!! What makes a ghetto? It’s not the paint on a house (or lack of it) but all of you two-legged pains in the neck! (anyone is free to copy and air this paper)

Commenting is closed for this article.