United Daily News, Taiwan: Play the Race Card, Play with Fire

United Daily News, Taiwan

Play the Race Card, Play with Fire

When Barack Obama emerged as presidential candidate, observers worried that he may become the first black person to take the office the White House in the history of the U.S. The race issue, a topic that has hardly been touched on in the U.S., will come to surface. As the Nov. 4 presidential election is only three weeks away, the worry has become a reality. Dragging behind in the campaign, the McCain camp and its Republican supporters began to play the race card, which has received a great deal of responses from its radical supporters. 

Since Gov. Sarah Palin, McCain’s vice presidential candidate, linked Obama with [former] terrorist [William Ayers], we often heard shouts against Obama from the crowd in the Republican assembly, such as “traitor,” “terrorist,” or even “kill him,” “behead him.” Palin made Obama the equal of Muslim, arousing a sentimental awareness of terrorism among the Americans, especially the racial Republicans who have been apparently aroused.

Last week, two McCain supporters in the assembly deliberately used the full name of Obama – “Barack Hussein Obama.” While addressing the crowd, they read out loud Obama’s middle name, Hussein, which happened to be the family name of the former dictatorial leader of Iraq.

Although “attacks on adversary” is a strategy often deployed right before the end of campaign, candidates should set forth a good image at the beginning by proposing policies. The party who runs behind in the campaign will struggle and launch personal attacks with issues of race, gender, class and ideology in a hope that it will be able to incite the masses who are unable to be convinced by the policies.

Nevertheless, the Democratic Congressman John Lewis’ comment – playing the race card is playing with fire – is well said. He condemned the Republican presidential candidate McCain for “spreading the seeds of hatred and division,” and enticing violence.

The former Cuban President Fidel Castro said that race concept is deeply rooted in the U.S. It is a miracle that Obama won’t step into the tragic scenario of the black civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr., who was assassinated. However, if the McCain camp doesn’t rein it in and keeps on playing with fire, there will be unthinkable racist conflicts and violence as long as there are a few crazy supporters who turn their radical emotional words into actions.

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