Human Events: A Deck Full of Race Cards

Human Events

A Deck Full of Race Cards

There are many ways to play the race card.  One way is to exploit ancient prejudices and stereotypes of one race as inherently inferior to another.  John McCain knows that one well.

He was the improbable victim of racism eight years ago when it was suggested to some South Carolina voters that he had fathered a black child out of wedlock. In fact, McCain’s adopted daughter, Bridget, is from Bangladesh.  It’s the type of racism employed by the David Dukes of the world, and it diminishes us all.   

But there is another way to play the race card, and it is just as pernicious and hateful as the first.   It turns any disagreement with liberals into an issue of race rather than a difference of opinion.  And it’s being played by the political Left with increasing frequency as Election Day draws near.  Three examples this week illustrate the extent of the smear. 

Sen. McCain too has been the target of the Left’s use of race as a weapon to cut off debate.   McCain’s reference to Obama as “that one” during Tuesday night’s debate was taken by a number of leftwing journalists as proof that McCain is running a dishonorable campaign.  Maureen Dowd, for instance, accused McCain of using the term in order “to warn that white Americans should not open the door to the dangerous Other.”

To suggest that either McCain or Palin is racist is absurd and completely unfounded.  But in politics, perception is often reality.  Which is perhaps why Whoopi Goldberg recently asked her co-hosts on The View whether under a McCain presidency there would be a return to slavery. And it is why Philadelphia Daily News columnist Fatimah Ali predicted that if Obama loses to McCain, Americans can expect “a full-fledged race and class war, fueled by a deflated and depressed country, soaring crime, homelessness — and hopelessness.”

Hip Hop Republican: Was “That one” racist? Does McCain know?

Hip Hop Republican

Was “That one” racist? Does McCain know?

Democrat operatives, bloggers and the black press are making outrageous claims that McCain’s use of “that one” in the debate last week was a coded racial slur. When I heard McCain say it, I knew immediately as an African American how it would go down in a partisan black audience. McCain and his team of all white advisers probably do not grasp the whole controversy. As a result, he probably still does not know how it came across.

This is why Republicans continue to get in trouble on the issue of race. The truth is race matters, and nothing will show this like McCain losing the election. He can ignore race and pretend it does not exist, but it will bite him in the end. The failure by the GOP to provide a truth squad and a group of advisers on the issue of race shows the flaws of McCain’s team. He is running against the first possible black presidential candidate, yet his entire advisory board is primarily white.The Reagan administration struggled with this same issue. They meant well, but they were dumbfounded on the role of race in politics. The party has to get over its “deer in headlights “mentality on race and embrace this issue just as we have done with many things. We have never ignored other issues and we must not disregard this one. As Republicans, we must roll up our sleeves and go into Detroit, Harlem and Chicago to fight back. If we do not, then we will be unfairly perceived as a racist party.

With regards to the Senator saying “That one”, I do not believe it was a racist ploy- he was probably referring to Obama, the person standing on stage with him, to whom he directed this comment. Was it the classiest of references? Probably not.

But what if Obama referred to Senator McCain the same way? Would people interpret it as some coded racial thing or as a sign of disrespect? Regardless, if the McCain campaign does not understand how millions of black folks may feel about him saying- “that one” he better learn or he will lose this election.

CNN: Campbell Brown: Race-baiting wrong, but so is over-reaction

CNN: Campbell Brown

Race-baiting wrong, but so is over-reaction

Look everybody, we all know we are in uncharted territory here. Never before has there been an African-American presidential nominee. So without question, race is going to be a part of the conversation.

Race-baiting doesn’t have to be and yet it is happening in this campaign. Twice this week, surrogates for Republican candidate Sen. John McCain have made a point of calling Democratic candidate Sen. Barack Obama, Barack “Hussein” Obama.

The implication here is clear. It’s foreign sounding. It’s Muslim sounding. It’s un-American sounding. It’s dangerous-sounding. What it is, is race-baiting. And that is what is dangerous.

Inciting crowds, encouraging their angry outbursts, McCain supporters shouting “treason” and “terrorist” about Obama at these rallies — that’s dangerous. Earlier in the campaign, McCain denounced this stuff. He strongly denounced it. And today it requires a stronger response, a much stronger denunciation than a campaign-generated paper statement. 

But let’s also be careful here and use our heads. Some Obama supporters on the left are up in arms over something McCain said at the debate Tuesday night — when he referred to Obama as, “that one.”

McCain: It was an energy bill on the floor of the senate, loaded down with goodies. Billions for the oil companies. And it was sponsored by Bush and Cheney. You know who voted for it? Might never know. That one.

Some people have interpreted that comment as having racial undertones. Give me a break.

I can hear my grandfather talking about one of his kids or grandkids as “that one.” He used it a lot. Maybe it’s a generational thing. Maybe it wasn’t a term of endearment the way it was when my grandfather used it. Maybe McCain did mean to be disrespectful. But racist? I don’t think so.

The Atlantic: Ta-nehisi Coates: CNN on McCain’s race-baiting

The Atlantic: Ta-nehisi Coates

CNN on McCain’s race-baiting

What is the world coming to when Coates is agreeing with Campbell Brown? What will happen to my leftist credentials now? No radical am I…

24Ahead: The Cenk Uygur Race Card Play-O-Matic (John McCain, Fannie Mae)


The Cenk Uygur Race Card Play-O-Matic (John McCain, Fannie Mae)

The new first rule of the Democratic Party is: “Twist anything an opponent of Barack Obama says in order to play the race card”. If BHO wins the presidency, expect them to abide by that rule endlessly.

The latest example comes from multiple “liberals” who are trying to racialize John McCain referring to Barack Obama as “that one” at last night’s “debate”. About that, Air America host (“Young Turks”) Cenk Uygur says (, also at

Some questioned if it had racial implications.

Expect to see lots of references to what “some say” should BHO become president.

But, seeking to explore new frontiers in racial divisiveness, Uygur also says:

For me, the more worrisome moment of the debate came when McCain told a young, black questioner, “You’ve probably never heard of Fannie Mae.” We were doing play-by-play of the debate on our website and I shouted out, “Why not? Why wouldn’t he have heard of Fannie Mae?”

Now, let’s go to the transcript (link):

But you know, one of the real catalysts, really the match that lit this fire was Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. I’ll bet you, you may never even have heard of them before this crisis. But you know, they’re the ones that with the encouragement of Senator Obama and his cronies and his friends, in Washington, that went out and made all these risky loans, gave them to people that could never afford to pay back.

Note that Uygur is leaving off the important “before this crisis” bit. And, considering that, in 2007, according to this perhaps biased poll, only 69% of Americans could name the VP and less than half could identify Nancy Pelosi, I think it’s safe to assume that a very large number of Americans had never heard of Fannie/Freddie before now. (Other polls here and here). I have no doubt that McCain would say the same thing to anyone who was not connected to politics in some way.

Someone needs to keep track of all the instances of BHO supporters trying to racialize things like this.

FOXNews: McCain’s Usage of ‘That One’ Sparks Questions of Intent


McCain’s Usage of ‘That One’ Sparks Questions of Intent

John McCain uttered two words that could turn out to be the only ones people remember from Tuesday night’s presidential debate: That one.

But what those words meant is being spun in many different ways.

One group, the Center for Social Inclusion — a nonpartisan organization funded in part by the Ford Foundation — claims the phrase was racially charged.

“The racial undertones were subtle but unmistakable,” CSI Director Maya Wiley said in a statement released Wednesday.

“By making a dismissive, condescending remark like this, McCain was tapping into a current of superiority among white voters. It was an attempt to ‘otherize’ Obama and tap into the implicit bias that so many of us hold,â€� Wiley said.

“To my knowledge, I have never heard that used as a common phrase before,”said University of California-Berkeley linguistics professor George Lakoff.

“The phrase was meant to say, ‘You and I are in the same area, but he’s the outsider,'” Lakoff continued. “It’s the political equivalent of what (Sarah) Palin said the other day, which is, ‘He’s not one of us.'”

A McCain campaign aide said she doesn’t know what the hullabaloo is about over McCain’s use of the phrase. The candidate has often singled out Obama that way.

“I’m shocked that at a moment of national crisis, where our economy is on the minds of every single person, I am shocked that they are again proving to be the fussiest campaign in American history, McCain adviser Nicole Wallace told reporters after the debate.

NY Times: Maureen Dowd: Mud Pies for ‘That One’

NY Times: Maureen Dowd

Mud Pies for ‘That One’

John McCain has long been torn between wanting to succeed and serving a higher cause. Right now, the drive to succeed is trumping any loftier aspirations. He cynically picked a running mate with less care than theater directors give to picking a leading actor’s understudy. And he has been running a seamy campaign originally designed by the bad seed of conservative politics, Lee Atwater.

It was adapted in 2000 in Atwater’s home state of South Carolina by Atwater acolytes in W.’s camp to harpoon McCain with rumors that he had fathered out of wedlock a black baby (as opposed to adopting a Bangladeshi infant girl in wedlock). Sulfurous Atwater-style rumor-mongering by Bush supporters — that McCain had come home from a Hanoi tiger cage with snakes in his head — aimed to stop him during that primary after he had zoomed in New Hampshire.

Atwater relished teaching rich, white Republicans to feign a connection to the common man so they could get in office and economically undermine the common man.

Campaigning last weekend, Palin cast their Democratic rival as “someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country.”

The woman is sounding more Cheney than Cheney. Palin said that Obama’s relationship with the former Weatherman William Ayers proved that he did not have the “truthfulness and judgment” to be president. Asked by William Kristol if the Rev. Jeremiah Wright should be an issue, she said, “I don’t know why that association isn’t discussed more.”

Atwater gleefully tried to paint Willie Horton as Dukakis’s running mate. With a black man running, it’s even easier for Atwater’s disciple running McCain’s campaign to warn that white Americans should not open the door to the dangerous Other, or “That One,” as McCain referred to Obama in Tuesday night’s debate. (A cross between “The One” and “That Woman.”)

NY Times Caucus: Diamonds, Daisies, Snowflakes … That One

NY Times Caucus

Diamonds, Daisies, Snowflakes … That One

Did “that one” win last night’s debate?

We’re talking about the phrase, which has burst through the clutter of debate chatter to be one of the most talked-about moments in the 90 minutes from Nashville.

“That one” was the way Senator John McCain referred to Senator Barack Obama at one point last night. Angry reaction has emerged on the Internet today and lit up black-oriented radio stations, with commenters and callers saying that Mr. McCain was demeaning a fellow Senator and the presidential nominee of a major party.

Warren Ballentine, an African-American radio host in Atlanta and a strong Obama supporter, had a different take.

“It was totally disrespectful,” he said in an interview. “If you disrespect someone who is your equal, how will you treat me as a citizen?”

Mr. Ballentine saw other moments in the debate that troubled him as well, including Mr. McCain’s reference to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in response to a questioner who was black. “I’ll bet you, you may never even have heard of them before this crisis.”

Mr. Ballentine said that in the first debate, he had not perceived anything from Mr. McCain as particularly racial. “But now,” he said, “McCain’s back is up against the wall and he’s playing into stereotypical fears to get people to vote for him because people have a problem with blacks.”

NY Times Political Blog: “That One,” Now in Four Sizes

NY Times Political Blog

“That One,” Now in Four Sizes


From John McCain’s mouth to the shirt on your back, a memorable one-linerfrom Tuesday night’s presidential debate has already made its way into the world of e-commerce.

“By the way my friends, I know you grow a little weary of this back and forth. There was an energy bill on the floor of the Senate – loaded down with goodies, billions for the oil companies,” Mr. McCain said, winding up to it. “You know who voted for it – you might never know?”

He then pointed at his rival, Senator Barack Obama, and answered his own question: “That one.” He continued, “You know who voted against it? Me.

It didn’t long before a mystery entrepreneur quickly scooped up the Internet address: and a companion Facebook page and turned it into a merchandising opportunity. The Web site is a one-stop shop for “That One” T-shirts emblazoned with the Obama campaign logo next to the words “That One 08.” There are also two other versions of the shirt, one featuring a photograph of Mr. Obama the other with one of Mr. McCain (finger outstretched) above the words — can you guess? — “That One.”


It’s fair to say that the reference to “that one,” caught more than a few viewers as well as the Obama campaign by surprise. A spokesman for Mr. Obama, Bill Burton, fired off a one line-email in the middle of the debate: “Did John McCain just refer to Obama as ‘that one’?”

Was it a bungled line? A perjorative? Or just an in-artful way for Mr. McCain to describe his opponent?



Newsweek: The Moderate Voice: Let “That One” Handle McCain’s Comment

Newsweek: The Moderate Voice

Let “That One” Handle McCain’s Comment

I do not know why those words were spoken by Senator John McCain last night . It could be simply that John McCain does not agree with Senator Obama on the issues or it could be as Wolf Blitzer commented that McCain has a clear disdain for Obama . It was a poor choice of words and once again the questions this morning are not about the issues that matter to the American people, but rather, if McCain’s words were racially motivated (in or out of context). For the record, I think John McCain is an honorable man and above the bottom feeding level of politics. However, a press release from his campaign ramped up their campaign about “That One” regarding Obama’s voting record and policy initiatives.