Friday, September 28, 2012

Jay-Z Admits Voting Based On Skin Color, Yet I am the Racist

We have all heard the stories of President Obama and the $40,000 per person fundraiser held by Jay-Z and his wife Beyonce.  A fundraiser, I might add, that was held immediately following a terrorist attack on our country and the deaths of four people in that attack.  

I have said The President is in a tough spot in some respects, it is election season, money has to be raised and the base has to be rallied.  I get it.  But it doesn't change the optics of the whole thing.  They aren't good.  President Obama has this knack of not understanding that.  

Jay-Z, not only a supporter of Obama, he is a supporter of The Occupy Movement as well.  That makes these statements to MTV all the more interesting:

"I don't even like the word politics. It implies something underhanded and I think we need less government,"
 "I support Barack because I gotta respect that sort of vision. I gotta respect a man who is the first black President ever," he said. "To have that sort of vision and dream, I have to support that."
It sounds like Jay-Z is really a libertarian.  His views on social issues seem to be more to the left of mine, but he seems to understand the need for limited government and fiscal responsibility of that government.  So why would he support Obama?  He admits it himself, it is skin color.  

He understands the need for economic freedom and the entrepreneurial spirit, that is exactly how he lifted himself out poverty.  He fully understands that the government did not do that for him.  He worked for it.  While I have little use of his music.  I think it glorifies a culture that is unhealthy, but I do respect what he has accomplished in his life.  I also admire that he and his wife do give back to the community.  I may not agree with all the different charities that he supports, but I respect that he understands that individuals have a role to play to help the less fortunate in the world.  

What I don't respect is that not only does he not vote his own values, he does so based on skin color.  I am not oblivious to the fact that the first black president is a big deal.  I get that.  But it needs to be based on character, accomplishment, and ability or doesn't really mean anything.  

People in this country need to open their eyes and accept the fact that many people voted for President Obama solely based on the color of his skin, and have closed their eyes to the fact that he isn't qualified for the job.  Voting on skin color is just plain wrong.  I say that about the people who voted against him as well as the people who voted for him.  We are not electing Prom King, we are electing the leader of the free world.  The office has been diminished by people like Jay-Z.  It is a shame he doesn't see that.  


Anonymous said...

what do you expect from someone who calls himself "Jay-Z"?

net observer said...

What I am about to say, admittedly, is based in part on speculation:

If I had to place a bet, Jay-Z, like the majority of African-Americans, probably wouldn't back Obama if he were a Republican conservative. That alone suggests to me that Obama's ethnicity isn't the prime determinant for his supporters, black or otherwise.

In fact, it may not even be the secondary reason. We have all heard about certain black ministers -- who are not exactly fans of the GOP -- suggest that they may not vote this year based solely on Obama's support for gay marriage.

So even though Jay-Z said what he said, I am all but certain that a follow-up question would have proven that he didn't mean it quite like that.

I am sure that the first woman president will have female supporters beaming with pride over the fact that the president is a woman, and I suspect that same principle will apply to the first Jewish president, the first Italian president, the first Hispanic president and so forth.

But would "Group ID" be the overriding reason for their support? I don't think so.

Of course it's a source of pride for many people. But that's not the same as the principal reason for a individual's vote.

If I had to guess, there will be a higher number of Mormons voting this year because of Mitt Romney. But I don't think their choice will be solely or chiefly based on the fact that he's a Mormon.

But we will all assume that it played a factor of some sort.

Having said all this, I agree with you. Ideally, group ID shouldn't be a factor at all. But heck, were only human, and when we add the very real and unique histories of certain groups -- like African-Americans, like Jews, like women, etc -- then maybe some of these apparent expressions aren't as simple or as deleterious as they may seem.

Just a conservative girl said...

No they wouldn't support a black conservative. But the big point that you are missing in that is the fact that they then say that person isn't really black. They are instead a traitor, an Uncle Tom, an oreo, or whatever name they happen to come up with.

Not only do they vote as a group, they also expect everyone else to do the same.

net observer said...


I appreciate your response very much.

To the contrary, I am actually quite familiar with the dynamic you're talking about. I don't know if you knew already, but I am black, and, an ex-Republican-turned-frustrated-independent =)

Indeed, there are many (way too many) African-Americans who are unfair and in some cases maniacal in their resentment against black conservatives/GOP-ers. But I have to tell you, that resentment isn't nearly as widespread or as reflexive today as it was a generation ago. Like American politics in general -- at least in my opinion -- the lines between the left and the right aren't as clear as they used to be, and African-Americans, in some ways, reflect that same phenomenon.

I remember quite vividly back when Obama was merely a candidate, how much he was criticized extensively by certain "highly visible" "community leaders" for "not really being black", even though he was obviously black and Democrat. For me, situations like that demonstrate the complexity of where we are today.

I agree that the vast majority of African-Americans are expecting the vast majority of African-Americans to vote for Obama. But for most of "us", it's not about racial solidarity. It's not even about Party or ideological solidarity. Not if you really dig into it.

Imagine this highly unlikely scenario: The 2016 Presidential Race features Artur Davis (Republican) versus your "rank-in-file" white Democrat.

My prediction? Davis would probably receive more black support than any GOP-er since Nixon, mostly because he's black. At the same time, he still wouldn't have a prayer a getting the majority of the black vote, not because he's a "traitor", but because he's a relatively conservative GOP-er.

But if this were 1996, and a center-left Colin Powell had a chance to become America's first black president, I think he could have secured as much as a third of the black electorate, if not more.

But if Alan West were the nominee, today, long after the "novelty" of the first black president, I don't think he could move the needle for the GOP whatsoever. In fact, ironically, I could see West garnering fewer votes than Bush or Romney.

And you're right, unfortunately, that some of the more twisted members of the black community would supply us all with a steady stream of anonymously cowardly tweets attacking West as a "Tom" and everything else. Having said that, based on my experience as a 40-something black guy who has lived in black neighborhoods my entire life, most African-Americans don't hate a guy like West because they think he's "a traitor to the race" or whatever. They hate him for the same reasons most Democrats hate him. West's "blackness" just makes even more irritating for them.

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