Do Obama supporters have the balls (labia) to call their friends on suspected racism?

Come on Dopers 'fess up. On this message board you talk the talk - we hear plenty about how this statement or that statement about Obama is racist; this action or this failure to act is racist; this argument or that opinion isn’t as innocent as it sounds.

So come on how many have the courage of their convictions. How many aren’t anonymously preaching to me in Australia. Tell me a story to show me you are real.

True story:

I was walking through the mall last week and there were a group of people in hideous orange tee-shirts trying to hand out some Save the Whales literature. One guy approached me and made some half-hearted attempt to hand me a pamphlet. I snubbed him and walked off. But then I had a thought. I went back to the guy and said, “Look mate you’ve already done the hard part. You agreed to come here and do this. You agreed to wear the stupid tee-shirt, so you already look like a dickhead, so why be so passive. Get in to it.” He got much louder.

So let’s hear what you have done and what tips you have for other Obama supporters.

I have met a total of three (3) admitted Obama supporters IRL. For the record, it appeared that one had balls and the other two had labia, although I didn’t do enough in depth research to confirm this.

None of them called me a racist, so maybe they all were lacking in the external genetailia department.

To be honest, I don’t know any McCain supporters. Haven’t run into any at school or at stores. Everyone here (including me) is rabid for Obama, as far as I can tell. What can I say? It’s Chicago - even the dead people will vote for Obama. Probably twice.

The exceptions are probably my father-in-law, who makes O’Reilly look like a pinko commie, and my brother-in-law, who’s a great guy who likes his money and would prefer it stay in his investment accounts (he’s not one of the 95% who will see no tax increase). Luckily for my marriage and family sanity, we haven’t had a get-together since June, so I haven’t had to get into it with them. But I don’t think either of them are anti-Obama for race reasons, they’re just actual Republicans.

I did call my father-in-law on his “Obama’s a secret Muslim who went to a Muslim terrorist school” nonsense last Christmas, but it didn’t really go anywhere. I finally left the room to go get another glass of wine and cool off.

I haven’t encountered much, but my husband and I did get in a pretty heated argument with his father about Obama vs. McCain. When my father-in-law said he didn’t think Sen. Obama was intelligent, I started citing Harvard Law School, editor of Harvard Law Review, and being an instructor in constitutional law at the University of Chicago. I got the, “well, I don’t know about that, but (subject change)” response, which means from him that he knows he’s wrong but won’t admit it. He is fairly racist in daily life so I can’t help but think that’s where commentary like that comes from.

On non-suspected racism, one of my husband’s coworkers, during the 2004 US Senate campaign where Obama was running against Jack Ryan (not the fictional Clancy character), was talking with him about the upcoming election and said “I’m not gonna vote for no nigger.” Yes, both he and my husband are white, and the guy probably thought that another white guy must share his opinions. My husband just stared at him, then walked away shaking his head, with the coworker saying, “What? What? Oh come on…” Joke was on him when Ryan had to withdraw from the race and a black candidate took his place.

He and I have also had to combat the “he’s a Muslim / an Arab” misinformation going around, providing links or just telling friends/coworkers to Google “Muslim Barack Obama” and read links from mainstream news sites. You’d think that the whole Rev. Jeremiah Wright controversy would have put that to rest, but people’s capacity for selective listening will continue to amaze. We do throw in some “you know, not that there’s anything wrong with that” commentary but that doesn’t always go over well with the audience in question.

My mother is racist. I mean, she’s not out committing hate crimes, but she thinks it’s just terrible that everything has to be in Spanish and English (You’re in America! Speak English!), etc. So, when she told me that there’s something she just doesn’t trust about Barack Obama, I just quietly looked at her. And then she said, “It has nothing at all to do with…you know.” I wasn’t going to make it easy for her. No, I don’t know. Finally she said, “His color.” Half-whispered.

I asked her what it does have to do with, and she couldn’t pin it down. She did also say that she thinks Sarah Palin is “sorta cute”, but agreed when I said that cute isn’t great criteria by which to cast one’s vote. I did not, however, get into a big confrontation with her.

I did get into an all-out flame war with someone on a parenting board who said that Obama and his siblings are known terrorists. I’ve gotten really spoiled by being here and having a standard that you will back up your cites. So when I asked her repeatedly to provide sources, she was having none of it and kept saying, “I don’t have to defend my beliefs!!” And of course my explanation that I wasn’t asking her to defend her beliefs but to explain something that she had stated as fact got me nowhere. It was the biggest exercise in frustration for me, but when she said something about seeing an interview with Obama’s siblings “who still live over in Islam”, it got kind of fun.

My MIL and FIL live in a very conservative part of Pennsyltucky as we like to call it. It’s a small town, and everyone knows everyone. My husband was raised there, but moved away during college. It’s a very racist, redneck area of the state.

Despite where they live, the in-laws are lifelong democrats and true Obama supporters. They volunteer on the campaign and have worked to elect Dems in the past. I think it’s because they both worked in health care, and saw the effects of rural poverty first hand.

So, my husband gets a call from one of his high-school friends to chat about the upcoming reunion. Through the course of the conversation, the friend (who still lives in the hometown) asked my husband when his parents (the MIL and FIL) moved and where are they living now?

Now, this is a strange questions, since the home has been in the family for literally 3 generations. So, hubby asks politely “what do you mean, moved? My parents haven’t moved.” He figures that the guy must have mixed up where the family home was. Then the friend goes on to say that he assumed they’d moved because there was an Obama sign in the yard. He couldn’t imagine that they would vote for and support anyone “like him.”

Needless to say, the conversation did not go well after that and I’m pretty sure hubby will not be attending the upcoming reunion that’s being organized by this racist pig.

I only know two McCain supporters, and they seem to be actual Republicans and not racists.

This summer two of my coworkers were repeating that “Obama is a Muslim” crap in the breakroom. I corrected them and told them to go to Snopes if they didn’t believe me.

“How do you know that Snopes isn’t full of lies?”

Fast forward three months later, one of the coworkers sends me a picture of Obama being prayed over by his fellow black congressional caucus members (with their hands extended out to him). This was all the evidence she needed that Obama was a Christian. Part of me was relieved, but another part was bothered that she would put so much importance on religion. I don’t know if religious bigotry is all that better than racism.

A friend emailed everyone on his list that comparison between a young McCain, in his military uniform, and the young Obama, wearing traditional African clothing (not even the one that “looks Muslim”). It had wording something like “If your[sic] still thinking of voting for Obama, I have one question for you. Is your head up your ass?” I repied only to my girlfriend with “Oh noes! A negro!” She thought it was a great response and encouraged me to send it to him, too. Frankly, though, I didn’t think it would do much good to rattle the cage. I didn’t want to get all antagonizey, especially with someone who uses those kinds of tactics.

I did defend Obama on another message board and was accused of standing downwind from a manure pile.


My brother is fairly convinced that Obama might not have a good chance in Northeast Ohio because there is a lot of “silent racism” going on up here. Lots and lots of caucasian blue collar workers work side-by-side with black people ever day, and pal around with them at work, and live in neighborhoods with them.

But there’s still this nagging feeling with the un-educated baby boomers in Northeast Ohio that blacks are bad. They can’t tell you exactly why (reasons mostly centered around white flight), but there’s something deep inside them that will not allow them to vote for a black guy. Especially not one with a “funny name.”

So the “default” vote up here for our parents, relatives and our parents friends is “white guy” and they need to be convinced otherwise. Not convinced against McCain, convinced for Obama. Even though these people are mostly union members, low-income and SSI/SSD/Medicare recipients…they need convinced.

My brother has been working pretty hard with my aunt (who is on SSD, and lives with another less-racist aunt on SSD) and he group of whacky “silent racist” friends that it is OK to vote for a black guy and in fact he is the candidate that best represents them. I’m shit when it comes to debating, so I’ll admit I do not get into it much. I also like to think that deep down, these folks know what’s right and won’t ruin MY life by voting just on color.

I overheard my friend talking to someone on the phone discussing Palin and Obama, and I cringed when he said that Obama “won’t be representing people like us.” Yes I challenged him afterward and asked him “Us who?”, but he denied any racist intent.

I called my dad on it a week ago, when I told him that I think his vote for McCain is racially motivated due to him ranting about conservatives and Republicans for most of the past decade, yet he’s voting for a man that would just continue to enact those same policies.

On NPR this week, small town, blue collar “Salt of the Earth” types were being interviewed as usual. One lady said she wasn’t going to vote for Obama because she believed he’d care more about blacks than whites. It made me realize that many whites are scared about being treated like a minority. They aren’t ready to let go of the illusion of their everlasting superiority and domination.

Using that woman’s rationale, it wouldn’t make sense for a black person (or any non-white) to vote for McCain. Unless she believes that a rich white guy is automatically more enlightened and color blind than a biracial Christian with a Muslim name who’s lived internationally and has the broadest appeal than any other politician before him.

I kept it real. Not in a way that will endear me around here though. A group of guys were arguing politics at work, and I was getting annoyed by it, so I piped up with a “Do you guys honestly believe that any of this actually matters? That life will suddenly get amazing if your preferred candidate wins and the end of the world is coming if they lose?”. Or something to that effect anyway.

I doubt I got any of them to realize that life is going to be pretty much the same for most people regardless of who wins, as it always is after these elections. I did succeed in the formation of an uncomfortable silence which killed their conversation. It was a very comfortable silence for me though, so mission accomplished! :smiley:

I’ve only had one incident, and since it was with my mother (of the “well, everyone I’ve ever known except you is a Republican, so I am too” type) over my work email, it didn’t go far.

She “thought this might give you a chuckle, but not very PC” (um, yeah, you don’t know me very well after 40 years, do you?), and asked if I’d heard the “rumor” that the Obamas would dig up the White House Rose Garden to plant watermelons.

I really didn’t know what to say to that - I’ve never heard anything like that from her in my life, and I didn’t want to get into an argument about racism and stereotyping from my work account, so I just said I’d rather see that than the Clampett/Palins moving their rocking-chair-accessorized pickup to onto the front lawn, and left it at that.

My mom doesn’t like to discuss politics because she knows she can’t back up her views, so that was the end of it, like it always is. She’s learned that if she tries to tell me, that, say, Obama was single-handedly responsible for the economic meltdown, she’ll get a barrage of cites that she won’t bother to read and probably wouldn’t understand if she did read them, discussing Reagan and his merry band of deregulators. So she’ll back off pretty quickly.

However, later that week, an Obama sign in a co-worker’s yard was destroyed. She put up a new one, and the next night, someone sprayed “KKK” on it. So a few of us in the office have decided that any time we run across anything like that, we’re going to each kick in $5 and send a donation to the Obama campaign. I’ll let my mom know what she’s wrought if she sends me anything like that again.

This was about a month ago, and appears to be a one-time thing, but I’ll let her have it if it happens again.

Thats not racist.
If someone moves to another country, its their duty to fit in and learn to speak the language, not expect the country to change for them.

I see your point; I really do. But:

  1. It’s the eye-rolling way she says it, and how she speaks of Spanish-speaking people as *feeling entitled * to translation—a blanket statement that is supposed to encapsulate all of one race/ethnicity/religion = prejudiced, IMO.

  2. When she was traveling in Europe, she was quick to notice all of the towns/countries that frowned on travelers who did not even try to speak the language.

A conservative, but not terribly sophisticated, friend of mine sent me a forwarded email piece of garbage about Obama being a Muslim, etc. I found it on Snopes and sent her the link along with an email saying that I thought she was too good a person to send out racist crap. She wrote back saying she wasn’t a racist, but obviously I thought she was and that she had to vote in a way that was compatible with her religious beliefs. How it’s compatible with one’s religious beliefs to send falsehoods I don’t get, but I just couldn’t let it go.

My dad and I aren’t close and rarely speak, but the last time I talked to him, several weeks ago, which happened to be a phone call from him telling me my sister had died, during the conversation he asked “Who you for? You gonna vote for that nigger?” and I blew my top. I was so angry I can’t remember exactly what I said, but it was along the lines of “ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M RELATED TO SOMEONE WHO WOULD USE THAT WORD IN 2008!!” I told him Obama was a decent guy, intelligent as hell, and a good family man who loves his country and god. He didn’t apologise but changed the subject. I haven’t spoken to him since. If we talk again before the election, he’d better not spout that bullshit again or I’ll hang up on him.

My dad, btw, is NOT a Fox-watching fundie. He’s a casual Lutheran, married to a Catholic, and was born and raised in Iowa. He’s a life-long Republican but he hates Bush with a passion (he told me he thought Bush was a liar back right before the 2004 elections but he voted for him anyway, and called me the next day to gloat). He’s just too set in his ways. He can’t believe he has an atheist, Democrat daughter. He thinks I’m an alien.

None of my friends are racist.

My racist family members either know they are racist or at least know that I view them as racist, much as I love them. Their vote isn’t really motivated by racism, though–it’s motivated by conservatism. My Dad is voting for McCain but he’s not racist at all, just Republican. I think many of your run-of-the-mill racists would vote for a black man if they felt it served their best interest. Most of the racists I know don’t hate all blacks, they just hate poor blacks. Obama isn’t the kind of black person they hate.

There are some very surprising developments this year–my mother, a lifelong fiscal conservative and Republican-voter is currently reading Barack Obama’s books and planning to vote for him. My racist grandmother is so enthusiastic about Obama she’s practically a part of his campaign.

Would I call out a McCain voter on their racism? Yes, if it was obviously racism. But I don’t believe that racism is motivating a lot of people to vote for McCain. I think in general McCain voters are conservative and against Obama’s liberal ideology. They are voting for McCain for the same reason that conservatives ever voted throughout history–he represents their interests.