Although, Senator Obama tries to stay away from the "race card," Senator Clinton, often mentions the "glass ceiling," for women.
As an older white guy, who has many experiences in the race discussion over the last 60 years, with other white guys (I support Obama), I believe that the bi-racial Obama, has hit the "Black Brick Wall," and unless he can break through it, he, indeed, will have a tough time, in the general election.
Many have a tough time believing, in 2008, that Democrats, even in Pennsylvania, put up a "do not enter" sign in front of this Black Wall.
But, most analysis proves it to be true.
I'll outline a few of my personal experiences in a minute--but generally--Democrats have attacked conservative Republicans for marginalizing the Black experience in America. But, bigotry knows no political boundaries.
As a soldier, who served with the 4th Infantry Division in Vietnam from 1966-67, drafted out of a middle class household in West Los Angeles, I learned much about this division between Black and White, and tolerance and ugliness.
Many of the troops did not display a racist attitude, but there were a percentage who tried not to serve with African-American soldiers. I also found out that many White GI's from the south and southwest were less prejudiced than some from Illinois and Indiana.
As a kid, I would listen to Billie Holiday, singing "strange fruit," which was a true story about young Black men, hanging from trees, in her southern tour.
When we drove to Las Vegas in the 1950's, my Dad would point out, on the little strip, where a hotel had to drain their pool, after Nat King Cole, took a dip. This was demanded by the white guests (Cole was not allowed to stay in the hotel in which he performed.)
Not only were older African-American men in their 60's, were still called "boy," but the subtleties of prejudice remained after the civil rights movement.
Pennsylvania, and most likely, next week's primary in Indiana proves that point.
When I was stationed in Fort Polk, Louisiana, in late 1967, I heard the bragging of locals in the Barber Shop, where to set up a machine gun, if Martin Luther King, marched through.
The local white police, would routinely arrest Black Soldiers, who left the base on the weekend, for made up traffic violations. This would keep them in jail on Saturday and Sunday, before they could be bailed out on Monday. It was a way of showing Black's, who was "boss" in surrounding Leesville, LA.
I even hit the Texas, Dairy Queen, where I was told to move away from the "colored only" window, and receive my ice cream at the the "Whites Only," window.
Although, thank God, many of these things are outlawed now, some attitudes have not gone away.
I drove through an all night gas station in the San Fernando Valley, in 1968, and the attendant ran up to me and said, "Did you hear that King has been assassinated, isn't that great!
Of course, City Councilman Tom Bradley's contest against Mayoral incumbent Sam Yorty,in 1969 was a failure, because of racial stereotypes, and the Los Angeles Times called it the "most racist campaign, ever, west of the Mississippi."
Women are doing a hell of a lot better than years ago. California now has two female United States Senators, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, has almost as much power as President Bush.
There is still a "glass ceiling" for women, but even though the Black middle class has expanded, there is a 10 foot high Black brick wall, where innuendo and stereotypes, keeps many whites from voting for the African-American candidate.
Its only recently that we have had Black quarterbacks and coaches.
But, in each circumstance---Politics, entertainment,government, and business--in most cases, dark skinned people in America still have to prove themselves able to vault over the 10 foot Black Brick Wall, in order to make it big in America.
I hope reporters, columnists, and television commentators, will not continue this guilt by association business with Obama and Rev. Wright, as if every Black person is the same.
There is a double standard. Some of Hillary Clinton's best friends are feminists. However the media doesn't put Gloria Steinem on tape every day telling people how they should outlaw Playboy Magazine, as a lot of them demanded in the 1970s.
I hope the media drops this Joe McCarthy kind of stance, and refuses to continue these guilt by association attacks on Senator Obama.
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