I know, I know, I haven’t posted in a long while. Anyways, warning, this is a long serious exchange of emails from friends over the outcome of the US elections. I thought I’d make up for being absent by putting this very thought-provoking exchange.
I: I know not all Filipinos are like what CDQ describes here, but sadly, I’ve met quite a few who fit the bill. I’m sure at some point, I must’ve have too. [referring to CDQ’s “Whitewashed” column, dated 11/11/08]
Me: I guess this is true at some level, but from personal experience, a lot of people I know loved that Barack Obama won. I think the reason there hasn’t been that big a to-do about the win here is that people are really more concerned about the economic crunch, wondering how to stretch their paycheck even more, than the elections in the US, even though they know that whoever moves into the White House will affect us over here. Like that one article says, It’s our [the world’s] election too, we just don’t get a vote.
I: Surprisingly, a lot of Fil Ams we know, including our relatives, decided to vote for McCain when Hillary lost to Barack. I’m still trying to understand their reasoning, some of which bear close resemblance to what CDQ said in his piece.
M: There were a lot more younger Fil-Ams volunteering for the Obama campaign from what I saw. I guess it’s a generational thing too – older Pinoys identify more with Republicans.
Reminds me of that one time Petite went for a haircut with a new stylist. The stylist was surprised she was Pinoy. Petite asked why – the stylist said the Pinoys who come in her shop usually had blonde/reddish hair and not black.
But funny thing during the last election – that ban on gay marriage won with a huge number of blacks & latinos supporting it. Majority of Asians voted no.
X: ok, here’s the thing, even as terrie believes i’m a conservative (she told me so in that cafe in malakas! hehehe miss that place) i am not. i adhere more the the democratic principles but i resist all the labels these terms suggest. i dont think any one’s policies can be readily reduced to one of two words. there will be some policies or issues that i will not support from either political wing.
i would have said no to the prop 8 on banning same sex marriage. but i would not like taxes raised for the business owners because my job depends on them keeping their operations here. and i will not have guilt forced upon me simply because i would not have voted black. or that i would have voted white. I’m sure many do vote on racial terms. but from the little that i see from both sides of the political fence here, it has not made itself apparent. to take a guess on how much of the population quietly voted race is impossible. i mean that from both sides – voting mccain because he’s white and voting obama because he’s black. the fact that it is imputed more persistently to those who voted mccain just reeks of racism itself.
i’m glad obama won. but i would have supported mccain after hillary lost. would have rather had ron paul! i do because of experience (ron paul for his libertarian views!) sadly, it seems that race is the automatic assumption. its scary when the world starts to think that if you support a white guy, youre racist. i dont have the white guilt. it cannot be imputed to me as it has been readily imputed to the white guys. i think both candidates would have been a welcome change to the white house. but i didnt appreciate the lack of scouring journalism over obama’s character and politics as mccain and sarah recieved.
i think media reneged on its duties here as much as they did during the iraq war. believe it or not, i slowly found myself watching more fox news than cnn and msnbc.! i hate fox news !!!! but they were more ready to attack both mccain and obama. even o-reilly was fun to watch trying to challenged the great big obama crush. anderson cooper’s bias and the whole msnbc reneged on their duty of critical journalism. they just gave obama a pass.
so apart from his charisma, what do i really know about obama? how does he react when he makes mistakes? how does he deal with the weight of necessary bipartisanship in government? its easy to love obama because there has been so little time for him to make mistakes that would have brought down political careers. mccain’s made them, fixed them.
i think mccain’s fiscal conservative and anti-corruption agenda and years of leadership would have served the US well. any right wing agenda would have been readily checked by a raucus anti right media. its a dynamic absent when obama won. he becomes president and the extent of his leftist ideals are still unknown.
couple that with a lack of checks and balance in congress because of the pelosi gang, and you’re going to have a colossal policy shift to the left. while that might be a good thing generally, it might not be too keen on an economic cycle like this where change brings a lot of fear. and then you have a media blushing from their unrepentant swooning. who would you have left to keep the government in check. that to me is a scary proposition. and where did race come in in any of this?
help me look cause i still cant find it 🙂
I: in my case, race became an issue when i heard (and i have heard quite a few of them personally) people saying that if obama wins, then the blacks in the US would become even more problematic than they are now, especially in the inner city, so they will not vote for him, and this from people that traditionally voted democrat. masyado na raw mayayabang ang mga itim, yayabang pa. then i also read quite a few comments in various blogs that reeks racism, some of them very mean and brutal. xc is right, it’s impossible to even guess how many people voted based on race, and i’m sure what i’ve read are not truly representative of the population, but i still get the feeling that it was an issue that affected and influenced the people. very few would probably be willing to admit that they did vote based on race, but that’s to be expected because let’s face it, for the most part, people don’t want to appear racist, and I’m sure few will admit to being one. and besides, even if you do voted based on race, i don’t think generally that you’re being racist, and i’m not implying that just because white people voted mccain that they’re racists of just because filipinos voted mccain that they’re racists. it’s the reason behind why they voted, and like i said, while those people i mentioned above are just tiny dots in the american voting public, i think the reason behind their vote is racist. sadly, media has a lot to do with the way the issue got bloated but where there’s smoke there’s fire.
but then again to each his own. sorry for the ramble.
X: the reason i thoughtly deeply about this issue is that cecille actually asked me, in a very sweet tone though, if i didnt like obama because he was black. she was just worried because i didnt like kobe too and she was concerned that it might be a race thing. turns out i just dont like kobe cause he’s cocky as hell and my support of mccain has nothing to do with my not liking obama. it kinda shocked me that it came up but it made me think about why i give my support to anyone. youre right, i did hear a few comments about the “problematic” tendencies and i take time to risk being mauled by telling them thats a really sick proposition.
what worries me though, from the CDQ article and a lot of the pundits’ take on the race issue, is how easy it is to be labeled a bigot by the simple expediency of 1. proposing a query (“who will you vote for?”) 2. the response to which (“i will vote mccain”) 3. insinuates a conclusion (“you must be racist”) far beyond the initial objective answer (“i will vote mccain.”)
CDQ article, i’m sure only refers to those who ACTUALLY voted on racial grounds. but he never provided a more concrete foundation for that proposition, at the very least quantifying it in terms of percentages. that lack of effort tends to give a great big leeway into concluding that if one voted for mccain, he must have voted against the black guy. compare that to a scenario that quantifies the proposition—more than a quarter of people who voted mccain voted on racial grounds. then i would have the wherewithal to face the public and say with all confidence, “hey dude, i voted mccain,” with the expectation that any reasonable man i am faced with will get his brain going…. hmmm, there is a chance that this man is part of the 75% who are not racist. without that quantifiable element, CDQ’s article is just promoting another form of hatred based on a slick generalization.
but as a guy of color in the philippines, i have recieved my share of being ridiculed because of my dark skin. it is a fact that i have lost many a chance to date because medyo maganda yung tan ko. people in the philippines do actually say a lot of politically incorrect things. save for the commentary on comeliness, i have never experienced or percieved any philippine social group being marginalized in any other way for being bisaya, ilocano, muslim, intsik or what not. maybe i’m just too naive. from my observations there, people say much more for its form, its social commentary, but actually respond rightly without bias when it comes to the bottom line of acting right. i find no deep hatred by anyone filipino group toward any other. are there? i ask because here, i noticed that there seemed to be more demand to say the right things over acting the right way. i’d prefer they do both, of course.