Monday, May 12, 2008

Voter Words: Are They Bigoted?

Dawn Turner Trice, whom I enjoy, wrote an article today about the how the media seem to think the "black vote" is non-descript. While the media divide the non-black vote ad nauseum, she says, we just seem to think all blacks will vote for Barack Obama. Yet, we know Condolezza Rice won't; nor will Clarence Thomas. Trice says the thinking is that the "black vote" has gone to Obama because of his race, and she says that's insulting. I agree.

Look at all these descriptors of assumed white voters:
  • latte-drinking liberals
  • blue collar voters
  • lunch bucket voters
  • hardworking working-class voters
  • soccer moms
  • NASCAR dads
  • values voters
  • suburbanites
  • conservatives
  • churchgoers

On Wordcraft, neveu recently used the phrase: " elitist Volvo-driving latte-sipping San Francisco-values not-real-Americans-like-NASCAR-fans-are people." Again, that's not a decriptor of African Americans.

Of course an African American could be a churchgoer or a blue collar voter, but Trice is right, I believe, that they are thought to be white voters. I wonder why the media lumps all the black voters together. Or do they? Are Trice and I too sensitive?

I don't think so, and, as a white, I think that it's insulting.


Cat said...

I think lumping people into groups like that is generally going to be bigoted. Sometimes its about race, sometimes its about other factors. I think there is probably still a group of African-Americans who are going to vote based on what they think will be best for "the people" of their race. That doesn't mean, of course, that all Af-Ams will do so, but it does lead the political folks to use terms like "the black vote" just like they will say "the women's vote".

Kalleh said...

Yes, I think that was the point of the column. Let's quit the lumping.