McCain Plays The Race Card

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[Elections 2008: Black Star News Editorial]

Of course Senator John McCain is playing the race card, something he now tries to deny. Instead, by accusing Senator Barack Obama of introducing the race card, McCain is using that old trick—the arsonist dials 911 after setting the fire himself.

McCain shamefully said that because Senator Barack Obama had opposed the decision to send more U.S. troops to Iraq last year –the so-called “surge”—this meant that Senator Obama would rather lose the war in order to win the White House for himself. This is a disgusting charge; a major presidential candidate calling his rival a traitor.

Does anyone in his right mind believe that McCain would have made such a statement had Senator Hillary Clinton, who also opposed the surge been the Democratic nominee? Of course not. So why does he take such license with Senator Obama then?

McCain knows that there are shady groups out there sending out e-mail messages with false rumors that Senator Obama is a closeted Muslim and that he is “not patriotic” enough. While we’re not suggesting that Senator McCain’s campaign is involved in these activities, his reckless comments suggesting that Obama would promote American military defeat plays into the hands of these racists and fear mongers.

Senator Obama was certainly justified when yesterday in a gymnasium in Springfield, Mo., he said Senator McCain and President Bush would turn to scare mongering in order to hold on to The White House.

"Nobody thinks that Bush and McCain have a real answer to the challenges we face. So what they're going to try to do is make you scared of me," Senator Obama said. "You know, 'He's not patriotic enough, he's got a funny name,' you know, 'He doesn't look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills.'"

The senator was being diplomatic, as is his style, given his sober and balanced temperament.

Instead, McCain campaign manager Rick Davis, declared: "Barack Obama has played the race card, and he played it from the bottom of the deck. Its divisive, negative, shameful and wrong."

Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton responded: "Barack Obama in no way believes that the McCain campaign is using race as an issue, but he does believe they're using the same old low-road politics to distract voters from the real issues in this campaign, and those are the issues he'll continue to talk about."

Our message to Senator McCain: Act respectfully, like you promised at the beginning of the campaign and stop with the dirty tactics: Have you already forgotten how George Bush derailed your own campaign in 2000 with the false rumors circulated in the South that you had fathered an illegitimate Black daughter? 

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