McCain first played the race card

What follows is my latest attempt to check fools - this time on "John in Carolina". This comment has not made the cut there - yet.

Tarheel Hawkeye: let me be more clear; apparently, I was too diffuse earlier.

Obama has not questioned McCain's status as an American.

McCain has - implicitly - questioned Obama's status as an American ("The American President the American people have been waiting for" - and he did so with a dangling participle)

McCain attacked Obama's status as an American through Obama's African - black - father.

McCain was the first to play the race card in this presidential contest and he did so in the most incorrigible way possible: by insinuating that by the "black blood" Obama carries directly, he cannot be the American President the American people have been awaiting.

This statement was a direct descendant of the thinking that led to the decision in the Dred Scott case of 1854, wherein the Supreme Court of this land stated that no black man had any rights which need be respected by law. The drafters of the Constitution denied citizenship - American-ness - to the African residents of this country; the Supreme Court reinforced that otherness in Dred Scott and nameless other decisions as well. John McCain reincarnated that philosophy with his initial campaign ad of the general election.

I know you have named this blog "John in Carolina", but I hope and pray that it is not beholden to the same old tired rhetoric that claims blacks are not citizens and can never be citizens.

A war was fought over that idea.

Many people died over that question.

Must we repeat that war in the 21st century?

McCain chose to play the race card, because he believes - cynically - that it is his best hope for bypassing the failures of the administration he seeks to succeed.

His act was beneath him.

Defense of that act is beneath you and I alike.

PS - I brought up Helms and Gantt simply for the connection to Carolina and it seemed a nice corollary to the point that bringing up race has long been a component of Republican electoral strategy. A quick read through comments that call Obama an "affirmative action candidate" - firms up that tie-in as affirmative action was the culprit in that Helms ad against Gantt then too.

Black people are not now and have never been the enemy of this country. We have fought for the American ideal in every war this nation has ever waged - even before the fruits of freedom were secured for us and our kin. Anyone who attempts to drive a wedge between Americans of "different" racial backgrounds is seeking to build up their own power base and not to build up our nation.

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