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John McCain says Barack Obama is playing the race card

Read the New York Times story to get caught up:

Here's how it started: Obama said "they" are trying to scare the public. The McCain folks are crying foul, saying Obama crossed the line.

A lot to chew on here.

What exactly pushed the McCain campaign's buttons? The fact that Obama seemed to tie the sleazier campaign tactics we've seen — people making fun of his name, people spreading the lie that he's a Muslim — to McCain and his campaign when they've taken pains to distance themselves from such? The fact that Obama himself pointed out that he is, ahem, a black guy?

What EXACTLY crosses the line? Who gets to define when a line is crossed?

I am reminded of a story I once reported for "Nightline" about the difference in sentencing between two defendants, one white, one black, one day apart in the same courtroom in Cambridge, Mass. The black defendant had NO prior record, the white guy had SIX prior drug-related convictions; they were both accused of selling a small amount of drugs.

... So why did the black guy get a much stiffer sentence? The judge wanted to know, so he demanded an explanation from the prosecutor. We wanted to know, too.

The prosecutor, after much prodding, did agree to do an interview, but she accused the judge (and us) of "calling her a racist." How so?

Is it racist to notice race? To mention race? ... And who gets to decide?

Let us know, but we bet this won't be the last time we talk about this.

Happy Friday, everyone.



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I didn't even see where Obama referred to race in his statements.

There is only one reason for people to be so afraid of being called racist, and that is if it is actually true.

Sent by Robert Ruedisueli | 6:56 PM | 8-2-2008

'playing the race card' can either mean a false accusation of racism or exploitation of prejudice in a campaign - so it seems both sides might be accusing each other of playing the race card in this case. The question is, on the whole which side seems to be playing that card?

Sent by Geoff | 2:00 AM | 8-3-2008

What pushed Johns buttons? Obama !!
Simply put John is being bested by Barack. Compare their international tours to each other. Compare thought, intelligence and personality. Obama hands down. Obama is the better choice be he blue ,green or orange. It's not racist to mention race. It's racist to act on it. McCain is acting on it. Actions speak louder than words. Consider the fact that Liberman still speaks for McCain. Can you imagine if Rev.Wright spoke for Barack. Which he never did. If Wright actually did, think of the ads from that.McCains ads are full of codified racism. One ad states that Barack is arrogant. For those of us who have witnessed racism first hand, thats code for your stepping out of palce.Being "uppity" is antother code word.Arrogant also states that one is rude. The "gas price ad" repeats his middle eastern last name several times as being responsible for the high price of gas. Which continues the rumor that he is a Muslim.
Obama was the head of the Harvard Law Review. McCain: "McCain entered the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis. There, he was a friend and leader for many of his classmates,[10] and sometimes stood up for people who were being bullied.[5] He also became a lightweight boxer.[5][11] McCain came into conflict with higher-ranking personnel, he did not always obey the rules, and that contributed to a low class rank (894 of 899) that he did not aim to improve.[10][12][13] He did well in academic subjects that interested him, such as literature and history, but studied only enough to pass subjects he disliked, such as math.[5] McCain graduated in 1958.[10]". There is really nothing outstanding there. What really matters is the here and now. And now there still is nothing outstanding about him. The proof. look at their attendence record and the amount legislation sponsored or co-sponsored. Oh and what they sponsored. The ads are low but effective. They work on the forethought of some peoples prejudices. People that vote or are going to vote for the first time. It may not just be a black thing.
Whatch what happens when someone with the sirname of Gupta sticks his or her head up.

Why did the black drug dealer get a longer term. Fear.

Sent by Citizen | 12:00 PM | 8-4-2008

It's the same ole story. From my experience, Black people often have analytical discussions on race and its ramifications, while in mixed groups talking about 'race' always seems like a racist must be sniffed out- no talk of the complexities of the issue. This means, there's no language to have such a discussion across race AND this is the problem that constantly resurfaces in public discourse.

Sent by Diepiriye Kuku-Siemons | 12:04 PM | 8-4-2008

It's a trend to make attempts to put Obama on the defensive, that way he loses time to remind everyone that HE is a better choice for President, it also means that Mccain doesn't have anything positive to say about his own candidacy. And, Obama IS Black, so there, race is already present. I think the Mccain camp is reaching for whatever they can, hoping something will stick. I don't think it's playing the race card to state a fact that there are people who are attempting to make Obama into some dark mysterious figure who can't be trusted. I also don't think the Paris/Britney ad was racist, but it was disrespectful.

Sent by Oceal Ross | 2:03 PM | 8-4-2008

Not sure if this is the best place for it, but I just heard the Barbershop for last week and it was poppin' !!! Love the action and crackin' (Nice dig on Jimi and the student loans, Michele) But big ups to Jimi for holding his position on the McCain "Obama Celebrity" ad. Still waiting for what size steak Obama is serving. . . he's got less than 100 days to serve the dish.

Sent by Doug Duncan | 2:45 PM | 8-5-2008

thank you for talking about race on your show today. Only tell me more and news and notes do that. I am white, 60, well educated, affluent, married to a white senior exec of a major co. I have never been in a black household nor have we ever had a black family over. My 17 year old now goes steady w a blck/indonesian lovely, intelligent girl. I listen to you because I want to learn. When my now 31 year old was 16 she had a nice red car and never was pulled over until she had a black boyfriend whom I never met - when he was in the car they got pulled over often. I am a left leaning democrat and supported Obama in the primary w $ and my vote. I agreed w jeremiah wrhight w everything but the Godd. America. I have some blck peers in business and find them superior to most of my white peers. however, when i hire daylabor i avoid blacks because of my bad experience w them, i hire hispanics. I refuse to be present when the n word is used and have been known to end businessrelationships w men who use it. I pride myself of being non racist but i may be wrong.
A few days ago i listened to i believe news and notes. some black men were on and repeatedly said 'once you go blck you never go back' referring to the perceived or real sexual superiority of black men. however, all the white females i know whho have had relationships w black men - not many to be sure - had the same experience as obamas mother: desertion w/o support, alcohol or drug abuse by the ex and/or physical and financial abuse. also the statements of these black men that they talk about women or sports when they are w their peers surprises me. we talk about business and $ when we are together. after hearing these comments by black men i find myself having racist thoughts and i feel guilty about it. i am considering voting for mckain now - and i have never voted republican in my life. i find myself in my mind repeating the white stereotype about blck men 'a blck guy will screw a refrigerator as long as it is white'. i feel very guilty about that. i still rationally feel that obama is our only hope but i have become a bit afraid of him even though mckain will lead us deeper into the morass. i very much would like to be reassured that my fears are just racist thoughts. i do think that if i entertain the thought of voting republican - it does not look good for obama.

Sent by hans h. huyer | 7:24 PM | 8-6-2008

Hey, Huyer

Duuude you proved my point.

H. you want to be a good human being but your "fear" is holding you back. H being dysfunctional is a personality issue , not a race issue. I have worked with people of non color who would screw your appliances no matter what color it is. If it can create warmth , it's party time !! And the same guys are cheating on their mates and getting divorces or deserting families. I have a question. who took a chance on the men of color that you work with? What would have happened to them if someone, anyone did not take a chance? Rejection is a very hurtful and personal event. After awhile a few people are going to say F it and seek alternate ways to make money. If ya get a brothers drift. Cause ya know a Brothers gotta eat. Right H ? The being pulled over thing is just a nano fraction of what a person of color goes through throughout a life time. So when some of your friends ask what's wrong with that person? Think to yourself that maybe your witnessing a person who had about enough that day. Ok before I step off this soap box. I have to say Huyer read the F.B.I stats. Again, you really prove my point with the statement that you would rather have McCain trash the joint further then give Obama a chance. Dude you scare the hell out of me. Like the old white dude said "we have nothing to fear but fear itself"

Sent by Citizen | 5:52 PM | 8-7-2008