Monday, March 03, 2008

Obama: Dinkins, redux?

Sounds just like the type of editorial the NYT will write when ready to endorse Barack Obama for the presidency:

"What no one disputes is his most evident characteristic. America knows Barack Obama to be, above all, a conciliator. His instinct is to unify. This decency can help the country confront its biggest forseeable problems: a sagging economy and tension between the races. The two go together. Mr. Obama seems better qualified to persuade all Americans to share the burdens ahead. That's also true for another reason: race. Mr. Obama would be America's first black president - a fact likely to instill a sense of pride and participation by blacks and other minority groups."

Switch out "Mr. Obama" and replace it with "David Dinkins", and you have the editorial above as written on October 29th, 1989, as they endorsed his election as the mayor of New York City.

So we have seen this before. Kyle Smith, however, tkaes care to remind us:

Delicately, ever so delicately, The Times made a point that was widely held that fall: that Dinkins would lower the crime rate because disempowered blacks would feel a sense of belonging.
Instead, Dinkins' election fired the starting gun for a racial free-for-all and the four worst years, murder-wise, in the city's history.
It was Latinos vs. whites in Washington Heights (1992), blacks vs. Koreans in a heated grocery-store dispute (1990) and, in Crown Heights, four nights of unchecked rioting by blacks against Hasidic Jews (1991).

Ouch. But all true; it was New York's lowest ebb; and it took a hardcase (Republican) mayor eight years to whip the city back into shape. Kinda like Jimmy Carter followed by two terms of Reagan, I guess. But do we want to go thru that dark night again?

..... Dinkins' race did not make him a conciliator. It requires a similar lapse of logic to say the same things about Obama's supposed ability to calm terrorism in the boiling neighborhoods of the world. And such things are said, through a megaphone, with a straight face. The punditry is telling us to vote for Obama because he is black.

Finish the article at the link if you care to; it uncovers a variety of endorsements by allegedly serious writers/publication who offer up Obama's race as the best reason to vote for him; as if the color of his skin will make the rest of the world (finally) genulfect before us. Amazing that the media - which spends so much time angrily defending its postion as "opinion leader" as being beyond reproach - can see no further than skin deep on what may be the most significant election in a generation.

Someone ought to show them the Times editorial on Dinkins that fateful day in OCtober of '95; and ask them to reflect on that....


Anonymous said...

Funny how, these days, you are racist if you do not vote according to race.

Anonymous said...

Another great post.

Erica said...

A United States anything like what Dinkins did to NY and we're doomed. Not that we're not already.