Is Barack Obama black enough? Is John Edwards Latino enough or woman enough? Heaven save us from the bean counters.
Isn't it ironic that while the sin in racism is judging, prejudging or treating people differently on the basis of their race, those most conspicuously exercised about the sin are often its most habitual practitioners?
Seriously. What values are we trying to promote here: equal opportunity for all and that all people be judged on the content of their character, not the color of their skin? Or something else, like settling past scores?
Do most of the people forever stirring the pot on these delicate issues care much about vindicating the original principles of the civil rights movement, or are they engaged in blind pursuit of political power -- ultimately trampling on those principles and exploiting those they're pretending to protect? On what possible moral authority do those who promote race-consciousness to end race-consciousness rely?
I'm not just talking about the race hucksters who have built a cottage industry on manufacturing or greatly distorting racial grievances for the sake of empowering and enriching themselves without regard to the facts in individual cases.
I'm also referring to politicians and their mainstream media enablers who shamelessly pander to ethnic (and other) groups by playing up their ethnicity, with reckless disregard for the long-term societal destruction they're causing.
Obama's wife, Michelle, is reportedly frustrated -- and rightfully so -- that she and her husband have to field questions about whether he is black enough. She called on people to "stop that nonsense." By raising that question "we are messing with the heads of our children," she said.
Amen to that. But someone needs to pass that on to her husband. He told the Urban League, obviously referring to his race, "The day I'm inaugurated, the country looks at itself differently. And don't underestimate that power. Don't underestimate that transformation."
But Obama wasn't as guilty of playing to race as his rival John Edwards at that same Urban League convention. Edwards said, "I would ensure that my administration was a representation of what affirmative action can be. I would make sure that my administration looks like America, and I mean, from the top to the bottom, all the way through the administration. I would ensure that judges that I appointed to the federal bench and justices nominated to the United States Supreme Court believed in real equality and believed in the concept of affirmative action."