Too Black for 3AM?

More

I think it's obvious that if you look at the Clinton-Obama primary, race has been an important determinant of voting behavior. Working class blacks and working class whites have voted in such radically different ways that it's clear that both candidates are securing a substantial racial solidarity vote. Since there are more whites than blacks in most Democratic primaries, racial tensions are, on balance, an advantage for Clinton. But Orlando Patterson's suggestion that the Clinton campaign's 3 AM ad was part of a crypto-racist ploy seems beneath the dignity of an important scholar. This was run of the mill fearmongering, reflecting Clinton's ideas about the politics of foreign policy.

Frankly, I think a lot of the charges of racism against the Clinton campaign have been overstated. Where they've been guilty, I think, is that in their characterization of primary results they've tended to act as if black people just don't exist in the United States so Obama supporters are all highly-educated latte-sipping intellectuals or rich caucus-goers and states with too many black residents "don't count." Speaking merely even as a white person living in a majority black jurisdiction, this is an absurd and offensive way of looking at the world. But the ad's a pretty banal, if disreputable, attack on Obama's liberal approach to foreign policy and not really anything to do with race.

UPDATE: Anti-Clinton charges that I think are overstated, I should say, do not include charges that Geraldine Ferraro is being an ass and wrecking her reputation.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In