Here's another good one from a reader:
I am a regular reader of yours and I am surprised and shocked that after your excellent discussion about why "uppity" is a problem and your popularizing the piece about "white privilege" you aren't talking about McCain's unwillingness to look at Obama while they were talking or look at him when they shook hands.
You know full well that McCain's people wanted a free flowing debate, but then when they got it, their candidate essentially froze out Obama by not even acknowledging his presence.
Is this what would have happened at townhalls?
You need to look at this picture and ask yourself how many times you, me and every other colored man has been put in this position, looking to the white man while we shake his hand as he looks away at his girlfriend or wife or his buddies.
Its the unwilingness to take a colored man seriously.
Its the unwillingness to address the colored man as an equal.
Its the unwillingness to accept that in some situations, all things being equal, the colored man is as sharp and eloquent and forceful as his white counter part.
Its the unwillingness to accept that after years of shunting smart colored men aside to tertiary corridors - hip hop, movies, sports - they are still finding a way of standing tall and proud in the heart of western academy and western power
Obama might be a post-racial candidate and I have no problem with that but he's showing how racial so many of these whites - particularly McCain - is.
Say something Mr. Coates.
Before I go forward I need to show some respect. I'm a certain age and I bring with that certain assumption. I'm taking from this gentleman's writing style that he is of another generation. McCain is also of another generation. I say that to say that there may be things going that I completely missed.
Having said that, what I saw on stage was a rigid ideologue. I think Eugene Robinson nailed this--McCain (like all ideologues) has to believe that those who oppose him represent some sort of treason, evil, or moral failing. I think this is why conservatives never liked him much. I just saw it as a basic lack of respect for your opponent.