Sunday, December 7, 2008

Speaking of Race...

Indicted Congressman William Jefferson was defeated by a little-known Republican lawyer. Good news, although it irritates me when the incumbent is such an easy mark that the opponent doesn't even appear to try hard--and therefore isn't properly vetted. I don't want this to be like Mark Foley's seat being replaced by another inethical Congressperson.

Something bothers me a little about the Times coverage:

The upset victory by the lawyer, Anh Cao, was thought by analysts to be the result of a strong turnout by white voters angered over federal corruption charges against Mr. Jefferson, a black Democrat who was counting on a loyal base to return him to Congress for a 10th term.

A majority of the district’s voters are African-American, and analysts said lower turnout in the majority black precincts on Saturday meant victory for the Republican.


There's something under the surface of the way this is written that bothers me. It seems a little like the implication is that Jefferson expected black voters to forgive corruption, and white voters came out because a black man had cheated them out of money. Isn't it possible that black voters were equally upset by the indictment, but didn't want to vote for Anh Cao? I know many black voters who simply will not ever vote Republican; but can't vote for a man like William Jefferson.

The implication here seems to be that everyone was voting based on race. I mean, the article does say that the "White voters" were "angered over federal corruption charges", but was it really just white voters? I mean, Anh Cao is a Vietnamese name. The article ignores Asians, as it does Hispanics and other demographics. If they had dropped that word 'white,' it would have greatly improved the race relations in this paragraph.

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