It seems fear is gripping this nation. While it is possible to ignore the impending November election, one must consider the effect change will have on our country.
Sure, “change” is a catchword attached to the campaigns of both John McCain and Barack Obama, but the reality is that change will forever take hold come the inauguration.
This nation will have either its first black president or first female vice president in January. It is common for voters to be undecided in any election. What is a first is voters who are divided by both gender and racial prejudices. There are those who are not confident in a woman’s ability to be second in command. Just as prevalent are those who fear the change that electing a black president would bring.
Either way, convention will be bucked.
Though I have already decided how I will cast my vote, I am just beginning to comprehend the potential ramifications of this election: not only change, but a possible race war — the respective positions of which have been articulated by David Duke and Louis Farrakhan.
Duke has made choices that are largely unpopular. He formed the National Association for the Advancement of White People. The former Klansman is a powerful figure and in all likelihood could begin an opposition movement if Obama is elected. Entertain the idea of this country reverting to what it was 50 years ago. Consider the change.
Duke’s nemesis, Farrakhan, is the supreme minister of the Nation of Islam and an Obama supporter. Farrakhan has said of black Americans: “Our fight is not in Iraq, it is in America.” While his quote ignores the contributions of all blacks fighting in Iraq, it remains poignant. There is little doubt Farrakhan is focused on race relations at home.
Farrakhan deserves some measure of credit for his ability to address issues from which others shy away, but he loses validity in my book by singling out a specific race in a speech titled, “White Folks, You Owe Us the Whole Country.”
While I agree that race is an issue this country must face, I do not view overt racism as a means of enacting change. If racism came to the forefront again because of Farrakhan, consider the change that would bring.
Regardless of this election’s outcome, it will forever change the political and social landscape of this country.
The Dark Ages of the past have given way to a new age, but that new age may not deliver all it has promised. Though there is little doubt that this country has progressed well beyond its most oppressive times, this election has unwittingly pitted two races squarely against each other.
Ryan Blaney is a senior majoring in mass communications.