Wednesday, February 20, 2008

GUILTY SOCIAL CONSCIENCE: "White guilt" ranks second in reasons voters support Obama

Some Democrats have seemingly confessed to being guilty by association with Barack Obama.

Following Obama's victory in the Wisconsin primary, a new poll found "white guilt" to be the second most common reason Caucasian voters gave for casting ballots on behalf of the Illinois senator. Only economic concerns ranked higher and his pledge to end the war in Iraq came in third.

"I do find it to be a little strange," said Brett Favre, a volunteer precinct captain representing Green Bay, in response to the report, "the Obama voters were mostly friendly and appeared to be in good spirits. Who knew they were harboring such guilt?"

"White guilt" is a social theory that states Caucasians may experience individual or collective guilt for racist treatment towards people of color by whites both historically and presently. Senator Obama, the most successful black presidential candidate the U.S. has ever had has enjoyed popular support among white Democrats in the previous primary elections throughout his campaign. The study was conducted by the Clark Group, a non-partisan Think Tank based in Washington, D.C. The research did not include voters outside the state of Wisconsin.

"Well, I didn't vote for Senator Obama out of any sort of guilt, I think he's an intelligent, courageous and capable leader who will make good choices in the oval office," said Ted Grice of Waukesha County, who then added with a chuckle, "but maybe now my co-worker Keisha will forgive me for calling out 'you go, girl' when it was announced that she was promoted to middle-management. Please don't print that last part in your article, by the way."

Pattie Matthews of Blooming Grove was more forthright about her voting motivation. "I certainly did vote for Barack to make amends for the actions of whites against African-Americans, including myself. Why just the other day, I told some African-American children who were being loud and running around at the grocery store to calm down and behave. I felt just terrible, I knew they saw me as the stereotypical mean old white hag. And a few months ago, I was eating lunch with one of my girlfriends from church and I told her that I found rap musical lyrics to be rather offensive. Then I turned around and saw two young African-American gentlemen at the table right behind us. I was so embarrassed. I hope my ballot serves as verifiable, undeniable proof that I am not racist what so ever. Besides, no man of any race could ever be as lax on the job as President You-Know-Who W. Bush."

Dr. Shelby Steele, a research fellow at the Hoover Institute of Stanford University and author of White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era, believes that the findings in the study further his assertion that due to white guilt, black and whites together destroyed the promise of the civil rights era, "This study clearly supports my long-held view that, because of white guilt, black and whites together destroyed the promise of the civil rights era." he said in a statement on his website.

Senator Obama's campaign office responded to the poll results with reserved enthusiasm. "Obviously, we're not thrilled people are voting for Barack out of guilt," said Obama for America campaign manager David Plouffe in a phone interview. "However, as we are waging a challenging and historic campaign for change, we welcome voters supporting Barack for any reason. It will take Americans from all walks of life, and apparently with an array of motivations, to put an agent of change in the White House. So no matter if people feel inspired by our message of change, feel unsatisfied with the state of the nation, or feel fearful of what Senator Obama and his friends might do to their car if they don't vote for him, we are happy to have their support."

The Clark Group is currently conducting a study on whether or not the less-known phenomenon of "refreshing youth guilt" was a factor in Senator John McCain's recent victories or the 1,528 votes Representative Ron Paul has received since the primaries began.

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