One of us

I’m disheartened at how many working-class people are still out there that have been deluded into thinking that McCain, the multimillionaire with seven house, is one of them, while Barack Obama is a “Harvard elitist” who doesn’t understand the “real America.”:

Rep. Robin Hayes, R-N.C., maintained last week that, "Liberals hate real Americans that work, and accomplish and achieve." Such notions get traction quickly in today’s age of instant communication. Walk around Durango High School, where the crowd was waiting for a McCain rally to start, and people spoke glowingly of the Vietnam hero’s kinship with "real America." "It’s something Barack Obama can’t possibly know, because he’s not one of us. It’s like the way (Richard) Nixon was able to talk to the hard hats," said Jim Wilson, a district attorney.

Is Barack Obama a real American or a Harvard elitist? |

Actually, liberals work. I work. I’ve got daily wage-slave job just like everyone else in my tax bracket. These people clearly don’t know or don’t want to know that Barack Obama was raised by middle-class heartland folks in Kansas, that he and his sister once only got by because their mother was able to get food stamps to buy groceries. That he comes from beginnings as humble as any American. He made it to Harvard by working for it, by getting scholarships. Obama’s story is the American dream, working his way up through diligence and hard work, and being rewarded for his effort.

But something tells me that’s not the real story here. When people opposed to Obama say “he’s not one of us,” are they really talking about him being elitist? Because anyone who’s read about Obama for five minutes knows that can’t possibly be true. Or is it code? When they say he’s not one of us, are they really saying he’s not white?

The roots of racism run deep in America. It took a hundred years after the slaves were freed before they could practically vote, and blacks in Ohio and Florida will tell you that’s not necessarily even the case here in the 21st century. In my own state of Colorado, the secretary of state is being sued for illegal purging of the voter rolls. I can pretty much guarantee the people purged off the rolls and denied the right to vote weren’t rich white folks.

What do you think? Is the current of us-versus-them “real Americans” about class, or is it really about race?

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