In 2008, President Obama was running against senator McCain for the American presidency upon both candidates winning their respective party nominations. As the campaign heated, McCain released an ad that aimed at showing the incompetence as well as inability of Obama to become president. In placement of this commercial, he aimed to draw a sharp distinction between his white race and the black race that Obama represented thereby implying that the former was more superior to the latter. In fact, the ad lays an emphasis on the skin color as a major factor in determining the intellectual ability of a person.
The use of race is implicit because it involves the application of symbolism in different shots.
Obama is superimposed on some of the most iconic American landmarks in a manner that chides his readiness to be president. For instance, his face is placed over the statue of liberty to insinuate that the freedoms fought for by most Americans should not be allowed to be trampled by the same black community that was under slavery during that period. His image is also placed on the dollar bill in mockery of his nonconformity with traditional American values that place the white demographic in control of the capitalistic culture. A similar shot is also witnessed when his face is inserted as part of the highly revered portraits of past presidents on Mount Rushmore in an apparent reference to such an office being the preserve of whites. As such, the message that is delivered is that whites cannot abandon their rightful control over their destiny as well as that of future generations into the leadership of a black president since that would be betrayal to earlier generations. In fact, the overriding theme in this commercial is that the responsibilities of this high office are weightier for a black man (Obama) while they come naturally to a white one (McCain). It is also clear that the association of Obama with monetary issues using the moniker “loose change” is meant to dissuade citizens from voting for him due to the poor income levels of blacks and their penchant for spending money extravagantly on material items. It therefore seeks to instill fear on the electorate to avoid his candidature especially during the financial crisis in which fidelity to accounting systems is needed.
Watching the ad evidently reveals that its target was the majority white community within different pats of the nation and was meant to stir emotion that would propel them to vote in large numbers for McCain thereby averting disaster by electing a black man into the White House. The symbols used above act as reminders of the virtual “birthright” of whites over blacks since they represent valuable aspects of Americanism that this campaign seems to exploit for political capital.
There was considerable backlash against the messaging of this ad because many people, especially Obama supporters and campaign team highlighted these anomalies. Many viewers were stunned at the insinuations listed above because such ideologies are retrogressive yet the US is meant to be a free nation in which anyone, regardless of color, creed or race can be successful through hard work. In fact, the constitutional protection afforded to all citizens served to counter the above narrative hence ensuring that Obama became the 44th President of the United States.
In the run-up to the 2016 election cycle, the current GOP front-runner Donald Trump has made a series of racist speeches along the campaign trail. For example, while announcing his quest for the presidency, he referred to Mexicans as rapist and criminals who need deportation back to their home countries. In making these remarks, he was alluding to the prevalence of drugs and gang culture among this group especially since studies indicate a higher crime rate in this demographic as opposed to whites. As such, trump sought to portray Mexicans as a nuisance and of little value. In fact, he implied that they are a threat to the safety and prosperity of the US, effectively meaning that whites are in trouble.
The use of race is explicit in this case because he mentions the minority group and proceeds to spew racist remarks.
Trump’s speech is filled with coded language about the character and mannerisms of Mexicans. By calling them thugs and rapists, he insinuates that this vulnerable group is violent hence the need to deport them despite such habits depending on a person’s upbringing and surroundings. He is therefore implying that most of the white inhabitants of the US are peace-loving people who have decency. In contrast, his isolation of Mexicans as unruly and aggressive individuals serves to reinforce the notion this demographic is unfit to interact with the rest of the society let alone enjoy the freedom that accompanies any immigrant within America. In fact, it refers to them as social misfits whose threat to the national fabric is profound as to demand their ouster in order to maintain normalcy and a crime free nation. Trump even goes further to state their lack of employment is hinged on a lazy attitude that seeks government support without personal sacrifice through hard work. Such inferences wrongfully accuse Mexicans of practicing socialist policies due to their high dependence on handouts resulting from the dire financial strains around them.
America has a large white majority within its population hence forming a sizeable electoral landscape that is appealing to most contestants. In this speech, Trump’s objective was to rouse the suspicions of this demographic over their Mexican counterparts thereby draw public support of his policies by stoking fear. His rationale is hinged on the relentless wave of crimes within neighborhoods. His view is that the culprits are mostly foreigners such as Mexicans. He thus hopes to create groundswell of support by demonizing this vulnerable group using such racist comments that can only be supported by the actions of a handful of people. It is therefore evident that he planned to incite the dominant white group with such rhetoric.
Different sections of the country pounced on these remarks and scolded trump for his racist ideologies. In fact, most people elaborated on the insincerity of such comments because issues of crime lack racial undertones hence found such assertions against Mexicans undeserving. Even the accused were irked by his comments while opponents also spoke out against such rhetoric because it was based on outdated stereotypical thinking at a time that the United States is struggling with an identity crisis and seeks to accomplish the dreams of the founding fathers who envisioned a more perfect union. In fact, it was established that most US citizens are by products of immigration hence the condescending tone adopted by trump was unnecessary.
African Americans were instrumental in the liberation of the US many decades ago. They fought alongside union soldiers as well as heralded the introduction of the civil rights movement in order to procure social justice for the benefit of different demographics such as women and the minorities. Their meaningful contribution to the reduction of the inequality gap is visible in the current legislations prohibiting discrimination within the larger American context. Having undergone such rigorous struggles makes them understand the everyday problems of ordinary Americans thereby making them better equipped to handle the current challenges faced by the people especially on the economy, foreign policy and healthcare. A vote for such an individual would be a vote for a better future even for the next generation. It is therefore important that you voice your support for a free and prosperous state/country through the selection of an African American in this election.
The advent of freedom within American shores is a common goal for all immigrants who embark on such a journey. It has been the norm for millions of years and is set to continue. Upon arrival, all immigrants considered themselves lucky and equal in enduring the challenges ahead. It is however evident that the white majority has always trampled on the other ethnicities thereby resulting in an unjust sociopolitical system. From capitalistic tendencies that favor them to education, criminal justice and even healthcare, this trend has been predictable. Until now. You can make that difference. You can become the change that Washington needs in order to effectively even the field and accomplish the more perfect union that our forbearers wanted. In this election, it is time to eliminate white domination and introduce racial equality for all.
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