Friday, September 12, 2008

Something I have noticed recently

As a grad student at Western Michigan University, I am bombarded from time to time with flyers for various organizations that people have taped/stapled/superglued/God-knows-what-elsed to the informational kiosks. Lately, they've been largely overrun by the "Barack Obama Campaign For Change" posters. Besides the obvious snark about them sounding like fundraising posters (when, in reality, it's basically telling students how to get involved, kinda like grassroots marching orders), one thing stuck out at me recently about them.

In the most recent series of flyers, they are encouraging voter registration (which, if recent polling is correct, is less advantageous to Obama than his campaign would like, although still a net benefit), and are doing so by showing various college-age students on the posters. Students of all races, creeds, colors... yet one thing stuck out to me.

Where were the white people?

Although some were a bit dicey to determine due to the posters being in black and white (fitting metaphor for the "post-racial" candidate, not to mention cheaper, a good thing for the high-burn-rate Obama campaign), for instance, a guy whom I couldn't tell if he was Sicilian or Puerto Rican, there wasn't a single person recognizable as Caucasian on any of the posters. Pretty much every other race (except maybe Native American, couldn't tell for sure on that one, either), but no white people.

For some reason, I am being reminded of the conversation between a white college co-ed and Malcolm X back in the 60s (one that Malcolm later regretted)... the girl asked the rabble-rouser-cum-social justice advocate what a white person sympathetic to the cause could do to help, and the response: "Nothing."

That's what I take away from it with the posters being seen in total, fair or not.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

took you long enough to post again.

Not the point, however. I've noticed this same thing in the political mailings that are coming to "Occupant" (whoever the hell that is) at our house. Where are the white people? Do we suddenly not matter?