The Race 2012 Blogging Project Begins

Race was an issue during the Civil Rights era. Is it still an issue today?

If you ask me, with 40 days left to the election, the best reality show around just kicked it up a notch.

I’m talking, of course, about the 2012 run for the presidency. I mean, just think about it. There’s enough drama here—machinations,  angst, he said/he said accusations, secret tapes, backstabbing, blunders, greed, politicos being thrown under the bus, backroom meetings, not to mention out-and-out brawls—to spice up at least a dozen reality shows.

And, while everyone’s wondering who’ll end up with the rose, or be thrown off the island–there can only be one president, after all–the real question to consider, is:

Is race a factor in this year’s election?

On the surface, this may seem like a yes or no question, but, really, it’s one that begs an explanation. Closer examination, if you will. And the answer, no doubt, will be influenced by your race, your religion or lack thereof, your class, and other key markers that make you, well, you.

For, these factors form the prism through which you see the world, including politics. And, there is no one way to answer this question. There are countless ways.

I have voted in nine presidential elections. This upcoming one will be my tenth. And, while the question of race didn’t really occur to me the first eight times I voted, I started thinking about it in the 2008 election when, for the first time, we had an African-American presidential candidate running for office. And, it’s an issue that continues to pervade my thoughts today.

Which is why, I’m pleased to launch the Race 2012 blogging project.  From now through the election season, Race 2012 bloggers will be posting about this very subject. And, all the views conveyed in their posts are, most definitely and unequivocally, their own. But, they’ll be speaking from the heart and sharing their personal feelings about race and the election.

Some of the bloggers have already posted, and I am including links to their posts on the new Race 2012 page, which I’ve set up right here on this site.  Please visit the page and keep coming back to check for updates.  I encourage you to read these posts and then add your own comment, for we want you to be part of the  conversation.

If you’re interested in blogging with our team, just let me know and I’ll send you some information.

The Race 2012 blogging project is conducted in conjunction with a new PBS documentary, Race 2012: A Conversation About Race & Politics in America. This one-hour election special, which airs Tuesday, October 16 (please check your local listings), uses the presidential election as a lens through which to examine America’s increasingly complex racial landscape.

Race 2012 navigates the high-stakes world of racial pollsters, strategists, spin doctors and candidates as they compete for voters of many ethnic and racial groups. The election will serve as an important indicator of the role race will play in our nation’s political future. How will today’s immigrants shape our electoral landscape? What effect will the economic differences have on America’s political future? Race 2012 offers a fresh view of the shifts that are transforming our nation.

I, for one, am looking forward to having a thought-provoking exchange of ideas and beliefs. And, who knows? Maybe, together, we can get to the bottom of this, and thus solve all our economic and social problems in one fell swoop.

Too much to hope for? Perhaps. But, keeping the conversation going is a good place to start. Your thoughts?

45 thoughts on “The Race 2012 Blogging Project Begins

  1. Pingback: What is “race?” on Heal Now - Center for Narrative Practice

  2. Pingback: What is “race?” | Heal Now and Forever

  3. Gregory, Hi

    I will try to answer, perhaps others will jump in also. Race is a difficult subject these days, we have tried hard in this nation to pretend we don’t have a problem. We have developed an entire polite language, a racial etiquette for our public discourse. What is race?

    It is what defines our differences, perhaps it shouldn’t but it draws the line down our cities, in our schools and through our opportunities. When we look at our President, we don’t say we elected our first bi-racial President. We don’t acknowledge his Anglo Saxon heritage, indeed we forget also his Indonesian step-father; we only see his Blackness and for many White Americans that Blackness infuriates.

    What is Race? It is part of what we hold up as who we are. It shouldn’t be relevant, but it is. I am first Human, then a woman, then American, then part of an amazing and somewhat dysfunctional family that happens to share the DNA of many different cultures and ‘races’ going back generations.

    My race defines me only if it limits me by the decisions or perceptions of others. In this country that is all to often the case. Just as my gender limits me because of the decisions and perceptions of others.

    What is race? Nothing more than a way to identify those unlike ourselves. In this nation, what is race? It has become something more, hasn’t it.

  4. I am entering this conversation with a question that all of the commentators will be unable to reach a consensus. What is race, generally, and what is the meaning of race in the title of this blog?

  5. Pingback: May I Run A Few Questions by You? |

  6. Great post, Monica. I think our current president appealed to the masses, whereas Jesse Jackson spoke specifically to the African American voter when he ran. I’m glad you’ve opened up the topic on race and politics using a formal blog community of writers. I look forward to honest perspectives from writers, as well as the perspectives from visitors. I hope to become better informed through their analyses because we do bring our personal experiences to conversations relating to race. If we can look at what’s before us objectively, I’m sure it will be a great learning tool.

    • I want to personally thank you, Totsy, for being among the first to agree to participate in our blogging project. It’s a tough issue many shy away from. I am proud to know you and to have you among my blogger friends. You’re fortitude and willingness to put yourself on a limb (whether in this project or journeying to the Middle East) is an inspiration to us all.

  7. We’ve had a disabled President (FDR), a gay President (Buchanan), and now have an African-American President. Here’s to hoping we don’t elect the first mentally challenged President (though some would say we already have).

  8. I’m already sick of politics, Monica. Far too much anger. And desperation. And name-calling. And finger-pointing. In a perfect world, we’d all get along — peacefully. Now, it seems, we’re more and more at one another’s throats. Every time I turn on the TV, I see one head screaming at another. Perhaps I was in Journalism too long!

      • I am still new to this whole blogging thing its really hard for me to even get readers to read my blogs I have like one friend on my blog page its really sad !!! but what do you mean join you ?? join you in what ??

      • What I meant by joining us, is if you were interested, you could join our blogging project. In the month to come, the team of bloggers I’ve gathered will be blogging about race and the elections. You can see the entire list on my Race 2012 Blogging Project page. The tab is at the top of this page.

        If you’re new to blogging and want to increase your visitors, you’re doing the right thing by visiting other bloggers and commenting on their posts. Do it regularly and soon they’ll be visiting your site and commenting on your posts. The blogosphere is filled with very supportive bloggers. We understand how good it feels to get comments, to know people are reading your posts. I’ve been doing it for two years now, posting twice a week. (It’s also important to post regularly so your readers get in a habit of visiting your site) I didn’t have many readers at first, so I know it can be disheartening, but with patience and time, and visiting other blogs, you’ll soon build an audience. Good luck!

  9. Also, I wonder if religion plays a part. Will the fact that Romney is a Mormon earn or cost votes? I don’t know. But as for me, I don’t care about gender, race, religion, marital status, etc. I would just like to have someone in office who could bring us back to the understanding that working against the opposite party only prolongs the suffering for America. Whoever wins, I hope we all stand behind him and hope for his success.

    • I think people have gotten used to Romney’s religion, Renee. At least I don’t hear anyone talking about it or questioning it, as they do Obama’s. More than anything, I would love to see congress, the senate and the president work together. It’s horrible how divisive it’s become. No matter what happens, at least Congress will no longer have it as their mission to make Obama a one-term president. If Obama loses, Congress gets its wish. If Obama wins, then Congress no longer has that drive anyway, since it’ll be his last term. So maybe, either way, they’ll begin working together. Of course, I’m hopeful. They don’t seem to care that their approval rate is at 10%, lowest ever for Congress. Well, we’ll find out soon enough.

  10. I’ll be sure to mark my calendar for the PBS special and, by the way, I’m loving “Broadway or Bust” so thanks for that, too. Send me the info. I’d like to see what I can do on the subject. It may even be a piece of fiction. Great idea, Monica.

  11. What a great project! I’m looking forward to the documentary and to reading the posts by other bloggers on your page. Can’t wait for my ballot to arrive in the mail so I can vote!

  12. Interesting post Monica, and food for thought.

    Here are my thoughts as a middle aged white British Atheist!

    Now I think it’s fair to say that everybody has thoughts on race, but many won’t voice them, personally and I stress personally I don’t give one jot what colour, race or creed somebody is, it’s the contents you look at not the cover as one person once said to me.

    Here in the UK I am British, elsewhere in the world I am also Foreign just like those who have come to make a life in the UK are. I would like to think elsewhere in the world people would judge me for who I am not where I come from. These days a persons colour does not indicate their nationality just their heritage.

    People are what they are whether that be good or bad, we are all shaped by our childhood and the people around us as we grow. We can control our destiny but we can’t control our past.

    Our local MP (Member of Parliament) is of Asian decent but all I judge him by is how good he is at representing me, simple as that. He seems a decent person and certainly is hard working.

    In the city I live in we have become very multi cultural with many people from Eastern Europe living here, and as with any group of people you have your good and you have your bad, that’s a fact of life. But I take people as I find them irrespective of where they come from simple as that.

    You can’t condemn a person for where they come from or their parents, that’s out of their control and to me irrelevant.

    Looking at the American Election is interesting for me as I am not a political animal, but over your side of the pond your candidates do like to dig out the dirt about their opponent. Now as a mere outsider I can’t see the point. Everybody has bits of their past they don’t want made public and want kept hidden, that’s life and we all do things we regret later, I know I have but that’s part of life. To me what’s important is what a person is like now not what they were like 30 years ago, we all change both in our attitude and also our beliefs so to me 30 years ago is irrelevant.

    If I could vote in the US Elections I would vote for Obama. Now having said that I think I should say why.

    1. He comes over as a decent person (That to me is important).
    2. He speaks to people not at people.
    3. He answers questions with an answer not an excuse.
    4. He smiles (Many try and smile and just end up looking like they have indigestion).

    So in my book that marks him as a decent person overall, now I am not saying his opponent is not a decent person but having watched him I can’t help thinking he would be more at home selling dodgy second hand cars on some street corner.

    So there are my thoughts for what they are worth.

    I will keep following the election and reading the other blogs in the project, you have a talented team there Monica with some super blogs.

  13. We shall see. Race has always been an issue, though perhaps not so blatant as it is today. But, bring it up and you are certain to be bashed over the head with a baseball bat. But we shall see Monica, we shall see.

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