Tag Archives: Bradley Effect

The Tattlesnake Obama’s Not Black Anymore Edition

In my informal surveys of John and Jane Q. Public-Sixpack over the years (and usually conducted near a six-pack), I’ve noticed an interesting phenomenon the more well-known and admired a black person is, the less black they become in the mind of the average honky mo-fo.

Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Sidney Poitier, Bill Cosby, et al their skin color faded to neutral as their popularity with whites increased. Oprah Winfrey’s audience is comprised mainly of white women do they think of her as black? No, she’s just ‘Oprah,’ girlfriend. Caucasian-Americans have embraced Michael Jordan, William “The Refrigerator” Perry, and scores of black sports stars as one of their own without regard to skin shade what white sports nut wouldn’t rather hang out with Jordan than some mediocre ofay B-Ball player? And the Super Bowl a couple of years ago between the Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts was played by teams with black head coaches. No big whup.

In the music world, Ray Charles, Chuck Berry, James Brown, B.B. King, Otis Redding, Jimi Hendrix and others have all transcended race and now have more white fans than black. The pop music of every generation since the beginning of the 20th century, true American music blues, jazz, soul, rock, and even much of country all originated with black musicians in the South. Generations of white children have been conceived to the colorless ballads of Barry White, Lionel Ritchie and Isaac Hayes.

Let me put it this way, Barack Obama has been part of the national public consciousness for about two years now and he’s generally perceived by white America as an affable, intelligent, calm, non-threatening man, and he’s world famous, so his color has become immaterial.

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The Tattlesnake – The Reverse Bradley Effect Edition

You remember the so-called Bradley Effect? That was named after former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley when he ran for Governor of California in 1982. Although ahead in late polling, Bradley, who happens to be black, lost to the white guy, Republican George Deukmejian. Pollsters believed that many white people they polled claimed they’d vote for Bradley, so as not to be perceived as racists, and then privately voted for Deukmejian.

This year, I think I’ve discovered a ‘Reverse Bradley Effect’; a few weeks ago, I was talking to a 30-something woman who has family and friends of all colors working in Big Box stores such as Walmart. She said these folks were being subtly intimidated into saying they’ll vote for McCain, and she mentioned an incident where one of the Blue Vest Brigade made the mistake of putting an Obama-Biden sticker on her car bumper. Suddenly she was handed the worst duties, treated dismissively by the manager, threatened with a write-up for nothing, and the Obama sticker was rendered illegible by indelible marker while her car was parked in the store lot. Then an absurdly fallacious gossip campaign started that claimed she was a drunken atheist who beat her kids. Employees got the message: Come out for Obama and the Top Management, all in the tank for the Republicans, will make your life miserable, but in devious ways that can’t be traced to your political leanings.

These days, her relatives and buddies tell anyone who asks they’re voting for McCain but, when they enter the voting booth, they plan to check the box for Obama. I wonder how many similar events are going on out in the Vast Wasteland of Generica and what effect this might be having on the polls?

With Indiana teetering Blue for the first time since 1964, and McCain’s campaign giving up on Michigan’s 17 electoral votes and running on empty in Ohio – recent reports of early voting in Columbus show that the Obama team got their people out to vote while the disorganized McCainiacs were snoozing – it appears Obama is poised to make a clean sweep of the Bush-battered Rust Belt states from Minnesota to Pennsylvania, including Iowa and Missouri, a net gain of 128 electoral votes. If that happens, it’s landslide city – Obama will win by over 300 electoral votes.