The US presidential race has been thrown into turmoil after a TV advertisement alleged that Democratic candidate Barack Obama was black. It is the latest in a series of personal attacks against him.
The 30-second spot, paid for by the independent campaign group Low-Melanin Patriots For Truth, includes a number of photographs and video clips of Senator Obama, purporting to show that his skin is darker than that of the average American. It ends with a voice-over saying: “Joe the plumber wants a president who shares his values, shares his concerns, and shares his pigmentation.”
Republican candidate John McCain has thus far avoided commenting on the charges, preferring to focus on why his experience as a pilot in Vietnam qualifies him to handle the economy. “I know all about crashes followed by long periods of extreme pain,” he snarled.
But at a rally in Ohio, his running-mate Sarah Palin alluded to the issue: “If you think of the presidents this country has been most proud of, like Ronald Reagan, Henry Ford, and the other ones, I don’t think that any of them tried to hide whether they were white. So it’s a shame that some liberals today, and their friends in the MEDIA!!!, don’t want to get into this.” Her head then rotated 360 degrees and she spewed ectoplasmic vomit over the adoring crowd, many of whom held ‘It’s the White House, Boy’ placards.
The Obama camp had been unsure how to respond, torn between not wanting to get bogged down in controversy and the imperative to rebut a smear quickly. But last night Senator Obama released a 40-page statement explaining that he was mixed-race, and that he had never sought to mislead anyone about the hue of his skin. He added that ethnicity was no bar to being “both verbose and dynamic, both aloof and inspirational, both pompous and all-healing,” and that with this blend of qualities, “I alone can unite America in My name”.
A Low-Melanin Patriots For Truth spokesman, J Klanforth Foxbile III, retorted: “Well, I don’t know what this ‘mixed-race’ thing is supposed to mean. It sounds too much like the flip-flopping double-talk that we’ve come to expect from the Washington-Hollywood elite. I think ordinary God-fearing Americans can tell when someone’s black. Half-white? Just look at the guy!”
A CBS/New York Times poll asked voters to describe their attitudes on the issue, with mixed findings: