A White Man's View of Obama's Race Speech

By Matt Birkhold

[giantmag.com originally featured this article on March 27, 2008]

My father has been a “Jesse Jackson is a pain in the ass” Republican since at least the Carter years. I was shocked to hear that he plans on voting for Barack Obama.

Up until very recently I’ve felt like I pretty much had my people figured out. Throughout college and graduate school, my father and I argued endlessly about the ethics of racial equality. He never supported race-based preferences because he believed they unfairly privileged black people. My father is not unique. His position is deeply rooted in a common belief among white men that they have been victimized by black gains over the last fifty years.Continue reading