Pondering racial ironies
Posted Monday, November 3 at 04:46 pm CT by Mike Stuckey
Filed under Seattle
Law professor Henry McGee Jr. in his office at Seattle University. (John Brecher / msnbc.com)
Watching last-minute polls and analyses, Professor Henry McGee Jr. is
as confident as ever that Sen. Barack Obama will become the first black
president of the United States, but he’s also musing over some ironies
around Tuesday’s historic election.
lunchtime Monday in a campus office festooned with memorabilia from his
own career as a cutting edge African-American in U.S. academia, McGee
pointed to a news story he had just read. Despite predictions of a
sizable Obama victory, “the majority of white folks in the United
States will vote for John McCain,” said McGee. “I had never thought
to have black votes to win and the irony is he did not campaign as a
candidate who is addressing the race issue,” said McGee, 75, a law
professor at Seattle University and the first African-American to win
tenure at the Jesuit institution. “Blacks flocked to him, but he ran as
a post-racial candidate.”
believes that despite Obama’s skills as a campaigner and a platform
that appeals to many voters, the Illinois senator would not be poised
to capture the White House were it not for additional circumstances.
“Palin plus the recession is what I think will elect him,” said McGee,
referring to McCain’s choice of the Alaska governor as his running mate
and the turmoil in U.S. financial markets.
McCain win, “I don’t think I will despair,” McGee said, but if Obama
loses, “it will tell us a lot about the United States” and the state of
McGee, who plans to attend a party Tuesday night, expects it will be a
celebration, not a wake. “They’re talking about over 400 electoral
votes,” he said.
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