Stereotypes Are Made to Be Broken

For over a couple months, the Clinton campaign and the media have attacked Barack Obama of shepherding politically naive voters to the political circuit. Obama has generated more voter turnouts than ever before, in many cases doubling or tripling the amount of voters in an area. However, this new turnout raises suspicions from many who argue that the people voting based on emotions and not critical issues.

One infamous example came on the Hannity & Colmes show, when Hannity asked people who support Obama to cite one of his accomplishments. None of the replies were considered substantive. This and other instances have fueled the argument that Obama supporters are swept up by his words, not his actions. In fact, the argument was so compelling that it became a tag line for the Clinton campaign.

Unfortunately, stereotypes have a tendency of sticking in the public memory and evidence to the contrary rarely gets equal media coverage. The “Obama-Supporter-Stereotype” was probably what prompted Mike to interrogate an Obama supporter waiting to watch a Democratic Debate in Hollywood on January 31, 2008. Outside the Kodak Theater, Mike chose a young African American in a baseball cap and challenged him to provide details for why he liked Senator Barack Obama.

Mike was both shocked and surprised to find an extremely articulate and intelligent respondent. Even though his plan backfired, Mike published it on YouTube a few days later. It has since generated over 900,000 views and a short article in the New York Times. Below is full clip of their encounter:

Mike’s would-be-victim Derrick Ashong is a graduate student in ethnomusicology at Harvard University, and has lived on multiple continents. On many levels, Ashong’s experience, intellect, and candor repudiates the stereotypes carried by the media, and in this particular instance, one lone camera man called Mike.

  • The gentlemen in which mike was speaking with, Derrick I believe was his name, he was spot on. I hope that one day he decides to run for political office. He seemed well versed with his political issues, I will make the argument that he certainly is more familiar with key political issue then the candidate he supports, Barack Obama. Now all he has to do is school Obama in preparations for the next debate so he can make a decent argument in stead of the same old “hope and change” rhetoric.

  • Good suggestion, but considering the majority of the voting public is not awake, Obama is saying and doing exactly what he needs to, to get the votes; this is not indicative of any lack of familiarity with political issues. “Hope and change” is all that many people can relate to, since they do not take the time to actually look beyond what they’re being told, or question authority, or recognize that mainstream media does not honestly represent, but rather is simply a tool used by power brokers. I think Jung pretty much sums this idea up in “the Undiscovered Self”. Its a good read, about how the citizen is programmed by “the state” and the voting populace is little more than a vehicle to give the appearance of legitimacy for special interest political agenda. There are people like Derrick who give us hope, but the American public did vote for George Bush TWICE, which leaves a grave doubt in my mind as to how many of them are really conscious. Or is consciousness just that time between naps where they watch TV and eat at the same time? Two very intellectually enlightening passtimes.