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French tennisman Tsonga (who is right now playing the the Masters in Shangai) was interviewed on Monday morning about how, as a black person, he would react to Obama's election. His first reaction was that neither he nor Obama were black, but rather métis, i.e. of mixed descent (but the word doesn't really exist in American, apparently). His next reaction was, why wasn't he asked his opinion on McCain ? He wasn't going to make political decisions based on the color of a candidate's... An aspect of the current French society is a slow import of the US's racial categories, with "black" for anybody with African ancestry, where there used to be strong differences between African immigrants, slaves descendants from the Antilles, and métis...

Indeed, in  Obama's election, a rather worrying aspect is that he got a Stalinist percentage of the black vote's ; something that shows a slightly unhealthy democracy.

BTW, apparently Obama has got a bit of American Indian ancestry, or so I read.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Sat Nov 8th, 2008 at 02:58:35 PM EST
Democrats have been taking massive percentages of black voters for decades, because Republicans became the party of white racists.  Obama did a little better than Democrats usually do, but because black folks are a small portion of the population, and because the share taken by the Dem only increased by about 5 points, it really didn't make a huge difference, even taking the higher black turnout into account.

Obama drove excitement, but blacks voting over 90% Dem is nothing new.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Nov 8th, 2008 at 03:31:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... support among Hispanics and Blacks, and a much bigger growth in support among young voters (defined in the US as 18-29).

Of course, young voters have all or most of their adult life with Bush as President, so the more McCain played to the Republican base, the more he ensured Obama's dominance of the youth vote.

And in Ohio at least, while the growth in Democratic share of the Black or Hispanic vote on their own were not enough for the margin of victory, AFAIU, the growth in the Democratic share of the youth vote was sufficient on its own to flip the result from 2004.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat Nov 8th, 2008 at 07:53:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Madelyn and Stanley Dunham - Wikipedia
According to Obama, Madelyn Dunham's mother was of part Cherokee descent, in which Madelyn took great pride.[8] To date, no concrete evidence has surfaced of Cherokee heritage.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Nov 8th, 2008 at 03:36:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BTW, it's not limied to black folks.  Latinos (70%), Native Americans (75%), Asians(65-75%), and GLBT folks (75%) all vote overwhelmingly Democratic.  It has a lot more to do with the Democratic Party having been the party of civil rights, and the GOP being the party of intolerance, for half a century than it does with race.  Obama increased typical Democratic margins among all of them.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Nov 8th, 2008 at 03:40:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you can add jews in your list of communities - don't they vote around 70% Dem ?... There is a difference between getting 60 - 80 % of the vote of a community, and 90-95%. And well, that's part of my point : when a regularly governing party so clearly excludes a large part of the electorate, the democracy isn't all that healthy.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Sat Nov 8th, 2008 at 04:27:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, 78% of Jews voted for Obama, also higher than four years ago, although there's a worrying bit to that: Jews were the only group in which Obama did better among older voters than among younger voters.  Now, maybe it's simply a large margin of error that's responsible for those numbers, but, still, the "Obama is an Anti-Semite"/Israel-4EVAH meme may have some resonance with younger Jews.

I'm inclined to agree that a share of a group's vote that high might suggest something unhealthy, long-term.  I'm just saying there's a lot of history behind it.  It's not simply blind allegiance.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Nov 8th, 2008 at 04:40:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jews were the only group in which Obama did better among older voters than among younger voters.

That may be because of the Likudnik campaign as you see -- but I think a more benign expanation is likely: Jewish immigrants could integrate much better in the USA than various non-whites, thus the choice between the xenophobic and the non-xenophobic party is a less important dimension in the newer generations.

It's not simply blind allegiance.

I'm not sure linca meant it as such.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Nov 9th, 2008 at 04:39:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not all. The GLBT community (or at least the GL part of that) voted less democratic in this presidential election. Net swing of -11. Though I don't know if the sample could've caused that error. And of course Obama still carried them by around three quarters.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Nov 9th, 2008 at 09:57:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you have any poll data on voting for the UMP by French minorities (whatever definition)?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Nov 8th, 2008 at 03:46:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't think they recorded ethnicity stats in France?
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sat Nov 8th, 2008 at 03:49:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not in censuses, but maybe in polls. But I inserted tthat qualifier in parantheses because being immigrant, or dwelling in the developments, or language or whatever other marker may show stark voting pattern differences from the general population, too.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Nov 8th, 2008 at 03:51:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Couldn't find much... Anecdotally, people of arab origin voting for Chirac is something I've heard of (and not only in 2002). And I'm not claiming that the French democracy is much healthier, especially with Sarkozy elected on Le Pen's program...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Sat Nov 8th, 2008 at 04:33:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I think you could make an argument that French democracy is healthier simply on the grounds that more French care enough to show up to vote.  As with Junior here in the states, it's inevitable that countries will screw up and elect shitty leaders.  Now obviously Sarkozy isn't nearly as terrible and dangerous -- or at least he doesn't seem to be, watching from here in the states -- as Bush, but I'm just sayin'.

Sarkozy does seem to get turned-on by America, which creeps me out.  And he looks like a rodent.  The French really must get rid of him.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Nov 8th, 2008 at 04:44:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Which reminds me to add a further angle: the rise in the Dem candidate votig share was probably in no small part due to non-voters activating themselves (I'm sure you could give figures).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Nov 9th, 2008 at 04:42:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
By the way. What has Victor Hugo been considered racially in his time in France?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Nov 9th, 2008 at 04:44:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Aren't you thinking of Alexandre Dumas ?

He considered himself, and was considered, a mulatto.

A couple jokes from the Wikipedia pages :

Answering someone who told him he must knew about niggers :

"Yes indeed, my fathe was a mulatto, my grandfather a nigger, and my great grandfather an ape. My family started where yours is ending"

A common joke about him :

"He's the first mulatto to have white niggers"

Dumas was well known to use a lot of ghost writers, pretty heading a writing studio ; and the French word for ghost writer is "niggers"

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Sun Nov 9th, 2008 at 06:47:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Pushkin was a black man." That's my favorite joke in the genre beside "Everybody's got an Irish grandma" and, of course, the classic supplication, "I'm 1/64 Cherokee."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Nov 9th, 2008 at 11:44:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Aren't you thinking of Alexandre Dumas ?

Uhhh, yes... I keep mixing up those two (Les Misérables and Monte Cristo, The Hunchback of The Notre Dame and Three Musketeers). They were also born the same year...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Nov 9th, 2008 at 05:34:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gaah, completely different they are !

One is the quintessential story teller and serials writer, with long stories there mostly for the purpose of entertainment : Dumas.

Whereas Hugo was an art theoretician, fighting the "Bataille d'Hernani" not only writing novels but poetry, verses, theater, and he was also very political, going into exile after Napoleon le Petit's coup d'état. Les Misérables isn't exactly politically neutral, unlike the Three musketeers...

There's a reason Hugo went to the Pantheon as soon as he died whereas Dumas was only transferred there quite recently...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Sun Nov 9th, 2008 at 07:47:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I know all these things, but when keeping the works of the two apart was difficult from early teen age (when only the shared romantic, adventurous and historical-themed aspects are apparent), it's difficult to sort out which is which, "the flamboyant crowd-pleaser romantic" and "the serious romantic". The only work that, if and when I remember it, I can always identify as both Victor Hugo and the serious romantic, is 93.

Also, the biographies of Hugo and Dumas Sr, who were troubled friends, are more similar than you make it.

My confusion isn't helped by the fact that (checking) Dumas wrote his pro-Napoleon father's post-Napoleon situation into Monte Cristo (as the father of Villefort), while Hugo did the same with his own pro-Napoleon father in Les Misérables (Pontmercy). Further:

fighting the "Bataille d'Hernani"

In which Dumas both preceded him and supported him.

A Guide to the Life, Times, and Works of Victor Hugo - by David Falkayn - Google books:

HERNANI.

...The success of Alexandre Dumas' " Henri III." had been a surprise.  The classics, unprepared and taken unawares, had not been able to resist.  They swore that such a calamity shall not befall them a second time...

Full text of "The Incredible Marquis Alexandre Dumas"

At one o'clock on the afternoon on February 25, 1830, a mob of young men gathered at the rue de Valois door of the Thatre-Franais and pushed through into the unlighted auditorium.

...Dumas, among the earliest to arrive, bayed
with joy as the strange figures of the Romantics, garmented in cos-
tumes indicating their complete break with the old conservative
tradition, appeared in the doorway.

he was also very political

So was Dumas:

Alexandre Dumas père

The revolution of 1830 temporarily diverted Dumas from letters. The account of his exploits should be read in his Mémoires, where, though the incidents are true in the main, they lose nothing in the telling. During the fighting in Paris he attracted the attention of Lafayette, who sent him to Soissons to secure powder. With the help of some inhabitants he compelled the governor to hand over the magazine, and on his return to Paris was sent by Lafayette on a mission to raise a national guard in La Vendée. The advice he gave to Louis-Philippe on this subject was ill-received, and after giving offense by further indiscretions he finally alienated himself from the Orleans government by being implicated in the disturbances which attended the funeral of General Lamarque in June 1832, and he received a hint that his absence from France was desirable. A tour in Switzerland undertaken on this account furnished material for the first of a long series of amusing books of travel. Dumas remained, however, on friendly and even affectionate terms with the young duke of Orleans until his death in 1842.

Also, there's this:

Alexandre Dumas > Dumas' Life > His close relations > Victor Hugo

Hugo, a political exile, saw Dumas quite often, who was in Brussels because of his debts. Dumas also visited Napoélon III's most famous opponent in Guernesey and publicly stood up for him in France.

There's a reason Hugo went to the Pantheon as soon as he died whereas Dumas was only transferred there quite recently...

I wouldn't be surprised if that had more to do with race than his achievements relative to Hugo.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Nov 10th, 2008 at 03:03:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I must admit I wasn't all that aware of Dumas' biography. Note Dumas came back from exile in 1853 instead of waiting for the fall of the empire. And also, the main reason Hugo is in the Pantheon and not Dumas is that Dumas died too early : in 1870 the Pantheon was a church, and the political system not very much republican... Whereas the Pantheon was reinstated in the current function at the time of Hugo's death, pretty much right when his ideas had entered government.

Also, from my rememberings of what extracts we actually studied in class, the extracts of Les Misérables were often the more "socially conscious" ones, Gavroche and les barricades, Cosette... And Notre Dame de Paris was more or less ignored.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Mon Nov 10th, 2008 at 04:10:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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