Super Tuesday Pot Luck is how we billed the night’s diner party to watch the primary returns on CNN. We gathered as a group of filmmakers, artists, and music peeps in the home of a talented Hollywood producer. Half of us cheered on Obama, the others were for Hillary. I sat next to a legendary punk rock star who cut slices from a white chocolate lemon cake she had brought from Sweet Lady Jane on Melrose Avenue. As she handed me a piece, I asked her how she felt about Obama. My hip friend told me that she didn’t want to vote for Obama because she thought “he would give black people special privileges – like the blacks on the jury that let OJ Simpson get away.”
My head started to spin. Am I that naive to think that most of our country had transcended racism? A comment like that I’d expect from some old white cracker in the Deep South, not from a goddess rock star, an international type. Not from my sweet friend. How do you cope with such naked racism? And at a party? The host and I locked eyes and shared our dismay in silence. In California, 95% of Asian Democrats voted for Hillary. 75% of Latino Dems went for her as well. These numbers draw hard racial lines that scar California’s culturescape.
It cheered me up to see Obama win in way-white Connecticut. But still, it makes me wonder if California can ever transcend race. Can our country?
– Phil ST John