“That One”: Condescending, Not Racist

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Let me be the first to say that I do not think McCain’s reference to Obama as “that one,” which is already getting a ton of attention in the post-debate coverage, is a big deal. It is not the singular of “those people.” McCain has always had a sharp tongue and an irreverent, almost cranky, sense of humor. You know, befitting an old uncle or grandpa.

I, for one, read no racism into the comment. Condescension, yes. Racism, no.

Update: The “That One” phenomenon is taking off. T-shirts and logos now available.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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