Americans of Color elected Obama. White Americans elected McCain.

Most White Americans voted for John McCain, while most Asian Americans, Latin@ Americans, Black Americans, and Other Americans voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama in the 2008 U.S. presidential election.

White Americans, 43% for Obama, 55% for McCain, and 2% for Other. Black Americans, 95% for Obama, 4% for McCain, and 1% for Other. Latino Americans, 67% for Obama, 31% for McCain, and 2% for Other. Asian Americans, 62% for Obama, 35% for McCain, and 3% for Other. Other Americans, 66% for Obama, 31% for McCain, and 3% for Other.

Some White Americans claim that Black Americans voted for Obama because he is black. That is, some White Americans think that non-white people have a “tribal” mentality and that they align with whoever looks the most like them. However, if we consider the fact that most White Americans voted for the white person, and that most Asian Americans, Latin@ Americans, Black Americans, and Other Americans voted for the black person, this hypothesis fails. A better explanation is that Barack Obama was the best presidential candidate, but most White Americans have a “tribal” mentality and aligned with the person who looks the most like them.

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Whites, men, and heterosexuals are ignorant and uneducated.

Non-white minorities, women, and homosexuals are knowledgeable and educated. However, the power of knowledge is not enough to bring down systems of oppression.

Women know more about men than men know about women. Non-white minorities know more about whites than whites know about non-white minorities. Homosexuals know more about heterosexuals than heterosexuals know about homosexuals. Women, non-white minorities, and homosexuals are on average more knowledgeable and educated about sexism, racism, and homophobia than men, whites, and heterosexuals, respectively.

On average, the oppressed group’s understanding of their oppression is cognitively complex and well-developed, while the oppressor group’s understanding of how they oppress is superficial and undeveloped at best, non-existent at the worst. Yet sexism, racism, and homophobia remain.

Additionally, the oppressor group assumes that the oppressed group is oppressed because they are uneducated and unknowledgeable about issues of gender, race, or even the nature of their own sexual orientation. The oppressors assume that they themselves are in power because they are more educated and knowledgeable, and that they have a responsibility to “teach” or confer knowledge to those who are oppressed. They assume that the oppressed are the ones who need to change. They assume that the oppressed needs to change and become more like men, whites, and heterosexuals.

It is the oppressors that need to change, to learn, and to educate themselves. Unfortunately, the oppressor group tries to ‘help’ the oppressed without even this basic piece of knowledge. They are ignoramuses in this knowledge domain, but they are too ignorant and prejudiced to consider this possibility.

“Non-whites” versus “Visible Minorities” versus “People of Colour”

The terms “non-white”, “person of colour”, and “visible minority” mean different things. These categories overlap, but these terms are not interchangeable.

A non-white is a person who is not white. Mixed-raced individuals who are “part white” or “also white” are not “non-white”; however, they may be visible minorities or people of colour.

A person of colour is a person who self-identifies as a person of colour. A person of colour may pass as white. Mariah Carey self-identifies as black, and she may self-identify as a person of colour. However, she can pass for white and is not a visible minority. She may be white as well, if she self-identifies as white.

A visible minority is a person who cannot pass as white. A visible minority may be white, in the case of mixed-raced individuals with white ancestry. A visible minority may not necessarily be a person of colour, as there are some visible minorities that do not self-identify as a person of colour. In the Canadian Census, aboriginals are excluded from the “visible minority” category, which is problematic.

Some people think that the term “visible minority” is racist, but the concept of “visible minority” is important to understanding racism. People of colour who can pass for white have fewer barriers compared to people of colour who are visible minorities.