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October 21, 2007

Obama Says "I Was Told There Would Be No Math"

Barack Obama is calling for the firing of a Department of Justice official.

John Tanner, who heads up the voting rights section at Justice, was doing a panel for the National Latino Congreso (who seem confused about whether to have an English or Spanish name) in which he discussed the impact that voter ID laws may have on the elderly.

"That's a shame, you know, creating problems for elderly persons just is not good under any circumstance," Tanner said, according to video posted on YouTube. "Of course, that also ties into the racial aspect because our society is such that minorities don't become elderly the way white people do. They die first.

"There are inequities in health care. There are a variety of inequities in this country, and so anything that disproportionately impacts the elderly has the opposite impact on minorities. Just the math is such as that," Tanner said.

He's right. In a refreshing bit of full coverage, the AP includes an interesting statistic from the Center for Health Statistics. It turns out that a black person born in 2004 has an average life expectancy of 73.1 years; that's five years fewer than for whites. (Does this number change for black baby boomers?)

This hasn't stopped Obama from calling for Tanner's head. He says Tanner's comment is "patently erroneous." This leads me to wonder if Obama has trouble with math or maybe trouble with English.

Obama says that Tanner's comment is "offensive and dangerous." That I'm willing to believe. God forbid anyone draw attention to the fact that something has seriously gone wrong in the black community.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 01:37 AM

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