Anderson@Large: Race and the Race (Again)

Anderson@Large (9/23/08)

Race and the Race (Again)

From the founding document which counted slaves as three-fifths of a person to the Civil War and to the Republican Party’s Southern Strategy, race mattered. Indeed, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice observed:

Black Americans were a founding population. Africans and Europeans came here and founded this country together — Europeans by choice and Africans in chains. That’s not a very pretty reality of our founding…Descendants of slaves did not get much of a head start, and I think you continue to see some of the effects of that. That particular birth defect (emphasis added) makes it hard for us to confront it, hard for us to talk about it, and hard for us to realize that it has continuing relevance for who we are today.

There is new evidence that racial prejudice may determine the outcome of the election. An AP-Yahoo News poll found that more than a third of white Democrats and independents harbor negative views toward blacks.

As repugnant as their views are, they matter because Obama cannot win without their support. He can turn out every eligible black voter and still lose.

While Obama garnered significant white support during the primary season, he did better among whites when they cast their vote in a public caucus rather than by secret ballot. When white voters were in the privacy of the polling booth, the Bradley effect kicked in.

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