Yahoo News: AP Blacks, whites show prejudices along racial divide

Yahoo News (9/28/08)

AP Blacks, whites show prejudices along racial divide

And how can it be that in 2008 — 143 years after slavery was abolished, decades after the civil rights movement — an AP-Yahoo News poll could find that racial misgivings could cost Sen. Barack Obama the election?

In search of explanations, two Associated Press reporters — one black, one white — listened to people of both races along Detroit‘s divides: Alter Road, which separates the city from the tony Grosse Pointes near Lake St. Clair, and 8 Mile Road, the vast northern border between a mostly black Detroit and its mostly white suburbs.

They found people of both races living just blocks apart who nonetheless spoke of each other like strangers. There was suspicion, contempt — and yet, for many, a desperate hope that Obama’s candidacy might be the final step in America’s long path to racial equality. For whites, their support of Democratic economic policies forces them to confront their racial prejudices.

It is here you meet decent people with much in common — both sides of 8 Mile Road are populated by blue-collar Democratic families. But many still can’t get past their racial differences.

Whites say their neighbors consider blacks to be violent and solely responsible for problems in the black community.

Blacks say many of their own consider whites to be spoiled and condescending.

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