Socialist Worker: How will race shape the election?

Socialist Worker

How will race shape the election?

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor analyzes the Republicans’ racist campaign against Barack Obama–and says the most interesting thing about it is that it’s not working.

BY EVERY statistical measure, it looks clearer and clearer that Barack Obama will become the first African American president in the history of the United States–a country founded on slavery and sustained by 300 years of racial oppression.

Yet despite the favorable polling pointing to an Obama victory, many in the mainstream media and among Obama’s supporters wonder if, in the end, racism will lead to the unraveling of this lead, and yet give life to John McCain and Sarah Palin’s moribund campaign.

With nothing new to add to a campaign season that has been going on for almost two full years, the pundits spent the last couple of weeks before the November 4 election wondering about whether white voters will actually come out and vote for Obama, and if there will be a so-called “Bradley effect.”

Beyond this, Obama’s own supporters and progressives in general are concerned that the Republican Party’s turn to open racism and smears against Obama will cut into his support.

While understandable, these fears ignore the palpable growth of anti-racism in U.S. society over the last 30 years–most obviously exemplified by the candidacy of Barack Obama himself, but evident in other ways as well.

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