RaceWire: Obama and the “Reverse Bradley” Effect


Obama and the “Reverse Bradley” Effect

Post-racism verses the “real” Americans

In light of claims that we have reached a place of post-racism, Latoya at Racialicious aptly points out multiple examples of how this is actually untrue. In light of the events of Hurricane Katrina, the Jena 6, the Jersey 4 and the Duke Rape case, all highly public moments where racism proved to be a relevant factor, we can hardly claim to be in a post-racial country.

But the very nature of our conversation about whether or not America is post-racial proves that, in fact, it’s NOT. Just look at the competing narratives on the right and the left about what role race has played in this election. Last week I suggested that Colin Powell put his support behind Barack Obama at least partially because of race, whether he said it out loud or not, and that this support is understandable given the history of racism in this country. In response, there were some suggestions that perhaps this act was in itself racist. I want to talk about what comments like these tell us about how we understand race, especially in the context of this election.

Continue reading at Feministing

One Response

  1. This is just a curious anecdote, not any deep cultural commentary, but I thought I’d share it and see what folks think:

    I live in St. Louis, and my child’s babysitter comes from a very Republican family (dad in the Navy) in a very white, Republican part of town. Yesterday we were talking about the election, and she said, of herself and her friends (she is in college): “All our parents are telling us not to vote for Obama bc he’s black, so we tell them we’re not going to. But our generation’s different and we know better, so when we get in the voting booth, we’re going to secretly vote for Obama. But I could never tell my dad that.”

    I thought it was so interesting – a “reverse Bradley effect?” I wonder if this amounts to anything?

    Election fever is crazy here in Missouri, a super-swing state (100,000 people turned out to see Obama here the other week — a crowd that stretched from the Arch to the very courthouse where Dred Scott was decided — a stunning image). Polls in MO are dead even. But my friend who is deep in the Obama campaign here says their GOTV efforts are SO much better than McCain’s, she thinks that worth 3-4 points and will put him over the top. Cross your fingers for us!

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