Barack Obama and Race in America

Aside from Obama's speech following the Reverend Wright controversy, there has been very little open discussion of race during the primaries. That said, this entire run, especially of late, has a cloud of race hovering over almost every primary. Tonight in Kentucky, 21% of voters said that, yes, race does matter. These are the people willing to admit that race matters. One can only imagine that this number doubles (triples?) if we were to count those who wouldn't admit to bigotry.

Furthermore, it's been abundantly clear that Hillary Clinton has a firm grasp on the under-educated, blue-collar white voter. Left out of the discussion of her base is the race card. How many of these voters simply ignore Obama's candidacy due to the color of skin? I don't know the answer, but my assumption is that this is a significant number.

Then you look at Obama's base. A good portion of his voters are college educated, middle-upper class whites, as well as African Americans. The latter obviously wouldn't vote against Obama due to his race, and the former, given their years of education, have a much deeper understanding of race issues, and in all likelihood, have a smaller tendency to consider race when voting.

I am rambling. But as this campaign moves forward, I am frightened, and perhaps excited, at what this campaign will do for race relations in the United States. My hope is that it will bring this country to collectively look at these issues, and fully understand the importance of education when it comes to equality, understanding and harmony in our country.

We've had the Civil War, Reconstruction, The Civil Rights Movement and now, a half-Black man is in line for the presidency of the United States. It feels as if the wounds of race division in the 1860s on through to the 1960s are slowly being reopened right now. Senator Obama and every single one of us will determine how far we've either progressed or regressed.