AFRICANGLOBE – Despite the election of America’s first Black president more than three years ago, America still has a long road to travel when it comes to race relations.
The New York Times reports that race remains a powerful factor among a small minority of voters – particularly in poor areas with a lot of White working-class people.
That includes places in the battleground state of Ohio, where a few votes could make a big difference.
In 50 interviews in one such Ohio county, five people raised race directly as a reason they will not vote for President Obama. Some of them said the only reason the president won in 2008 is because many Blacks voted for the first time.
Others didn’t mention race directly, but indirectly hinted at suspicions of Obama’s background and faith.
The president recently described race in America as still “complicated.” He says he never bought into the idea that the country was entering a post-racial period by electing him.
Maybe so – but a lot of people did. More than half of Americans in 2008 said that race relations would improve as a result of Obama’s election.
Fast forward to 2012 and that view has changed dramatically.
A recent Newsweek poll shows only 32% believe race relations have improved under President Obama, while nearly 60% say race relations have either stayed the same or gotten worse. Whites are especially critical of Obama in this department.
Some suggest racism surfaces during tough times like the recession, high unemployment or the wars overseas – and can serve as an excuse for social anxieties.