As America approaches a new presidential election in November, Jesse Washington, national writer on race and ethnicity for the Associated Press, digs into the country’s race relations. Are people singing in ethnic harmony now that we’ve had nearly four years with Obama, or are our racist skeletons emerging from the proverbial closets? According to Washington, people are more aware of our racial differences.
As the nation moves toward the multiracial future heralded by this son of an African father and white mother, the events of Obama’s first term, and what people make of them, help trace the racial arc of his presidency.
Shortly before the 2008 election, 56 percent of Americans surveyed by the Gallup organization said that race relations would improve if Obama were elected. One day after his victory, 70 percent said race relations would improve and only 10 percent predicted they would get worse.
Just weeks after taking office, Obama said, “There was justifiable pride on the part of the country that we had taken a step to move us beyond some of the searing legacies of racial discrimination.”
Then he joked, “But that lasted about a day.”
Read Jesse Washington’s entire piece at the Associated Press.
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