Parallels to country's racist past haunt age of Obama
Some historians say Barack Obama's presidency has sparked a return of racism with echoes of post-Civil War Reconstruction.
November 1st, 2012
09:19 AM ET

Parallels to country's racist past haunt age of Obama

This is the second in an occasional series on issues of race, identity and politics ahead of Election Day, including a look at the optics of politics, a white Southern Democrat fighting for survival and a civil rights icon registering voters.

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - A tall, caramel-complexioned man marched across the steps of the U.S. Capitol to be sworn into office as a jubilant crowd watched history being made.

The man was an African-American of mixed-race heritage, an eloquent speaker whose election was hailed as a reminder of how far America had come.

But the man who placed his hand on the Bible that winter day in Washington wasn't Barack Obama. He was Hiram Rhodes Revels, the first African-American elected to the U.S. Senate.

His election and that of many other African-Americans to public office triggered a white backlash that helped destroy Reconstruction, America’s first attempt to build an interracial democracy in the wake of the Civil War.

To some historians, Revels' story offers sobering lessons for our time: that this year's presidential election is about the past as well as the future. These historians say Obama isn't a post-racial president but a "post-Reconstructionist" leader. They say his presidency has sparked a white backlash with parallels to a brutal period in U.S. history that began with dramatic racial progress.

Some of the biggest controversies of the 2012 contest could have been ripped from the headlines of that late 19th-century era, they say: Debates erupt over voting rights restrictions and racial preferences, a new federal health care act divides the country, an economic crisis sparks a small government movement. And then there's a vocal minority accusing a national black political leader of not being a "legitimate" U.S. citizen.

All were major issues during Reconstruction, an attempt to bring the former Confederate states back into the national fold and create a new era of racial justice. And many of the same forces that destroyed Reconstruction may be converging again, some scholars and historians say.

Hiram Rhodes Revels became the first African-American elected to the U.S. Senate in 1870.

Ruha Benjamin points to this as proof that change is fragile - and reversible. The backlash that swept aside Revels lasted nearly a century.

"When white Americans helped put this African-American in the Senate, it seemed that they were really welcoming African-Americans and they wanted them to have full equality," said Benjamin, an African-American studies professor at Boston University. "We know in hindsight that it was about to get worse."

The notion that the country is poised to enter a new post-Reconstruction era may seem outlandish, even offensive. That period, known as the Jim Crow era, saw the establishment of American apartheid: segregated public facilities, race riots and white racists murdering blacks and their white allies with impunity.

Today, too many white Americans are "militantly anti-racist" for the country to return to the post-Reconstruction era, said Mark D. Naison, a history professor at Fordham University in New York City.

"You hold a racist demonstration in this country and the anti-racist protesters will have as many whites and blacks in their group, maybe more," Naison said. "We are definitely not post-racial, but we aren't going back to the days of legal segregation."

Yet there is another slice of white America that seems stuck in a time warp, as if it never left the post-Reconstruction era, other historians argue. While not calling for the return of Jim Crow segregation, some white Americans are recycling the same political rhetoric and legal strategies that snuffed out Reconstruction, these historians say.

They are also resurrecting some of the most racist images from the post-Reconstruction era, some black commentators say.

While it is no longer acceptable to call a black person the N-word publicly, people do it all the time in social media, video games and in the comment sections of online news stories, said Nsenga Burton, a writer for The Root, an online news site with an African-American perspective.

Much of this racism is aimed at Obama, she says. Among examples, he’s been called "tar baby" and "the ultimate Affirmative Action N******" and depicted as a chimp. People are not shocked anymore by overt displays of racism, she says.

Burton said in a Root essay entitled, "It's a Great Time to be a Racist," that Obama's presidency didn't inaugurate a post-racial era. "Try post-Reconstruction," she said, "because the harmful slurs and images being tossed around the public space hark back more to a racist past than to a racially ambiguous future."

A recent Associated Press online poll concluded that racial prejudice in America has slightly increased since Obama's election. The survey said that a majority of Americans, 51%, express explicit racial prejudice toward blacks, compared to 48% in 2008.

While the poll on its own doesn’t prove the country has become more racist in the last four years, it does offer evidence that the “post-racial” world some thought Obama’s inauguration would bring has yet to materialize.

"We're in a racist renaissance," Burton said. "It's a rebirth of the oldest forms of racism. It's not new, not different. It's like the 1800s, the most archaic abusive terms are applied to black people every single day."

Some conservatives have a different take, on history as well as current events. Everyone who criticizes the president is labeled a racist, they say. And describing Obama as a post-Reconstruction president is absurd.

"It's race-baiting of the highest order; it's bunk," said Niger Innis, a black conservative and son of civil rights activist Roy Innis who has defended the Tea Party movement against accusations of racism.

"The America of today is not the America of the 1870s," Innis said. "When the American people voted for their first black president, the Union Army didn't occupy the country."

Some conservative commentators also say Obama isn't a victim of racism, but to the contrary has inflamed racial divisions to advance his political agenda.

"Obama was falsely portrayed in his campaign as a post-racial president who would bring healing to the nation's racial divisions," said Larry Schweikart, co-author of "A Patriot's History of the United States."

"Obama has done everything he can to ensure that there were stark racial differences. … Obama has focused his entire administration around racism, a sort of reverse racism on his end," Schweikart claimed.

It is a view that has been reflected by conservative talk-show hosts such as Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh’s brother David, author of "The Great Destroyer." David Limbaugh would not talk to CNN for this story.

Hope and change in another time

Reconstruction, which lasted from the end of the Civil War in 1865 to 1877, was filled with dueling perceptions of race as well. The political changes unleashed by the Civil War unnerved many white Southerners: As blacks achieved positions of power that previously had been reserved for whites, historians say, many whites felt like their country didn't belong to them anymore.

After the Civil War, the U.S. Congress passed the 13th, 14th and 15th "Reconstruction Amendments" that abolished slavery, granted citizenship rights to blacks and prohibited denying the right to vote to newly freed slaves.

The term "civil rights" was coined during Reconstruction, said Eric Foner, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution." A century before Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of a segregated bus, Congress passed the 1866 and 1875 Civil Rights Acts, which banned the discrimination of blacks in "public accommodations" such as streetcars and theaters.

The reforms provoked what some historians say was white Southerners' greatest fear: "Negro Rule."

During Reconstruction, at least 2,000 blacks were eventually elected to political offices throughout the South. They included congressmen, judges, tax collectors, sheriffs, even a governor, said Philip Dray, author of "Capitol Men," which examines Reconstruction through the lives of the first black congressmen.

"Expectations were high," said Dray, who has also written books about the rise of labor unions and lynchings in America. "People felt like there was change, and they were going to be part of it."

Revels rode that wave of optimism into high office. In 1870, he became the first African-American elected to the U.S. Senate when the Mississippi legislature appointed him to fill a vacancy left when the state seceded from the Union.

Opponents initially insisted he wasn't a legitimate U.S. citizen because the Constitution required a senator be a citizen for at least nine years. He also had an unusual background, having been born to a free black family in North Carolina when slavery was legal.

"He wasn't radical or over the top," Dray said of Revels. "He was a minister, a conciliatory figure. The idea was that it would be easier for him to weather the scrutiny."

Revels himself would anticipate the white backlash that would follow when he told the Senate early in 1871: “I find that the prejudice in this country to color is very great, and I sometimes fear that it is on the increase.”

Obamacare, 19th century style

Beyond Revels, there are other parallels between today and the post-Reconstruction era, according to some historians.

The most commonly cited link revolves around the debate over voter ID laws. Since Obama's election, 34 states have considered adopting legislation requiring photo ID for voters, according to the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University. Seven have passed such laws, which typically require voters to present a government-issued photo ID at the polls.

During the post-Reconstruction era, many white Southerners viewed the onset of black voting power in apocalyptic terms. They created a thicket of voting barriers - "poll taxes," "literacy tests" and "understanding clauses" - to prevent blacks from voting, said Dray.

"The idea was to invalidate the black vote without directly challenging the 15th Amendment," Dray said.

This political cartoon highlighting voter intimidation appeared in Harper's Weekly in 1876.

Many contemporary voter ID laws are following the same script, he said.

"It just goes on and on. They've never completely gone away. And now they're back with a vengeance."

Some opponents of the voter ID laws note that these measures disproportionately affect the elderly and the poor, regardless of race.

Supporters of voter ID laws say they're not about race at all, but about common sense and preventing voter fraud.

"That is not a racial issue and it certainly isn't a hardship issue," said Deneen Borelli, author of "Blacklash," which argues Obama is turning America into a welfare nation.

"When you try to purchase over-the-counter medication or buy liquor or travel, you present photo ID. This is a basic part of everyday transactions."

Historians say there are other ways the post-Reconstruction script is being dusted off and that some of them appear to have nothing to do with race on the surface.

Consider the debate over "Obamacare," the nation's new health care law. The controversy would be familiar to many 19th-century Americans, said Jim Downs, author of "Sick from Freedom: African-American Illness and Suffering during the Civil War and Reconstruction."

The notion that the federal government should help those who cannot help themselves wasn't widely accepted before the Civil War. There were a few charities and municipal hospitals that took care of the sick, but most institutions ignored ordinary people who needed health care, said Downs, a Connecticut College history professor who studies the history of race and medicine in 19th-century America.

Reconstruction changed that. Post-Civil War America was marked by epidemics: yellow fever, smallpox and typhus. Freed slaves, who were often malnourished and had few clothes and little shelter, died by the "tens of thousands," he said.

The federal government responded by creating the nation's first-ever national health care system, directed at newly freed slaves. It was called the Medical Division of the Freedmen's Bureau. The division built 40 hospitals and hired hundreds of doctors to treat more than a million former slaves from 1865 until it was shut down in 1870 after losing congressional funding, Downs said.

"It absolutely radicalized health care," he said. "You can't argue that government intervention in health is something new or a recent innovation. It originated in the mid-19th century in response to the suffering of freed slaves."

Critics at the time said the new health care system was too radical. They said it would make blacks too reliant on government. The system was expanded to include other vulnerable Americans, such as the elderly, children and the disabled. Yet some still saw it as a black handout, Downs said.

"The whole notion of the modern day "welfare queen" can be traced to the post-Civil War period when people became very suspicious of the federal government providing relief to ex-slaves," Downs said. "They feared this would create a dependent class of people."

A campaign to 'save' America

Economic fears in the post-Reconstruction era also fueled the white backlash, a pattern that some historians say is repeating itself today.

A national economic collapse took place just as freed slaves were gaining political influence. The Panic of 1873 started with a banking collapse and a stock market dive. The result: Tens of thousands of workers, many Civil War veterans, became homeless. People lined up for food and shelter in cities across America.

"It made it more economically competitive for everybody," Dray said. "You saw whites become even less generous to African-Americans [than] they might have been."

Some white Southerners channeled their economic anxiety into a systemic attack on the federal government, historians said.

Before the collapse, Southern states controlled by Northern politicians and their allies had built hospitals and public schools and created social services to help freed slaves as well as poor whites, said Jerald Podair, a historian at Lawrence University in Wisconsin.

But the notion of an activist federal government helping blacks amid tough times created an opening for Reconstruction opponents. One group that took advantage of that opening was the Redeemers, a popular movement led by conservative, pro-business politicians who vowed to "save" the South, said Podair, who is writing a book on Bayard Rustin, a close aide to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Redeemers gained control of most Southern statehouses and pledged to reduce the size of government. They defunded public schools, closed public hospitals and halted road construction, Podair said, all while cutting taxes for the wealthy plantation owners, the 1 percenters of their day.

The Redeemers cloaked their rhetoric in the need for more government efficiency, but their goals were also racial, Podair said.

"The Redeemers were interested first and foremost in power," Podair said. "If freed slaves received education and medical care, they were that much closer to economic and, eventually, political power. And if the federal government had a major role in the South, that also meant less economic and political power for the Redeemer class."

Some historians say the backlash against Obama mimics late 19th-century resistance to black political progress.

Podair said some contemporary governors are recycling the same talking points used by the Redeemers. They are invoking the need for austerity while cutting government jobs that employ a high number of blacks and reducing public services that help the poor, a disproportionate number of whom are black.

"There may well be a new post-Reconstruction era of slashed federal budgets and policies that transfer power and resources to state and local governments," Podair said. "Once again, initiatives that sound race-neutral on their face will have a devastating racial impact."

Innis has a different take.

He said state and local governments can't afford to keep the same number of jobs because of generous benefits negotiated by unions. Race has nothing to do with it.

"If you have a government job and the pay and benefits is more than a private sector job, something is wrong," he said.

Government cutbacks are designed to help the economy, not inflict pain on any particular group.

"Until we get our economy on track, black and brown people are going to suffer," he said.

'White Girl Bleed a Lot'

The primary weapon white Southerners used to halt Reconstruction was violence. Mobs attacked and killed blacks gathering to vote. They assassinated black officeholders and their white allies. Newspapers sparked race riots and warned of race wars by printing false accounts of black-on-white attacks.

We are not seeing anywhere near the level of violence toward black people that followed Reconstruction. But some people fear that the inflammatory rhetoric that helped trigger racial violence in that era is returning.

A Google search of the phrase "black mobs attack white people" yields tens of thousands of hits. Conservative bloggers and columnists say a "wave" of black mobs attacking whites at random has spread across the nation in places such as shopping malls, downtown tourist spots and even "Beat Whitey Nights" at Midwestern fairs.

Syndicated conservative columnist Thomas Sowell - himself African-American - wrote in a May 15 column for National Review Online that "race war" has returned to America because black gangs are "launching coordinated attacks on whites in public" across America. A Republican state legislator in Maryland, Patrick L. McDonough, warned earlier this year in a letter to the governor that "roving mobs of black youths" had been attacking white tourists in Baltimore.

One author, Colin Flaherty, wrote a book about this alleged wave of racial violence called, "White Girl Bleed a Lot: The Return of Race Riots to America." The various accounts follow the same pattern: Black "flash mobs" suddenly attack whites in public, followed by a media cover-up.

Flaherty, also a talk radio show host, said he first noticed the attacks in 2010. Since then, he claims he has seen "thousands" of videos of black mobs attacking whites.

People have called him racist, but Flaherty said he's just a "guy standing on a corner" reporting what he sees.

"White liberals go nuts on this," he said of his book. "When people use names like 'racist,' they're using it to shut down conversation, not engage in it."

The return of race war rhetoric has disturbing historical echoes, said David Godshalk, author of "Veiled Visions: The 1906 Atlanta Race Riot and the Reshaping of American Race Relations."

Godshalk said neither Sowell nor Flaherty have offered any statistical evidence that reports about "black mobs" are anything more than isolated cases. Sowell did not respond to interview requests.

Scores of blacks died during the post-Reconstruction era because newspapers spread false or grossly exaggerated reports of blacks as predators, particularly accounts of black men raping white women, Godshalk said.

Some whites used those reports to justify violence and political oppression against blacks, he said.

"Longstanding notions that African-Americans were criminals were used to argue that they shouldn't be leaders in society because they didn't have the same capabilities as whites, and they weren't trustworthy enough to hold positions of authority," said Godshalk, a history professor at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania who has also written about Reconstruction and lynchings.

Those notions of black inferiority eventually infected the legal system during the post-Reconstruction era, historians say.

The post-Reconstruction Supreme Court played a major role in destroying what Congress had created through its racial reforms. The court delivered a series of decisions that nullified the Civil Rights Acts of 1866 and 1875 as well as additional laws designed to protect blacks from mob violence at the voting booth, said Peter Irons, a civil rights attorney and author of "A People's History of the Supreme Court."

In 1883, the court imposed a judicial death sentence on Reconstruction in the "Civil Rights Cases" decision, which allowed private individuals and businesses to discriminate against blacks. Associate Justice Joseph Bradley wrote in the decision that freed slaves should stop being "a special favorite of the laws."

The most notorious post-Reconstruction decision involving race took place in 1895 when the Supreme Court legally sanctioned Jim Crow laws by enshrining the "separate-but-equal" doctrine in Plessy v. Ferguson. The court upheld a Louisiana law requiring that federal rail cars provide different facilities for white and black passengers.

By the late 19th century, the Supreme Court had "turned its back on the claims of blacks and opened its arms to those of corporations," Irons said. It was the onset of the Gilded Age, an era of widening income inequality that saw the court first introduce "corporate personhood," the concept that a corporation has the legal rights of a person.

"People were getting tired of concerns about racial minorities," said Irons, an activist whose book on the Supreme Court was partly inspired by the late liberal historian Howard Zinn and his book, “A People’s History of the United States.”

"The court is generally a mirror of the broader society, and that was the way most people felt at the time."

Irons and other liberal observers fear the current Supreme Court is drifting in a similar direction and anticipate that it will overturn or weaken a key section of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 as well as affirmative action in college admissions.

The court is expected to hear a challenge from Shelby County, Alabama, to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which requires nine Southern states and parts of others to "pre-clear" with federal officials any voting measures that could potentially restrict black voters.

The court is also due to rule on a case on affirmative action in college admission policies in Fisher v. University of Texas.

Irons said the conservative majority on the contemporary court would be doing what their counterparts did during Reconstruction, avoiding a frontal assault on civil rights laws and other measures that protect women and workers, while eviscerating the laws.

"It's unlikely that the court would render any decisions that would be totally reactionary on issues of race," said Irons, "but what they're doing in the current court is whittling away and cutting back very gradually on things like racial, gender and wage discrimination."

From post-racial to most racial

Some conservatives, though, have a different perspective on Reconstruction and any modern parallels.

Most historians say Reconstruction ended with the disputed presidential contest of 1876. An election too close to call was resolved when candidate Rutherford B. Hayes agreed to pull Northern troops out of the South in exchange for the presidency.

Schweikart, co-author of "A Patriot's History of the United States," said the United States abandoned Reconstruction because the nation could not call itself a democracy while keeping half its population under military occupation.

"Reconstruction ended, pure and simple, because the North could not afford economically, politically or socially to maintain a standing army in a part of the U.S. for an indefinite time and still call America a democratic republic," said Schweikart, a history professor at the University of Dayton in Ohio.

Borelli, author of "Blacklash," does see one contemporary link with 19th-century America. She argues that Obama is actually encouraging a new form of servitude to what she calls the "Big Government Plantation."

Since Obama became president, a record number of Americans, at least 46 million, now receive food stamps. And one in six Americans receives some form of government aid as the nation struggles to recover from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

"There are a lot of people who are relying on government for their basic everyday needs: food, clothing and shelter," said Borelli, who is outreach director for FreedomWorks, a Washington-based group that advocates for smaller government and lower taxes. "When you rely on government, your liberties are reduced."

Another conservative said Obama has tacitly endorsed reverse racism.

"You can't have a legitimate disagreement with the president if you're white without being called a racist," said Stephen Marks, creator of FightBigotry.com, a Super PAC that produced a television ad accusing Obama of not standing up to racism.

Marks said Obama said nothing when Vice President Joe Biden recently told an audience of black and white voters that Republicans were "going to put y'all back in chains."

"They're the ones who play the race card, 100% of the time," Marks said of Obama and Democrats. "The Republicans don't have the gonads to respond because they're so afraid of being called a racist."

What happened to Revels?

There's little disagreement among contemporary historians about what happened to the South when the nation abandoned Reconstruction. The region became a divided society where race filtered into everything, said Dray, author of "Capitol Men."

"It had a paralyzing effect. Business interests didn't want to invest there. Immigrants didn't want to go there," Dray said. "The South became this tainted place. Instead of moving into the 20th century, it stayed put in the 19th century."

The Jim Crow laws that marked the end of Reconstruction stayed put for at least 60 years. It would take a century before the contemporary civil rights movement restored the political and civil rights of blacks. Some historians argue that the United States did not actually become a democracy until 1965 with the passage of the Voting Rights Act.

Black pioneers like Revels disappeared from the history books. After serving his Senate term, he didn't seek reappointment and returned to Mississippi, where he eventually became president of Alcorn State College and pastor of a church.

He lost much of his black support for not speaking out against the abuses that ended Reconstruction, said Benjamin, the Boston University professor.

"He was an accommodationist," Benjamin said. "He was in the Senate standing up for white folks and telling people not to be so hard on Southern plantation owners. He didn't use his platform to represent African-Americans."

In 1901, Revels collapsed and died during a church meeting in Mississippi. That same year, the last black member of the House of Representatives finished his final term. Congress resumed being an all-white institution. Blacks had been driven out of office by beatings and assassinations.

Revels' death barely got a mention in the Southern press. His fellow black congressmen received the same treatment. Revisionist historians were already depicting Reconstruction as a fatal example of government overreach and Northern "carpetbaggers" and "scalawags" coming South to profit off of the regions' misery, said Dray, author of "Capitol Men."

"When some of them passed away years later, the Southern press barely mentioned it," Dray said. "It was a part of American history that people did not want to remember. No one wanted to talk about it or think about it."

One group of Americans, however, never forgot what Revels represented.

During the Great Depression, Dray said, the federal government dispatched interviewers from the Works Progress Administration to the South to collect oral histories from former slaves.

The interviewers noticed a curious sight as they walked into the shacks of the former slaves. They saw faded copies of an 1872 lithograph depicting the first seven black members of Congress, including Revels.

The image is still haunting.

A group portrait of the first black African-American U.S. lawmakers, including Revels.

Revels and his fellow racial pioneers are posed together, dressed in vested suits and bow ties. They exude pride and determination, even though only several years earlier they weren't even considered fully human by many Americans.

Revels sits in the front row of the group portrait. He stares forward in the picture, a man who seems confident in what the future would bring.

What would he think of Obama if he could somehow see him today? Would he be delighted at what America has become in 2012?

Or would he think the future he embodied still seems far away?

Filed under: 2012 Election • Black in America • Discrimination • Economy • Ethnicity • Health • History • Language • Politics • Poverty • Race
soundoff (4,517 Responses)
  1. da429boss

    Wow this is far reaching. And you call this news.

    November 2, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Reddog

    Let me say that at the time of Obama's birth. Your legal birth certificate lists your race as the same as your mothers.
    There fore Obama would legaly be White. Not African American.

    November 2, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. pc

    Obama's spiritual mentor was Jeremiah Wright. “Barack knows what it means living in a country and a culture that is controlled by rich, white people. Hillary would never know that.”

    November 2, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  4. Mike Mc

    So if I understand correctly, if you happen to be caucasian and are not voting for the President then you are, by implication, a racist. It has nothing to do with disagreeing with the Presidents policies.

    This countries minorities need to understand that racism is a human problem shared by all humans. Not just caucasians who are a minority in this world.

    November 2, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • BonnieSue

      I went to the polls and voted for Romney here in Florida. Get out and vote for REAL CHANGE!

      November 2, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. NativeBornAmerican

    The last four letters in Republican is "I can". The last four letters in American is "I can". The last four letters in Democrats is "Rats". Hey Obama "You didn't build that."

    November 2, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      So... let see, in Republicans you only need to change the 'a' for an 'o', the get the true meaning of Republicons.

      November 2, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jay

    Obama has more support at this point in the race than Bill Clinton did while running for his second term in '96. More importantly to consider is that Obama does not have 1/10th of the political skills as Clinton. And Romney is a much more formidable candidate than Bob Dole was. At this point in the '96 election with a booming economy, Clinton had 48% support. Obama current has over 48% of the vote with a dismal economy.

    For this race-baiter to try and say that Obama's lack of support is due to racism is just intellectually dishonest and pathetic. One could easily make a case however, that the ONLY reason Obama is still in the game at this is due to his skin color.

    November 2, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Russel Jeffords

      Jay, it is impossible for any thinking man, woman, or even child NOT to agree with you wholeheartedly. As a genuine African-American (which the President is NOT, and I'll get to that in a moment) the plain and simple facts are these:

      1. Typical African-American support for Democrats, pre-Obama and post-WW II, has run about 70%. For Mr. Obama, it has run 95%.
      2. Typical Caucasian-American support for Democrats under the same time period has run about 40%, though with much greater variability than (1)
      3. Typical fraction of all ethnic groups (NOT races, and indeed, more on that, too) who do not CARE or do not VOTE runs about 20% across the board
      4. Mr. Obama does indeed compare well with Mr. Kennedy in some respects EXCLUDING popularity and the minor successes of the Kennedy Presidency.

      I'll take # 4 first: Kennedy was wildly unsuccessful as a President, though then and now, hugely popular. He is widely lauded for his success during the Cuban Missile Crisis, when in fact – as he, himself, via the Bay of Pigs fiasco, CAUSED that crisis and therefore should have been impeached. He is widely lauded for "civil rights," when in fact NO SUCH legislation passed during his term, and he DID NOT lean on the master legislator in American history to GET that legilsation passed, namely Lyndon Johnson.

      # 3 and # 2 are evident from stories prevelant on CNN.

      # 1: Mr. Obama is NOT an African-American as we Americans of all ethnicities define that term. African-Americans are, by definition, descendents of those once slaves; were born in America; bear ancestry that has suffered mightly under that slavery and the deliberate destruction of Reconstruction by Southern (and Northern) red-necks, and much more. Mr. Obama has NO such ancestral history; is of mixed-ethnicity Kenyan descent (born in Hawaii, though some continue to dispute that). He is therefore no NECESSARY friend of African-Americans, and in fact, has been derisive and destructive in tone and tint to our group. The 95% of African-Americans supporting him, fully one-third more than the historical number supporting Democrats – are doing so because they, and I, are happy that a Black man "made it." I agree with them, and would CONTINUE to agree with them on that basis, if Mr. Obama were NOT so self-, nation-, and unity-destroying as he has clearly been.

      In short, summing all four points, Mr. Obama is a liar; a fake; a scam artist; and a public lie – assuming the mantel of African-American suffering when he HAS NOT; assuming the mantle of Hispanic ethnic tension when he has suffered none; and has done MORE to destroy the economic hopes of ALL, including poor of every stripe, than ANY President in history.

      Finally, the last point. An African-American differs genetically from a Caucasian or an Asian or an Hispanic by less than 0.01% of genetic material.

      A daschund differs from a poodle by about 1%.

      Of course, all humans can interbreed, as indeed, even with greater gentic variability, so can that poodle and any other dog we just talked about.

      I hence argue we as an ethnic group need to drop the very idea of "race," as a distinctive identifier when what we mean is "cultural differences coupled with skin color differences and a few other minor traits." Racial discrimination is created by all at the INSTANT one believes one is DIFFERENT than any other human being in any significant way than color and culture. There are, again in short, NO races amongst humanity....just various shadings, and far less variability than even amongst virtually any other speciies. Period.

      Vote for whom you wish. But recognize that "discrimination," based on race is necessarily a two-not one-way street, and voting FOR Mr. Obama because he has dark skin color is EVERY bit as "racist," as NOT voting for him for that reason.

      As the last, as Black man, I am sick and tired of being accused by my peers of every color that I am a "traitor to my race," because I am voting for the other man....when in fact I am doing so, in my view, to save the Republic.

      Blessings to all.

      November 2, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
      • Lawrence Perry

        I think you know your history far better than I, and are certainly more eloquent. And you have the minority perspective I lack. I wish black Americans were better informed about history than most Americans are. They might not be so willing to throw their lot in with a party that has bamboozled them and held them down ever since the civil war, throwing them scraps for votes. Lincoln, the Great Emancipator, was Republican of course. As were the Reconstructionists. And after Jim Crow / Democrats killed Reconstruction and the south was controlled by Democrats for some 90 years, who was responsible for segregation, etc. Why the Democrats of course! Today the Democrats entice minorities by throwing out scraps to voters and pandering to special interest groups that block the huge changes needed to improve education for black kids, which is the only way to elevate your prospects in life. So sad. And Hispanics are falling for it as well.

        November 2, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
      • Stop Playing the Race Card

        Well-written, well-said. You make your points and back them up. Bottom line is that Americans should vote for a candidate based on what they have done, and what they will do as President. I'd be happy to vote for a candidate of any color provided they could deliver on what this country needs. Obama was able to convince many voters to support him 4 years ago based on promises of what he would do (since he had no prior record of having done anything on the national level). Unfortunately, he failed to deliver on most of those promises. Now we're here 4 years later and this time we CAN judge him on what he has done (or more correctly, what he hasn't done). So this time he needs to count on the racial issues carrying the election...

        November 2, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ray Storey


        Finally...the voice of objective reason is heard in the wilderness. Shame we haven't met, Russel.

        For me, letting go of the need for those associations – "white", "black", "liberal", "conservative", etc. – is a sign of emotional and cerebral maturity. Being able to think for oneself without the need to belong to a group based on ethnic, demographic, or political lines is true freedom.

        Thank you for your comments.

        November 2, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
      • Nebraska Mom of 2

        Very well-stated. Thank you.

        November 2, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jay

        Russel, well-stated. You have offered a unique perspective to the debate and one which I agree with. Excellent set of facts to back up your claim. -Jay

        November 2, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jen

    Like flies to honey...mention race in America and ignorant people can't stay away.

    November 2, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • John Q Public

      Exactly, witness Donna Brazille's race-baiting article and a couple others posted here at the same time. All to scare the public and take attention away from more important matters that threaten the President.

      November 2, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  8. NoRace

    UncleBenny, look up a dictionary, learn your language.

    November 2, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  9. pc

    Obama's spiritual mentor was Jeremiah Wright. Blacks commit 85% of all violent crimes in the US (2011). They should learn how to be civil or go back to Africa and live.

    November 2, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • K

      Go back? These people you malign were born and raised here.

      November 2, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
      • pc

        Don't feed the troll.

        November 2, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • EK

      Sounds like you are a perfect candidate for what you suggest.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. pc

    Obama's spiritual mentor was Jeremiah Wright. Quote, "Barack knows what it means to be a black man to be living in a country and a culture that is controlled by rich white people. Hillary can never know that. Hillary ain't never been called a n-–."

    November 2, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Tee

      What's your point? You just wanted any chance to mention Jeremiah Wright. It's way past time to stop beating that particular dead horse.

      November 2, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  11. pc

    Obama's spiritual mentor was Jeremiah Wright. Quote, "To say “I am a Christian” is not enough. Why? Because the Christianity of the slaveholder is not the Christianity of the slave. The God to whom the slaveholders pray as they ride on the decks of the slave ship is not the God to whom the enslaved are praying as they ride beneath the decks on that slave ship."

    November 2, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  12. pc

    Obama's spiritual mentor was Jeremiah Wright. Quote, “We are deeply involved in the importing of drugs, the exporting of guns and the training of professional killers. … We believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God. … We conducted radiation experiments on our own people. … We care nothing about human life if the ends justify the means. And … And … And! God! Has got! To be sick! Of this sh!t!!”

    November 2, 2012 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  13. pc

    I overpost and I like it in the bum.

    November 2, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • pc

      Obama's spiritual mentor was Jeremiah Wright. Quote, “Fact number one: We’ve got more black men in prison than there are in college. … Fact number two: Racism is how this country was founded and how this country is still run.”

      November 2, 2012 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  14. pc

    Obama's spiritual mentor was Jeremiah Wright. Quote, “Fact number one: We’ve got more black men in prison than there are in college. … Fact number two: Racism is how this country was founded and how this country is still run.”

    November 2, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  15. kyjohn

    This reminds me of the parallels between Kennedy and Lincoln after JFK was assassinated. It is interesting drivel.

    November 2, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  16. pc

    Obama's spiritual mentor was Jeremiah Wright. Quote, Jan. 13, 2008: “Hillary is married to Bill, and Bill has been good to us. No he ain’t! Bill did us, just like he did Monica Lewinsky. He was riding dirty.”

    November 2, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  17. pc

    Obama's spiritual mentor was Jeremiah Wright. Quote, December 2007: “Hillary ain’t never been called a n!%%@r. Hillary has never had a people defined as a non-person.”

    November 2, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  18. pc

    Obama's spiritual mentor was Jeremiah Wright. Quote, “Barack knows what it means living in a country and a culture that is controlled by rich, white people. Hillary would never know that.”

    November 2, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  19. bobjones

    Obama's rank incompetence can't have anything to do with his failures and inability to win round two. So let's blame race. CNN: Killing journalism one article at a time.

    November 2, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  20. pc

    Obama's spiritual mentor was Jeremiah Wright. Quote, “The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes three-strike laws and wants them to sing God Bless America. No! No No! God damn America … for killing innocent people. God damn America for threatening citizens as less than humans. God damn America as long as she tries to act like she is God and supreme.”

    November 2, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  21. pc

    Obama's spiritual mentor was Jeremiah Wright. Quote,September 2001: “We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because of stuff we have done overseas is now brought back into our own backyard. America is chickens coming home to roost.”

    November 2, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  22. pc

    Obama's spiritual mentor was Jeremiah Wright. Quote, September 2001: “We bombed Hiroshima. We bombed Nagasaki. And we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon and we never batted an eye.”

    November 2, 2012 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  23. obamaphone

    What up my homies! Obama is great and gave me my new free obamaphone! With all these gov't handouts me and my 12 kids baby mamas never have to work. Obama is the shizzle! I would vote for him, but I'm a convicted felon. So it's up to you America to keep all deez handouts rollin in! Romney will create jobs and make me have to work for a living. Vote Obama! Now I'm off to watch my Judge shows on my bigscreen. HOLLA AT CHA BOI

    November 2, 2012 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Luis

      I think you just proved the main point of the article. You guys got stuck in civil war era prejudices.

      November 2, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Traveler

    Great read...History always repeats itself!

    November 2, 2012 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  25. pc

    Obama's spiritual mentor was Jeremiah Wright. Quote, September 2001: “The government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color. The government lied.”

    November 2, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  26. pc

    Despite saying in 2009 that failing to right the economy in three years
    would mean a "one-term proposition," President Obama on Thursday may
    have moved the goalposts.
    "Now, we knew from the beginning that our work would take more than one
    year, or even one term - because let's face it, the middle class was
    getting hammered long before the financial crisis hit," Obama said in
    Green Bay, Wis., as he ventured back onto the campaign trail after a
    three-day hiatus due to super storm Sandy.
    The claim, though, that "we knew from the beginning" it would take more
    than one term is a departure from what Obama told NBC's Matt Lauer in
    February 2009. At the time, Obama said, "A year from now, I think people
    are going to see that we're starting to make some progress, but there's
    still going to be some pain out there. If I don't have this done in
    three years, then there's going to be a one-term proposition."
    He just needs another lifetime and he will get us out of this.

    November 2, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  27. wolfpackbob

    It is The Economy, Mr. President. Your Economy, Mr. President. You built that.

    November 2, 2012 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  28. Kelly51

    The reverend and civil rights advocate who gave the benediction at President Obama’s inauguration suggested at a recent Obama re-election rally that he thinks white people are going to heII - though he later said it was just a joke.

    The Rev. Joseph Lowery spoke at a rally Saturday in Georgia. According to an account in the Monroe County Reporter, "Lowery said that when he was a young militant, he used to say all white folks were going to heII. Then he mellowed and just said most of them were.

    "Now, he said, he is back to where he was," according to the newspaper.

    "I don’t know what kind of a n-– wouldn’t vote with a black man running," he also told the audience in the St. James Baptist Church in Forsyth, Ga., according to the paper.

    Unreal and I'm called racist? Yeah, right.

    November 2, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  29. bouree

    Racism in America was certainly on the decline – till Obama got elected. The black population voted overwhelmingly for Obama – I believe many of them did for racial reasons. The racist elements in white America responded quickly giving momentum to the tea party and the birther movement, not to mention the Arizona "papers" law. We topped it off by slinging mud at one of our finest – Colin Powell. It is a painful and ugly process for all of us, but when the dust from the election settles, and emotions have subsided to normal level, we will realize that this is a conversation we needed to have as a nation. I think we'll emerge stronger.

    November 2, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  30. 9hydra

    Really interesting article. Great job CNN.

    November 2, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  31. freedom

    This racism argument is old and tired – and designed to incite more division. If this country hadn't moved passed this, then why did it elect Obama into office? And to claim that Republicans are racist is very ignorant. When Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice were in the very inner circles of the White House under Bush, there were no racist comments made. Ideology, service to our country, and the vision of America's future are the key issues – not race.

    November 2, 2012 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  32. Logical Fallacy Oh My

    You know its' close to elections when the logical fallacies bombard us through the media. Two fallacies being committed by Mr. Blake in his "Parallels to Country's Racist Past Haunt Age of Obama", is an Ad Homimem, and False Analogy. The glue of Mr. Blake's argument wants us to believe the majority of opposition facing the President's policies, and namely "Obamacare", is due to the color of his skin, citing an AP poll that showed a non significant increase of white Americans being prejudiced against African Americans since Mr. Obama took office. Then Mr. Blake compares the current times with that of post-Civil War Reconstruction supported by comments from a few Historians, completely used out of context.
    It is too bad that much of today's politics and media coverage do not "go beyond the superficial social analyst who looks merely at effects, and does not grapple with the underlying causes." (King 1963).

    November 2, 2012 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
    • JamesFoley

      LOgical Fallacy Oh My...you're engaging in projection;you're projecting your own use of logical fallacy onto others and not applying your wisdom to yourself and proving yourself a liar in the process.

      @Kelly51... no that would be YOU

      November 2, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Otheym

    Obama is being helped by his race, not harmed.
    If Obama were white with his record the last four years, his poll numbers would be far worse.

    November 2, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • JonfromLI

      If Bush was Black, with the record that he had (especially stealing the 2000 election), there's no way he would have won a second term. He's the one that got us into the WAR FOR THE PROFIT OF DEFENSE CONTRACTORS.

      November 2, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  34. Scarlett

    It is simply ignorant to assume that anyone who opposes Obama and is not black, is automatically a racist. I am a white woman happily married to a black man, and I ardently oppose Obama and his so-called "vision" for America. By the way, my husband opposes him as well. Democrats, and very obviously the MEDIA, insert race in order to play on fears and guilt. Unfortunately, it seems as though the masses are buying into it, which is a sad state of affairs for our country. Ignorance abounds in this country, and people need to stop listening to Eva Longoria and her minions of morons, stop being fooled by the Democrats fear-mongering, and pick up their iPhones and learn the facts about the man they support. PERIOD.

    November 2, 2012 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Nebraska Mom of 2

      Well stated.

      November 2, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Chris M

    blah blah blah who actually believes Jim Crow has returned.

    I mean, do you hear whites in Zimbabwe hating Mugabe because he's black??

    November 2, 2012 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • BVB

      Chris, we are talking about America not South African, if you must make compare please compare apples with apples!!

      November 5, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  36. NoRace

    Your ejaculations emit the distinct smell of inbreeding

    November 2, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • UncleBenny

      You're an expert on the smell of ejaculate? You need a new hobby.

      November 2, 2012 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  37. Chris M

    Yawn...the same old tired race baiting rears its ugly head once again.

    November 2, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  38. hyrum.white

    I acknowledge that there is still racism out there, but it is fast disappearing. I don't care what color Obama is, I don't like him on the basis of his policies and actions.

    November 2, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  39. John

    This presidential race is not about what color Obama is. It is about his policies and its failures, period. Obama's policies are socialism and redistribution of wealth. Who has the wealth in this country? So can you blame what this article is claiming then, even if it is true? No group (white, black, yellow, brown, whatever the color) is willing to hand over their wealth/power especially when most rich Americans earned their wealth vs. inheritance. The white population in this country has been and is the power behind this country, because they were here first and earned it. They are responsible for providing black Americans opportunities to better themselves in the last 40 to 50 years. Obama's rise to power is a good example of the opportunities a black minority can obtain via hard work in this white dominated nation (e.g. you will not get a scholarship to Harvard Law if you have poor grads). Will Obama have the same opportunity in today's South Africa? The only way the black Americans will be accepted in full in America is WHEN THEY EARN IT via hard work! This article indirectly perpetuates the continuing downfall of black Americans in this country – aka "it is not my fault, it is the white man’s fault.”

    November 2, 2012 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Dr Tom

      I think you can be pretty sure that most blacks work a lot harder can get a lot less for their work than most whites. I sick and tired of hearing about how your economic status in this country is mostly due to how hard you work. I'd say it accounts for about 10% of where you are. Most of your economic status is due to your where you our born and who your parents are, then the good luck (or God's blessings if your religious) that have been bestowed upon you throughout your life. I know because I'm pretty well off and have had a great life (so far); I've worked hard, but not that hard, compared to most lower middle class and poor people.

      November 2, 2012 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • bigsigh

      John, what a scary message. Do you recognize your prejudices, or do you think you aren't racist? Seriously, blacks will "gain acceptance" once they earn it? Seriously? Would you say your white neighbors will "gain acceptance" when they earn it, or do they have it inherently because they're white? I dare say you might try seeking perspective on the world outside your limited experience.

      November 2, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Dr Tom

    This is one of the best articles I've seen posted on CNN's web site.

    November 2, 2012 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Rudy

      Agreed! I didn't realize they even ran a blog, though I'm going to guess this article is beyond the usual quality.

      November 2, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  41. Chris M

    Yawn...the hail Mary race card has been thrown in the last 2 seconds....

    Actually, I agree with George Will. Sending Obama home for the next 4 years would be the most race-neutral thing the electorate could do; all the Crowley coaching, race baiting and Obama record grade inflation is just more desperate liberals putting up a white guilt firewall around a failed President.

    November 2, 2012 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Dr Tom

      Obama & his team saved us from going into a depression. He kept GM alive, and made bin Laden and much of the Al Queda leadership dead. And was the first President who was able to be some general health care law passed among many who tried. A failed Presidency – I don't think so.

      November 2, 2012 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
      • Eveyn

        Dr. Tom
        You are right on.The Prersident has done quite welll ,given he has had a Congress that has refused to work with him in anyway.For those who think Romney is the answer ,think again folks .His sole concern has been and always will be for himself and the very richest people in America.We are heading back to the days when a few rich people controlled everything and the working people were treated like trash.. America ,is this what you really want?

        November 2, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  42. shaun artiga

    CNN reads all the post. but CNN seem to only post the racist comments in hatred of blacks. but if i say something my comments will never be seen

    November 2, 2012 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  43. Stop Playing the Race Card

    If Obama's so anti-racism and is the great "joiner" that Democrats promote, why'd he spend so many years going to Rev. Jeremiah Wright's church? And why'd he contribute money to the guy? There's nobody in their right mind who believes that Wright isn't racist and race mongering – just look at the tapes of his sermons. And yet Obama gave his time and money to the guy. Seems fishy... I don't know about you, but if I'm not racist, I would be hard-pressed to show up at Church in order to listen to the minister spout racist things from the pulpit.

    November 2, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  44. Oakspar77777

    An interesting tour through some troubled history.

    At the core of democracy is the idea that the will of the people should rule – and even from the founding of that notion has been the fear of the "tyrrany of the masses."

    The poor (non-land owning), women, minorities – each were denied the vote for fear they would not make wise decisions. By barring them from the vote, they were barred from making political decisions.

    Over time, however, politicians learned that if they extended the vote to a group, that group would race to support them. Thus, it was men who voted to let women vote, land owners to non-landowners, and whites to blacks. Done nobly or politically, society has come to accept each change.

    The problem, however, is that each time there has been a vilification of the opposition. When the person who opposes the administration is labeled a raciest because he opposes some policy of the administration, what arguements are left to him? He can deny it, and be ridiculed (how do you alibi out of racism?) or he can live up to it. By labeling him a racist, you have freed him to be one (having no reason not to be one, once so labeled).

    Humanity has always divided itself into groups, ethnicities, nationalities, social classes, and the like. In our DNA there is latent racism that will always affect society. Why then accuse racism, since such an accusation is likely self-fulfilling?

    Unless the argument against the President is actually worded as "he is wrong because he is not sufficiently white (or sufficiently black)," then the arguement should be dealt with on its merits alone, and not on the basis of race. Sure, the arguement might come from someone whose motivations are completely racist – but the beliefs of an individual do not negate the potential validity of their arguements in a free country.

    November 2, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Hendu71

      I stopped reading when they quoted someone uttering "reverse racism." There is no such thing. If Obama is practicing "reverse racism," that really means is Obama is racist against whites.

      November 2, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael B.

      Glad we're not a democracy then!

      November 2, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  45. 1Dino1Canada

    Wow, I can see the 51% racist figure is probably too low. The article is simply says what underliying racism exists against blacks in America and the corresponding additional burdens put on your President.As another author wrote recently, Peresident Obama had to be twice as smart, and err half as much to maintain supportbecause or his African American heritage.Youre not racist if you vote against him , as long as you're doing it for the right reason. But do some soul searching first.

    November 2, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  46. Stop Playing the Race Card

    A big part of tackling racism in this country is to get Democrats to stop playing the race card for political gain. They essentially accuse any non-black person who opposes Obama of being racist. That way, they guilt you into voting for him just to prove that you're not. And then they turn around to the black population and play on their race fears. You have Uncle Joe Biden out there addressing groups of black leaders and telling them that if Romney is elected, "He's going to put you back in chains!" Really, so this isn't race mongering at its finest? Even Obama's 2004 former campaign chair (who is African-American and is OPPOSING his reelection) wrote about how this is hitting below the belt.

    If they don't want race to be a part of this election, then stop playing the race card... Simple as that...

    November 2, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Timothy

      I qjuite agree with you. My sympathies have always been with the Democratic party but Joe Biden is disgusting to me. He is nothing but a cheap political hack and to have him a hearbeat from the presidency is appalling.

      November 2, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Badboy

      They cant help it. This is the type of tripe they will spue until after the election. Obama is losing...find an unbiased poll! He ran a petty campaign and just now at the end, he is going to act presidential...too little too late Racist in Chief, Liar in Chief, Loser in Chief

      November 2, 2012 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • NoRace

      But who first pulled the race card? Soon after Obama's election, I recall Glenn Beck saying something like, "Obama has a deep-seated hatred of white people." And Rush Limbaugh with his monkey-sounds and bones-in-the-nose stuff. And all the Birther stuff.

      November 2, 2012 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
      • Stop Playing the Race Card

        LOL, so you want to make this a "point in time" argument? Pretty dumb, but I'll humor it for discussion's sake anyway. First of all, the race mongering/racial card was played long BEFORE Obama was in office. In fact, it was one of the primary reasons that Obama got elected to begin with. Many of the people who voted for him the first time and now oppose him for the second term have come out and stated "I felt like I had to be part of history in voting in the first black president." Furthermore, Obama's own beliefs on race were evident way before he ever landed on Glen Beck or Rush Limbaugh's radars. He spent years attending and donating to the ministry of Jeremiah Wright, who makes no apologies for spewing racial hatred on a consistent basis.

        And finally, this argument you make is stupid. Even if you felt conservatives were playing the race card first, how does this justify the Democrats both decrying the race card AND using it at the same time? That's what we call hypocrisy. Obama may pretend that he's not playing it up, but that's where he has the Democratic machine including his attack dog Uncle Joe Biden doing the dirty work. Biden says the things (and riles up the racial hatred) so that Obama can act like he's above it...

        November 2, 2012 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • NoRace

      I never said I agreed with your premise that Obama was playing the race card. His relationship with Wright was not a part of his campaign, it was part of McCain's campaign... McCain pulled that.

      Biden's remark is very interesting and I think a little complicated. I believe his real purpose was to play the Class Card, not the Race Card. ie, the image of plutocrats putting us all into economic chains, but he was doing the preacher-man shtick and slipped up and used that "y'all back in chains" phrase. He should have said "put us all into economic chains" That would have sent the message to the audience without opening him up to attacks like yours.

      November 2, 2012 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
      • Stop Playing the Race Card

        Haha... You amuse me... You're proving again that you're even dumber than Biden appears. And emphasize that Biden "appears" dumb because the reality is that his greatest skill (and both sides readily admit it) is that he's the consumate career politician. He's actually a wily and calculated politician, even if his policies make little sense. He plays the "aw shucks" lovable buffoon persona when it politically suits him and his party. But if you for one moment think that this was just a slip up on Biden's part that he mentioned chains to a gathering of black leaders and that he "mistakenly" omitted the word "economic" in there, then you really have let the Kool-Aid melt your brain.

        And you can blame McCain for bringing up Obama's connections to Wright if you want. I love how you give Obama a free pass on BEING connected to Wright though. If there were no connection, there'd be nothing to write about. Wright is and has been as racist as any member of the KKK would be. For Obama to be in that man's congregation and sending him money speaks for itself. It doesn't matter who exposed it.

        November 2, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • NoRace

      Why do you have to call me dumb? Learn some manners.

      November 2, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  47. JamesFoley

    Incidentally, many of you conservatives coming here spreading your nonsense are only exemplifying what this article has observed. You're acting like a bunch of racist sympathizers. Guilty consciences I suppose.

    November 2, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  48. JamesFoley

    To taskmaster and steve lyons and frankly anyone who thinks like them...you're guilty of creating a false premise. NOONE is saying you're a racist if you don't vote for Obama... let me stress that again... N-O-O-N-E is saying you're a racist because you won't vote for Obama. If you're being called a racist, it's because of the false reasoning you present for not voting for him. You are also guilty of the sin of omission, which only adds to peoples mistrust of you and the disgust with your insincerity. If you're not voting for Obam because you don't like his stance on abortion, because he let bankers walk away with a bonus hand out, or because you don't like his approach to dealing with war, then as unfounded as I believe your decisions are, I cannot and would not describe you as a racist, and I haven't for those reasons and neither has anyone else. However, if you're a birther, calling him a cosialist, calling him a marxist, saying he's just like Bush or Bringing up his half whiteness as if it were being attacked by Obama and "liberals" then your actions equal that of other racists across the nation. If you personally have been called a racist, it is likely becauise, whether you know it or will admit it or not, you acted like a racist and/or engaged in actions and rhetoric that a racist would approve of. CNN is NOT playing the race card. If they're playing any sort of card at all, it's the objective history card. Learn the difference before you open your mouth or post a comment next time. You embarrass yourself with your stupidity.

    November 2, 2012 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Stop Playing the Race Card

      Nobody's playing the race card? So getting in front of a group of black leaders and saying that "Romney's going to put you back in chains if he gets elected!" isn't race mongering? You probably didn't know about that one did you? That's because CNN buried it in the Political Ticker a couple months back rather than putting it on the front page where it belonged. Who's this quote from you ask? Why, your good ole' Uncle Joe, of course! You have the Obama administration itself playing the race card... Get a clue!

      November 2, 2012 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
      • free71

        Joe was telling a truth that a lot of Black people already know very well. A lot of Republicans wouldn't mind seeing people of color in chains, imprisoned, or just plain dead. Republicans are openly hostile towards Black people and are quick to cast aside Black Republicans (Michael Steele, Alan Keyes, etc.).

        November 2, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  49. Absolutely True

    This hit the nail on the head. All you need do is read comments here on CNN (the 'liberal' news) and on FAUX News (the 'conservative' news) but more telling – local news comment pages across this nation. The things people are saying about the Obamas if full-on KKK hate language spouted by people who are so horrified at having a black man in the white house they – as their Republican leadership was recorded saying on video after the 2008 election – "Our only job for the next four years is to get the President out of office"...the old white man who said this speaks for millions of black-hating, gay-hating, mexican-hating, muslim-hating, jew-hating Americans. All we need to do is listen to a lunatic fringe fanatic like Anne Coulter to get the truth about what this dying breed (and not soon enough) of Americans REALLY think. shame on them. The Tea Party proved it. Sarah Palin and freak married to a closeted gay man Michele Bachman proved it, and Congress proved it...I can't wait until President Obama's SECOND Inauguration after he wins the election.

    November 2, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  50. nowthatsrigh

    I hope that most people are intelligent enough (I know that is quite a leap of faith) to vote for the candidate they believe will be best for our country, not the one who is the same race, or voting against one because he is a certain race, etc.

    November 2, 2012 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  51. free71

    The people who are offended by this article and its implications are the problem. It is undisputable historical fact that a humiliated, post-Civil War South went to great lengths to stifle any hint of Black progress not only through the use of racist legislation but primarily through the employment of terrorism (intimidation, lynchings, mob violence, etc.). These things really happened, and if you are offended by the mere mention of this history, then you are broadcasting you guilt openly for all to see.

    As much as there is to criticize Obama for (his adoption of a neo-con, militaristic global policy being a big one), he did keep this country from sliding further into the abyss of depression and irrelevance that a continuation of the Bush regime's soft fascism would have led us. Yes, the economic stimulus plan added debt, but the same conservatives whining about it now are the same ones who were gung-ho about spending copious amounts of borrowed money to kill Brown people in two different Islamic countries and to give people like Romney more money to stash in the Caymans.

    Obama will win again next Tuesday, the ecomony will continue to grow, and even the knuckle-dragging troglodytes will see their bitter lives improve.

    November 2, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  52. Oh Know~

    White Guilt 2012

    November 2, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  53. Ian

    More white men voted for Obama than for John Kerry, but I guess that doesn't matter.

    November 2, 2012 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Dr Tom

      More white men voted for Obama than for George McGovern, too – not sure what that proves.

      November 2, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  54. KCRick

    How do they come up with these articles? Comparing the Reoncstruction era to todayis silliy. Just like the President's comments on bayonets and horses, I flip it now and say, hey there has been no slavery for 150 years, there has been the Civil Rights law for 50 years, there has been a black President, two black secretaries of state, a black supreme court justice, a black military joint chiefs of staff, and numerous black senators, mayors, congressmen, etc..... Can't we just move on, why do you keep playing the race card?

    November 2, 2012 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Warren

      The race card will never go away.
      CNN and the media will continue to throw fuel on this fire if because it so many idiots continue to play it.
      Neverending cycle.
      This type of garbage is turning me into a misathrope.

      November 2, 2012 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  55. danita

    Last Labor Department jobs report before Election Day confirms US economy remains stuck in neutral, with 171,000 jobs added last month, nearly the same number filing for unemployment, a jobless rate moving higher — to 7.9 percent — and at least 12.3 million still out of work.

    November 2, 2012 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  56. johndanger

    What's the matter, sisi? Mom off at work and you're all alone in the trailer? Why don't you watch cartoons for a while, honey? The adults are trying to have a conversation.

    November 2, 2012 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  57. iWonderSometimes06

    Instead of getting into the theory or academics of the topic there is a very easy way to understand if we truly see each others as equal. Make it personal, be intellectually honest, and ask yourself one simple question. Would you fully support your son or daughter was marrying someone of the opposite race? Such as a black man marrying your white daughter or vise versa.

    November 2, 2012 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
    • NoRace

      well said

      November 2, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
      • Will

        Depends. Depends on if the relationship was healthy, where each mutually supported and *truly* loved each other. I know, for a *fact*, that I have *heard* African Americans use disparaging terms toward White individuals who they were involved in a relationship with. There have been caseS where I heard groups of Af-Am men use terms that were obviously disrespectful toward white women, and also terms that suggest "objectification" and hate toward women. And if I had to bet on it, I'd be willing to bet that the caseS I heard were *not* isolated instances. On the surface, the relationship seems "progressive"...but I know it is *far* from it.

        November 2, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  58. cedaly1968

    I think what this article is striking at is that, unless there is a radical change in immigration and the complete closure of U.S. borders to non-whites, within 25 years, the minority shoe will be on our feet. Race in America is an interesting thing...

    November 2, 2012 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • NoRace

      Does that scare you?

      November 2, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  59. HeyZeus

    It would be interesting except the only people saying there was a cover-up are the idiots in Romney's camp. That whole c-130 circling overhead is nonsense. There was no c-130 and no Marine General lost his job because he "wanted to go in"
    The lies of the right know no bounds when it comes to wanting to screw over America.

    November 2, 2012 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  60. Steve Lyons

    Romney for change, Obama for chains.

    November 2, 2012 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  61. Taskmaster

    Yeah Liberals say that a white person that wont vote for Obama is a racist. Well then the black people that wont vote for Romney are racist too. Remember Obama says he wants everyone to play by the same rules. Or does he only mean that for liberals?

    November 2, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Sunflower

      LOL! Good point that sadly escapes most people.....

      November 2, 2012 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Dr Tom

      John Sununu, the co-chair of Romney's reelection campaign, has said that the reason Gen Powell is supporting Obama is because he is Black, and then, even worse, he said he supports that thinking. Isn't that Racist? Romney has not denounced Sununu's statement, much less fired the guy.

      November 2, 2012 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
      • Thomas A Milton

        Did Powell support Republican presidential candidates until the 2008 and 2012 races?
        Do you expect Powell to endorse Joe Biden in 2016?

        November 2, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Heather

    Wow...I am white and the president is black and if I don't vote for him, it's because I am racist.

    November 2, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve Lyons

      That pretty much sums up the liberal guilt trip.

      November 2, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  63. JJH

    What about the Christians that won't vote for Romney because he is a Mormon?

    November 2, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Taskmaster

      I am a christian and I will vote for Romney. Not for his religion or the color of his skin but for his political philosophy. I am not jealous of Romney's wealth. I am tired of people that think wealthy people are to be scorned. I think that the people who want to rob the wealthy and give to the food stamp society are the ones who should be scorned.

      November 2, 2012 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
      • likedthisone

        @Taskmaster ... You're not alone. Rest of us serious people think the same. My mother taught me to be better than her and my father, to better myself and achieve. Not to be average. I see a rich person, I want to be like them.. not take from them what they rightfully earned. As far as this article goes, I completely dismiss it as a whiny race card that it is. Liberals are desperate. I know black men and women are smarter than this.

        November 2, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan In Seattle

      Interesting that most Christians don't realize that Romney is Christian. (Mormons are Christian, they believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God, The Savior of the World).

      November 2, 2012 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
  64. john

    Wow if being liberal mean calling conservatives racist because they don't agree with the "what can my country do for me" mindset all I can say is ignorance. Radical Islam is about extreme ideology where the MO is your with me or we will kill you. Is that kind of hate really the mindset that liberals want to project? How sad that even the media is leading the lemmings.

    November 2, 2012 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  65. Jeff Anderson

    Really, So, We judge people now by the color skin not by the character of their Heart? I beleive in the challenge of the late Dr Martin Luther King Jr. The man was elected as president. He had his opportunity of lead our nation. We have lost our prime credit rating. We are in horrible debt. Congress is in a lock down against one another. We vote on his performance, PERIOD

    And incidently history also shows Mormons have also been persecuted. What happen to Joseph Smith in Navoo, IL? So I guess if Gov. Mit Romney loses the U.S. is still prejudice against other religions than Christianity?

    Really, do we still want to keep going over this?

    November 2, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Kelly51

      Everyone is or has been persecuted in one form or the other. Enough of the race card, enough of the hate from the Athiest. We need to vote for the best man for the job and Barrys last four years doesn't do it for me. I don't care if he were purple with pink polka dots!

      November 2, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
      • Taskmaster

        Kelly51 Very well stated!

        November 2, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  66. Kelly51

    Barry is done for and there is nothing that could change my mind or that of the majority of the Americans that will vote him out of office, before he is yanked out of office for his treasonous ways.

    November 2, 2012 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Bolaji09

      @Kelly51 – We'll find out soon enough, won't we? To think how you and your ilk will spend the next four years; nay, the next SIXTEEN years!

      November 2, 2012 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
      • Kelly51

        The reverend and civil rights advocate who gave the benediction at President Obama’s inauguration suggested at a recent Obama re-election rally that he thinks white people are going to heII - though he later said it was just a joke.

        The Rev. Joseph Lowery spoke at a rally Saturday in Georgia. According to an account in the Monroe County Reporter, "Lowery said that when he was a young militant, he used to say all white folks were going to heII. Then he mellowed and just said most of them were.

        "Now, he said, he is back to where he was," according to the newspaper.

        "I don’t know what kind of a n-– wouldn’t vote with a black man running," he also told the audience in the St. James Baptist Church in Forsyth, Ga., according to the paper.

        Unreal and I'm called racist? Yeah, right.

        November 2, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  67. Learn

    WOW...I guess most people posting on here have not clue how to read or write.

    November 2, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Kelly51

      Go and grade your students paperwork and leave us alone. Miss. I'm perfect!

      November 2, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  68. Name*Elizabeth

    I'll second that Dan. In 08-09 Our 70 yr old business was in the brink of collapse. All employees will never know how close they came to losung their jobs. In the past 4 YRS weve grown 30%, hiring, and turning profits again. It was one major elbow grease and one part this administrations decisions made based on a nightmare situation. President Obama deserves a secind term. These are all fear tactics being used right now. As an employer I am very optimistic about the future. We manufacture in MA.

    November 2, 2012 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
    • danita

      We don't care if you manufacture in MA... Why go to college if that's all anyone can do? Its good to have those jobs, but I think people spending money on edaucation don't want to end up on an assembly line beside you and take 20 years to build a halfway good salary. Obama makes is sound as if all of the middle class is dumb as heck and don't have good jobs. We can build roads and bridges...

      November 2, 2012 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      And my business of 25 years went out of business.... mine and many others. You are unquestionably one of very, very few who had this experience. Ironic you did not say what type of business

      November 2, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  69. sybaris

    Despite attempts in the late 60's early 70's to desegregate the U.S. it is still divided along racial lines. As a result most white people in the U.S. are totally unaware of the subtleties of racism and that they enable it.

    November 2, 2012 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      How true! FIlth like the not so Reverends $harpton & Jack$on us race at every turn to try and divide America.


      November 2, 2012 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
      • Stop Playing the Race Card

        Absolutely right, Scott. But why stop there? Even Uncle Joe Biden's been getting in on the act. CNN reported (though it was under their Political Ticker rather than being front and foremost) about how Biden went in front of a meeting of black leaders and proclaimed that if Romney gets reelected "He's going to put you back in chains!" So you got the VP getting in on the action, not just the lunatics on the side.

        November 2, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • sybaris

      Thank you Kelly, you illustrate my point effortlessly

      November 2, 2012 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
      • Kelly51

        Enough of the race card! It's proaganda to stir up votes for Barry. This election has nothing to do with race it has everything to do with incompitence! Your leader has divided this country more than any other president!

        November 2, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
      • HeyZeus

        Actually Kelly, YOUR Republican controlled House divided the Nation. The President has done all he can to keep it together. Take the responsibility for what the Republican's have made happen.

        November 2, 2012 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  70. Kelly51

    End the hate, end the lies, end this administration that has spewed enough propaganda to sink the Nimitz. Not since the Civil War have we been so divided.

    November 2, 2012 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
    • sybaris

      So you deny any opposition to the Obama administration is racially motivated?

      November 2, 2012 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
      • Kelly51

        It has more to do with his policies, his decision making, his lies than it does his skin color!

        November 2, 2012 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
      • Scott

        ... but sybaris doesn't want to admit that because it would then have to admit that its Dear Leader is totally incompetent as a president.


        November 2, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
      • Shocked

        Wait... you mean if I say something against a black man's competence as president, that doesn't necessarily make me a racist?

        November 2, 2012 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
      • Mike

        I am a white man and am sick and tired of everyone implying that I am a racist simply because I don't vote for the black guy! ML King's "I have a dream" speech illustrates he would be ashamed of ANY voter who considered the color of skin in an election instead of the content of character.

        November 2, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
      • Kelly51

        MLK was a great man. If only Barry had half of MLK's heart.

        November 2, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Kelly51

      @Scott You took the words right out of my mouth!

      November 2, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
    • OldSchool1962

      Really K-51, get real this country has always been separated by race. What I really find so interesting is that people fail to remember what state the country was in before Obama was elected, Oh that's right it's called selective memory.

      November 2, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  71. rare_earth

    Analyzing these comments, I can only be assured of one thing.
    Those that scream the loudest that they aren't racist, are.

    November 2, 2012 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Kelly51

      That would be Barry!

      November 2, 2012 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
      • Scott

        Komrade rare_earth,
        Have you noticed in the last two to three years that when you race baiter call someone a racist that it doesn't carry the stigma that it use to? Yup, you and your fellow anti-white racists overplayed the race card during your beloved BoBo's first term as prez and hence most people now yawn when they hear you and your fellow libs play that card.


        November 2, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  72. Keel Hauler

    GOP: "We are not racist"
    Translation; "We gonna get that black boy out' tha white house!"

    November 2, 2012 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      The only card you've got left to play there, eh? So lets talk about your Dear Leader's record or would you rather dodge that one?


      November 2, 2012 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
      • Bob Thunderpants

        IIt would be refreshing to talk about what the President has done in his first term as well as the opposition to programs intended to turn the economy back around. We have one less war to pay for, healthcare programs to get most citizens covered (which is a huge economic burden), and a well managed bail out and stimulus that turned our economy from a job bleeding mess into a stable slow growth. You say that you hate him based on his positions, but I find it hard to see what more he could do with 2 years he had to get things done. Who would have guessed what happened in 2010 when the tea party was elected to make government as ineffectual as possible. That is what happens when you have a person running on how bad the government handles everything; They don't think they have to do anything when they take office. They caused our credit rating to decay and say they want our deficit to be reduced, but only by more cuts and tax breaks (the mental gymnastics of this is unbearable). So what say you what are the policies that you disagree with, I'm guessing they are something that someone told you to get all mad about which are not real.

        November 2, 2012 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Jack63

      Dem: Your a racist
      Definition: I have no other defense against your comment!

      November 2, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  73. Scott

    Well, when the komrade lib's anointed one can't run on its record, the then only thing left for the propaganda department of the Obama Re-Election Campaign (CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, NYTimes, etc.) is to crank up the use of the race card.


    November 2, 2012 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  74. DBteacher

    This is the worst article I have ever read on CNN. The parallels that are drawn in this are outlandish. Not to say that our country is perfect, but this article stretches to make a correlation to substantiate these claims.

    November 2, 2012 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
  75. Ben

    Some real thin-skinned folks here. Did you see Arthur Jensen died? Probably don't know of him, do you? Look him up if you want to see the state of race relations in this country.

    As for the article, I found it interesting to read and contemplate the argument. As for those who are all in a lather about the "race bating" tenor of the article, it sure looks to me like you are the kid with his hand stuck in the cookie jar. Discussing the academic merits of the article is healthy, but when one delivers a paranoid response along the lines of "I'm not racist, in fact, 'they' are" you seriously undermine your credibility. Concerning your own racism; only you know. But if it walks like a duck...

    November 2, 2012 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  76. rsgibson

    Frankly I find this article not worth reading and didn't finish it. The KKK probably has gathered many new members.

    November 2, 2012 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
  77. Caseyuy

    I do know that although we have come a long way on racisim, we still have a long way to go. I am deeply disappointed at a number of comments on many of these pages with respect to the President. Some people just simply hate the President and it shows through their comments. Hate is worse than racism, but the two together is just a mindset that cannot be changed. Again, we have come a long way, but still have a long way to go. So, ignore those who spew hate and don't even give them any of your time.

    November 2, 2012 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
  78. Dilbert Smithers

    Nothing like partisan race baiting days before election! I really don't know why I visit CNN.com. I guess it's easier to type into the address bar.

    November 2, 2012 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  79. leon

    So sad, so wrong. As a man of color I'm sick of hearing about this. If you had the choice between a black conservative or a non-black Democrat who would you vote for? You see, the truth is that the blue party is the party of racial bigotry, you and ALL others just keep getting sold it isn't. Time to wake up and vote for the "RIGHT PERSON". That , by the way is Mitt

    November 2, 2012 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
  80. teatbagtime

    Racist past? What racist past? Racism is alive and well in America. It only changed its name from KKK to Tea Party.

    November 2, 2012 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
    • krejaton

      Keep downing the Dem kool aid. Are you actually capable of thinking for yourself?

      November 2, 2012 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
  81. Amindofitsown

    Uh, racism does still exist. Oh, it is very much alive. Except you won't see middle aged men running around in white hoods or "Whites/Blacks" only restrooms. No, ask some Joe Schmoe in small town America if racism exists. Chances are you'll hear terms like "Barack Osama" or "Uncle Tom of the White House" (I live in the midwest, I hear slurs like these on a daily basis). President Obama had it bad from the get-go. The President of the good old U.S. of A...black??? We're just now healing from the scars of the Civil Rights Movement some 40 years ago. What, no one expected ANY kind of racism whatsoever? Get a clue, folks. Life is not a Disney movie, Tinkerbell isn't going wave her wand and racism is magically going to disappear in a wink. It could be years, decades, even centuries before American society-or society in general-looks at the subject of coexistence on any kind of level plane.

    November 2, 2012 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
    • leon

      but it's ok to make fun of the white folk. True racial bigotry exists in those that feel they are discriminated. Look in the mirror when you point that finger..........

      November 2, 2012 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Chrishjorth

      Raciscim does exist . I was disgusted to have my neighbor tell me how comfortable and confident he was during the 2008 elections when he realized the republicans would be running against either a " black" or a " women". He assumed it was a clear victory for his republican party. This was open talk in upper class California, so I must imagine worse things are said in more rural conservative parts of our country.

      November 2, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  82. RW

    This so very true, I lie in Texas and see this behavior EVERY day, the "conservatives" don't even try to hide it.
    If you don't believe me, just put an Obama sticker on your car and drive through North Dallas suburbs, you'll be very surprised, or maybe not.

    November 2, 2012 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
    • tcp

      You should have placed the period after the sixth word...

      November 2, 2012 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
  83. rudix

    all have to stay American no matter what...if you wish to know who won the election? read THE DIMENSION MACHINE

    November 2, 2012 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
  84. Upset Voter

    It is disturbing to see this article accusing anyone who disagrees with President Obama's policies of being a racist. I voted for president Obama 4 years ago and I am not happy with his performance. On the other side I am not sure that Mitt Romney would be an improvement. Unfortunately it is hard to figure out what either candidate really stands for due the the increasing negativity and extreme political polarization of this campaign. The Obama supporter who is monitoring these comments obviously did not like my previous post about where the tone of these campaigns are leading the country to and removed it and will probably remove this post as well. Maybe Mitt Romney is the candidate for me. At least Mitt Romney does not accuse me of being a racist for being unhappy with where this country is today. You are swaying this undecided voters opinion but I am not sure you are going to like the direction.

    November 2, 2012 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Casey

      I am sorry that you are being swayed by anyone's opinion here. This is exactly why some people post here. In fact, some are plants here for one or the other campaign. Please base your decision on something solid and not what anyone thinks of anyone. We could only hope for a third viable choice/ The money drives elections, but the voters are what count. We cannot compromise our votes or cancel one another out. It is too important to this nation. If you are for big business, vote Romney, if you are for the people vote Obama. That is what I am basing my vote on.

      November 2, 2012 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Maverick

      Racism will always be apart of the fabric of this nation. Blacks and whites are invariably "sewn" at the hip together because of the early days of slavery. When Africans first "landed" in this country, it wasn't by choice. They were brought by Portugese ships and sold to white colonials. Slavery was big business in the world at that time. It took a sick turn when the "trade" came to America however. Some colonists were opposed to the business of slavery and some were for it. The "south" took the matter to a new level with the beating and killing of Africans for attempting to free themselves.

      Look, we can go on and on about the past 200 years of what America did wrong and what it is still doing wrong. With the election of Barack H. Obama, America revealed its dirty forgotten secret-the radicals that believe that blacks have not place in America. It is what it is, and this is where we are. Voting for a black president does not negate the fact a conversation should be started about race in America.

      November 2, 2012 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
      • Upset Voter

        Remember ... there was slavery in the north as well and slavery was not the original battle cry of the civil war but it was the one that made the civil war popular. None of the people who were involved in all of this are currently alive either way. I was only 4 years old when Martin Luther King Jr was killed and I can guarantee I never owned slaves. I am fairly certain my father did not own slaves either since he did not come to this country till after World War II as an immigrant.

        November 2, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  85. Hcalla

    I have to admit I didnt finish this stupid article it was too long and failed to get to the point. Its as or more racially harmful to reelect an incompetent just because of his skin color. When we lose our objectivity and make decisions based on others opinions we have lost. There will always be strong minded people able to sway lesser in both camps.

    November 2, 2012 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Letsgetalong

      When you compare Bush's record to Obama and the fact that Bush got re-elected....one cannot help but conclude that race plays into this. Anyone will tell you that a pass is given to one group of people when they don't perform as well...but another group is punished severely for the very same thing. The justice system is another example of this.

      November 2, 2012 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
      • Upset Voter

        As bad as the 2nd President Bush was, the economy was not doing badly at the end of his 1st term. It was showing the problems at the end of his 2nd term and collapsed right after President Obama was elected and before he took office. Currently we still have a dismal economy, a staggering debt, and high unemployment.

        I voted for President Obama 4 years ago and I am disappointed with the condition of the country at this time. Unfortunately I do not think Mitt Romney could do any better so I am still undecided with the election less than a week away.

        November 2, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  86. Jerry Lemieux

    Perhaps race has far less to do with his lack of popularity then you think. When Obama put that absurd Obama emblem on the Great Seal, I realized what a self centered, ego maniacal and malignant narcissist he was. Yesterday, in a lame attempt to look "military," he shows up in a bomber jacket with Commander in Chief on it. A real Commander-In-Chief would not have gone to bed after being told an American Embassy was under attack. A real Commander-In-Chief would have taken charge and; if necessary, personally ordered the quick reaction force to deploy and rescue our people. Instead, our Command-In-Chief had a good nights sleep and awoke to the news that our ambassador was dead. He reacted to the news by boarding Air Force One and flying to Las Vegas for a fund raiser.

    Obama's race has far less to do with his lack of popularity then does his incompetence. He is a danger to the security of this country and has not earned nor does he deserve another term. If nothing else, he should face impeachment over his inaction and the lies from his administration regarding Libya. Funny how CNN conveniently rationalizes an elliptical reference to "terrorist acts" as his declaration that the Libya incident was an act of terror yet doesn't dwell on the reality that Jay Carney subsequently came out and declared that there was no evidence to support the conclusion that this was a planned attack.

    There is now ample proof that Obama is beyond incompetent and it is time to vote him out of office.

    November 2, 2012 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Duke5343

      Obama has done MORE to divide people in the US in the last 4 years than Jessie Jackson has done in his life time

      November 2, 2012 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
      • Norm

        Due to the color of his skin for people like you.

        November 2, 2012 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
      • Jerry Lemieux

        If Obama was convicted of being an ax murderer tomorrow, he'd still get 95% of the black vote on Tuesday and Colin Powell's vote would be among them.

        November 2, 2012 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
    • shasha56

      Lack of popularity, now that's funny. He's more popular than Romney and GW Bush combined. Not popular? LOL! Maybe not to you, but in my house, among my friends and family and community, we love him! And he will re-election on Tues. Etch a Sketch will not be elected.

      November 2, 2012 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
      • Jerry Lemieux

        Anyone who uses that LOL has proven themselves to be someone not worth paying attention to. Go back to your texting with like minded dullards.

        By the way, when getting off the train yesterday, I picked up 4 Obama/Biden yard signs which I promptly deposited in a dumpster.

        November 2, 2012 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
      • sailor1234

        The comments to this article validate its assertion.

        November 2, 2012 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
      • Jerry Lemieux

        Of course everyone in your house loves him. You share the same race. You're not intelligent enough to judge him on anything beyond that trait.

        November 2, 2012 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
  87. Tom

    When will we start looking at the facts. Is there racism in America... Of course there is. Is it what drives people to vote...no, it doesn't. People do actually see a president, not a black president. People see their lives and how that is going...they want accountability. Let's face it, Obama didn't campaign on his merits. He campaigned by stating how bad he thought in regards to Romney. So, let me ask you, what are you voting for. What has Obama promissed? Obama stating that he's not done yet? That the economy isn't optimal? That Bengazi isn't optimal? That he isn't optimal? America knows this, which is why they might elect Romney instead....

    As for daily rasism in the USA... Listen to the culture. Let me give you an example or 2...

    How many white music groups do you hear minimalising those of colour? How many Black groups (mainly rap) are disrespectful to women, police, the government, whites etc? Seems to me that it's THIS that creates bias.

    It is noone's fault but their own that I wouldn't want to walk in most black neighbourhoods at night. Where have the times gone that these neighbourhoods stood up and said...enough is enough...get the drugs out of my streets, get the gangs out of my street.

    One last remark... I wanted Obama in office in 2008 because I liked what he was saying. I wanted to hope. Now I hope the USA vote Romney into office. YES, I want CHANGE.

    November 2, 2012 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Mrs Time

      The only change there will be if Romney gets into office is a change for the worse. Do people even know what he stands for? Does he even know what he stands for?

      November 2, 2012 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
      • A clear choice

        Actually yes I do know, more jobs, stronger family, a balanced budget, energy independence, and less control from the government on business and hard work.

        November 2, 2012 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
  88. Jerry Lemieux

    The only parallel to our past that pertains to Obama is his remarkable level of incompetence that rivals that of Jimmy Carter.

    November 2, 2012 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
    • shasha56

      President Obama has had to clean up the horrific mess that was created by the incompetence of GW Bush. Bush's un-funded wars and reckless tax cuts while waging 2 un-funded wars and his unfunded Medicare part D perscription drug plan, pushed us over a financial cliff. Not to mention the recklessness and greed of wallstreet. I applaud him and look forward to his next 4 years. I am predicting today, he will win re-election. And BTW, know one wanted that old relic John McCain and that ignorant tart Sarah Palin 4 yrs ago. What a joe they were.

      November 2, 2012 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
      • Jerry Lemieux

        If you posted an original thought instead of regurgiating liberal talking points, I might give you credit for being able to think. As is, you are another dullard spewing what you've dutifully read in biased outlets such as this.

        November 2, 2012 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
      • dhondi

        Plenty of people wanted McCain, he has done more for this country than you ever will.

        November 2, 2012 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
    • dhondi

      Yes, this is another sad, baseless, race baiting piece by cnn...

      November 2, 2012 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Norm

      If Obama is incompetent, then Bush was a complete moron.

      November 2, 2012 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
      • Jerry Lemieux

        If what you said about Bush was true, then you would be his intellectual equal. I've read your boring, unoriginal and predictable garbage and you are a credit to the myth of the "better educated Liberal." You strike me as being rather depreciated, intellectually speaking.

        As it stands, we have a moron currently in the Oval Office whose only business experience in life involved selling cocaine in college.

        November 2, 2012 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
  89. ARog

    Really??? So, if we are white and not voting Obama, then we are racist? Is it not possible that we just don't agree with his policies and the outcomes of those policies? Also, does that make anyone else (ie: hispanics, blacks, asians) who don't vote for Obama racist??
    Finally, here's one point NOT included in this article. In a Washington Post poll, 97% of black men and 98% of black women are voting for Obama. Isn't that racist? I mean it's clear they aren't voting for Romeny because he is white. (And, PS, 53% / 51% of white men/women respectively were voting for Obama soooo who is racist here??)

    November 2, 2012 at 7:58 am | Report abuse |
  90. Mike

    63% of whites voted for obama in 2008, along with 95% of blacks. No matter what, 95%+ of blacks will vote for obama again this year solely because he's half-black. Voting by skin color is racism defined. It's obvious who the real racists are in this country. BLACKS!!!

    November 2, 2012 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Mrs Time

      Can you prove the reason they voted for President Obama is solely because he is not white?

      November 2, 2012 at 7:58 am | Report abuse |
    • dhondi

      Mrs. time – can you prove it was not?

      November 2, 2012 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
  91. jj

    if 95% of blacks voted for obama based on the fact he was black then who is racist? what if 95% of whites and non black voted for the white candidate? that would be racist right? there are no problems with race. unfortunately 18% of us won't vote for romney because he is a mormon? wake up.

    November 2, 2012 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Mrs Time

      I didn't vote for Romney because he is a liar and at any given time wants to take this country back 100 years.

      November 2, 2012 at 7:57 am | Report abuse |
      • dhondi

        100 years to the time of...?

        November 2, 2012 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
  92. jj

    sooner or later cnn is going to have to revisit the troubling facts about the prez and his cover up on bengazi, they are just hoping until after the election.

    November 2, 2012 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
  93. jj

    yes, sadly if you don't think the prez has done a good job you must be a racist. what a joke, most people will not be fooled this election. we want jobs.

    November 2, 2012 at 7:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Mrs Time

      This is a tired argument. There ARE jobs.

      November 2, 2012 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
  94. Sully

    I think the face that he is taking the country for capitalism to socialism is the reason people dislike. Despite what most liberals think, race has nothing to do with why most people arent voting for him. I think race works in his favor more than it hurts him actually.

    November 2, 2012 at 7:49 am | Report abuse |
  95. jj

    Wow. Glad to see most people are not being fooled by this article. There is nothing wrong with America, now or before Obama was elected as far as race goes. He hasn't healed or changed anything. Vote for the best man and don't get suckered into this whole race thing.

    November 2, 2012 at 7:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Mrs Time

      You don't believe there are problems with race in this country? Crawl out from under the rock. Not only is there racism but the denial of basic human rights.

      November 2, 2012 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
      • ARog

        Really? So, because you are black you are being denied basic human rights??? You said in a previous post that there ARE plenty of jobs right now. So, that must mean you are one of the lucky ones who is not out of work, and if you have a job, then you have money for food, shelter, and clothing. What basic human rights are you being denied exactly? Why don't YOU wake up. The problem with race in this country is that people feel like they need to lean on it as a way to understand why they don't have everythign they WANT. The answer is the same for EVERYONE. If you want more, you find a way to work HARDER, not spread the wealth.

        November 2, 2012 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
  96. MRM

    What is an African-American? Do any exist? Obama is an African by way of birth.

    November 2, 2012 at 7:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Mrs Time

      Actually, he is American by way of birth. I honestly cannot believe people still buy into the garbage that he is not a U.S. citizen. That is one reason this country is doomed.

      November 2, 2012 at 7:49 am | Report abuse |
    • shasha56

      I am an African-American. For me, my heritage. And that of my ancestors far out way my being an american. Others will have to define it for themselves

      November 2, 2012 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
      • dhondi

        outweigh sweety.

        November 2, 2012 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
      • American and proud

        Shasha, you are proud of your heritage and should be. Most Whites don't spend time on such things. We have to make a living for our families. Most of us would rather be better off than we are. But, it is not up to someone else to help us. My wife works two jobs to live the way she wants. Live in the present and PLAN for your future. Another thing, anyone that grips about America and how bad things are, go to another country and you wll look at America differently. Clean water is rare in most places in the world. America has one of the highest standards of living in the world. Look forward.

        November 2, 2012 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  97. Beavis

    Another article saying anyone who doesn't vote for Obama is a racist. Got it.

    I don't know why there aren't just banners everywhere reminding everyone that it's a fact that anyone who is a Caucasian is a racist.

    November 2, 2012 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |
    • nevertrustCNN

      Four more days! I wish Romney were black so people could see how little mainstream America cares about color and how much we want some jobs!!!

      November 2, 2012 at 7:22 am | Report abuse |
      • del

        There is no possible way Romney can win the election, sorry to burst your bubble 🙂 It's already a guaranteed Obama win. Do a little research.

        November 2, 2012 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      Only the truly ignorant would say everyone who doesn't vote for Obama is a racist. You have to admit though, all voting racists are NOT going to vote for Obama, and there are a lot of them.

      November 2, 2012 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
      • Beavis

        "White guilt" gave Obama a lot of votes back in 2008. I'm pretty sure that's "racism" bro.

        November 2, 2012 at 7:37 am | Report abuse |
  98. shasha56

    Racisim in the USA- Three questions.Who introduced it to this country? Who carried it out? Who benefited from it and their ancestors still do? Please, not everyone answer at the same time.

    November 2, 2012 at 7:04 am | Report abuse |
    • fiftyfive55

      I'll answer , wealthy white southerners,wealthy white southerners and their cronies, and nobody profitted from it exc ept wealthy white southerners.
      One skipped fact though is whites were first sent here as indentured servants(slaves),not just blacks.Also the percentage of blacks here during those days was only about 2% of the population so in reality there were more white slaves in America than blacks.Look it up in the history books.

      November 2, 2012 at 7:11 am | Report abuse |
      • History major

        Actually, it wasn't the "wealthy white southerners" that brought the slaves to the US, it was the "wealthy white northerners" who had the shipping companies and ships who went over to Africa and traded with tribal chiefs for the slaves. And, when you look at the history of this country, you'll find that the "northerners" were just as likely to be racist as the "southerners". The abolitionists were a small minority that was frowned upon by society.

        November 2, 2012 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
      • Tom

        White southeners, really? When will we start looking at the facts. Is there racism in America... Of course there is. Is it what drives people to vote...no, it doesn't. People do actually see a president, not a black president. People see their lives and how that is going...they want accountability. Let's face it, Obama didn't campaign on his merits. He campaigned by stating how bad he thought in regards to Romney. So, let me ask you, what are you voting for. What has Obama promissed? Obama stating that he's not done yet? That the economy isn't optimal? That Bengazi isn't optimal? That he isn't optimal? America knows this, which is why they might elect Romney instead....

        As for daily rasism in the USA... Listen to the culture. Let me give you an example or 2...

        How many white music groups do you hear minimalising those of colour? How many Black groups (mainly rap) are disrespectful to women, police, the government, whites etc? Seems to me that it's THIS that creates bias.

        It is noone's fault but their own that I wouldn't want to walk in most black neighbourhoods at night. Where have the times gone that these neighbourhoods stood up and said...enough is enough...get the drugs out of my streets, get the gangs out of my street.

        One last remark... I wanted Obama in office in 2008 because I liked what he was saying. I wanted to hope. Now I hope the USA vote Romney into office. YES, I want CHANGE.

        November 2, 2012 at 7:58 am | Report abuse |
      • fiftyfive55

        @history major-Me thinks you better study a little moreand dont forget it took a white northern army to free those southern slaves,not the confederates.

        November 2, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
      • ThatGuy

        The first African slaves in the new world were sold to the Spanish in Hispaniola (Haiti/Dom.Rep.) by the Portuguese, that pretty much started the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Between this time and the revolutionary war (which ended this trade for the most part) 12 million were brought to the new world in this manner. A bit less than 700,000 to what is now the US. I believe Brazil was the largest importer in overall numbers.

        November 2, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  99. whawhawha!

    The comments on this article are enlightening. Its just an article to get people to think. Its not a distraction for some subversive attempt to sway votes. Especially since only you know who you voted for. If you leave the booth feeling racist that is something you should think about. Living in a country that boasts opportunity and equality should have a population to reflect that. I do think a lot of americans miss the big picture while thinking of there own problems. This a big world with lot of people to please you cant possibly think your individual perspective on this world is applicable to everyone having an american experience? Then again...

    November 2, 2012 at 7:02 am | Report abuse |
  100. pao

    The reason color people come to America is because they are a product. something that benefit the white, look at H1B visa. look at the member of senate, the house, and the court. Women, black and minority can't make it. It is white male society.

    November 2, 2012 at 6:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Kevin SD

      Sorry, H1B visas benefit America. Not just whites. What a poor poor argument you make. But if the answer is always just "white people are bad" then you'll always have your excuse.

      November 2, 2012 at 7:09 am | Report abuse |
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