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. fiftyfive55

    Chicago-1995,black testees for fire department still cant pass entrance test written special for minorities by minorities.
    Chicago-today,those guys just got hired and given seniority back to that test date because otheer minorities discriminated against them by writing that test.
    And people wonder why we have race problems here?How'd your black doctor get his degree?would you trust people like that with your life ?

    November 2, 2012 at 6:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Lady

      I notice that when they need black men - like during times of war, Viet Nam, Korea, WWII - written tests suddenly are not important. But to protect the jobs people actually want - like fire fighter - all of the sudden black men are not good enough.

      November 2, 2012 at 6:49 am | Report abuse |
      • shasha56

        @ Lady, your comments are spot on. Thank you very much.

        November 2, 2012 at 6:53 am | Report abuse |
      • Kevin SD

        Too bad our current military contains mainly smart, well educated soldiers, not misled dolts. You really need to leave the world of the 70's and the old WWII or Vietnam examples. Hard to do when it's the 70's economically, huh?

        November 2, 2012 at 7:02 am | Report abuse |
      • fiftyfive55

        Lady-those tests were written by blacks,for blacks and they still couldn't pass so stop defending those black guys your sleeping with.

        November 2, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jokesterer

    We should tax and spend our way to equality.

    November 2, 2012 at 6:40 am | Report abuse |
  3. pao

    I believe most white see minority as product, things and object not as human being. The only reason a white man date a color girl is she is an object something usable. The reason white like to work with color patient, client and customer is because they can make money from. In the outside white are nice, deep inside we minority are nothing more than a pet, or an object. The declaration of Independance, is just a tool for the white to explore minority just like a blinder to hide the truth.

    November 2, 2012 at 6:35 am | Report abuse |
    • fiftyfive55

      Is that why none of you guys know who your daddy is ? You abuse your women and abandon your children and that's our fault ?

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

      As long as you see yourself in that light than that is the way you will be treated. Your statement is coming from your heart, I beleive and this-this is the crux of the problem with race in this county...It is NOT how the white man views the black-rather it is how the black man views himself.
      To break out of these chains you must learn to overcome this in your own mind. I am a freclked faced Irish girl from the county...I always viewed myself as a straberry freckled faced that was common to look at....but I was able to break out of that sterotype and rise above the teasing and the mean nastyness of childlike behavior and realize that I am a child of the living God...and if God be for me than who can be against me.
      I pray that you too will be able to come out of that mind set and so too will all the minorities in this country come out of it...like Marco Rubio has....and rise up..by the way...rising up does not mean putting others down nor does it mean calling whites racist.

      November 2, 2012 at 6:50 am | Report abuse |
  4. Lady

    That was an excellent article. It really is not about Obama. Not everyone who opposes Obama does so because they are racist. They also hated Clinton. But I think the reason they put Obama in this article is because there are a lot of people who hate Obama because he is a Black liberal. They like Blacks who are like Herman Cain and other air-heads like Clarence Thomas. Obama is certainly a brilliant guy. To get this high in rank in America with all the bigots at your heels.

    November 2, 2012 at 6:33 am | Report abuse |
    • beannemarie

      So Clarence Thomas...a justice of the supreme court...who by the way will still be for many many years after Obama is long gone and forgotten...is an Air head????? I don't agree with Obam's policies so I am a racist...you call a Black justice an Air head...because obviously you don't agree with his conserative views and so what does that make you?...I will not sink low and call you a racist but I will say that is bigotry!

      November 2, 2012 at 6:41 am | Report abuse |
  5. simon flint

    the USA hasnt progressed at ll beyond race stereotype ,

    November 2, 2012 at 6:33 am | Report abuse |
  6. BOB

    as the artical said we have come a long way but we still force people to identify themselves by color . Obama had the chanch to break this problem but chose to say he is black so who is racis . when he was first elected he called himself a mongrel. which he was like 75 % of all americans . so why are we so hung up on this race crap. 50 years from now nobody will care Ice Tea said that himself . the goverment is the one who want to keep racism alive it breaks up the american people . god forbid that we all get along and vote out the real racist in washington . dem and rep both sides are guilty of this . we have stop acting like sheep and stand up for ourselves. vote for the best person not the party or race

    November 2, 2012 at 6:28 am | Report abuse |
    • beannemarie

      You are correct but it is not just those in Washington...it is the liberal press. Sometimes I think they are bating for a race was...and you know they are hoping for riots in the streets if BO looses...they want that...CNN wants to see violence so that they have something to report about. And if the blacks come out and riot and break things and burn things as they are threatening to do...then the liberal press will come out and blame the Republican party.....they won't blame the blacks who are actually doing the rioting....mark my words.

      November 2, 2012 at 6:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Jen

      That's what people thought 50 years ago. It takes a long time to erase hate. People find new ways to place blame. I'm actually glad this article was posted. The comments here show the true nature of what goes on in the minds of others. Caucasian Americans account for 75.4% of the population. African American account for just at 13%. Even if every AA decided to not vote everyone left would still be enough to re-elect him. .

      I wanted to believe Obama didn't do his job or didn't live up to his promises but after reviewing what he did do and how he started out having to clean up after Bush, I realized he didn't get a fair shake. Also having to fight with a mostly republican house and senate to get things passed was another hurdle.

      I didn't actually vote for Obama last term. After seeing what happened with the bailouts I thought maybe that was a bit excessive. I watched all 3 debates and even though I liked how Romney came out in the first one. The last two showed he kept changing his views and lying far too much. Also the bailout that he kept throwing in Obama's face, claiming it was a waste ended up coming full circle today with the UAW expecting to file charges against Romney for profiting off the bailout that he was against. It's somewhere between 15.3-150 million profit hidden in Ann Romney trust account.

      I've been an undecided voter for some time. I heard about the Benghazi thing too but 4 people vs what happened with 9/11 seems like a weak argument. Also "Binders of Women". That was embarrassing to watch Romney talk about women in such a way. On the other hand Obama signed in The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act on his first week in office.

      To add I did think Romney's medical plan for Mass was a great idea. I'm still unsure why he's against it for the entire country calling it Obamacare when it's original name was Romneycare. It all sounds like two children fighting over the same toys.

      I'm leaning more towards Obama now that some truths have surfaced. Also Romney would have been my pick but I can't take his flip flop politics and never seeming to explain what he plans to actually do. Also the capital gains tax going away just so he and his friends can get richer? I didn't like that idea either. The outsourcing jobs when he states government doesn't create jobs but apparently he's not helping to keep them here either.

      Still if everything is up to the electoral college, I may not even need to vote. By the next election 2016 I think popular vote is going to have a major impact and the electoral college will just be history.

      I will say I've never seen so much disrespect for a president in my life. The grotesque comments made in chatrooms, and different boards is atrocious. This is a white male dominated society. I felt disgusted thinking about Romney's friends talking about how it's god will that a woman has been impregnated by a rapist. I mean what is this the 1800s?? Boggles the mind.

      Romney has me at the start. He's a father of 5 and a grandfather of 18. A great fresh face family man with new ideas but all I'm seeing is greed. I also saw his 54% video at his benefit party. He father was born in Mexico so if we're looking at people being mixed, both candidates are. People don't see Romney is mexican just because he's half mexican but everyone calls the President BLACK because he's half african. It sounds like the same racist views of 1% of african blood=100% black. I find this disturbing in the year 2012.

      I don't make enough to be part of the 1-10% of the population so my views are centered around how I can do the best in this economy. So Obama for now is my only choice. If Hillary was running I may have voted for her husband.

      November 2, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  7. Kevin SD

    What a bunch of garbage. Racists are really those who find racism -and only by whites, of course – around every corner & behind every door. It's the excuse for every failure. Don't like Obama? Racist. Don't like Obama's policies? Racist. If Obama loses reelection. Racist. Bird cage liner? CNN.

    November 2, 2012 at 6:21 am | Report abuse |
    • beannemarie

      It's all they have to go on cause they don't want to admit that there Great superstar President is a failure...that he made wrong decisions...that instead of looking for ways to jump start our economy he hung and anchor on it with this healthcare law.Instead of meeting with world leaders he chose to meet with the view and talk about how he is "eye candy". Not very becomming of a President of the United States. Obama is nothing but an egotistical empty suit and he has done NOTHING for this country except to tear it apart....pull it under and weaken our military.

      November 2, 2012 at 6:31 am | Report abuse |
  8. pao

    We see nearly 100 president and only one is color and it hurts white people that much? I think it sound more like white supremacy than equality. It is like we ate pasta 365 days in a year and one day we have stirfry and you get upset! What kind of equality is that?

    November 2, 2012 at 6:21 am | Report abuse |
  9. shasha56

    I find it just laughable when whites like to invoke the phrase "race baiting" when they obviously are uncomfortable with any type of discussion on race. The use of the term is to intimidate and to shut down the conversation. Most whites will never come to grips with the ugly history of a lot of their ancestors. Fact, racisim in the good old USA was introduced, and carried out by whites. Jim Crow was introduced and carried out by whites. The phrase "taking our country back" after the 1st person of color was elected was introduced by whites. History and Facts just have a way of clarfying things. The article was spot on. History and Facts just do not lie. Use your little "race baiting" phrase if it makes you feel good. The conversation, history and facts will continue.

    November 2, 2012 at 5:56 am | Report abuse |
    • beannemarie

      Fact is it was the blacks Africans that sold the bushmen to the Europeans...another fact is that Jews had been enslaved for centuries and you don't see them whinning about it and asking folks alive todasy that had NOTHING to do with it to pay them back!...Fast is as long as the blacks act like victims they will be treated like victims and nothing will change.As soon as things don't go your way...you pull the race card. How is helping you?...How is affirmative action helping you? We now have a President who got into office by affirmative action and now our country is falling apart. It would have een nice to have had a President that gor there on his own merit.......wow he wrote a book...big whoopie anyone can write a book about themselves...and he did it twice....
      We need a President that cvan look at the big picture...see America as a great country not an arrogat country that needs to be put in it's place along with it's bitter clingers of the bible....We need a President that can offer REAL change and REAL hope not this hollywood facad.

      November 2, 2012 at 6:23 am | Report abuse |
      • shasha56

        Your revisionist history does not pass thee smell test. America is an arrogant country. Exceptional? Not really. Finally, thank God President Obama is trying to fixe the flaws.

        November 2, 2012 at 7:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      And you conveniently forget that blacks were freed by a white president and men who left their comfortable lives to take up arms and die fighting against their white brothers. They gave the ultimate sacrifice for blacks but all we ever hear is about is the history of slavery and segregation even though it has been many generations since that age. Quit using this as an excuse and admit that as a race far to many blacks forgo education, are unemployed and wind up in prison....and saying so isn't prejudice just the facts. And if Obama loses, it will be because he he failed as a president and not his skin color...which happens to be half white.

      November 2, 2012 at 7:31 am | Report abuse |
      • Jen

        He didn't free the slave because he wanted to. He freed them to hurt the south since southerners were dependent on slave labor. Cotton anyone?? Even after they were freed they didn't know how to read so they made them sign contracts to stay on as slaves anyways. So really how free were these slaves?? Many of these slaves just because they were released didn't help them because they couldn't work anywhere. Can't work, can't eat can't live= go back to being a slave. Hello???

        November 2, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
      • ThatGuy

        Jen:"Cotton, anyone?"

        Yes, the Northern textile trade was totally dependent on cheap cotton from the south. Impossible to try to decouple the north and south economically, so your claim that Lincoln only emancipated the slaves to punish the South economically just doesn't hold water. President Lincoln had a lot of opposition from BOTH sides of the Mason-Dixon line.

        November 2, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  10. B Schmitt, Texas

    Obama would not have won 2008 election if he wasn't "black" and he knows that.
    Sure there is still racism in this country but it's hardly comparable to the past. Oprah, Condi Rice, Athletes, CEO's of major corporations and of course my favorite Colin Powell; color is no longer a barrier when one has talent; hard work; perserverance, discipline and "class".

    November 2, 2012 at 5:53 am | Report abuse |
    • shasha56

      As a African-American, I say to you with all sincerity, you are clueless. But being clueless is something I've found people can really not be cured of. Sorry for your illness.

      November 2, 2012 at 6:03 am | Report abuse |
      • Lady

        Yes, and he is probably a George Zimmerman supporter.

        November 2, 2012 at 6:47 am | Report abuse |
      • John

        You don't have an argument so you use the ad hominem fallacy. Most un-impressive.

        November 2, 2012 at 7:14 am | Report abuse |
      • fiftyfive55

        yes were clueless that's why you all turn once nice areas into ghettos,your the clueless one here.

        November 2, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • ragnar

      I am sure some individual African-American have voted for Obama based on color but you should also consider the number of people who voted against him based on color. Where an individual may gain ground with one demographic he or she may also lose ground with another, you can't reduce election results down to a single factor.

      November 2, 2012 at 6:28 am | Report abuse |
    • fiftyfive55

      Obama won because we couldn't take 4 more years of Bush's policies,not because Obama was so dynamic,he didnt even have enough of a record to run on,probably the only democrat with no dirt under the rug.As a president he has done a great job of polarization though.

      November 2, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Jen

      So he won because he was black? Really how is that possible when only 13% of the population is black and 75.4 is white?? How does this even make any sense? Did they just get free votes from Africa? Reverse the 3/4 of a black person rule and start multiply 3 votes for every black person? Sorry that doesn't even hold up.

      November 2, 2012 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • ThatGuy

      Obama probably would have still won the election if he were not black (it was mostly a backlash against Bush/Republicans).
      However, he may not have won the Democratic nomination against Hillary were he a white guy. If he was a white woman instead, who knows? It would have been close, but Hillary's husband would probably have given her the edge.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  11. pao

    Have you see those Tibethan burn themselve to prove that in hurts to be occupy by communist? I think we minority may end up utilize the same idea to prove that we are serious. Of course, most caucasian would not care.

    November 2, 2012 at 5:53 am | Report abuse |
  12. pao

    Most white people think color people are weird, apes, monkey, uncivilize and unsanitize. When we speak with accent the reason is more convincing. I am not sure how to make a white person feel better. They want us to go back to our country but we are still on the same planet. again, they don't think we are human enough to them. When they say white, it means they are human and we are non-humen. I feel sad seeing this article....

    November 2, 2012 at 5:45 am | Report abuse |
    • fiftyfive55

      If you dont like whites so much,why did you come to a white country ???

      November 2, 2012 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  13. pao

    There was one time we had school trip to DC, my class mate refuse to share a bed with me. They think " it is wrong". So I end up sleeping on the floor. In my heart, white are always racist. They are nice in the outside but inside they are racist. There are about 10% none racist white. I am luck to met 10% but I hate myself being and working with the 90%. I am not sure what to give up to make them happy. And I am Asian.

    November 2, 2012 at 5:33 am | Report abuse |
    • fiftyfive55

      again,why would you move to a country where you can't feel comfortable ???

      November 2, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  14. James

    Nice race-baiting, CNN. Fire the moron that wrote this inflammatory tripe.

    November 2, 2012 at 5:24 am | Report abuse |
    • shasha56

      James, if calling history and facts "race baiting" and if it makes you feel better, go on amd use your silly term. However, it will not stop the conversations, discussions and most importantly, your little term will not stop HISTORY and the FACTS.

      November 2, 2012 at 6:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Kevin SD

      Not only race baiting-and for sure that – but also a long, boring article. Don't they have editors at CNN or can anyone there shout fire in a crowded theater while going on and on about nothing.

      November 2, 2012 at 7:41 am | Report abuse |
  15. Al Green

    "Lets Stay Together"

    November 2, 2012 at 5:22 am | Report abuse |
  16. government cheese


    November 2, 2012 at 4:50 am | Report abuse |
  17. James A.

    I thought this was a very interesting and informative article, and I learned some new things that I didn’t know about American history. The tension in this country is palpable, and Bake has clearly and convincingly explained what is at the root of all of it. Excellent work!

    November 2, 2012 at 4:36 am | Report abuse |
  18. Pa Centrist

    Fact: Obama won in 2008 with 43% of the white vote, which was higher than Gore or the two Clinton elections. To suggest massive white racism under Obama is not born out by these facts. I am disturbed by the omission of key facts in this divisive article obviously intended to once again paint whites against Obama as racist. I can't resist mentioning that i gave heavily to Obama in 2008, am white, and will vote for Romney in 2012 based on Obama's performance, period.

    November 2, 2012 at 4:32 am | Report abuse |
    • asche

      Couldn't agree more. I think it's a bit the other way around honestly. You can't mention a word negative about Obama without being called... something. Because we all know it's impossible to be critical of Obama without being a racist, right?

      November 2, 2012 at 4:48 am | Report abuse |
  19. anon

    Obama is only as eloquent a speaker as his speech writer is and how well the teleprompter is working. Gary Johnson POTUS. Vote this left / right paradigm that is enslaving the people and ruining our country OUT.

    November 2, 2012 at 4:06 am | Report abuse |
  20. Hamletxi

    This is really outrageous CNN. To talk about this days before the election is just a publicity stunt. This is reverse racism and disgusting. John Blake should be fired immediately. Just like Don Imus for his comment and Rush Limbaugh for his black quarter back comment. If Rush Limbaugh isnt allowed to bring up that a football player shouldn't be drafted on race cant be discussed then why is this racist crap allowed. This is down right offensive. You want to cause racial tension with this article.
    I seem to remember Harry Belafonte calling Colin Powell an uncle tom for being Secretary of state under Bush. This is called racism. We believe and strive to uphold that one is innocent until proven guilty. That no no one is guilty for the sins of the ancestors. Slavery is not going to be held over white peoples heads.
    Obama can never lose except when the white people act racist. That is ridiculous. Obama's ideas are beyond reproach? He unequivocally right and disagreement or not voting for him is racist? John Blake your a hack and a racist. You want to make white people squirm and look inward well its you who are the problem. You look inward at your hatred of white people. Watch your accusations? Liking Obama and supporting him because he is black that racist too? Yes its called prejudice. Catholics voting for JFK just because he's Catholic is racist. You deserve ridicule because of your hatred not because your black. If anything innocent white people who have no evidence of racism are sick and tired of being chastised and mocked and attacked by racists like you. I dont need nor does any other white person need black approval on whether they "truly" aren't racist. If the president believes as you do then white people should vote along racial lines. No white person should be abused for being white. You want to write this as some sort of threat then yes white people need to be protected from your views. This is enough. John Blake must be fired!!

    November 2, 2012 at 3:54 am | Report abuse |
    • fishlure

      Innocent white people? I'm sorry, but man you really missed history. Do you know how this country was built? How the wealth in this country was amassed? Well, not so innocent anymore are we? Do some research on how land was acquired in this country from our inception. Who benefited? Who was pushed to the margins? This behavior has continued as our wealth has benefited only the white upper echelons of our society. Now that the colors of the electorate no longer are majority white, this has the tea party up in arms. Oh, they are scared. Let them be. When brown babies take over our country in 2030, the white man will finally face his retribution.

      November 2, 2012 at 4:27 am | Report abuse |
      • peter

        Clear proof of your deep black-against-white racism: "When brown babies take over our country in 2030, the white man will finally face his retribution." Same as promoted by Obama and his entire administration. Same as supported by the lack of any action by City or police when black-on-white attacks occur.

        November 2, 2012 at 5:42 am | Report abuse |
      • marion

        @Mikaz Nothing honorable in watching your Ambassador die and then trying to sell to the American people it was about a video. Nothing honorable in creating division and then trying to pin the division on the groups you tried to divide.
        @ Fishlure, your obviously the racist here trying to get retribution in 2030, so against white kids that aren't even born yet. Quit being a cry baby victim. As for all the other cry babies who think your inferior, white people didn't tell you that, other minorities did. I say hello to minorities all the time with a smile and get the cold shoulder. Whose the racist? As far as being scared, never. If God be for you who can be against you? No one. So quit crying!!!!!!

        November 2, 2012 at 6:09 am | Report abuse |
      • Kevin SD

        I sure hope Mr White People Are Soooo Racist doesn't own a firearm. I reccomend employment with the NAACP where they share your views. Hopefully no firearms there either.

        November 2, 2012 at 7:30 am | Report abuse |
      • Upset Voter

        I am a 1st generation born American in my family. My father was an immigrant. Why is it my fault for what a bunch of unrelated white guys did in the past? Isn't that reverse prejudice against me because my skin happens to be white?

        November 2, 2012 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
      • Stephen

        So retribution is what you wish to happen. You need to get over your hatred of the white man. If any group should get retribution it is the American Indian. They were not enslaved they were slaughtered like cattle. Tribes were wiped out and they are still under the control of the government! Racism exists on all sides of the human spectrum. Is it not racist that 98% of African Americans voted for Obama merely because he is considered black( although is half white). Why are mixed race persons always considered black even though they are half white? It is time to get over race and look at what the person has to offer for everyone. Stop trying to use a persons color to bait others into being a racist!

        November 2, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  21. MaryM

    Just take a good look at the comments here. What do you see

    November 2, 2012 at 3:39 am | Report abuse |
  22. D-NICE


    November 2, 2012 at 3:33 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 7:19 am | Report abuse |
  23. Jim Kimmel

    Vote Romney Im telling you.

    November 2, 2012 at 3:30 am | Report abuse |
  24. Mr. Shakur

    Vote Romney peoples.

    November 2, 2012 at 3:27 am | Report abuse |
  25. Dan

    What would a white President have done differently?

    November 2, 2012 at 3:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Mr. Cain

      I'd step my game up and rep this country right! true dat. ROMNEY!

      November 2, 2012 at 3:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Kevin SD

      How 'bout a capitalist approach vs socialist approach to solving probs. that'd prob be different, huh? Reduce debt & spending vs increase it. That'd prob be how. What drivel.

      November 2, 2012 at 6:28 am | Report abuse |
  26. Sugar Hill Gang


    true playa for real ask puff daddy

    November 2, 2012 at 3:26 am | Report abuse |
  27. Eyes Wide Open

    John, Based on the comments I think you nailed it........

    November 2, 2012 at 3:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Crazy Legs

      Romney holla!!!!

      November 2, 2012 at 3:24 am | Report abuse |
  28. Dan

    I always felt thet Obams's time was to early. He should have waited until 2012 to run. What would have a McCain Presidency looked like? Expanded health care – YES. He compaigned on the idea in 2008. Passage of the DREAM ACT – Yes. He like Pres Bush was for immigration reform. Trillions spent on bailouts – YES. It was George Bush who introduced America to it's first bailout of the private industry. High unemploymen – Yes. Unemployment soared under Pres Bush during his final year, McCain could never have stemmed that tide. House bubble – Yes. The housing bubble was in place prior to anyone winning the 2008 election. So what would American look like today under a McCain presidency – IMO much like it does today. Am I a democrat – NO. The first time I voted was in 1984 – Ron Reagan, he was good to the military which I was a part of. 2nd time GB sr – I thought he would continue the Reagan policies – what a mistake that was but I voted for him for a second term. I did vote for Clinton's second term and voted for GB jr for both of his terms. In 2004 I voted for BO but I would have preferred Hilary. Is the country where I want it to be – NO. But, no one would have gotten it to my expectations with the problems we have. Today, I will give BO the benefit of the doubt. I believe whoever wins the elections, the economy is on the way up as you see consumer confidence is at its highest levels since 2004 (CNN stated today), housing prices are increasing (once I was under water, today I am in the black), and my small business is thriving (California Medial Supplies). Stop the race baiting and look at the situation with clear eyes. If you're not doing better than you were in 2004 than I'm sorry – look at your individual situation and make that determination. I believe this this country not in the Presidency.

    November 2, 2012 at 3:17 am | Report abuse |
    • James A.

      Well said!

      November 2, 2012 at 4:15 am | Report abuse |
    • 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 9:30 am | Report abuse |
  29. E-40

    I voted Romney too brah.

    November 2, 2012 at 3:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Kendrick

      WHAT!!!! me too, I aint gettin sucked in to that DEBOWocrats.

      November 2, 2012 at 3:17 am | Report abuse |
      • NORE

        I was like ME TOO!

        November 2, 2012 at 3:22 am | Report abuse |
    • What does GOD have to say?

      eye for an eye, that's all I have to say.

      November 2, 2012 at 3:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Bobbito

      ME TOO! ROMNEY YO!!!!!!

      November 2, 2012 at 3:23 am | Report abuse |
  30. The RZA

    I voted Romney.

    November 2, 2012 at 3:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Wiggles

      Me Too!!!! Romney yall......................bet!

      November 2, 2012 at 3:24 am | Report abuse |
  31. askingaquestion

    This entire steam has gone every where so I figure – why not ask my question...
    Many Christians I know are voting for Mitt because he has the same values as they do.
    I do not understand. From my discerning the Morman's get salvation through John Smith not Jesus and the Morman belief adds three books to the bible which are Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. Please explain how this is “Christian”. From my teaching this is the TOTAL opposite. I just want to understand how voting this way is because of your religious beliefs

    November 2, 2012 at 3:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Me

      On the same token- how do Christian democrats vote for a man who condones gay marriage and killing unborn babies in the womb through the new birth control: abortion? He claims to be a Christian but I've not seen any Christ like things in him.

      November 2, 2012 at 3:19 am | Report abuse |
      • AndrewFromNH

        To the poster asking a question, Mormons believe salvation comes through Jesus, and from our heavenly Father. Smith was their prophet. Whatever his feelings on the topic, Romney is not a very good ambassador for his faith, and I feel sorry for the good, faithful Mormons I know and like because that association has to be painful for them.

        As for your question about Christians in the Democratic Party, I could ask how many Republican Christians really think that Newt Gingrich and Mark Sanford represent their moral and religious beliefs.

        More to the point, no one should be voting for a candidate because they are Christ-like. No one is running for God, nor should they be!

        November 2, 2012 at 3:35 am | Report abuse |
      • fishlure

        Well if you don't know what a Christian looks like; (judge not, lest ye be judged), let's see what a Mormon looks like. In 1830, Smith published The Book of Mormon, which LDS members believe he translated through divine means from the Golden Plates that he obtained from the angel Moroni. The LDS church structure consists of prophets, apostles, evangelists and teachers. Joseph Smith claimed he received direct priesthood from John The Baptist, who also returned later as an angel and gave him the authority to baptize. Then Peter, James, John and the apostles returned returned as heavenly messengers and gave Joseph Smith the authority to lead the church. This church was created barely over 180 years ago. Now how old is Christianity? Hmmmm? But I guess the LDS church supports the Old Testament to some degree: Mitt's great-grandfather Miles Romney was a polygamist, he had five wives and thirty children. So, if you want to talk smack about a Christian, maybe you should investigate the opponents crazy cult-like religious ideas first. Or, maybe it's just a black thing...like I suspected all along. Tea-baggers can't handle their declining relevancy in such a diverse country as the USA.

        November 2, 2012 at 4:07 am | Report abuse |
    • worldcares

      I started studying theology, world religions starting as a teenager and continued.
      John Smith was dismayed by the Christian Religion of his time. He claimed he was visited by the Angel Moroni who gave him the knowledge to write to Book of Mormans.
      One should study Mormanisn; a fascinating sect of the Christian Religion?

      November 2, 2012 at 3:44 am | Report abuse |
      • fishlure

        I think the question mark at the end of your statement is what really rings true. Fascinating? Well as fascinating as religious sects can be right? Especially when one of them has the potential to rule the land....

        November 2, 2012 at 4:13 am | Report abuse |
  32. scott

    Are you also going to consider blacks who don't vote for Romney rascist? Typical CNN....biased and hypocrytical.

    November 2, 2012 at 3:01 am | Report abuse |
  33. CODYS#1

    Before you choose to judge President Obama's lack of progress in office you need to consider that there were and are enough republicans in the Senate and House to put roadblocks in his way at every turn. As to racism, when you see black t-shirts worn by attendees at a Romney rally with white lettering stating: IT'S TIME TO PUT THE WHITE BACK IN WHITE HOUSE I think thats pretty self- explanatory, don't you?

    November 2, 2012 at 2:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Jen

      Wow didn't even know this happened. The white back in The White House?? Disgusting.

      November 2, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  34. Timber72

    Enough. Enough already. Enough of this race baiting garbage disguised as "journalism" and designed to make sure people continue to feel like victims. Let me tell you how far we've come in race relations in this country: we have a black president. Let me say that again: we have a BLACK president. One more time, for the slow ones in back: WE...HAVE...A...BLACK.......PRESIDENT. Do you understand what that means? Since blacks only comprise about 13% of the population, and whites about 78%, then Barack Obama HAD to have convinced AT LEAST HALF of the white population to vote for him, which they did. But no, whites are all racist, and want Obama OUT of office...even though they VOTED him INTO office in '08...because, I dunno, their latent racism finally bubbled to the surface...?

    Racism will ALWAYS exist. ALWAYS. But it's nowhere near the problem it was 50 years ago. Remember..10% of the American population believe ELVIS IS STILL ALIVE...that's 30 MILLION people, folks...there will ALWAYS be crazy people with crazy beliefs.

    Here's a clue, liberals: it is NOT "racist" to disagree with Barack Obama. It is NOT "racist" to call him a Socialist. It is NOT "racist" to believe that his POLICIES are very damaging to this country.

    When a person like Larry Elder is nominated for president, I'll be GLAD to vote for him...ECSTATIC...because I don't judge the man based on the color of his skin, but WHAT HE THINKS AND DOES.

    But no, the race baiters would lose their power if black people and white people and brown people and green people just woke up one day and decided they weren't victims...because they aren't. The color of one's skin isn't stopping ANYBODY from advancing ANYWHERE in the US, even to the most powerful office in the world.

    We'll know when we've reached the goal when we stop referring to ourselves, anyone, as Hyphenated-Americans, and simply call ourselves Americans. I dream of that day....

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

      Thanks for your post, it expresses several points I wholeheartedly agree with but couldn't've expressed nearly as well.

      But while your hyphenated reference may accurately indicate the most problematic area preventing our country from being on the same page, the fact (I believe) is *anyone* who insists on identifying with this existence by their color first & doles out their humanity secondly, accordingly, has got it backwards.

      November 2, 2012 at 6:35 am | Report abuse |
  35. Terry Brookman

    Leave it to CNN to play the race card, with Obama's performance perhaps they are telling on themselves.

    November 2, 2012 at 2:44 am | Report abuse |
  36. maglor

    History will repeat itself to anyone unwary. Consider this part of this article. If USA decides to roll back years of social progress, this time, USA will fall back behind the rest of the world and the world won't let it catch up again.

    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."

    November 2, 2012 at 2:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Timber72

      What does that even mean, that "the world won't let the US catch up again"...? As if "the world" is some sort of monolith nation, all lined up against the US, determined to keep it down...? Foolishness. "The world" is made of up many nations, all with their own agendas and ideas. "The world" can no easier hold back the US than "the beach" can hold back the tide.

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

        Compared to late 19th century, Europe is much more stable and less likely to fall apart to fight a large war like World War I. China was a mess in the late 19th century, but now, it is on its way to become the largest Economy in the world. The corporations in USA no longer have edge in technology over competing corporations outside of USA. If USA decides to roll back all the social progress, what happened to the south in the post-reconstruction period will happen again, this time very likely to entire USA. Many countries and EU are much better placed to achieve even greater progress in economy, science, and technology compared to late 19th century. Nobody will feel a need to hold USA back because many other powerful countries in the world will be sprinting ahead much faster than USA in many areas, unless USA can maintain its edge over the world it maintained partly due to all the social progress.

        November 2, 2012 at 3:05 am | Report abuse |
  37. both sides

    98% of black people voted for a black president, a percentage that's nowhere near that of the general population. but are we acknowledging their racial preference for their leader and labeling it as racism?

    it was white people that shifted their votes and voted in the president, and they have every right to vote him out. if obama had lowered the unemployment to rate to the 5% he promised, he would have received those votes again.

    the fact that white person against obama can only be concluded as racism is simple-minded.

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

      Yeah, I get your point. That's why all black people just love clarence thomas and herman cain. Just because they are black. Who were black people voting for before Obama? Stop listening to the political hacks Hannity and Limbaugh...they're sociopaths.

      November 2, 2012 at 3:08 am | Report abuse |
      • Kevin SD

        Soooo....98% of blacks didn't vote for Obama? And not mainly because he's black? Yeah, and the sun is purple. Reverse racism is racism too

        November 2, 2012 at 6:54 am | Report abuse |
      • two sides

        Blacks typically vote democrat. In the 08 election more white republicans switched party lines to vote in a black president. Now those same white republicans are being labeled as racist for switching back their vote to what fits their personal ideologies? That's ridiculous. How about we acknowledge the fact that this man hasn't done sh!t for 4 years, and it's time for a change. Benching Alex Rodriguez in the playoffs isn't an act of racism because he's not caucasian....the guy was turrible. The facts are the facts, and he failed. It doesn't matter if you're black or white.

        November 2, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
      • raenil

        You guys parrot conservative talk show hosts. Think for yourselves. In light of the historical racism of America you actually accuse blacks of being racist for voting for a black president? All of the stealing and inequity that has been perpertrated on blacks both formally and informally by the US government and the vast majority of white Americans and you have the nerve to accuse blacks of being racist. At least left wing Dems can admit to historical facts. The right DENIES EVERYTHING! The both of you are essentially saying that blacks should just get over it. That's like a rapist telling his victim that she should just get over it.

        November 2, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jen

      94% of blacks voted for Clinton. Ohh no is he black?? Nope. Sorry again with the lie of reverse racism. It's is well known that most 80% of blacks vote for the democratic party. 95% blacks voted for Obama in 2008. Ohh 1 whole percent!! For this current election Obama has about 92% of the black vote. Hmm looks like he lost a few.

      November 2, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jen

      94% of blacks voted for Clinton. Ohh no is he black?? Nope. Sorry again with the lie of reverse racism. It's is well known that most 80% of blacks vote for the democratic party. 95% blacks voted for Obama in 2008. Ohh 1 whole percent!! For this current election Obama has about 92% of the black vote. Hmm looks like he lost a few. This is obviously not being looked at because everyone wants to jump on race in the reverse.

      November 2, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Jared


    That was the most racist comment I have ever seen. You claim all conservatives have hidden racism and at the same time claim that blacks are receiving handouts. The fact that you tied blacks to handouts is racism in itself. I personally think it spreads racism when people claim a group or individual is racist just because of their political views. How disgusting and offensive that is.

    November 2, 2012 at 2:33 am | Report abuse |
  39. David

    For all the pseudo-science this article invokes, the only piece of hard evidence Mr. Blake points to to support his thesis is an online poll created BY CNN to find explicit and implicit racism. As with any poll of this nature, the questions are designed to produce the result they predict.

    One question, for example, reads: “Irish, Italians, Jews and other minorities overcame prejudice and worked their way up. Blacks should do the same without special favors.” and then asks whether people agree with the statement on a scale from strongly disagree to strongly agree. An answer of "Strongly Agree" gives an explicit racist score of +1. This question's problem should be readily apparent, it's in the words, "without special favors."

    In other words, if you think that a particular racial group shouldn't be given special favors, then that means you're a racist.

    Just like this article's main point: If you don't vote for Barack Obama, then you're a racist.

    November 2, 2012 at 2:32 am | Report abuse |
  40. rare_earth

    You're exactly right, Will. I'm a white man and I see and hear what they really mean to say all day at work.
    For every conservative, white american posting here that this article is bull and they aren't racist, I would be the proverbial farm that they are.
    Most racists are closeted cowards anyway. Romney's fan base is at least 70 percent racist, I'm assured.

    November 2, 2012 at 2:28 am | Report abuse |
  41. Hashman

    We've all seen that look in their eyes. The average Joe conservative talking about taxation and hand-outs. They'll never admit it, but you just know that there *is* an element of racism there. Sure, they'd be against hand-outs as a matter of principle even if this nation was all white. But what really really drives them up the wall is the fact that money is being taken out of their pockets, taken away from their children, to (potentially) go to some lazy black guy that won't get a job and just wants to screw around. It's that bit there that turns the whole thing into something worth getting up and fighting for.
    If the federal government were to separate the collected tax based on the race of the people from which the tax came from and only give handouts to people of any given race from "their" tax bin, these people would ever so slightly be more OK with it. And that's were the problem lies.

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

      Your efforts to delve into the conservative psyche are...fruitless. I wish people would quit trying to ascertain others' motivations, and just take them at their word for a change. I took Obama at his word when he told Joe the plumber that he wanted to spread the wealth. I took him at his word when he said he wasn't very good at math. I took him at his word when he said that he was attracted to marxists in college. Took him at his word when said "If you don't have a record to run on you make the election about small things". That's why I won't vote for him.

      November 2, 2012 at 2:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Timber72

      Nonsense. Complete rubbish.

      November 2, 2012 at 3:03 am | Report abuse |
  42. Jon

    Can't do much when the opposing party won't work with him.

    November 2, 2012 at 2:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Gayle

      He didn't need the opposing party. He said it himself "I won", then with the assistance of Nancy P. proceeded to lock out republicans in the house from even participating in the legislative process. Is it any wonder that when they took the majority two years later, they weren't in the mood to be particularly cooperative? They were elected in rebellion against the policies he had passed in the first two years. Why would they venture to betray the trust of the electorate by cowtowing to the president's every whim?

      November 2, 2012 at 2:55 am | Report abuse |
  43. MaryM

    Take a good look at the comments here. What do you see

    November 2, 2012 at 2:23 am | Report abuse |
  44. BYRON

    Please, PLEASE; do NOT fall for the RACE thing; when I look at another Human Being, I look PAST the RACE and look at the Heart... Time for Mr. Obama to leave office. Goodnight, everyone! DO NOT BE FOOLED AGAIN!

    November 2, 2012 at 2:22 am | Report abuse |
    • ib42

      You lie.

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

        Easy to say, but since you don't even know the guy, it's impossible to prove.

        November 2, 2012 at 2:56 am | Report abuse |
    • David in Tampa

      Last time we got fooled, it was Bush by 500 votes Obama 54% Romney 43%

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

        No there have been more recent occasions. You just haven't caught on yet.

        November 2, 2012 at 2:57 am | Report abuse |
  45. OBAMA '12

    ^I think you're full of it, JR. Like so many others, you say you gave him a chance. I call BS on that statement. Your people were complaining and voted in a (R) congress just two years into your plan to remove President Obama from office. You are shameful. President Obama is a good man. Romney cannot be trusted and you will regret voting for him if he wins. You cannot trust rich Mormons. They are theives and thugs. No good magic underwear-wearin' thugs.

    November 2, 2012 at 2:20 am | Report abuse |
  46. OpinionsToGo

    For all of the doubters here, check this web site to see how much Obama has actually accomplished in the face of Republican obstructionism: http://www.thepeoplesview.net/2011/09/so-that-ignorance-wont-be-reason-why.html

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

      The problem is that at least one of his accomplishments, Obamacare is extremely unpopular with a large segment of the population, and many of the other supposed accomplishments are seen as being rather insignificant, or requiring no real leadership.

      November 2, 2012 at 3:01 am | Report abuse |
      • MaryM

        How many millions of Americans have health care now because of Obamacare. Especially Americans with pre existing conditions

        November 2, 2012 at 3:36 am | Report abuse |
  47. Michelle & my $700 sneakers

    ....yoyoyyo....nice job CNN on towing the company line.

    November 2, 2012 at 2:18 am | Report abuse |
  48. Victor

    What a bunch of crap. I can't believe this revisionist history is being offered as anything other than an opinion piece. There was no lapse in racism after the Civil War. African Americans were elected to Congress because the U.S. Army was occupying the South and protecting their voting rights. That, along with many white southerners being barred from voting due to their support of the CSA, was why African Americans were elected.

    The U.S. taxpayers grew tired of paying for this occupation and after the 1876 election (in which Southern Congressional Democrats threw their support to the Republican presidential candidate in return for removing the U.S. Army from the South (plus a cabinet post)) whites reassumed most of their antebellum power and Reconstruction ended.

    Passage of the Posse Comitatus Act, which essentially barred the Army from enforcing U.S. law in States unless the Staes asked for it to do so, was what allowed the Jim Crow laws to be enforced. With taxpayers unwilling to foot the occupation bill, Southern Democrats stabbing their Northern party members in the back, and the much maligned but actual Civil Rights champion U.S. Grant leaving office, Jim Crow and share cropping took over (the continuation of slavery by other means) and continued until 1965.

    November 2, 2012 at 2:17 am | Report abuse |
  49. BYRON

    Just another tactic to get our minds away from the TRUTH. Black, White, Green, RED or Blue; Mr. Obama has not EARNED another four years or another vote from me. RACE has absolutely NOTHING to do with it!

    November 2, 2012 at 2:15 am | Report abuse |
    • David in Tampa

      Obama 54% Romney 43% That is what the final result will be. We call that a landslide in THIS Country!

      November 2, 2012 at 2:32 am | Report abuse |
      • Gayle

        You are delusional! Obama's margin of victory was much smaller than that in 2008, and while there are many people that voted for him then that won't vote for him now, There is almost nobody that voted for McCain last time that will vote for Obama this time. Put those numbers back where you got them and allow them to be flushed with the rest of your refuse.

        November 2, 2012 at 3:10 am | Report abuse |
      • luckjoe

        And if Obama wins this country is going down the drain.

        November 2, 2012 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
  50. Cayce

    I don't see this a front page worthy whatsoever. It is an interesting analysis of "first black men taking a historical step" but that is about as far as it reaches. I am a young American and I really have no bias towards race whatsoever. I like Obama for being an intelligent man that makes wise decisions and a strong leader. You don't need to draw the connection, you need to report on things that will stop this continuing. Disenfranchising voters, rigging voting machines, the ability for politics to find their ways into very simple systems that carry out the will of the people. Black, hispanic, white whatever color you want to bring into the mix, if the system operates as it should, and is fair and impartial to the people taking part in it, none of this matters. Sad to say, neither would this commentary. Report on the real issue at hand and someone 100 years from now won't be writing commentary about how racism hasn't gone away because you, the press, allowed for the very basics of the system to be corrupted without reporting on it.

    November 2, 2012 at 2:11 am | Report abuse |
  51. JohnParryJones

    For god sakes this is a wordy and rambling article. Author, you were trying to make a point? You didn't.

    We will have four more years of Obama. But only because the GOP ran a weak candidate. It means it will take another 12 years to undo Obama's eight. Sad. Next time around we'll have a slimmed down Christie or the young Rand. Mark my words. You read it here first.

    November 2, 2012 at 2:11 am | Report abuse |
  52. Patti

    OMGOSHHHHHHHHHHHHHh more racist remarks. You know what? Blacks are more racists then whites buddie! John Blake for pete's sake====discord is what you make ....you fake. Stop digging up graves to produce racism. You nasty person you. Stop it. Maybe you are the racist otherwise you would be talking about the current facts and events do NOT throw the past into our present and future just so you have a story. How dare you! Do not speak this way again and write how racist people are when blacks and hispanics are worse. Other races love to see America die.

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

      John is only doing his job. CNN's major goal is to spread hate and fear. Nothing more.

      November 2, 2012 at 2:30 am | Report abuse |
  53. Evolutionisforunaccountability

    I am white and never in my life have I seen a black man or woman say hateful things about whites but I have heard whites say horrible things about blacks.

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

      You don't get out much.

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

      Blacks are racist against their own race!! If someone in the family is lighter than them they distant themselves from them b/c they say they have white blood.. Are you kidding they are awful. The truth will be seen on this. Remember how they said the white boy cant dance? There was a song about it. Now look at those white boys dance on Dancing with the stars...they hated the white men and treated them badly b/c of what the white men brought them here as slaves. Look at what they do where they came from...slaves there too. They are bitter about the past just like most people are. Go to counseling and get over it.

      November 2, 2012 at 2:15 am | Report abuse |
    • BYRON

      I am almost 60 years old; I've seen and heard BOTH; however, Mr. Obama being a black man has NOTHING to do with his record. His action speak for themselves! Not voting for him THIS time.

      November 2, 2012 at 2:18 am | Report abuse |
      • David in Tampa

        II'm bettin' that you are not even registered.

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

        That's how people like you lose all their money. Don't pretend you know somebody on an anonymous comment board.

        November 2, 2012 at 3:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Joshua Powell

      If this is true, I invite you to walk through any inner city neighborhood and tell me what happens. It's white liberals with their fantasies about how good minorities are and how bad whites are that make it impossible for racism on both sides to disappear.

      November 2, 2012 at 2:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Oaktown

      Come to Oakland blacks have killed asians and whites for fun.

      November 2, 2012 at 3:03 am | Report abuse |
      • Gayle

        Even blacks feel more fear walking around in a black neighborhood, than they do walking around in a white suburb. Why is that?

        November 2, 2012 at 3:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Storm

      Are you kidding me are saying you have NEVER heard a black man or woman spout racial remarks against whites or other nationalities. Wow, where are you hiding? You have been in that closet way to long! I have heard more raciest remarks spouted against whites in this election year more then ever before! I will not be voting for Obama but it is not because he is black it is because he has not done what he said he was going to do in the last 4 years. Benghazi was a train wreck! Middle class is no more only Rich and Poor. Obama would rather hob nob it with Hollywood he can get a job there as a late night host. Fits right in!

      November 2, 2012 at 3:17 am | Report abuse |
  54. CalmNC0llctd

    What a shame that CNN and John Black chose to print such a divisive article, just to try to conjure up more votes for the Democrats. Sure, there will always be racists in this world. Does that mean all Republicans are racists? No, not even most. We can all find "parallels" to whatever we want when we look hard enough. But, let's use our brains for a minute... If most Republicans lead such a predjudice existence, do you really think the party would support a Mormon? Talk about a group that's been on the receiving end of plenty of predjudice. And, what about the former candidacy of Herman Cain? There were plenty of Republicans who liked him, and still do. The bottom line is that few of those who vote against Obama will do so because of race. That just isn't the motivating factor. If most people perceive he is doing a good job, he will win. If not, he will lose. People don't suddenly become racist over the course of 4 years. This article is incredibly offensive, and full of paranoid delusions. Predjudice is terrible, but so is accusing people of being predjudiced who aren't. Why would anyone want to stoke this kind of fire? We would all be better off without it.

    November 2, 2012 at 2:08 am | Report abuse |
  55. Julio

    My parents were republicans since MLK preached back in their day. It is just about morals and values we need back in America again. I won't be fooled to vote because of my skin color, WE ARE ALL AMERICANS.

    November 2, 2012 at 2:07 am | Report abuse |
  56. Yowsa

    I guarantee that all things being equal and 4 years ago Obama is white candidate, he would have NEVER won the election let alone gotten past the primaries. He was elected BECAUSE he is black. And now that the country has had a chance to see his policies in action, he will lose, not because he is black but because he is taking the country in the wrong direction.

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

      I didn't vote for him because of his race; it was all of the PROMISES (which has since broken) I was counting on. Now that the TRUTH about Obama is out; he too is O-U-T as far as I am concerned. You lost this vote, Mr. Obama.

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

    I live in the area where Obama didn't respond after a tornado, now he is doing hugs for the election.

    November 2, 2012 at 2:05 am | Report abuse |
  58. Julio

    Romney and Ryan are for America to profit not volunteer our time as Americans, we need jobs and sanity back. Mouths to feed!

    November 2, 2012 at 2:04 am | Report abuse |
    • regan flint

      AWWW , the good old days when BUSH was President and every thing was just fine. Oh wait... UMMM , never mind.
      The definition of insanity is going the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
      ROMNEY = BUSH policies. Ya , that makes a lot of sense... lol...

      November 2, 2012 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  59. BYRON

    Blacks have ALWAYS been HUMAN BEINGS! – EVERYONE is simply getting WISE to Obama's lies! Bye, Bye, Obama; bye bye!!

    November 2, 2012 at 2:02 am | Report abuse |
  60. Julio

    Amen, Byron. We have been blinded that race is an issue. It is simple politics. Romney gets my vote this time. I voted Obama because I thought it was the good thing to do at the time. He is lacking in all areas in leading this country out of the mess Bush left in his 2nd term.

    November 2, 2012 at 2:02 am | Report abuse |
    • BYRON

      I confess; I messed up. Knowing what I know now, I personally do not believe he is the type of person qualified to be President of the United States of America. No vote for Mr. Obama THIS TIME around.

      November 2, 2012 at 2:06 am | Report abuse |
  61. HauteWheels

    Why wasn't this article labled "Distraction". Bring back the talking dog video!

    November 2, 2012 at 2:01 am | Report abuse |
  62. Sonny

    Not re-electing Obozo is not racist, it is voting to save the country from a socialists idiot that has no business being President in the first place.

    November 2, 2012 at 2:00 am | Report abuse |
    • regan flint

      Please look socialism is your dictionary to find out what it actually means. America has had many socialist programs for decades. DUH!!! OBAMA , has ever right to be President , again.

      November 2, 2012 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  63. gabriel

    Silly... thank you for the history lesson but... but... let me use universal language here... LAME!

    November 2, 2012 at 1:59 am | Report abuse |
  64. alex

    I don't think this is a racist regression, but the fact that the tolerance bar is raced by now having a less white president wakes the repulsive collective racism. Racism was always there, but nobody was aware of it. They think: I can tolerate a (blank) driving a car or buying a house, or even having my profesion, but not being my teacher, my doctor or my president. Being president of the US for years has had a symbolic cliche of racial power and superiority that is hard to let go.

    November 2, 2012 at 1:59 am | Report abuse |
  65. BiteMeBarry

    More racist diatribe from liberal CNN. When Joe Biden makes a race baiting comment like "He gonna put ya all back in chains". NOTHING, no criticism or strongly worded article.

    We are tired as a nation of the continued race baiting crap from the left. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

    November 2, 2012 at 1:59 am | Report abuse |
  66. Julio

    I am black and voting for Romney for pure and simple morals and values.

    November 2, 2012 at 1:59 am | Report abuse |
  67. BYRON

    It has NOTHING to do with RACE; are you too blind (figuratively speaking) to see that? Mr. Obama was simply not what we had hoped. I will NOT be voting for him again! Fool me once shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me! YOU DON'T FOOL ME THIS TIME!

    November 2, 2012 at 1:58 am | Report abuse |
    • alex

      You didnt vote for Obama the first time.

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

      You didn't vote for Obama the first time.

      November 2, 2012 at 2:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Cayce

      Alex has a point. You obviously didn't vote for Obama the first time either.

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

        Neither you nor alex know who he voted for. If he said he voted for Obama last time why should you doubt? A lot of people voted for Obama. That's why he was elected. He won't be getting as many votes this time, so he may not be re-elected.

        November 2, 2012 at 3:25 am | Report abuse |
  68. Julio

    Next president please.

    November 2, 2012 at 1:58 am | Report abuse |
  69. John

    What the hell has happened to this Comments? CNN: Please exercise some polution control!

    November 2, 2012 at 1:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Gayle

      What's wrong, not the majority you thought you were?

      November 2, 2012 at 3:26 am | Report abuse |
  70. John

    I agree that the Tea Party is not a bastion of enlightenment but they're not a monolith of evil either. Many are just scared older white people who feel lost in the whirlwind that our world has become ref: Alvin Toffler "Future SHock" written back in the 60's; forcasted the disorientation and fear of modernity we see so often. Quite parallel to what's going on in fundamentalist Islamic and ultra Orthadox jewish groups.

    November 2, 2012 at 1:54 am | Report abuse |
  71. Jonas


    November 2, 2012 at 1:53 am | Report abuse |
  72. Jonas

    Romney kills people with cancer. Everyone knows that fact.

    November 2, 2012 at 1:52 am | Report abuse |
  73. John

    I agree that there is a huge problem with racism in America. As someone who studies history, I have been told by many professors that political movements that actively look to the past for inspiration usually are the harbingers of societal decay. I agree with this. When Republicans have platforms that are nearly identical to the ones they had back in the Reagan Era, and candidates state that they actively wish to return America to its status back in the 1980's-early 90's and actually get elected to office, I become very afraid. I also fear groups like Golden Dawn, in Greece. Fascism in America is not dead, and the fact that there is a resurgence fascist movements in Europe worries me greatly.

    November 2, 2012 at 1:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Timber72

      Non. Sense. Non....sense. Absolutely rubbish. Racism is NOT...repeat, NOT...again, NOT...a "huge problem" in America. It is only a "huge problem" for the race baiters, who need to make sure Americans are divided over nonsense so they can maintain their power.

      November 2, 2012 at 2:36 am | Report abuse |
      • maglor

        Compared to late 19th century, Europe is much more stable and less likely to fall apart to fight a large war like World War I. China was a mess in the late 19th century, but now, it is on its way to become the largest Economy in the world. The corporations in USA no longer have edge in technology over competing corporations outside of USA. If USA decides to roll back all the social progress, what happened to the south in the post-reconstruction period will happen again, this time very likely to entire USA. Many countries and EU are much better placed to achieve even greater progress in economy, science, and technology compared to late 19th century. Nobody will feel a need to hold USA back because many other powerful countries in the world will be sprinting ahead much faster than USA in many areas, unless USA can maintain its edge over the world it maintained partly due to all the social progress.

        November 2, 2012 at 3:04 am | Report abuse |
  74. Jonas

    Can someone help me please.

    My name is Jonas and I'm a racist bigot.

    November 2, 2012 at 1:49 am | Report abuse |
  75. Don Hill

    Oh please CNN, are we really stooping to this level? If America chooses to not re-elect President Obama, it is not because we are a rasist county, rather the people of this country were not satisfied with the job he did. We have done it with past presidents and we can do it again, regardless of a persons skin color. I believe that a majority of Americans have moved past their racial differences. There are always going to be a select few that are extremists, but to label the whole entire white crowd or black crowd as such is ridiculous. For you to even publish this article is pretty shameful and it shows that your company is getting swept up in what a select group of people think and not the broader picture. I doubt seriously if Barak Obama was white, that we would hear anything out of CNN about racial issues and wether or not blacks or whites supported the candidate. So please if you want to put an end to racism for once and all, stop giving these small groups so much attention. They are not the majority here!

    November 2, 2012 at 1:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Pokernicus

      You obviously didn't read the entire article...

      "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."

      Sure, it may not be totally representative of everyone in the country, but it definitely says something.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:51 am | Report abuse |
      • Don Hill

        Polls aren't everything, they only sample a small amount of people. So they could have largely targeted white supremacists and smaller groups like that for their polls. Again it is only on a small basis. Most of the people I talk to black, white, asian, don't care about race, they care about the job a politician is doing. So don't pull the race card.

        November 2, 2012 at 1:57 am | Report abuse |
      • JR

        And how was this survey conducted? What was the sample? Statistics don't lie, but liars use statistics.

        I also would be interested to see a survey on black Americans concerning racial prejudice against whites, because that is also a problem. Is discrimination gone? No. Has progress been made? Yes. But there will always be people on both sides that are irrational when it comes to race.

        As for President Obama, I judge him at the ballot box by the content of his character, which I find lacking. I did not vote for him in 2008, but I heard his high minded rhetoric and decided to give him a chance before passing judgment. He has had that chance and I'm not impressed.

        November 2, 2012 at 1:58 am | Report abuse |
      • socal2011

        An AP online pole has statistics??!? what a complete joke. What were the questions? This is just garbage. Obama has failed to keep his promises, plain and simple. And further, he is lousy at bringing people together. The poll the AP has not taken and published is the one that concludes how much further divided we are as a country after 4 years of this President's leadership. Blame, ignore, pontificate, and spend money you don't have. That's his legacy. We need someone else.

        November 2, 2012 at 2:26 am | Report abuse |
      • Jerry Lemieux

        Where's the poll regarding the racism of blacks toward whites? That would be even more revealing.

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

      This President has served honorably and competently and yet he has had to tolerate so much disrepect. I think that racism is alive and well in America.

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

        Guess you and I have very different views about honor and competence. Obama has gotten a pass from most of the media on his performance. If a white person with his record was president it would be over. The fact that he's a bi-racial democrat has actually helped him.

        November 2, 2012 at 2:21 am | Report abuse |
      • socal2011

        Honorably? Sure. Competently? What did he say versus what did he do? He promised big and didn't deliver. Period, end of story. Is racism alive and well in America? Try holding a racist rally anywhere in the US and see what happens. What continues to be alive and well in America are people who think 1+1 = 3, or, Obama did not keep his promises, and as such, people don't want him re-elected, so therefore racism is alive and well in America. Facts and logic don't matter as long as CNN and MSNBC are around to lead the masses...

        November 2, 2012 at 2:35 am | Report abuse |
  76. KC

    When in doubt pull the race card. Do you think perhaps his policies and social justice agenda are just plain wrong? This article is a waste of electrons.

    November 2, 2012 at 1:48 am | Report abuse |
  77. Jake

    The problem with race relations in the US is not unlike any other country which is grouping everyone of a similar race together. Yes it is a FACT that a lot of African Americans are not as productive as their white counterparts. Yes it is also true that per capita they are less educated, more apt to break the law and live off the government.
    HOWEVER with all that said white americans need to learn to judge folks based on individuals instead of a collective.
    most whites folks especially on the right, judge Obama not on his individuality but rather his skin color. I guarantee you if everything else being equal BUT Obama white instead of black he would win this election hand downs No question ask!!

    Before anyone says it goes both ways YES I agree it goes both ways. Blacks are equally guilty of judging by color as well BUT one need to realize that blacks and other minorities do not hold the influence and seats of power as their white counterparts in all areas of economy, politics etc so while they too are guilty of the same, their 'racism' however does not have as much affect on the health and viability of the country!!!

    November 2, 2012 at 1:47 am | Report abuse |
    • tatero

      @Jake: I respectfully disagree in regards to your statement of:

      "I guarantee you if everything else being equal BUT Obama white instead of black he would win this election hand downs No question ask!!"

      There was a certain president named Carter and he didn't last...bad policy = 1 term period.

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

      What, you mean Obama's not white? But he's so clean and articulate, just ask Harry Reed.

      November 2, 2012 at 2:40 am | Report abuse |
  78. Jonas

    Obama said if I suck him of he'll give me and my inbred family free health care forever.

    November 2, 2012 at 1:46 am | Report abuse |
  79. Jonas

    My daddy let me suck him off tonight. He's a racist liberal also.

    November 2, 2012 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
  80. Ken

    Will, you are bang on! Well said. I suspect if Bush ushered in Obama's policies, he would be called a progressive pioneer and moral leader by Tea-party members....but since Obama is black, he becomes the Anti-Christ. And no, readers, I am NOT black.

    November 2, 2012 at 1:42 am | Report abuse |
    • I don't drink the kool-aid

      Bush wouldn't have ushered in Obama's policies, and if he had we would have kicked him out of office. Stop being a racist.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:55 am | Report abuse |
  81. casper

    Very good article. It also seems those with narrowly conservative views are here on CNN trying to destroy the comment section as they did the Faux news comment section.

    November 2, 2012 at 1:42 am | Report abuse |
  82. Jonas

    Please forgive me. I live in my mothers basement. Ding ding ding OH my hot pocket is ready.

    November 2, 2012 at 1:41 am | Report abuse |
  83. Jonas

    My uncle screwed my mother and gave me another sister and I LOVE my sister now 🙂

    Obama / Biden 2012

    November 2, 2012 at 1:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Calif. Conserv.

      But my sister is not nearly as good as my Mom is. Trust me. I know.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:42 am | Report abuse |
  84. Jonas

    My mother just did our dog again. The dog love it.

    November 2, 2012 at 1:37 am | Report abuse |
    • moushka

      Undecided, right?

      November 2, 2012 at 1:38 am | Report abuse |
      • Jonas

        Obama / Biden 2012

        November 2, 2012 at 1:40 am | Report abuse |
    • pattysboi

      How old are you, anyway, 6? Have mommy put a password on the computer, and then put your Teletubbies video in for you.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:54 am | Report abuse |
  85. eville11

    ya'll be back in chains...
    Thats the sitting vice president mind you playing a race and a fear card...
    thats the desperation he feels in gaining votes, scare tactics into support.
    like telling a five yr old you'll protect him from the boogy man under the bed.
    Ya'll aint smart enough to protect yourself from the chains, but we can keep them off you.
    from a VP... programmed by democrats. Really bad politics from the "intelligent party"
    expected better. If there is one blundering phrase from this election that shocks with
    ignorant, bottom of the barrel cheap, pure race baiting comments; Biden wins hands down.

    November 2, 2012 at 1:37 am | Report abuse |
    • True

      Yea, I can def picture him standing in the woods with a white suit on.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:52 am | Report abuse |
  86. mireille taar

    I don't believe any of this rhetoric. If the media had left the triumph of the 2008 Election, if it had helped move it forward where it was headed, we would be on a very different road today. The media didn't stop poking for its own self interest, and helped bring us where we are today. It should be ashamed of itself, as it has fallen very far off its intended purpose: to bring information out as neutrally, impartially as possible and allow the reader to judge for himself. Instead the media constantly plays with our minds, our feelings, our thoughts, and unfortunately we allow it. With more emphasis on education and a more enlightened electorate, the media couldn't go as far into the mud as it has. It is our responsibility as citizens therefore, to never forget the value of a true education, and the very serious part it plays in a healthy democracy. Democracy cannot be dollar driven, but liberty driven and in the name of long term human freedom. I hope we finally get back on track and allow a president to continue to lead a nation of lost sheep, in the name of an enduring humanity that can finally retrace its steps to some more tangible form of human happiness; a president who will one day be seen as one of the greatest presidents we ever had.

    November 2, 2012 at 1:36 am | Report abuse |
    • akmac65

      The "media" is not to blame. Ignorant Americans who believe their opinions to be facts, no matter what reality says, are the ones to blame. We are each responsible for our thoughts and feelings.

      November 2, 2012 at 2:48 am | Report abuse |
  87. Jonas

    I'm a demcorats and ALL republipukes should just DIE

    November 2, 2012 at 1:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Calif. Conserv.

      Sorry y'all. Forgot to change my name. My fingers are slippery still.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:38 am | Report abuse |
  88. themiddleguy

    The thing is concessions must be made. Yes there are people in the states that are still racists, it happens. Some people are a product of their upcoming and others evolve independently. The fact is both sides have made race apparent in the upcoming election regardless of whether Obama had "White" ancestors.

    Why should we not expect every individual voting to have a valid state ID. The point was made, it's already required for, driving,spirits, tobacco. There are few requirements for many of the state ID's (1) Piece of mail to prove local residency , (2) Any other form of ID. This isn't a new era of "Jim Crow " Laws, yes it may be more strict but it protects both sides. Whats to stop a "racists" from voting multiple times against Obama without this, and at the same time whats to stop various Obama supports (regardless what you may argue their reason for voting) from doing the same. Take it a step back from an emotionally charged subject such as race and view it for what it is. A way to bring legitimacy to all future elections for both sides. More structure isn't always bad.

    We clearly aren't where we would like to be when it comes to race. The fact that race is an issue in this election proves that. But the comparisons to post-reconstruction era America is stretching it. You would never see the type of hatred expressed during post-reconstruction accepted as a COMMUNITY today.

    Benghazi, every news media source has released information stating that the threat was known prior to the attack. The embassy requested more support weeks prior. We can argue that it was a "cover up" , "lack of federal funding", or a really tragic oversight on the governments part (all areas, both political standpoints). Instead of pointing fingers we must realize that we as a country made a mistake and focus on the areas that require improvement to prevent such incidents. Sometimes its easier to focus on whose to blame and that's what this has evolved into. Instead lets focus on protecting our citizens both foreign and domestic embassies.

    November 2, 2012 at 1:35 am | Report abuse |
  89. Calif. Conserv.

    Darn it! Mom is riding the washing machine again.

    November 2, 2012 at 1:35 am | Report abuse |
  90. Jonas

    I'm a proud democrat and I'm a racist.

    November 2, 2012 at 1:34 am | Report abuse |
    • pattysboi

      How old are you, six? Have mommy lock the computer.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:52 am | Report abuse |
  91. Dale

    This is complete and utter B.S! Shame on you CNN

    November 2, 2012 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
  92. Jonas

    Obama is my god, my messiah. I love him like a wife.

    November 2, 2012 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
  93. Marxist

    tl;dr: Obama is Black. If you don't vote for him you are a racist. Also, all Republicans are racists. Democrats are always in the right and Republicans are always wrong and bigoted. Romney is evil.

    November 2, 2012 at 1:31 am | Report abuse |
  94. Jonas

    I love sucking Obama's black lollipop.

    November 2, 2012 at 1:31 am | Report abuse |
  95. Stimpy

    Give it up already, those are your words. You're the one that sounds like a racist thug.

    November 2, 2012 at 1:30 am | Report abuse |
  96. Jonas

    I hate niqqers with a passion. My demcorats friends in the KKK love me.

    November 2, 2012 at 1:30 am | Report abuse |
  97. Jokeq

    What far too many refuse to accept is that there is a strain of voters who cannot stand a black man in the White House. Many of these people believe that it's called the White House only whites are supposed to be president. If Obama wins, this will be his greatest triumph. However, it may also be his downfall: the voters who are still repelled by a black man as president (and a beautiful black woman as First Lady) will resort to violence to realize their dream of a whites only White House.

    November 2, 2012 at 1:29 am | Report abuse |
    • I don't drink the kool-aid

      What century are you living in? Not the 21st, that's for sure. Put down the glass of kool-aid and back away.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:39 am | Report abuse |
  98. C

    What is CNN trying to convey here? What a bunch of racist puke.

    November 2, 2012 at 1:28 am | Report abuse |
  99. Jonas

    I'm an inbred, My brother is also my father.

    November 2, 2012 at 1:28 am | Report abuse |
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