Politics of Race

Politics of Race Is America ready for a black president? Obama has distanced himself from the race question, but it has been the big issue. We ask the question how many Americans are voting on racial grounds?
Half a century ago students at a black college in Jackson State took to the streets demanding an end to segregation. They won, but little has changed. At the Jackson State football match there are no white faces in the crowd. Large parts of America are still split along race lines. Richard Barratt, a pro-segregation campaigner, finds the idea of a black man ruling America repugnant. But he suspects that Obama will be elected and that this will cause a rightwing backlash. 'When he goes in people are going to say; "What have we done?"' For many Obama supporters race is also the deciding factor. "I'm not switching from the party, I'm just a Republican supporting Obama," says Charles Evers. 'It's a matter of race'. Atlanta's former mayor Andrew Young sees the election as a referendum of how courageous America can be in taking a risk on the future. 'It's a frightening future for Americans. We've never had a weak dollar, never not been in control of the price of oil, never felt that close to half of the world hates us'. For him colour is not the issue; Obama is the man for the job. But is America ready to take that leap?

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