AP Asks: In Obama era, have race relations improved?

Posted by on Jul 29, 2012 at 9:13 am

One hundred days left until the presidential election and the race card is being played from the top, middle and bottom of the deck. Can’t be long until we see images of Mitt Romney as a Klansman.

Jose Lozano, who is Hispanic by way of Puerto Rico, believes prejudice is emerging from the shadows. “Now the racism is coming out,” he says.

In the afterglow of Barack Obama’s historic victory, most people in the United States believed that race relations would improve. Nearly four years later, has that dream come true? Americans have no shortage of thoughtful opinions, and no consensus.

Thoughtful opinions, like “Now the racism is coming out.”

Who’s the blame for the sorry state of race relations. Sure isn’t Obama.

As Obama dealt with fallout from the Gates affair during the summer of 2009, the tea party coalesced out of opposition to Obama’s stimulus and health care proposals. The vast majority of tea partyers were white. A small number of them displayed racist signs or were connected to white supremacist groups, prompting the question: Are Obama’s opponents motivated by dislike of the president’s policies, his race – or both?

Tea partiers were white supremacists? News to me.

Jan Brewer is also to blame, apparently.

In the summer of 2010, race and politics collided again when Arizona Republicans passed an immigration law that critics said would lead to racial profiling of Hispanics.

Lozano, the police sergeant, remembers that when Obama visited Arizona and met with the governor, who supported the law, she wagged an angry finger in the president’s face.

“That was ugly, I’ve never seen anything like that,” says Lozano, who also is vice president of the Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers. “There’s no way that would have ever happened to a white president.”

Probably because a white president, or a normal one, wouldn’t have declared war on one of the 57 states.

Tags: ,

Comments are closed.