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Racial Divide


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A recent AP–Yahoo poll resulted in analysis not surprising to most African-Americans. The survey, which was conducted with Stanford University, found that one-third of White Democrats and Independents still have an issue with the idea of putting a Black man in the White House. It’s a tidbit that could cause Barack Obama to lose the election come November.

 

Seemingly it doesn’t matter that Obama is actually biracial. Nearly forty percent of White Americans polled still harbor negative views about African-Americans, many calling us “lazy,” “violent,” and responsible for our own troubles. As the first Black candidate to get close enough to smell the presidency, Obama needs to introduce himself to these voters, who are said to be the determining factor in the election. 

 

The poll (which included 2,227 adults) comprises of a set of psychological tests and questions to try to get voters to be honest about their individual prejudices and fears. Part of the survey included recording people’s responses to Black or White faces flashed on a computer screen, asking participants to rate how well certain adjectives apply to Blacks, measuring whether people believe African-Americans’ troubles are their own fault, and simply asking people how much they like or dislike Blacks.

 

Stanford University political scientist Paul Sniderman helped analyze the survey. He told the Associated Press: “There are a lot fewer bigots than there were 50 years ago, but that doesn't mean there’s only a few bigots.”

 

But it’s not just Dems alone who have a problem. Republicans clearly aren’t voting for Obama, but it has nothing to do with his race and everything to do with the fact that he’s a Democrat. 

 

The findings, however, do not conclude that all Whites are prejudiced. The poll shows that more Whites say good things about Blacks than they say bad things, and for the most part, White voters still very much support Obama in his candidacy for president.

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