LatinaLista — As much as some of us would like to think that this election is all about the issues, there’s no denying that a major issue for a lot of voters boils down to black versus white.
In fact, the issue has become such a hot topic that there are reports that at the London and South African book fairs, a new e-book titled “America the Racist?” gained some unprecedented interest.
It seems the rest of the world wants to know as much as Americans if we can shed our prejudices and actually vote for a person of color.
Unfortunately, that will be a question that will continue to haunt the world until the polls close in November.
In the meantime, we will have to suffer through poll after poll that will attempt to gauge our feelings to predict our actions in the booths.
The latest poll, a Washington Post-ABC News survey, claims that 3 in 10 Americans admit to racial bias.
That’s not surprising, nor new. In fact, most analysts on the topic of race would probably believe the number is higher than that because not too many Americans like to admit they have hang-ups about race.
Yet, what was a more interesting revelation of the poll were two questions that show there is an inherent racial lens that the media looks through and probably needs to wipe clean before a clear picture gauging the public’s racial barometer can be measured.
In the poll, the question read:
When it comes to representing the interests of [ITEM] do you think that as president Obama would do too much, too little or about the right amount? (IF TOO MUCH OR TOO LITTLE) Is that a big concern to you, or not a big concern?
The two items for Obama were: African Americans and Middle Class Americans.
The same question for McCain contained the items: Large business and Middle Class Americans.
If this survey is to be fair, then all three items should have been presented to those surveyed, but by differentiating along racial lines in the questioning it seems that there is an implication planted that because Obama is black people would expect him to overrepresent their interests over everyone else’s.
And for whatever reason that appears more ominous than representing the interests of large businesses.
Zeroing in on what makes a particular candidate different has long been a media tactic. It is said that when John F. Kennedy ran for office the media asked the same about how much influence the Catholic Church would have in the Oval Office.
By planting such a connection, it makes the candidate appear less reliable to be a President for ALL the people. Somehow, big business and ethnic and religious groups just aren’t on equal footing in people’s minds. Could be because big business doesn’t have a human face to it.
However, if there is truly something to be gleaned from this poll on how voters will vote come the fall, it may be the answer to the question: Do you think Obama’s candidacy will do more to (help) or more to (hurt) race relations in this country, or won’t it make much of a difference?
Whites: 38% said it would help.
Blacks: 60% said it would help.
Now, why wouldn’t more whites see a black president as being more of a help with race relations, especially if he’s the first black president in the history of this country?
It just might be because they can’t see him in the White House.