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POLL: Is It Possible To Run A Race-Neutral Campaign In America?

(Photo by Robin Holland)

In this week’s JOURNAL, Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Ron Walters discussed how race has affected the presidential election process and the media’s coverage thereof.

Jamieson said:

“I heard a commentator say, when Senator Obama announced, that he’s running to be 'the first black president'... He’s running to be our president, the president of all of us. And to some extent to say that he’s running to be 'the first black president,' I knew what the commentator meant, but I thought that is problematic for that candidacy.”

We invite you to discuss in the space below.


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Douglas Blackman argues that the judicial system became a mechanism for the re-enslavement of African-Americans from shortly after the Civil War through the 1940s. Can we be so sure it is not on-going? Angela Davis has argued for years that the prison system is the new face of slavery. Not only are African-Americans over-represented still today in American prisons, but the increasing privatization of the prison industry leads to the same constellation of business interests that provided the incentive for the re-enslavement of black Americans following the Civil War. Should we be so confident that the process of re-enslavement is behind us? Especially today, when the United States of America imprisons more people - both numerically and as a percentage of its population - than any other country in the world?

Bill, why not continue this discussion with Angela Davis?

In your interview with Douglas Blackmon I was reminded why I chose to become a secular humanist about ten years ago. How many bigoted and corrupt cops, judges and lawyers who participated in something as horrible as aparthied in the United States strolled into the local churches with bible in hand every sunday? Religion is a crutch used to justify discrimination and polocies of willful ignorance and hate for people of color, alternative lifestyles and most recently science. While I'm not gay, dark skinned or outwardly remarkable in any way I have deep empathy for those who must have prayed to a non-existant god for escape from the illegal arrests, beatings and lies told by those church going so-called christians who to this day lie and cheat to have their corrupt worldview shoved down the throat of every American; such as denying birth control,teaching creationism and denying their fellow human being their very own inate biology by telling them who they can and can't love - all in the name of thier non-existant god.

Is it possible to run a race-neutral campaign in America?
If nationwide inequities exist as a function of income, education and opportunity, and the candidates themselves fall at different points on this continuum, why wouldn't race be relevant? I'm just thinking back to an earlier Journal which reviewed the results of the Kerner Commission after 40-years. Sen. Fred Harris suggested that our progress in bridging the racial divide skidded to a halt after Reagan. Other data points reinforce this. If elections are about change, seems the topic of race would be part of the whole.

Not yet. But we Dems must stop this--GOP and media knows exactly what they are doing. Do you think MSNBC has as much stake as you and I in who wins? They'll be fine! They are playing blacks against poor whites and it must stop! I beg you. Let's stop hurting each other. PEACE...

A Race-Neutral Campaign Would Be Delusional

To conduct a totally "race-neutral" discussion about our next president would be a disservice to all the people who care about addressing the racial inequities and socioeconomic problems in the US today. I agree with Jamieson that we should be careful that when we identify with Obama as a "black presidential candidate" we should not do so in such a way that implies he is a "presidential candidate for black people." He is a candidate for all people. Nonetheless, his own personal identity should be celebrated.

I heard an interview on NPR with a Republican political strategist (sorry, I don't remember the name), and the interviewer asked "In your opinion, would it be wise for McCain to bring up race in his campaign?" The interviewee was dumbfounded, and there was a remarkably telling silence that followed. This is the underlying current in saying things should be race-neutral: people are uncomfortable talking about racial problems.

Teddi, I am not racist but Blacks have always voted for democrats, always supported them 100% but when Sen Clinton & people like you downgrade Blacks, for when you say nasty things about Sen Obama, we take it personally. So you claim that she won the 'big states, hard working WHITE people voted for her..what are we Blacks, lazy good for nothing folks? You got upset about 'typical' but you call me and mine less than? Am I not to be upset about you and your racist thoughts? Vote your heart and if you want McCain, do it but remember you get what you deserve.

Both candidates are not the best speakers (Sen. Clinton was better and quicker on her feet) but with Sen Obama you will get someone who is clear and concise. Sen McCain is befuddled and confused. But if you people who claim that he is so experienced and 'a war hero' deserve what you get when he bomb, bomb, bomb Iran.
You have Pres. Bush claiming that he does not want to leave to the next President unfinished business like Pres. Clinton did to him, so he has to start one more war just to prove 'what a man, what a mighty big man' he is.

I was completely appalled by Ron Walters' comment regarding the pass given to Obama by Black people, "the Black People know what he means and he gets a wink and a nod from them." How is that not "politics as usual"? How is it not racist? How is it not racist for 90% of Blacks to vote for him? The media made such a big deal of the exit poll in South Carolina showing 27% of white people didn't vote for Obama because he is Black (well, half Black). Where were the stories about the 90%?

Could it be that stuborn, angry, old, white women have been around long enough to understand that it is experience that gets the job done. It is actions, not words that move us forward. I lived through nearly eight years of a cheerleader for president and look where it's gotten us. I don't want another cheerleader telling me, "yes, we can." (Stolen by Duval from the Hispanic labor movement, yet!)

Democratic Party gave this nomination to Obama. Many of us know that there were four states that voted before the "Official" starting date, but only two were penalized. The other two voted for Obama. The media didn't see fit to cover that.

As for the national security side of the picture, Wesley Clark was Clinton's advisor. He might even have become her Vice President. I could sleep nights with that combination.
I won't sleep well if McCain becomes president. He is not a war hero, so stop calling him that. He failed in his mission. He was one of the worst pilots in the Navy who isn't dead. He's a prisoner of war survivor. He's hardly the only one. But, he is the only one whose daddy and grandpa were Admirals. He didn't get into Annapolis on merit. He, too got a pass.

I write in Clinton or I stay home.

When I watched Dr. Ronald Walters and Kathleen Hall Jamieson discuss the Obama campaign, it seemed as if they were touting it as a movement of historic proportions. Silly me, I thought it was just the Democrats nominating another unelectable candidate. Business as usual. Those storms in the middle of the country last week were caused by the Republicans exhaling a sigh of relief.

Bill Moyers -

Thank you for your always very informative program. I am a 68 year old white woman (non-college educated) who happily supported Barack Obama in the Democratic Primary and look forward to supporting him in the coming election. He will be a wonderful asset to our country in improving our status in the world community and in encouraging changes in our own country (i.e. Healthcare, Green energy, Education, better jobs, fairer taxation etc.) and most importantly will extricate us from this War in Iraq which was based upon lies to the American Public and has taken so many lives of both American servicemen and Iraqi citizens as well as giving us a failing economy.

Karen Aranas,

Thank you. I appreciate your post. I like the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

On April 27, 2008, Reverend Jeremiah Wright gave a highly controversial televised speech before the NAACP. Because he is an excellent teacher and scholar, his delivery was vibrant, passionate and entertaining. His chorus and key message were conveyed through musicality and humor. I reflected for some time on his message of “Different, But Not Deficient” and also considered the problem he noted that many people do not like to have their myths destroyed. I realized that by recognizing our preconceptions and fears, we can begin to achieve reconciliation in a variety of spheres, not only racial, but religious, political, international and economic. At this time in our history, positive change can only come about through dialogue and cooperation. We need to encounter others with respect and humility. However, before this can occur, we need to encounter ourselves in relation to others. Reverend Wright helped me to do just that. I have experienced a new level of appreciation and acceptance of others and of myself as different, but not deficient.

From the time we are born, many of us get the message that we aren’t quite good enough, that we don’t really measure up to expectations. The negative training begins with verbal or non-verbal parental responses toward our cries for attention, our erratic sleep habits, curiosity and exploration etc. As we grow, we receive covert and overt, verbal and non-verbal reactions from parents, teachers, employers, co-workers, family members and even "friends." Their anxieties and biases are often based on fear, which has been passed down to them. We develop a mindset that we aren’t quite good enough. We are deficient in some way, and that others are superior or vice versa. This deficiency model spirals through each generation as an unconscious practice of judging ourselves in comparison to others. We learn to compete rather than cooperate, and we learn to unconsciously apply a positive or negative label to everyone we encounter. Perhaps we ask: Is this person enough like me that I can accept him? Is this person “better” than me and thus a threat to my self-esteem? How do we respond internally when we see a dark skinned person in our town, perhaps a person with a strong foreign accent dressed poorly or obviously of a different religion? How do we react to a dark skinned person who is successful and intelligent? Do we label him an “elitist?” Do we feel inadequate meeting a person who lives in a large beautiful house, drives a fancy car and wears glamorous clothes? What happens to us when we are in a gathering with someone who is smarter, more eloquent, thinner, better looking, funnier or more talented? How do we relate to authority figures, people with financial power or those with status in the community? In the competition and judgment model, we look down on those people that are low on the status scale, different from us or different from the status quo, and we give inordinate respect to those with the accoutrements of success: money, fame, style, beauty, possessions. This continual emotional activity in response to our encounters affects our spontaneity and authenticity, and through a complex chain of mental gymnastics, based on fear and stereotypes, limits our ability to reach out to each other as fellow human beings, delighting in our differences and gradually discovering our similarities.
I will forever be grateful to Reverend Wright for his profound insight and awareness about what this country needs to do to change direction and heal our divisions. Before we can fix the problem, we need to realize that there is a problem with each one of us.

Is equality possible in America, possible in mankind, possible in the world?
It is for me!


I am saddened, Mr. Moyers, that each of your discussions of this critical presidential contest have focussed on race and gender as if the surrounding crises of leadership and governance did not exist. Race and/or gender should not be the criteria on which we choose a president - any more than should abortion or gay marriage! These are not the things which will affect my children, whether our leadership has this or that pigmented skin, or this or that x or y chromosome. And yet each time the subject of the Democratic candidate Barack Obama comes up on your show it is black this, black that, woman this woman that.

I am a woman.

It has nothing to do with the candidate I see as the best one to lead this country.

I really object to the glut of conversation on this limited track. It demeans us all.

I'm very happy that most of your respondents voting have agreed with me. We have more important things to talk about, we really do.

I just read Hillary Clinton's concession speech. She is absolutely fixated on being a woman candidate. That I think has skewed everyone's perceptions about what is really important right now as our planet faces staggering crises. It is not going to matter what kind of 'ceilings' we have, except insofar as we fix the real ceiling, our atmosphere.

Dear Bill,

Your show on June 6 was not up to the superior news sense and attention to relevance we expect, and usually get, from Bill Moyers. In view of Obama's victory and his prompt, theatrical, Bush-like slap at Iran in order to curry favor with AIPAC (all broadcast earlier by Amy Goodman), your formula spin was beneath the dignity of your audience. It avoided the Obama-Israel-Palestine flap that was timely, important, controversial, perhaps unexpected, and already "on the table".

regardless of what happens next...we can NEVER be led down this path again...NEVER...of course the damage done may already be too severe to ever really recover from...greedy bastards...

Mr. Moyers: Thank you for bringing such high quality interviews. I love your style of journalism. Barack Obama is a breath of fresh air to this country. But when stale air (racisim, sexism, etc… ) has been around so long, it will take some time to cleanse the environment of it. I know Obama’s nomination has started the cleansing process, and looking forward to breathing clean air again. He is the right person to change how the rest of the world perceives America, and bring us back to the position of being respected leaders and caretakers of the world.

Additional Comment

As I said, I am a liberal Democrat from Massachusetts; who loves Teddy Kennedy and voted for Deval Patrick for Governor of our Commonwealth. I was born and raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts; which has more racial diversity than any other city in this Nation. Yet...when is someone going to ask the tough questions and not be considred a racist for asking them?

Why have I not heard Mr. Walters and Ms. Jamieson speak about facotrs that could really determine this election. Aside from the matter of race; which I feel in itself is a major issue for Mr. Obama; what about his Arabic descent, nationality and heritage? Isn't this going to be another major problem to surmount? What about experience? He headed the Harvard Review...that's it. In 2004, Barack Obama was a virural unknown. Now we are going to "hope" he does a good job...hope?

Now in all honesty, are you saying that if Mr. Obama was not black that he would still be a candidate for the Presidency? I say no way. If he was Barry Baras from Colorado; a 2nd year Senator. No one would have ever cared, but race is a factor. If it were not for race, Mr. Obama would not be in this position.

I have also heard that there is alot of poitential scandel in Mr. Obama's past. For one, his openly admitted use of marijuana? I heard someone mention that Barack Obama was stoned throughout the 90's; is this true? We'll see. Then there is the issue of his wife and her loyalty to America. I also heard that Mrs. Obama had a working relationship with Minister Louis Farakhan. Is this true? Again, we shall see.

If there are things in Mr. Obama's life that may hinder his election to office, then they should come out right now; before the Democrats blow the entire election; as they did in 2000. I also heard that the Republicans are working on a sort of pictoral 'flow chart'; the kind the FBI used against the mafia? Remember it? Anyway, on one end there will be a photo of Barack Obama, and on the other, Osama Bin Laden; then the links begin. From Obama to Wright to Farakhan to Colonel Kadafi to Hamas, Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda and Bin Laden. Not many steps either.

If the Democratic nominee is Barack Obama; we will get exactly what the Republicans wnat: A Karl Rove styled election where issues taken a second seat to values, personalities and beliefs.

This Nation cannot elect a jingoist, Imperialistic minded preson like John McCain. Mr. McCain believes in sacrifice and we are in wartime. Time to tighten our belts, and sacrifice as he did. I mean John McCain gave 5 1/2 years of his life and, in the end, America surrendered and left Vietnam. If elected, this will not happen again. What did McCain say, "If it takes a 100 years..." And not to forget Iran. Please if McCain gets in gasoline will be $6-8.00 a gallon. As I told you before, a vote for Obama is a vote for McCain. if there is any Obama scandel, then it better come out now; before it is too late.

That's not the issue at's a 'non-issue' in-fact...the problem is as its been for several years...the integrity of those able to reach 'that high' in any political office...The amount of money required should make anyone 'suspect' as to their integrity...inspecting a candidate's character - morally and ethically, there are questions that need to be addressed and really answered...of anyone who is seeking the #1 office in the nation...

I know (from recent incidents of much smaller consequence), that heads have rolled because of comments made pertaining to race...whether taken out of context or not...the simple implication of a possible race related comment that could be found offensive by blacks, and 'you're-fired!'...however, we see and hear...the long winded and what should be highly offensive (to every American, regardless of race) comments of wright...yet, they are conveniently swept under the rug (by the bloodsucking media, no less!) Obama has secured the dem candidacy, even with these overwhelming and openly public issues, which I see as character flaws...As I've stated many times, I find his 'flip-flopping' on wright much more disturbing than his initial support of wright (and comparison with his grandmother)...then only a week later, completely denouncing the same person...wright didn't change in a week...or in twenty years...he is speaking his mind...preaching to his followers (which Obama is one of...even giving the man the equivalent of an average working man's salary...that's commitment to a person and their cause, no matter how you spin it)...the point is wright has much more of my respect because he is 'practicing his American right to free speech and is unyielding in doing so'..whereas obama does a complete 180 on 'his friend/mentor' or an insane person that 'tricked him' for twenty years????...which is it?...I see that as 'a major character flaw'...a candidate that turns (on someone that consider(ed) him a friend) depending on public opinion and possibly losing votes...I really have an issue with that...enough of one that I won't vote dem this time...I also find it quite strange that media mogul, Oprah...never had a single word on the matter and avoided it altogether...and you can't get much more connected than having the mighty Oprah holding you up as 'one of her favorite things'...
No, this time around, I'll wright-in Gen. Wesley Clark (who-as a real military man - denounced the very idea of the iraq war, long before anyone else, has a distinguished military career/history and is a true American hero...yet has been overlooked as a candidate)...I can only think he wasn't monetarily well enough connected to go any further...otherwise a man of this caliber would be considered seriously..that is, if we were 'really looking' for the best leadership...and according to recent history, that isn't the, race isn't the issue at's money, how to get more of it (regardless of who you hurt) and what it can buy...even the #1 office...

Obama is not a "black" candidate but a
multiracial man. Saying "black" goes back
to the racial idea that even a drop of
black makes a man black. I wish you would stop calling him "black"--after all
he is at least half "white".


I am a liberal Democrat from Massachusetts and if Mr. Obama is the Democratic nominee then I will, more than likely vote for Mr. Obama, but in many ways, this will be a wasted vote; because he cannot win over McCain.

With Hillary, it wouldn't be about experience and scandels, it would simply be on issues and ideologiies, but with Obama it will become a "Tabloid Election" about race, and flag pins, and his relationship with Revs Wright and Farakhan; just what McCain and people like Karl Rowe want to happen.

Everyone talks about all the support for Obama. Sure there is support, but it is Republican support for Obama. The Republicans want to face Obama, not Clinton, and they are doing whatever they can to achieve this end. Obama is the Republicans candidate, and they desperately hope and pray Obama knocks out Hillary.

I just believe that the white working class males will not elect a liberal, black Democrat with an Arabic name; that sounds like Osama, has no experience, bowls a 37 and doesn;t wear a flag way. Not over a war hero with over 30 years Congressional experience.

Obama has lost most of the last 20 primaries. He lost Ohio and Pennsylvania and most of the East. I just don;t see him winning.

Mr. Obama's good friend, our illustrious Governor Deval Patrick had a campaign slogan which said, "Together We Can", and after 16 months in office, Together We Cannot", and if Mr. Obama gets in, that will be the scenerio. He will spend the first 2 years learning the job, and the second 2 years on re-election. America has far too many problems for an On-The-Job-Training President.

Finally, would anyone allow a 2nd year medical student, who had never performed surgery befor, to operate on them? No way, especially if a qualified surgeon was right there. This Nation needs a strong and experienced leader, and Hillary was the best choice. A vote for Obama is a vote for McCain; which means troop levels to 400,000 and a DRAFT. Obama cannot defeat McCain..period.

What an exemplary Friday it was in the markets!!!!! And who do we have to thank for our 15 cent increase in fuel prices next week (besides ESSO Weathermen Bush & Cheney)? Why it's good ol' Barack and Hillary, who gave Israeli hawks carte blanche at the AIPAC convention last week.(McCain has seconded the motion repeatedly.) Now even their Minister of Agriculture (likely Olmert's corruption replacement) is threatening to bomb (or even nuke) Iran to stop unverified nuclear development; and so speculation and manipulation in the petroleum markets is greatly enabled by three (now two?) seemingly inept candidates. You know it really makes me wonder what's really going on in a world where Hillary is offered 20 million plus to quit. Jack Martin has posited the theory elsewhere on this blog that Iraqi oil has been sequestered at great expense to our nation in order to maximize price. If one adds the AIPAC thing (Really, how many Zionist voters are there, and how much do they contribute to campaigns?). We see more clearly how elite financial interests are served by these wealth worshippers, even before they take the highest office. It is truly a whores' race on which we bet our very lives and livelihoods!

For me the principle problem for Senator Obama remains his slim resume. I don’t think that has mattered much to other voters. I doubt it will matter much in his race against Senator McCain, who does bear the stain of being part of the generations that start and continue foolish wars.

The problem is, as discussed later in the program this week, that we have true problems in Afghanistan where we do have to fight. We face enormous problems with Iran, but few options to get our way. We seem unable to deal with terrorism seated in Pakistan. Senator Obama might become a war president in spite of what he wants to accomplish. These are matters that we ought to explore during the coming campaign. I think that Senator Obama is aware of these factors. He has to be wise and mature from day one.

It is always a pleasure for me to listen to Ms.Jamieson. I am a woman of 58 years. I did not support Senator clinton because I expected a lot more of Mrs.clinton than what she delivered.
I voted for Senator Obama, because his campaign was not just about him, he did not use his race as a cause to get my vote. I appreciate the fact that he was beyond this very issue. He asked for my help. We mattered. People mattered. Our problems are everyone's problem. I plan to support him all the way.
Thank you

Dr. Walters said that Obama should not participate in town hall type venues with John McCain. I agree that Obama has so far demonstrated brilliant salesman skills in large settings. I think that if he does not, somehow, demonstrate policy substance in venues like town hall meetings, he won't be elected.

Why? Because that's what all these pesky women and blue collar Americans demand. He must prove himself to be more than merely a salesman selling a slightly better product than George Bush.

I know, look at his web site; but anybody can, and many people do, create these sites.

Pam Niedermayer

Escapes me how your commentators including Bill Moyers miss a central point about Obama's campaign. Both McCain and Hillary Clinton are funded and owned by the corporations. Obama has funded his campaign with small donations. I live
on a very limited income but will donate $50 a month to Obama until the election.

Bill Moyers: Your interaction with Kathleen Hall Jamison and Ron Walters was excellent as usual. However, I disagree with both your guest Ron Walters and a previous blogger regarding Senator Obama not being in effect, "town hall material" and that the latter is McCain's venue of choice. Well it is, but I beleive that Senator McCain is about to be blindsided. I am amazed that there once again was little if anything about a truely important event in the press: Barack Obama's first outing as the "presumtive Democratic candidate".It was broadcast live and in its entirety on CNN. I am sure that he intentionally went where Senator Clinton was supposedly so strong - to one of those blue collar basions of (supposedly) white voters, the town of Bristol in Southwest Virginia coal country. In a very long session, he moved around the stage with great ease, was loose yet precise in his presentation and by the time he got to the Q&A around which town meetings are supposed to revolve. He had "em in the aisles" and he had me up and cheering as well. Up to this point I have been a lukewarm Obama supporter at best. What I saw last evenng was a response at less than arms length (literally) that was electrifying in ways we have not seen since Jack and Bobbie Kennedy.While Senator McCain - I guess due to his confidence in the this type of format, can verge on the snide or sneering in referring to his competition. Senator Obama started out - as always, acknowleging John McCain as an American hero that he totally respects, but it that it is his policies with which Senator Obama strongly disagrees. In answering questions from the floor, he introduced a modest amount of humor when appropriate, but his answers were clearly well thought out.. on the fly in some cases. He only occassionally used a question to give a standardized answer from his campeign and even then, tailored his reponse to the location and the questioner. It was a performance.. if that is an appropriate term, that verged on the breathtaking.

Look out John McCain.

Richard Schoen FAIA,LEED-AP

I agree with Jamieson. Neither candidate can afford to be nasty to the other. Any derogation of either blacks or veterans would be fatal, just as of women in the primaries. I think, or at least hope, Obama will now return to the populist message he used in Iowa, and in the Bristow VA speech yesterday. But I think he will have to defend urban areas more than Clinton would have. While I have thought for about a year now that the economy would likely be, or should be, the major issue in this campaign, I have so far heard only "tinkering around the edges" and I am also doubtful that it will be made clear the magnitude of what needs to be done or that the political will will be found. I think McCain will have re-establish his populist credentials as well, which it appears he has already set about. As for why Obama won I would list: the ethical issues and mis-management of Iraq, as well as, the economic consequences. Ditto, the environment and Katrina. Populist issues generally, particularly in "red" states. Political correctness inculcated for the past generation. His ability to take away nearly all black voters. Development of Internet. The Michigan and Florida debacle. A general mvt away from fundamentalism, and I'd like to think the selfishness of the past several decades.

Obama is not running a post-racial or race-neutral campaign. He's running a post-divide & conquer campaign....something Hillary and John could emulate more.

Our nation is facing a deep economic crisis that will have a staggering effect on our nation. It is time to set aside petty issues and bigetry and vote for those who will work for us, not for the profiteers. They may not be perfect but they are Democrats.

On the subject of having McCain/Obama Town Hall's, I believe it would be a tremendous mistake for Obama to agree to such.

Barack Obama is currently the "rock star" on the campaign trail drawing huge crowds. McCain on the other hand, sees smaller crowds and more sedate rallies. McCain is looking to ride Obama's coat tails, riding in high profile trips from state to state with Obama, speaking before huge crowds, making it appea as if they have equal support/interest in their campaigns.

If anything, Senator Obama might consider one or two Town Hall's before the main debates, but going on-the-road, boosting the profile of the McCain campaign, is not to Obama's advantage.

On the subject of having McCain/Obama Town Hall's, I believe it would be a tremendous mistake for Obama to agree to such.

Barack Obama is currently the "rock star" on the campaign trail drawing huge crowds. McCain on the other hand, sees smaller crowds and more sedate rallies. McCain is looking to ride Obama's coat tails, riding in high profile trips from state to state with Obama, speaking before huge crowds, making it appea as if they have equal support/interest in their campaigns.

If anything, Senator Obama might consider one or two Town Hall's before the main debates, but going on-the-road, boosting the profile of the McCain campaign, is not to Obama's advantage.

Our nation is facing a deep economic crisis. It is time for all of us to transcend bigetry and petty issues and focus on putting people in power whole will work for us. They may not be perfect but they are on the right side. All of our survival is at stake and we must remember how much we hve been decieveed and robbed. This election will either put the nails in our national future or change the course that we are on. To me voting Democrat means everything

Senator Obama has done as well as he can in this campaign in controlling this factor. Of course, African-American people I know have supported him. Nothing wrong with that. The guy is an attractive candidate and a viable one.

Race is a factor but it is not the only matter in play. I don’t think that either Senator McCain not Senator Obama is a racist and I doubt either want to exaggerate that factor.

This is an exciting moment in our history. I am happy to be part of it.

I don't think it's possible to run a completely race-neutral campaign. If you're a white male, you're benefiting from the establishment, and if you aren't, you're a historic challenger. Obama did a good job of not playing it up, but our society wouldn't let him run as just a candidate instead of The Black Candidate.

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