'Post-Racial' Proclamations Fizzle Fast

Gates incident, rise of birthers indicate issue's persistence
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 7, 2009 12:03 PM CDT
President Barack Obama speaks at a rally for Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds in McLean, Va., Thursday, Aug. 6, 2009.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama’s election was supposed to be a healing moment, proof that we’re in a post-racial America. “Didn’t last very long,” writes Roger Simon of Politico. Today America seems as racially divided as ever. Exhibit A: the birthers, who say Obama’s “an alien who successfully hid himself for years.” Exhibit B: The Henry Louis Gates incident, which culminated in Glenn Beck calling Obama a racist.

How did things go so wrong so fast? “They didn’t," Simon argues. "They may never have turned in the first place.” America elected a black president, but white America didn’t vote for him: Obama lost the white vote 55% to 43%. No Democrat has won the white vote since Lyndon Johnson. It’d be absurd to say those votes were all based on race, “but it also may be absurd to say we are living in a post-racial America.”