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Economy Trumps Race in Ohio
Posted on Oct 15, 2008
Botts said, “I’m not really sure how I feel about Obama. I see him more as a president than McCain. But I’m not really sure. A lot of people are skeptical of him. Obama seems like he would be better for the United States, but I wish Hillary had stayed.”
I didn’t ask them about race. I thought it would be stupid and obvious, a journalistic hack question. They were friends, sitting around talking. What was there to ask?
After talking to them, I thought about what I had felt since I started writing about this campaign many months ago: The media, with the most well-known pundits and reporters in middle age or on the verge of it, see race through an outmoded prism. The country is changing.
Two weeks ago, I got an explanation of how it is changing from Martin Johnson, a professor at the University of California at Riverside, who conducts public opinion polls. His campus, like the rest of California and much of the rest of America, is a multiethnic place, with Latinos, Asians, whites and African-Americans.
Square, Site wide
People, he said, “try to put things in a white-black paradigm and you just can’t do it.”
Of course you can’t. America is too complicated. Spurred by the worst economic collapse since the 1930s, we may just put that old-fashioned paradigm behind us.
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