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    Posted October 4, 2008 by
    San Francisco, California
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Campaign 2008

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    South: Barack's Still a Porch Monkey

    Obama was quoted from a Friday interview with Washington’s WJLA ABC 7 as saying “The fact of the matter is people have been continually looking for how race will impact this campaign.” “And yet, I’m here, 30 days out, competitive in Virginia.” Barack has to feel a bit self-assured and project a positive outlook on things given his position. America has certainly come very far in overcoming racial animosity, but the fact of the matter is that George W has put people who said they would never vote for a black politician in a corner. For this group, voting for the Obama-Biden ticket is a vote against four more years of G.W. In fact, many of them will hesitate to go to the ballot box. Another reason Obama’s race will hinder him less is that being bi-racial will ease the concerns for a considerable number of white voters. He does not fit their idea of the stereotypical black man. As a Magna Cum Laude Harvard Law School graduate, “articulate”, and bi-racial person, white Americans tend to “subtype” him. (See http://psp.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/17/1/44) That is, he has “white” stereotypes, but looks black, and he is very successful—so they tend to create a special category in their minds for him according to social science research. The result is that they can maintain the integrity of the negative stereotypes that make up their views about black people and avoid placing people like Barack in the white category with the favorable characteristics he shares. White southerners tend to be another matter. Black and white people have lived on top of one another for a very long time. I am originally from Houston, Texas. I remember how life was before the 1962 Emancipation Act and how little things changed afterwards. Little progress has been made today for the most part, which the presidential polls show. Many white Texans will not vote for Barack simply because he is a black man. They would rather vote for another 20 more years of George W governance than to put a well-educated black with the credentials to lead in charge of the country or state that they believe is their property right. Barack can only do what is possible to sway southern white moderates, but that is an uphill battle. The woman who called in to Rush Limbaugh's show to laugh with him about her daughter saying that Obama looks like Curious George is sad. I can see how the little girl would say something like that "innocently", but it is what her mother did with it that reaks with racial animosity--and look what she taught her child. Fortunately, this southern white racial mentality is a dying out. The country cannot sustain itself for much longer with such backwards thinking.
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