Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Is The Obama Backlash Racist?

President Barack Obama's election last November as the first African American President became the true litmus test in our country concerning how far we've come in terms of race relations. Opposition to Obama views seems to have become extremely passionate as the health care reform debate has gained momentum on both sides. Opposition to reform in Town Hall Meetings has become increasingly rowdy, and U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson's outburst during the President's speech to Congress was especially disturbing.

Former President Jimmy Carter has stated that Wilson's outburst is tied to racism. It's obvious that the racial divide in our country has not diminished with the election of Barack Obama, however a faltering economy may have as much to do with the opposition's passion as much as anything. The reality is that President Obama was elected during one of the worst economic downturns in our country's history. His success ultimately will be determined based on his ability to impact change as he promised. So far the jury is still out on whether he can deliver on his promises, and that will ultimately drive public perception of Barack Obama, not the color of his skin.

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