Racism is still a major issue in the United States but as a social issue, this has taken a backseat at the moment replaced by the issue of abortion rights. Perhaps this is one of President Barack Obama's biggest sociopolitical problems during his first term. Currently, Obama is going up for re-election against former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney who is the GOP challenger. Ever since running for Presidency back in 2008, the issue of race has been a heated one for Obama's campaign.
Race was brought out as an issue during the 2008 Democratic primary between Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton with the latter being the former First Lady to former US President Bill Clinton and a then-New York Senator. Currently, Hillary Clinton serves as Obama's Secretary of State.
The issue of race could be perhaps one of the reasons Obama has problems working with Republicans in Congress. Recently, the Romney campaign launched an ad about Obama in regards to not being able to work with Congress.
Keep in mind, there have been many that identified as black and conservative that disagree with Obama.
In light of that, a Huffington Post article highlights that issue. It has a list of bills that were filibustered by the Republicans
. Such examples of bills are the Paycheck Fairness Act, Elder Abuse Victims Act, Vision Care for Kids Act, Veterans Retraining Act, the DREAM Act, Veterans Jobs Corps Act, and several others.
Recently, Colin Powell had given his endorsement to Obama again. This is perhaps the most powerful Republican endorsement that Obama could receive. The Romney campaign was quick to downplay
Powell's endorsement. There was the suggestion that Powell endorsed Obama due to skin color.
Powell's former chief of staff Lawrence Wilkerson, a retired Army colonel, went on the offensive
against the Republicans when he was on MSNBC recently. According to Wilkerson, the GOP is “full of racists.” This was his response to the response Romney's campaign made in response to Powell's endorsement of Obama.
Wilkerson also further talked about racism in the GOP.
Keep in mind, there were many black and Latino conservatives giving speeches at the recent Republican National Convention
that took place in Tampa, Florida.
In terms of racism, let alone alleged racism in the GOP, this is still a hot button issue in the United States. Associated Press had recently released a poll
on the issue of race. This could hurt Obama's reelection. According to the poll, a slight majority of Americans express some sort of prejudice to the black community.
The poll said that 51 percent have anti-black attitudes. That is three points up from the survey taken in 2008 in which 48 percent had those attitudes. Furthermore, there is still much anti-Hispanic attitudes as well. In this respect, the poll suggests that the United States has become slightly more racist
than compared to a few years back. In the same poll, anti-Hispanic sentiment
changed from 52 to 57 percent.
A Capital Hill Blue article states, according to a psychologist, Obama's presidency has triggered the inherent or latent racism in Americans.
One has to remember the incident involving Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman. The trial of Zimmerman
is still ongoing. Zimmerman, charged with second-degree murderr, is on trial for the shooting and killing of Martin who was unarmed. This became a racially-charged case that had made waves across the media in which many notable figures, including Obama, have weighed in on the subject.