Worse, many blacks are going to be embittered, and racial rivalry will be a fixture of the American scene for a generation. Precisely whose fault this is I cannot say with complete confidence. Certainly our leading national politicians still could come together and denounce any playing of the race card. Yet they will not. You can be sure of it. For one thing, Democrats have kept their liberal and black base together by claiming that their policy differences with Republicans over entitlements and other domestic matters are the consequence of the alleged racism of white Republicans. It is a false charge, but it has helped the Democrats at the polls, even as it has made many blacks unnecessarily sensitive about their minority status.
There is another reason political leaders, mainly Democratic political leaders, will not in unison demand an end to the racial maneuvering of this campaign. There is apparently serious racial discord in the Democratic Party among the embittered, chip-on-the-shoulder, lower-class voters, and it has helped the Clintons. That is why Bill Clinton so brazenly tried to make Obama the black candidate. Before Clinton's comparison of Obama to Jesse Jackson, race was not an issue in his campaign. After that, Clinton's repeated references to the controversy he started and the addition of the Rev. Wright now have made racial background an issue.
How it all will end remains unknown, but one thing is for sure: Racial relations have been badly damaged, and the politicians are responsible for the damage.