From whom does a 9-year-old hear that Obama's opponent is a racist who, to quote the Democratic National Committee chairwoman, wants "to literally drag us all the way back to Jim Crow laws"?
Brandon's father might alert his son to a recent column by Douglas Wilder, the black ex-governor of Virginia and himself a former presidential candidate. Although former Secretary of State Colin Powell's re-endorsement of President Obama got more attention, a far bigger deal is the refusal by Wilder to endorse President Barack Obama for re-election. Wrote Wilder: "The classic question, 'Are we better off than we were four years ago,' leaves a mixed answer for many people I meet when traveling around Virginia and the country."
Artur Davis, a black former Alabama congressman and co-chair of Obama 2008, switched his support to Romney. An opponent of ObamaCare, Davis said, "A comprehensive, 2,000 page, near $1 trillion dollar overhaul of the health care system is just too cumbersome and too costly in a time of trillion-dollar deficits." When he was first criticized for his stance against ObamaCare, Davis said, "I vigorously reject the insinuation that there is a uniquely 'black' way of understanding an issue."
The Associated Press, however, wants people like little Brandon to know that, yes, had Obama lost, it was racism that did him in. Indeed, the AP says its online survey shows that many Americans possess negative "racial attitudes" toward blacks -- enough to hurt Obama's re-election.
How does the AP uncover negative "racial attitudes"?
In addition to extensive questions about the presidential candidates and political attitudes, the AP asked "overt" questions. These include things like, well, certain words or phrases -- "friendly," "law abiding," "intelligent at school," "lazy" and "complaining" -- to describe blacks, whites, Hispanics and so on.
The AP also used "subtler techniques" because "some (people) may not be aware of their own biases." And employing "affect misattribution," the survey showed "faces of people of different races quickly on a screen before displaying a neutral image that people were asked to rate as pleasant or unpleasant."
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