2008 Presidential Election, Race and Racism
Professor Vernellia Randall
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Britain: Obama would prolong racial divisions in US

 

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PAUL WAUGH
2/28/08 Evening Standard (London, UK) 27

THE election of Barack Obama as US president would prolong rather than end America's racial divide, Britain's race equalities chief Trevor Phillips claims.

THE election of Barack Obama as US president would prolong rather than end America's racial divide, Britain's race equalities chief Trevor Phillips claims.

The chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission accused Mr Obama of "ruthless cynicism" and said he would not be "the harbinger of a post- racial America" if he wins the White House this year.

Mr Phillips said he also felt "indignant" that the 46-yearold senator was "a man whose African ancestors never endured transatlantic slavery".

Mr Obama's father was Kenyan and his mother a white American.

Britain's equalities supremo said he would be "surprised" if Mr Obama won the Democratic party nomination even though Hillary Clinton appears to be the underdog at present.

But even if he did win, his victory would not herald the arrival of a new race-free politics in America, Mr Phillips says in an article in Prospect magazine today.

Mr Phillips conceded that blacks in segregated areas were voting strongly for Mr Obama. Yet he claimed that there was "anecdotal evidence" that blacks who compete for jobs and housing with whites do not "buy into Obamania".

Equally, whites who lived cheek by jowl with blacks in states such as New York and California had yet to be convinced, he suggested.

"In truth, Obama may be helping to postpone the arrival of a post-racial America and I think he knows it," Mr Phillips wrote..

 
 
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