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  • A Harvard professor wrote in the New York Times that his research suggests that President Obama's race had an overwhelming negative effect on his election. I posted the article on Facebook to solicit discussion. What follows is my insertion of a few facts:

    "I want to add context to this discussion. On the most simplistic of terms, the effort to appeal to African-Americans for Barack Obama appears racist and manipulative. But politics being being politics, that is not surprising. Conversely, if Romney launched Caucasians for Romney, the backlash would be deafening. I get that.

    But the argument lacks historical context.

    The race issue is extremely complex and far too large to hash out on a Facebook post, but let's examine a few facts. Here's the numbers: U. S. Federal power broken down by race.

    The population of the Unites States is somewhere around 312 million. According to the US Census Bureau, 72.4% are White, 12.6% are Black, 0.9% are Native American and 4.8% are Asians. Hispanics are either considered White or Non-white. Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin are 16.3% of the population. (White persons not Hispanic is 63.7%.)

    Non-Hispanic Whites (63.7%) out number Blacks (12.6%) by 5 to 1.

    The Congress of the United States is composed mostly of Whites. The 112th Congress has 535 members (House and Senate). 457 are White, 44 are Black (no Black Senators). In other words, for every Federal Black legislator there are 10 White legislators. Our top governing bodies are 85.4% White, and 8.2% Black. (Blacks are a minority. This probably holds true at at state and local levels as well.)

    Political power in this country has always rested in the hands of the majority and that majority has always been White.

    Another way to look at the issue presented in this posting is, "Will a significant number of White Americans vote for Romney simply because Romney is White?" How racist are we? Does White Americans want to return presidential power to the hands of a White man, and thereby restore the "natural order" of American governance?

    As it stands now, the country seems to be evenly split, 50-50. Older White voters are likely to vote for Romney and younger voters for Obama."

    Here's a link to the New York Times article: http://campaignstops.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/09/how-racist-are-we-ask-google/

    The United States Census Bureau website: http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/00000.html

    The racial (and gender) breakdown of the 112th Congress of the United States: http://thisnation.com/congress-facts.html
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