Rasse und der US-Präsidentschaftswahlkampf

BUENOS AIRES – Drei Viertel der Amerikaner missbilligen derzeit Präsident George W. Bushs Leistung. Demzufolge und angesichts der Tatsache, dass Politik und Werte von John McCain und seiner Vizepräsidentschaftskandidatin Sarah Palin mit denen Bushs nahezu identisch sind, wäre zu erwarten, dass Obama in den Umfragen mit einem größeren Abstand führt, als er das derzeit tut.

Der Grund, warum das nicht der Fall ist, so vermute ich, ist Rassismus. In den Umfragen lehnen die meisten älteren, weißen Wähler Obama überwiegend ab, selbst wenn viele von ihnen mit Bush unzufrieden sind. Sogar ein Drittel der Demokraten hat den Meinungsforschern zu verschiedenen Zeitpunkten erklärt, sie würden nicht für einen schwarzen Kandidaten stimmen. Und eine jüngere Umfrage von Associated Press/Yahoo News legt nahe, dass seine Rasse Obama in den Umfragen sechs Prozentpunkte kostet.

Meistens wird dieser Rassismus verschleiert und nur mit Codeworten angedeutet. Dabei sind die Medien, vor allem die immer beliebteren konservativen Medien und Talkradio besonders wichtig. Obama wird durchweg für seine „Andersartigkeit“ und seine „Arroganz“ kritisiert, Begriffe, die das Bild des „anmaßenden Niggers“ aus den Tagen der Rassentrennung in Erinnerung rufen, die im Grunde nicht so weit in Amerikas Vergangenheit zurückliegt.

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