Nicholas Kristof makes an interesting point this morning:
Senator Obama is facing what scholars have dubbed "racism without racists."
This is a fascinating phenomena. Kristof and his scholars define it as follows:
For decades, experiments have shown that even many whites who earnestly believe in equal rights will recommend hiring a white job candidate more often than a person with identical credentials who is black. In the experiments, the applicant's folder sometimes presents the person as white, sometimes as black, but everything else is the same. The white person thinks that he or she is selecting on the basis of nonracial factors like experience.
Here's a more likely explanation--they're fucking lying.
Before I go forward I want to be clear about a couple things. Kristof's column is puzzling because by the end he concedes that, in fact, these people are racists (averse racists, one scholar calls them). But more importantly, there is this: too much has been made about the effects of white racism on the presidential contest. I'm tired of hearing about it. If It's not some guy telling us that Obama that he has to woo racists, it's some other guy telling us he's going to lose because of them. I thought that the Yahoo story Kristof pillories was bunk. As I've said before, I have no idea how many votes Barack Obama will lose because he's black, or gain because he's black. And at this point, I just don't care.