One of the things that's shocked a lot of people is Obama, and his campaign's, unwillingness to talk about how many votes he may lose because of racism. The CW is that any talk about racism loses Obama even more votes. But there's another--arguably more important--reason not to spend much time dwelling on racism--it's a bad way to compete. No great football player sits around worrying about the refs and the crowd-noise.

Here is thing--Barack has been a black man working in a white world for a long time. Anyone who has done that successfully knows that the quickest path to high blood pressure is to spend your days worrying about the whims of "white racists." If you think that white racism is a dire threat to your ambitions, then you just need to go home--right now.  Time spent worrying about some fools who you can't control, is time away from improving your chosen craft. Moreover, you have to believe in the humanity of white people. You can't think they are automatons reflexively ruled by racist impulses. Barack Obama doesn't talk about racism's effect on his campaign because it's pointless, and from a competitive standpoint, it's a distraction. It would be like a boxer going into a match preoccupied with the judges.

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