Race in our Election


Has race played a part in this election?  Of course, says MU Poli-Sci professor Marvin Overby.  But he told me: Obama could win in part because “race is a whole lot less salient a factor for the people who are younger than I am.”

Sure, the youth is conscious of our racial heritage as Americans.  But Overby puts it in terms of his birth. 

“I was born in 61, in Virginia.  It was a time where there where still Jim Crow Laws,” he said.  “But I don’t remember a whole lot of that, and in my youth those things began to change with the Voting Rights act of 65 and the Civil Rights act of 64.”

His daughters, he said, have grown up in a world where they have had friends from other races, other creeds.

It’s just as President elect Obama noted as he updated Sam Cooke’s famous lyric in his victory speech: it’s been a long, a long time coming, but I know “a change has come.”




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