How Racism Crippled the Electoral Process

WI Assistant Editor | 11/7/2012, 2:42 p.m.

The office of commander in chief, said Leon, demanded a certain level of respect until a Black man took office. Afterward, white Americans became disrespectful of the office itself because of the individual holding it.

Colin Powell's former chief of staff, Ret. Army Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, concluded as much when he told MSNBC's Ed Schultz, "My party, unfortunately, is the bastion of those people - not all of them, but most of them - who are still basing their positions on race. Let me just be candid: My party is full of racists, and the real reason a considerable portion of my party wants President Obama out of the White House has nothing to do with the content of his character, nothing to do with his competence as commander in chief and president, and everything to do with the color of his skin, and that's despicable."

Still, Manis and Leon, both, remain hopeful with Manis pointing to the popularity of Obama among young white and minority voters. It signals a hope that "the bigotry of one generation can be eliminated among younger whites." Leon, as well, holds out hope that America can get over its racist attitudes and "become what it is supposed to be," Leon said.