Subtly But Stubbornly, Race Always Seeps Into Politics
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What's inescapable, however, is how often in the course of U.S. history, black Americans, collectively or individually, have found themselves unwittingly helping presidential candidates define themselves. Often those attempts have played on, subtly sometimes not so slyly the racial fears and prejudices of many whites... "That's the subtext of it," said Philip Klinkner, author of a 1999 book: "The Unsteady March: The Rise and Decline of Racial Equality in America." "Clearly in the minds of many whites, race and crime go hand in hand," said Klinkner, an associate professor at Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y. "While Bush probably would have done the same thing if there were a white convict, there's a certain message that's sent about an unwillingness to tolerate disruptive behavior that many whites associate with blacks, not exclusively but largely."