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Stateside: The question of a post-racial presidency


When Barack Obama was elected to the White House four years ago, there was talk of a "post-racial era." With an African-American as president, some thought the racist notions of the past would be eliminated.

But, as found by an Associated Press poll, racial attitudes have not completely improved.

The study's authors came from the University of Chicago, Stanford University and from Josh Pasek, a Communication Studies professor at the University of Michigan.

Pasek  claims that the past four years have witnessed an increase in racist views.

“There was an increase in the proportion who held anti-black attitudes. It’s quite possible that a lot of people who didn’t like a lot of the policies that the president was advocating interpreted some of the policies through a racial lens," said Pasek.

"You can imagine that if somebody sees health care as a highly racial issue, that under those circumstances you could end up in an environment where people read racial animosity into the policies," he continued.

Although present in society, these attitudes do not completely decide one’s vote.

“Racial attitudes aren’t the only thing that people make their decisions on. It’s good to know that if a large portion of Americans have net anti-black attitudes there is still this potential they can look at all the other issues out there and choose a candidate based on something else," said Pasek.

"We see that President Obama has impressively overcome that animosity which is a good sign for the country," said Pasek.

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