Barack Obama addressing citizens of New Hampshire (Photo Credit: AP)
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Barack Obama told cheering supporters in New Hampshire today, "You're the wave and I'm riding it." Boy, is he ever. Polls now show him with a commanding lead over Hillary Clinton ahead of tomorrow's primary.
Whether or not Obama ends up riding this wave all the way to the White House, it seems he will accomplish something extraordinary, and that is to leave an indelible mark on the age-old dialogue about race relations in this country.
Obama is black, but experts believe his win in Iowa, which is almost all white and rural, shattered what many people think about black Americans in national politics.
Conservative commentator George Will suggested that the two big losers are Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, who Will says have an investment in the "traditional and... utterly exhausted narrative about race relations in the United States." He says Americans are tired of so-called "identity politics", where people are defined by things like their ethnicity and gender.
Another sign that Obama's candidacy is something more: Fox News reports a lot of big-time black celebrities haven't announced their support of Obama yeT, people like Spike Lee, Denzel Washington, Quincy Jones, BET Chairman and founder Robert Johnson, Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr., authors Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison, and rappers "Diddy" and "Jay Z."
Here’s my question to you: How does Barack Obama's success so far in the campaign change the debate about race in this country?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
I'm a 61-year old African American woman who has seen the worst of America's race relations. I did not support Obama at first because I thought his candidacy was sheer folly. But, after Iowa and maybe New Hampshire, I'm beginning to believe the America I learned about in school is finally here.
Essie from North Carolina writes:
I don't think Obama's race has been an issue at all. Color is not what comes to my mind when I see him. What I see is hope, change and opportunity.
Great question! Finally someone talking about what Barack's success really means! Yes, this is America and people of ALL races, religions, and gender have equal opportunity! The "Jesse Jackson" race card group needs to find something else to fuss about or maybe get a real job! Uncle Tom died a long time ago, good riddance and may he Rest In Peace!
People would like to believe race is no longer an issue in America but sadly, it still is. That said, I think the support for Obama from all races and both genders is promising! I think the support for Obama is telling of how much the country is in trouble and the fact that people are willing to put personal prejudices aside and vote for a candidate that they believe will do what's best for the majority of middle class America.
I haven't really thought much about race, as it relates to the Obama candidacy. I'm a Clinton supporter. However, if getting him elected would mean pushing a racist rabble rouser like Al Sharpton deep into the oblivion he deserves, I might be persuaded to vote for him. It is refreshing to have a black man (okay, 1/2 black) on the national stage without blaming the rest of the world for all of black society's problems.
Joanne in Boston writes:
Barack Obama has changed the debate about race this way: We are judging him by the content of his character, not the color of his skin.