If you've been following this blog, you're probably aware that I find race-relations in America to be both fascinating and highly influential on society.
This microcosm has been thrown into sharp relief over the last year and a half with the first legitimate black (or any minority, for that matter) candidate for President. For transparency's sake, know that I like Barack Obama. A lot. I will probably vote for him in a month.
I also like John McCain. I couldn't be happier that the next President will be one of these two men. For the most part, the campaigns of these two men have been run pretty fairly, with low blows being limited to usual political fare.
Nonetheless, as Obama begins widening his lead in the national polls, the McCain-Palin candidacy has taken a turn for the ugly. Where racist and inflammatory remarks by supporters used to be immediately disavowed by McCain, he and his running-mate have called off their criticism of such behavior.
Frank Rich just wrote an article in the New York Times about the recent trend at McCain-Palin rallies. It should be noted that Rich's own biases are only thinly disguised in the piece, but despite that, I think that the thrust of the article is startling and important.
I won't be devastated if McCain wins. I think he'd be a good President and a major improvement over our current one. Nonetheless, it's discouraging to see the campaign take an ugly turn like this. Race, like gender, will unfortunately always play a role in the decisions our society makes. It's just disheartening to see one of the campaigns endorse the discrimination by doing nothing about it.