If, as some social scientists have been telling us, 88 percent of whites have an “implicit bias” against blacks and in favor of whites, and if, according to exit polls, whites made up 74 percent of the voters on Tuesday, why is Barack Obama going to be the next president?
1. Because the black candidate in the contest was exceptionally intelligent, eloquent, and decent?
2. Because the black candidate in the race presented more attractive policies on the questions of economic recovery, health care, education, tax justice, and national security?
3. Because the black candidate in the race had a spectacularly skillful campaign?
4. Because the white candidate in the race was a turkey?
5. Because the white candidate in the race represented the party whose policies had driven the nation into a ditch, headed my a man who, as Charlie Rangel said, had put paid once and for all to the myth of white supremacy?
6. Because the white candidate in the race ran a campaign that was at once disgustingly nasty and astonishingly inept?
7. Because of Sarah Palin?
Yes, Barack Obama’s election is evidence of a decline in racial prejudice, and his service as President is likely to be the cause of further decline. But “declining” is not the same idea as “small,” let alone “nonexistent.”
Update Maybe someone ought to give Tierney a subscription to the New York Times. Good paper. It has some piss-poor right-wing columnists, but the stuff on the news pages is pretty solid.