ChiTrib's James: Whites Think Obama Unpatriotic Due to Race

Another journalist has gone on-the-record equating conservative concerns about the liberal Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) with racism. In a May 5 blog post on the Chicago Tribune’s “The Swamp” blog, writer Frank James expressed his concern about racist white people. James wondered, “How much of Sen. Barack Obama's supposed patriotism deficit among voters has to do with his being African-American?” Why does James think that whites view African-Americans as less patriotic? According to James’s post, it’s because there is “an assumption on the part of white Americans that a racial group whose ancestors were slaves and which still complains about racial inequalities and injustice must by definition be less patriotic.” “For such white Americans,” according to James, former general and Secretary of State Colin Powell is one of “a few” black Americans who could “meet the patriotism test.” This is because of Powell’s military experience which makes him “bullet proof on the patriotism front.” James ended his post with pessimism regarding the ability of white Americans to see past skin color. James stated, “The question is whether [Obama’s] current argument is compelling enough to overcome not just the suspicions many whites have about his patriotism but that of African-Americans generally. I wouldn't bet on it.”