The Washington Post has done a masterful article on a rust belt Ohio town struggling with racial divide and economic disaster. How do those components of a common reality in the USA impact their presidential decision making?
Talking about white Bo Huenke instigating arguments with his co-workers to make the day go faster on a Lima, Ohio Honda Motors assembly:
But, every now and then, Huenke makes the rare political assessment that most people here seem to agree on. “Obama, doesn’t he sound a little naive?” asked Huenke, 52. “He stands up there, so optimistic, preaching about hope and change. It sounds great and everything, but come on. He doesn’t quite get it.”
Later in the article the reporter asks:
Can grandiose visions of hope and change resonate in places where change — in this case economic change — has brought housing foreclosures and economic ruin, where hope means avoiding another round of layoffs?
Can a candidate whose support has been based on African Americans and upper-middle-class whites transcend class and race in places where racial tension still colors everything?
Barrack Obama certainly has his supporters ” like Josiah Mathews, 25, a black man who believes Obama can help bring peace and prosperity to his home town.” Mathews is formidable organizer according to the article. He’s working 24/7. Read the article to read his story if for no other reason. (I hope Barrack Obama calls Mr. Mathews. He’s certainly deserving.)
The reality of economic and racial divide is repeated time after time across this country. Can Barrack Obama reach over that divide on both sides of the aisle and first win the nomination and second the White House? This article is certainly worth reading for both sides of the debate.