Democratic Representative John Murtha created a turmoil yesterday by bluntly stating that race was an issue in his district and many of his constituents would vote against Barack Obama because he is a black man. He felt this was particularly true of older people who had never shaken loose from childhood experiences. Republican critics were quick to attack Murtha for daring to suggest race was an issue. John McCain insists he has never been a racist and to even infer that Americans are voting based on race is unfair.
A local Republican group in California distributed a newsletter which portrays Barack Obama on a fake $10 bill adorned with a watermelon, ribs and a bucket of fried chicken. Of course, those food items were frequently used to depict lazy and shiftless “colored folk” in the good old days of segregation and prejudice. Diane Fedele, president of the Chaffey Community Republican Women Federated which distributed the newsletter said there was no racist intent in what was printed, ‘It was just food to me. It didn’t mean anything else.”
The newsletter is simply proof of what Congressman Murtha was referring to when he said racism was present in the minds of some voters.