Race and racism have always hustled through the surface of U.S. politics. These terms are like the center stage in the clash for the democratic presidential nomination. The 2016 U.S. Election campaign witnessed the racial issues as the constant troubling feature throughout. With Donald Trump rounding on his opponent: “Hillary Clinton is a bigot who sees people of color only as votes” while Hillary, in turn, skewered Donald as a man who flirts with racism and then the cartoon version of Hillary in ‘black‘ face and David Duke embracing Trump, the tone of the election campaign darkens.
The traces of racism can be found back in Barack Obama’s election when in a rally in Ohio; Sarah Palin said that “Obama doesn’t feel like us”. Barack Obama’s swearing as the first black president was a ray of hope in the post-racial society but this campaign met the institutional racism conflict again. The conflict has bloomed into a warfare bringing forth Donald’s racial fueled campaign and failed role of Obama in predicting or controlling the battle. Race in America is a long and drawn-out occupation by which black people and other minorities were used for their value or else excluded. And it seeps into this political season. Donald Trump being the Republican who paints African-Americans as the poverty stricken people who have nothing else to lose and Hilary being the Democrat accusing Trump of normalizing white nationalism, the campaign brought back the power of exploitation and exclusion. Both the candidates would debate this but race is one of the painful undertones of this campaign.
Back in 1964, Barry Goldwater decided with Lyndon Johnson that they would keep race out of the campaign but this election is far from being color blind. Obama’s election and reelection did not represent a logical endpoint for racial conflict.
Racism never faded away, it is just the beginning with the race relations getting more heated!