It’s not that big of an issue. Yes, some whites are reflexively supporting Mary Norwood the same way some blacks are inherent Kasim Reed voters. But most Atlantans are backing the candidate they think best represents a change from the current path (unfortunately, I think both sides will be disappointed, but that’s another topic).
Those who contend that race bubbles under the surface of this campaign remind me of the moralistic Cassandras and their “slippery slope.” Both groups should be dismissed as opportunistic panderers wed to inflexible ideologies that ignore (or object to) progress.
The rebuttals are clear. Norwood received nearly 20 percent of the black vote in the general election despite an iffy presentation and the presence of two strong African-American candidates. Meanwhile, Reed has been endorsed by white editorialists at Creative Loafing and Sunday Paper.
For the record, I’m not one of those Caucasians who believes racism disappeared with the election of Barack Obama. It will ALWAYS be with us, and in some places it is and probably will remain a cultural hurdle. Fortunately, Atlanta is not Mississippi, where the Klan rallied today in objection to Ole Miss’ “controversial” decision to drop “Dixie” from a pep song.
I have little doubt most are, like me, conflicted about both candidates — and not because of race. Let’s not allow a dead horse to overwhelm the real issues facing Atlanta.