John McWhorter is a distinguished linguistics scholar. He is also a political commentator, mostly for the New York Sun, who tilts somewhat rightwards. McWhorter has been driving some of his comrades -- is this the right word? --  berserk because he has been a supporter of Barack Obama. No, not because the two are black but because McWhorter sees Obama's rocket rise as an expression of a genuine American phenomenon: a radical decline in racism. This reality, he believes, justifies him to vote a bit left this time: grand historical change is, after all, much more important than common and partisan electoral politics.

By the way, McWhorter has written for TNR quite often and is one of our contributing editors.

In any case, McWhorter has written in this morning's Sun a stiff rebuke to those who still think that racism lurks everywhere, including in the nomination by the Democratic Party of a black man as its presidential candidate.