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Is Race In Politics About To Become Like Race In Sports?

Responding to those reports about the skin head assassination plot, Barack Obama gave an interesting quote to a Pittsburgh TV station:

I think what has been striking is the degree to which these groups have been marginalized. ... What I found is people here don't care what color you are. They want to know who can deliver just like the Steelers. They don't care the color, they want you to make the plays. I think the question they have been asking, is Obama going to follow through on his tax cuts to the middle class, will he work on the health care issue?

What's striking about the quote is Obama's sports analogy. For at least a generation, white Americans--even racist white Americans--have had no hesitation about rooting for black athletes (and cheering for black entertainers). Obviously, voting for a politician is a lot more consequential than rooting for a football player, but it seems as if Obama's suggesting that the situational color blindness of white sports fans is about to extend to the political arena, as well.

Or, to put it another way, is it possible that Pino would view Barack Obama the same way he views Magic Johnson and Eddie Murphy and Prince?

--Jason Zengerle