Yeah... we're not in a post-racial nation. What we're in is a nation in which some people think that it is post-racial, and that "post-racial" means, "we can be angry bigots in the open now." And a recent study shows just how not-post-racial the US actually is:
The study, led by psychologists at the University of Washington, shows that between January and April 2012 eligible voters who favored whites over blacks – either consciously or unconsciously – also favored Republican candidates relative to Barack Obama.
The study's findings mean that many white and non-white voters, even those who don't believe they tend to favor whites over blacks, might vote against Obama because of his race. These voters could cite the economy or other reasons, but a contributing cause could nevertheless be their conscious or unconscious racial attitudes.
In the study, a majority of white eligible voters showed a pattern labeled "automatic white preference" on a widely used measure of unconscious race bias. Previous studies indicate that close to 75 percent of white Americans show this implicit bias.
"The study's findings raise an interesting question: After nearly four years of having an African-American president in the White House, why do race attitudes continue to have a role in electoral politics?" Greenwald said.
He suspects that Obama's power as president in 2012, compared with his lesser status as candidate in 2008, may have "brought out race-based antagonism that had less reason to be activated in 2008."
Another possibility is that Republican candidates' assertions that their most important goal is to remove Obama from the presidency "may have strong appeal to those who have latent racial motivation," Greenwald said.
In other words, voters tend to have an unconscious (but measurable) white-bias in the US. The Republicans are out to oust Obama, and this single-minded charge to oust him appears to be increasing interest among those who do hold anti-black opinions to get out to vote. While it's legal for racists to vote (just as it's legal for gun owners, vegetarians, communists, etc. to vote), I do personally think that in their single-minded crusade to oust an alleged Muslim-non-American-Communist/Socialist/Nazi-terrorist from the White House, the GOP is hitching themselves to an angry, wild, hungry, ornery tiger: that's one beast that I won't want to be anywhere near if it were to get loose.