Racial issues came to the forefront in the recent U.S. presidential election, in which Barack Obama was elected the nation’s first African-American president.
Some thought that President-elect Obama would suffer from the “Bradley Effect” — referencing when African-American candidate Tom Bradley lost his bid for governor of California in 1982 despite polls showing him ahead.
In the end, exit polls showed that Obama garnered 44 percent of the white vote, more than John Kerry, Al Gore or Bill Clinton.
Though race was not part of Obama’s campaign strategy, bloggers worldwide nonetheless seized on the issue.
Jamaican blogger “b C” of “Stories of Me” says that many Jamaicans support Barack Obama simply because he’s a black man.
Brazilian bloggers posted a banner with the words “Não vote em branco” — a phrase which carries the double meaning of “don’t cast a blank vote” and “don’t vote for a white person.” Worldfocus previously reported on Brazilian candidates who changed their names to “Barack Obama”.
Paula Góes of Global Voices Online’s “Voices without Votes” discusses the response of Brazilian bloggers to the race issue in this election.
Enrique Gonzales of “The Latino Contrarian” blog thinks Obama is the first Latino president in the same way that Bill Clinton was the “first black president.”
Jordanian blogger Naseem Tarawnah of “The Black Iris” says that the next U.S. president is unlikely to “change” much and attributes Obama’s prophet-like status to U.S. election culture. Tarawnah discusses the Bradley Effect and argues that race played an important role in the election.
The “Armenian Economist” blog writes that Armenians see the “Bradley Effect” quite differently — because Tom Bradley lost the race to George Deukmejian, an Armenian American.
The New York Post reports that Obama’s racial and cultural background generate support from Arabs. Columnist Mohamed al-Menshawi calls the Christian Obama “the harbinger of solidarity between Americans and the Muslim world.”
An article at Japanese news site “Asahi” looks at the Japanese view of race in the election.
The “Grave Error” blog discusses European disbelief that Americans could elect an African American as well as lingering Spanish racism.