Racial identity an issue after election


Friday, November 7th 2008, 11:36 pm
By: News 9


By Dave Jordan, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The ideologies of the presidential candidates were important factors in this election, but the underlying issue of race is one most people don't want to talk about or acknowledge.

While President-elect Barack Obama's win is celebrated in some circles, it's condemned in others.

"It's racially heated. There are extremists out there on both sides who are trying to turn this into a racial incident and it's ridiculous," NEWS 9 political analyst Scott Mitchell said.

The history making turn has turned the stomachs of some.

"Both my patients and my colleagues expressed an awful lot of anxiety, some of them on the day of the election as they began to anticipate what the results might be," psychologist Dr. Phil Budd said.

Some of his patients aren't even old enough to vote, but they're still concerned about the future of this country and who the majority has elected.

"They've heard stories recounted that compare various candidates to issues in the past, maybe that Obama is a terrorist, he's a Muslim," Dr. Budd said.

Dr. Budd said those fears, although false, came from their parents; voters who Mitchell said refused to elect anyone whose political ideologies and racial identity differ from theirs.

"It's always been an undercurrent that people don't want to talk about. People don't want to talk about the Roth race, and I think we know what happened there," Mitchell said.

Mitchell is referring to the Corporation Commission race that some polls predicted Jim Roth would win. But Roth only received 48 percent of the vote. Mitchell believes that's because Roth is openly gay.

Still, he hopes that Obama's election will spur dialogue on the one issue most people don't want to discuss.

"Not talking about it doesn't do any good. There are racial undertones to this man becoming president and it's best that it's talked about and brought out and dealt with now," Mitchell said.