Today's column about black radio host Tom Joyner urging his listeners to reelect President Obama because he's black made for some spirited reader reaction. My voicemail and mailbox were full of opinions that ran the spectrum.
"There is a double standard in this country when it comes to blacks and whites. Blacks can call a white person any derogatory name, without any consequences. Blacks can tell other blacks to vote black without any cry of racism. Let a white person say the same," wrote Joseph DeCarlo of Sewell, NJ.
But then a reader left the following message: "I don't think it's just Tom Joyner. I got my Jewish newsletter in the mail today and it told us to reelect Obama, to not be idiots. I don't blame Joyner for feeling like that....I don't blame me for feeling that way.
Truth is, all of us exercise identity politics, says Jason Johnson, a professor of political science at Hiram College. "White people have always voted [based on] identity," he says. "Irish, Catholic, women. It's nothing new."