A column by David Brooks in Sunday's New York Times (subscription required) points out the residual racism that still permeates America. I do not mean to say the David Brooks is a racist. I respect Mr. Brooks and his opinions and in no way mean to disparage his character. But his writing points out the subtle residue of racism in America and how people view class and race.
In his column, Mr. Brooks writes that the Republican party has become the party of the middle class by pointing out that Bush won the income group of $30,000-$75,000 by 22%. What he fails to either note of just plainly fails to see is that when he talks about middle class, he is talking about only "white" middle class and fails to see that middle class is now multicultural. Kerry actually beat Bush when it comes to all Americans making between $30,000-$50,000 and between $30,000-$75,000 per year and lost to Bush by only 7%. (exit poll results)
Americans, including Mr. Brooks, still tend to view "middle class" to mean white, even though there are many minorities now that earn within that income range. If the Republican party ever wants to make inroads into the minority population, it would serve them best to view middle class as encompassing all Americans that earn a middle class wage, and not just middle class whites. As long as they view blacks and other minorities as a separate group and not just a percentage of a targeted subsection, they will remain marginalized in minority recruitment.
I do not believe the majority of Republicans are racists, but the view of minorities as not apart of the middle class is a leftover from a segregationist history.
I know that this may appear to be splitting hairs to some. But these are hairs that need to be split if we ever want to make that final leap to full eraditcation of racism.