A new poll found that just 36 per cent of voters now believed that relations between black and white was getting better.
This is compared with 62 per cent a year ago and 55 per cent in April.
According to the Rasmussen survey, black respondents were less optimistic - with just 13 per cent believing that understanding between the races was heading in the right direction, compared to 39 per cent of whites.
Confidence that America had broken through a major race barrier with Mr Obama’s election two years ago appears to have sunk along with the popularity of his administration.
For Barack Obama, these responsibilities, and the incumbent, imagined, erstwhile power of the presidency seem to be magnified. As the first black president he is viewed by many as a messianic figure--a man who is one part Superman, with the power of Star Trek's Q, and infused with the magical appeal of Kennedy-Camelot redux. Obama, especially Candidate Obama, was imagined by some to be able to lay hands, heal the sick, and part the seas of American malaise and decline. Inversely, for many of his ideological foes Barack Obama is the harbinger of doom, all things evil, and a Manchurian half-rican anti-Christ "Progressive" "Marxist" "Socialist" long-legged Mack Daddy who lays awake at night plotting the destruction of their beloved United States of America.
After the fuzzy glow of Election Night 2008 had morphed into the real business of practical politics--the honeymoon now over--we witnessed a predictable backlash. The loyal opposition had decided that President Obama was not moving fast enough and had betrayed the vocal Left. Conservatives, both ideological purists as well as those of the New Right, neo-John Birch, Tea Party crowd, had decreed that they would stand in the schoolhouse door and stop President Obama's policy agenda at any cost...even if it meant burning down the village in order to liberate it.
Obama is truly a "bound man" because the symbolic weight of his racial identity adds a burden, one both positive and negative. For the former, the symbolism of Obama as President is aspirational wherein African Americans and others expect more from Barack precisely because he stands on the shoulders of the Black Freedom Struggle. For the latter, the very fact of his blackness (and that as a black man he had the unmitigated gall to run for the presidency and to win) is a lightening rod for all manner of white racial resentment, and is used as evidence for an insincere neo-liberal colorblind politics that imagines racism to be now dead, slain by the election of America's first non-white President.
Given this mix of impulses in the American body politic, the meme that race relations are now made worst in the Age of Obama is a predictable one. There is always a backlash when a society experiences a system shock. To point: the election of Barack Obama most certainly shook the metaphorical bushes and encouraged the racially resentful, nativist, and bigoted vipers to come out of hiding. But this push-back against America's first black president, to the degree that ideology is intermixed with racial hostility, also leaves some basic questions unasked. For example:
Alternatively, are the policy choices of President Obama (to act or not) on certain issues actually making race relations worse?
As a third option, did the election of Barack Obama along with changing demographics in a time of economic uncertainty stimulate a white racial backlash, an out-sized response that would inevitably overflow into the mass public?
The full story from the Daily Mail can be read here.