Racism's role in the 2012 election

‘Put The White Back In White House’ Says T-Shirt At Romney Rally [Photo]

Lancaster, OH – A Getty Images photographer captured a picture of a man at a Mitt Romney campaign event that read “Put the white back in the White House.” This incredibly offensive image has gone viral, renewing the debate on racism as a theme in the 2012 election, and prompting the Romney/Ryan campaign to issue an official response to the picture.

The image was posted by BuzzFeed, who say that a Romney/Ryan campaign spokesperson “commented that the shirt was reprehensible and has no place in this election.”

Liberal bloggers have jumped all over the image, with the Daily Kos opining that “We shouldn’t kid ourselves. A part of this poll swing is Mitt Romney making himself acceptable to a subsection of white America that was looking for a reason, any reason, to turn away from Obama,” continuing, “It seems, sometimes, like this country gave the black guy a chance to try to pull us out of the greatest, scariest financial crisis since the Great Depression. He did that. And now that we’re not so scared anymore, we’re ready to toss him aside for whatever safe, nonthreatening white guy who looks like all the other Presidents comes along.”

The Huffington Post notes that this isn’t the first time that the topic of racism has come up in the 2012 election cycle. Symbolic protests against President Obama featuring an empty chair lynched in a tree have become disturbingly common, and last month, an Obama supporter in Texas said that her Obama/Biden yard sign had been vandalized with racist epithets.

“We have at least 4 African American families living on this street. I’m so offended,” said the woman. “Not just because whoever did this is ignorant and misinformed and trespassed and vandalized my sign, but infinitely more for my neighbors who might have driven by and seen it.”

Here’s the “put the white back in the White House” image. Do you think that racism is playing an undeniable role in the 2012 election, or is it just a handful of bad apples ruining the bunch?

Romney supporter t-shirt