By Pat St. Claire, CNN
(CNN) – When Barack Obama became the first black president of the United States there was a hope that his election would usher in a sea change; an almost magical transformation of race relations. But nearly four years later that has not happened. In fact, according to surveys designed by the Associated Press and several leading universities, racial attitudes have not improved during the Obama presidency. They have worsened.
Deidre Okonkwo knows all about the racial divide. She's a tall, slim woman with a welcoming smile who lives in a decidedly conservative, mostly Republican suburb of Atlanta with her husband and three children. Okonkwo is white and her husband, the sculptor, Nnamdi Okonkwo, is Nigerian.
[:22] "I'm from the west, Idaho, and I can see the racial tensions. There is a reason why blacks should feel the way they do because of what they went through. And we don't understand that and we never will. But, we have to first realize that there is something there." FULL POST
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(CNN) – Welcome to CNN Radio News Day.
Here are some of the stories we cover in today's edition:
“Progress is usually not linear with respect to racial reconciliation. You'll have these monumental moments of change and then sometimes you'll have retrenchment and then we lurch forward", says Emory University political science professor, Andra Gillespie.
By Libby Lewis, CNN
(CNN) - Federal troops are now directly involved in Hurricane Sandy operations – along with state National Guardsmen and local police and emergency responders.
The military has long been the backup for local and state responders in major disasters. What’s changed over time is who’s in charge.
For those Marines helping out in Rockaway Beach and Staten Island, the answer is: New York’s Governor, Andrew Cuomo. FULL POST
By Jim Roope, CNN
(CNN) – One of the more complicated decisions California voters face election day is whether that state’s 'three strikes' law is too tough, or not enough.
[:20] "The three strikes law is a very powerful tool to go after recidivists; violent serious criminals; one that we have to retain."
Los Angeles's tough-on-crime District Attorney Steve Cooley says the 'three strikes' law works, but it is a bit too tough.
[:38] “It has to be used I think, not on individuals who have the prior criminal history that commit non-violent, non-serious such as petty theft with a prior, a two-bit forgery, you know, c'mon, a simple possession of drugs. Not 25-to-life."
By Tommy Andres, CNN
(CNN) – Most 18-year-olds are excited for election Tuesday because it will be their first chance to vote. Aziz Akbari is excited for a different reason: his name is on a ballot.
Akbari is a sophomore at the University of Southern California studying mechanical engineering, and this year he’s thrown his hat in the ring for mayor of his hometown of Fremont, California.
[:59] “I’ve been going to city council meetings since I was 8 years old,” Akbari says. “And I’ve been involved in local politics ever since then.”
Akbari campaigns from his dorm room all week with the help of his campaign staff, and flies home every weekend to go door-to-door, press the flesh, and push his four-point plan to boost Fremont’s economy.