Some of the opposition to President Obama is not so much about race directly, but about the way the country is changing from a place where all immigrants, even those who came in chains, are welcome as long as they adopted the mores of white Protestants, to one where other ethnic identities are equally valid.
The core political debate about the redistribution of wealth is sharpened by redistribution to people who “are not like us”.
Whatever happens in November, the debate about the meaning of President Obama to America’s race relations will not go away.
If President Obama wins, it will be due in part to reactivating the 2008 alliance - and black voters made up a big part of that coalition. He may feel freer in a second term to talk about delicate issues and reflect on whether he has been a bridge or created a wider chasm.
If, on the other hand, he loses, many African Americans will take it personally, will be worried and hurt, and see the result as another reverse in their long struggle.