By Clarence Page

Race relations have undergone a curious flip-flop. Polls show blacks feel more optimistic about the nation’s future than whites, despite the Great Recession that’s giving everybody the blues.

Having a black, or, if you prefer, biracial, president explains a lot of that optimism, polls show. But white Americans, particularly working-class whites without a college diploma, have become more gloomy.

Ronald Brownstein, political director and demographic specialist at the National Journal, recently described whites who have less than a four-year college degree as “the most pessimistic and alienated group in American society.”

He cited a March poll by the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Economic Mobility Project in which two-thirds of blacks and Hispanics said they expected to be better off economically in 10 years. So did 55 percent of college-educated whites. But only 44 percent of non-college whites agreed. Read More