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Race, Obama, and

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In this election season, tensions over race and religion have often crystallized around humor. That seems to be a place where people test the boundaries – take Bernie Mac's recent joke-gone-awry at a Barack Obama fundraiser. Then came the New Yorker cover. The political cartoon on the cover of this week's issue shows Obama in the Oval Office. In case you haven't already heard… he's in full Muslim dress, fist-jabbing with his wife who is outfitted in militant gear and a big afro. An American flag smolders in the fireplace. The magazine defends the art as satire – targeting, they say, the smears from Obama's opponents. But the provocative picture has triggered outrage from many quarters, including the campaigns of both Obama and rival John McCain.

Chicago Tribune columnist Dawn Turner Trice wrote about the flap yesterday, and opened it up to her online forum, Exploring Race. We spoke with her this morning to get her take on the issue.

Music Button:  Victor Wooten, Left Right & Center, from the CD Palmystery, (Heads Up records)

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