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Reply to "Racist social events/situations in America"

Another picture of the racial landscape:

FBI Probe Deepens Racial Split in Philly
Mayor John Street gets polite applause when he talks about policy on the campaign trail these days. The big cheers come when he mentions the bug planted in his office by the FBI. In the two weeks since news broke that Street was a subject of a federal investigation, Philadelphia's second black mayor has sought to cast himself as a man being persecuted because of his race, and the message appears to be resonating with African-American voters.

Stumping around the city this weekend, two weeks ahead of the Nov. 4 election, Street received raucous ovations from supporters, who hollered approval when he said the investigation is nothing more than a Republican dirty trick.

Confounding expectations, a poll suggests that Street's campaign against white Republican businessman Sam Katz has been reinvigorated by the bugging and by a subsequent series of FBI raids on city departments.

A Temple University/CBS3/KYW-AM poll released last week had Street apparently leading Katz, with 48 percent of likely voters to Katz's 41 percent. In the same poll a month ago, Katz had 46 percent to 40 percent.

The survey also exposed the sharp racial divide in the campaign, and how differently African-American and white voters have reacted to the bugging, which the FBI has yet to explain. Among blacks, Street's popularity has surged, with 84 percent saying they intended to vote for the mayor, up from 70 percent last month. Among whites, 72 percent said they would vote for Katz, up 1 point from a month ago.

Philadelphia is nearly equally divided between African American and whites, and voters in city elections traditionally split along ethnic lines. During Street's first matchup against Katz, in 1999, neither candidate was able to cross color lines to muster much support. Street prevailed by fewer than 10,000 votes, even though Democrats outnumber Republicans more than 4-to-1.

FBI agents hauled away boxes of files last week from the offices of Ronald A. White, a prominent African-American lawyer and one of the mayor's best fund-raisers. Agents also raided the offices of Shamsud-din Ali, a religious leader at an influential mosque, and served a subpoena on the city's Minority Business Enterprise Council, which helps businesses owned by women and minorities get city contracts. (AP)
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