Carolyn Devine wiped the sweat out of her eyes and glanced up at her gym’s TV sets, where a national debate over race was roiling.
Newscasters heatedly debated Illinois Sen. Barack Obama’s recent speech about his longtime pastor’s incendiary comments. They analyzed video clips of the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., whose church is about a mile from this South Side gym, preaching “God damn America” and condemning the government for “treating our citizens as less than human.”
Devine, who is African American, doesn’t break her stride on the treadmill.
“The race debate? It’s always this way here,” said Devine, 42, who runs a beauty business. “It always gets people hot under the collar, and it’s always going to. I’m stunned that the rest of the country seems shocked that racism still exists.”