The monster saved them all. And in their fear, they betrayed him. As they always have. As they always will.
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Jamie Foxx said that Electro's costume in the film was black, so it's possible they're taking some inspiration from the version of Electro that appeared in Ultimate Spider-Man.
If Electro were just to get stuck in some sort of permanent 'electric mode' (this is Marvel comics!), there would be no need to involve the topic of race. So you get to maintain the Electro/Spider-Man history from the comics. Any film-watcher that doesn't know Electro is a white guy isn't going to know Electro is a white guy.
EAT GLASS, LAWMAN!