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In Dixie, the past isn't even past

Posted by Max Brantley on Thu, Nov 15, 2012 at 10:45 AM

More on race, President Obama and Dixie, where Arkansas is now a full-fledged card-carrying member of the Solid Republican South. Overall, yes, Barack Obama got 39 percent of the white vote. But Mother Jones drills down a bit:

Overall, Obama won about 46 percent of the white vote outside the South and 27 percent of the white vote in the South. That's a difference of nearly 20 points. In other words: Democrats don't have a white problem. They have a Southern white problem, and that's a whole different thing. The press should be more careful about how they report this.

Comments (12)

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Vance Randolph from "Ozark Superstitions":

The casual tourist sees nothing to suggest the current of savage hatred that flows beneath the genial hospitality of our Ozark villages. "Still waters run deep," as Grandmaw Tolliver used to say, "an* the Devil lays at the bottom."

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Posted by Mean Gene on 11/15/2012 at 11:31 AM

Is that 39% figure referring to the white vote in Arkansas alone? If so, could you provide the source? I'm interested in the discrepancy between that number and the 27% figure for Southern whites more generally.

Posted by Benji Hardy on 11/15/2012 at 11:53 AM


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Posted by FullThrottle on 11/15/2012 at 12:13 PM

Not much has changed regarding racial attitudes in America since 1859. Here again I post the three demographic maps from 1859, 1950 and 2012:…

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Posted by eLwood on 11/15/2012 at 12:13 PM

The Democratic Party doesn't have a "southern white problem", southern white have a problem in not being part of the 20th or 21st century. And don't forget, we have us a new "tech center" that will have young multicultural techies just dying to come here (in your dreams!).

Just go into any coffee shop, senior center, volunteer fire department casual meeting and see how often the "n-" word shows up. I remember my dad who once said that the only thing a poor white person had going for them was that they weren't a poor black person. And not realizing that they were both in the same position-just tools for companies to use and abuse. Look at some of eLwood's old encyclopedia items about 10 year old kids being killed at work and it not being the company's fault they were run over or crushed by a company train and that being upheld by the courts.

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Posted by couldn't be better on 11/15/2012 at 12:14 PM

Why in the world is it considered a Democratic problem that Romney won @ 73% of the white vote in the south? Yeah, I know, I turned around the numbers. When one looks at *why* all those white folk voted the way they did it certainly strikes me as a problem, but it's a Republican problem.

The petulance out there is palpable, whether it's Romney's whining divisiveness or the insistence that the vote was skewed by those who stayed home.

Romney truly believed that all he had to do was not be Obama. He could even be a Mormon as long as he was white.

The Republican Party has a southern white problem, not the Democrats. Unless failure to attract bigots is a problem.

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Posted by Vanessa on 11/15/2012 at 1:04 PM

I will venture a guess that if Barack Obama looked like Bill Clinton (white), Romney would have won only Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming.

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Posted by the outlier on 11/15/2012 at 1:30 PM

I agree, Outlier. The Democratic Party needs to start searching NOW for their W.A.S.P. 2016 candidate for President, 'cause I don't think Biden will win if he runs.

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Posted by MarcKyle1964 on 11/15/2012 at 1:56 PM

"Not much has changed regarding racial attitudes in America since 1859."

Really eLwood? The country twice elected a black man, and we enacted the Civil Rights Act of 1964. These are two examples just off the top of my head.

BTW, where were you last night? You skipped out on my attempt to pay off the bet.

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Posted by scrapper72 on 11/15/2012 at 2:20 PM

I had car trouble last night scrapper. You're off the hook on the drinks regarding you LOSING the wager on Greg Leding's election. Didn't have a ph number for you and I couldn't leave a message at the comedy club for someone call scrapper72.

I'll stand by my statements regarding demographics of racism in the USA. It's still the same.

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Posted by eLwood on 11/15/2012 at 3:25 PM

Flannery O'Connor wrote a lot about this looking down your nose at black folks while living in the South. It might have been her stuff that started my transformation from young moderate racist to the nice fellow I am today.

It's not as bad as it used to be, but it's a lot worse than it should be or appears to be. I learned in 2008 and it was a lot worse this time, that my old classmates and many of my dear friends didn't do any transforming like I did. They just got more cleaver and quiet about their dislike.....all the way to hatred of black people. I am amazed and saddened. I'm guessing if your in your 50s to your aren't going to transform into anything other than an old racist.

What's funny.....I know some of my classmates, have always been friends with them and I know they never had a horrible experience at the hands of a black person. Why the hate? I don't remember spending a lot of time with them discussing them damn sorry black folks, not even in the 1960s. Like I've said before, I've counted up the awful times in my life and not a single one was caused by a black person. I ought to be scared to death of white men!

Maybe if you ever lost a Civil War it would stick in your craw....though as far as I can tell my family set out the Civil War, never owned slaves, never owned much of anything. I'm proud of where I live warts & all but that doesn't mean I wish the South had won and I could own me some slaves. Well...I don't want to own Beyonce but it's probably the only way I'd ever get a kiss.

I really think the Republicans are going away, death by their own 19th century hands. If they don't there's still a good chance of Civil War 2 because if you talk and talk and talk for decades and a group of people just won't listen or get along, the only option left is to shoot them. That's what happened in 1861 when an unpopular to the South President was elected. It was the last straw and the fighting commenced.

It'll be worse the next time because our weapons are oh so much better and I can just walk across the street and shoot my neighbor....won't have to travel much in Civil War 2. We better figure out a better way to handle our problems. But as I watch old man McCain, Sissyboy Lindsey Graham and the rest of the (r) assholes on my TV it makes me think healing up won't ever happen. Unless he's going to Cheney's doctor, McCain will die soon, but the rest of them will just keep on yappin....... It's very sad and disappointing. I wouldn't mind analogizing to every black person in America if I could.

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Posted by DeathbyInches on 11/15/2012 at 5:27 PM

Way off base again. If Kerry got 41% of the white vote vs. Obama's 39%, we can also assume he got pretty dang close to the same dismal proportion of southern whites. This past election is just a continuing illustration of D's doing very poorly among southern whites; but to chalk it up to racism is dramatically superficial and intellectually lazy.

Posted by mrboast on 11/16/2012 at 2:38 PM
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