Did Pennsylvania voters say “I may be poor, but I’m White?”

By Earnest Gates

The Pennsylvania primary for the Democratic nomination will be a case study for years to come. One thing that stood out to me is how someone could live in an area where the jobs have been sent overseas and the very life you are used to has changed, how easy it is to blame people who don’t look like you or live like you for what the government has allowed to happen.

I have to agree with the comments that Senator Barack Obama made related to the condition of the Pennsylvania blue collar workers. Comments that he also used to describe urban blacks. If they would be honest, I think they would agree too. Just as alcoholics drink when times get rough, so too do people cling to those things they value the most.

And you know what, it’s easier to cling to your culture than to deal with the fact that every four years you get played. It’s a lot easier to accept when you are poor, that as long as I am White I still am better than a middle class Blacks or Hispanics.

In this country, White has always been a birthright of privilege. So being poor has been O.K. at least you could count on your whiteness. And last week, so said many blue collar White Pennsylvanians.

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