Washington Post Highlights Racism in Democratic Presidential Race
The Washington Post has an extensive article today on how race has played out on the campaign trail this year. To his credit, Barack Obama has made no mention to all the negativity produced by the type of voters Hillary Clinton now welcome into her base. Her base of White Americans, hard working White Americans, and people who won’t vote for Obama because he’s black. Hillary Clinton has started to wear racist voters who support her cause as a badge of honor.
An Obama office in Longview, Texas was vandalized on the heels of a campaign appearance by Samuel L. Jackson. It’s amazing how quick we’re willing to chalk it up as a fluke rather than a manifestation of an underlying sentiment from a sizable portion of the electorate. Take a moment to read Racist Indidents Give Some Obama Campaigners Pause by Washington Post staff writer Peter Slevin and polling analyst Jennifer Agiesta of the in its entirety. Here are a few of the highlights.
- In Muncie, a factory town in the east-central part of Indiana, Ross and her cohorts were soliciting support for Obama at malls, on street corners and in a Wal-Mart parking lot, and they ran into “a horrible response,” as Ross put it, a level of anti-black sentiment that none of them had anticipated.”The first person I encountered was like, ‘I’ll never vote for a black person,’ ” recalled Ross, who is white and just turned 20. “People just weren’t receptive.”
- Victoria Switzer, a retired social studies teacher, was on phone-bank duty one night during the Pennsylvania primary campaign. One night was all she could take: “It wasn’t pretty.” She made 60 calls to prospective voters in Susquehanna County, her home county, which is 98 percent white. The responses were dispiriting. One caller, Switzer remembers, said he couldn’t possibly vote for Obama and concluded: “Hang that darky from a tree!”
- The bigotry has gone beyond words. In Vincennes, the Obama campaign office was vandalized at 2 a.m. on the eve of the primary, according to police. A large plate-glass window was smashed, an American flag stolen. Other windows were spray-painted with references to Obama’s controversial former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and other political messages: “Hamas votes BHO” and “We don’t cling to guns or religion. Goddamn Wright.”
- Karen Seifert, a volunteer from New York, was outside of the largest polling location in Lackawanna County, Pa., on primary day when she was pressed by a Clinton volunteer to explain her backing of Obama. “I trust him,” Seifert replied. According to Seifert, the woman pointed to Obama’s face on Seifert’s T-shirt and said: “He’s a half-breed and he’s a Muslim. How can you trust that?”
- Pollsters have found it difficult to accurately measure racial attitudes, as some voters are unwilling to acknowledge the role that race plays in their thinking. But some are not. Susan Dzimian, a Clinton supporter who owns residential properties, said outside a polling location in Kokomo that race was a factor in how she viewed Obama. “I think if it was somebody other than him, I’d accept it,” she said of a black candidate. “If Colin Powell had run, I would be willing to accept him.”