During this Sunday’s edition of ABC’s This Week, Daily Beast writer Andrew Sullivan claimed that if Republican nominee Mitt Romney wins back Florida and Virginia in the upcoming 2012 presidential election, especially due to the white vote, then the South’s electoral map will look exactly like the pro-slavery United States Confederacy during the Civil War.
This observation came in response to host George Stephanopoulos noting that the latest polls show that six out of ten white Americans intend to vote for Romney.
PBS reporter Gwen Ifill said that “we can’t ignore” the possible factor racial animus may play in deciding the election, noting that the poll indicates that, on some level, people are still willing to admit “racial bias.”
Sullivan then added: “If Virginia and Florida go back to the Republicans, it’s the Confederacy. Entirely. You put a map of the Civil War over this electoral map, you’ve got the Civil War.”
Conservative panelist George Will rolled his eyes. “I don’t know,” said a skeptical Ifill.
Will then posited two possible explanations for Obama’s slippage in the white vote since 2008: “A lot of white people who voted for Obama in 2008 watched him govern for four years and said, ‘Not so good. Let’s try someone else.’ The alternative, the ‘Confederacy’ hypothesis is that those people somehow, for some reason in the last four years became racist.”
I’m sure a lot of people who voted for Obama were enamored with the idea that we were finally entering a “post-racial” era in American history. That idea is certainly appealing. The unfortunate reality is that because of Obama this nation is now more “racialized” than it has been at any time since the Sixties.
Are there still racists out there? Definitely – and a lot of them are white. But open racism (by whites) is fairly rare. It is considered uncouth and socially unacceptable on both the left and right.
But guess what? The white racists didn’t vote for Obama last time either but he still won anyway. And most of the people who didn’t vote for him four years ago weren’t racists – they wouldn’t have voted for a white Democrat either.
I am one of many people who have no problem with the color of Obama’s skin. It’s the content of his character I don’t like.