Red State Blues

CNN’s Rick Sanchez showed an interesting map earlier this week.  It was a map of the United States broken into counties.  Each county was shaded either a variation of red or blue based upon whether the county voted more Democratic or more Republican than four years ago.  It was not a breakdown of who actually won the county, mind you, but more of an illustration of political tendency.  So a county could go for McCain but be shaded light blue if McCain only won by, say, 52% and Bush had won it four years ago by 56%, thus the light blue indicating a downward movement for Republicans and slight increase for the Democrats.

With the recent major shift towards the Democrats, not just in the Oval Office, but also in the House and the Senate, it should not be surprising that the country was almost entirely painted in varying shades of blue, light to dark depending on the size of the shift.  Ohio?  Blue.  North Carolina?  Blue.  Southern Mississippi?  Yep, blue.  Almost the entire country, except . . . Arkansas, Tennessee, Northern Louisana, Eastern Oklahoma were almost solid red.

The question was asked on Sanchez’ show about whether this reflected racism still running through a wide swath of the south.  A Republican strategist essentially replied that this kind of question was only asked by trouble-making Democrats who wanted to belittle the Republican party.  Well, then, you can consider me a trouble-making Democrat.

I’ve heard story after story about racist responses to this election.  There were rumors going around local high schools here in Middle Tennessee the day of the election that if Barack Obama won then white kids were going to bring guns to school and kill all the black kids.  In rural Georgia, people were flying flags at half-mast.   An African-American student at Middle Tennessee State University walked out of his dorm room and saw the N word written on the railing of his dorm balcony.

I DO NOT believe that voting Republican automatically makes someone a racist (of course not).  But there was a strong national trend this year that one specific section of the country resisted strongly.  There are likely many reasons for that, and I believe one of them is racism.

What do you think?

3 thoughts on “Red State Blues

  1. I think racism has a lot to do with it. Living in the reddest of red states, I see racism literally every day. It’s rarely blatant; it’s more often the veiled racism of people who claim they’re “not racist, but. . . “.

    On a related note, I sent you an article that appeared in the local alternative paper about Oklahoma’s election results. The author is a pastor of a UCC church and a professor of rhetoric. Needless to say, the man has a way with words. I thought you would find his thoughts interesting.

  2. It makes my heart sad. I do wish they wouldn’t go to trouble to stir it up, but it looks like it’s more than just Dems ragging on Reps.

    I had hoped that with Obama, ‘most everyone would notice (as did the people I saw on TV at his acceptance) that we had to do this together. “Red and yellow, black and white” as the song says, but I know that’s gauche. 🙂 Seriously, though, without Hispanic, white, AND African-American votes, he could not have won.

    I am shocked, not so much that there IS animosity, but the LEVEL of animosity, the willingness to continue to smear Obama…

    On the other hand, I have to say that the noise some people are making about race and nonissues (continuing to believe he’s a MUSLIM, REALLY?) keeps me from finding a lot of hard info about what Obama is really like and what to expect from him. As a conservaterian (I just made that up, I’m running from both the Republicans and the Libertarians), I really DO care about what a more fiscally liberal, government-as-solution politician will do….

    I guess I’ll have to plunk down the cash for books.

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