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?