It’s a fairly popular amongst Democrats to label white Southerners prejudiced and narrow-minded nowadays. Several days after President Barack Obama was elected, for example, the New York Times penned a thinly camouflaged article implying that white Southerners are racists. The Times article stated that:
Southern counties that voted more heavily Republican this year than in 2004 tended to be poorer, less educated and whiter, a statistical analysis by The New York Times shows…Many of those counties, rural and isolated, have been less exposed to the diversity, educational achievement and economic progress experienced by more prosperous areas.
It may feel good for liberals to label white Southerners as lacking “diversity, educational achievement, and economic progress,” but insulting potential voters is probably not the best idea for getting votes. Democrats should want votes from the poor, the less educated, and the white. In fact, a lot of poor people, less educated people, and white people voted for President Barack Obama. That’s how he won the election.
I’ve had a personal experience with this type of rhetoric. You see, I live in California, and California’s been going through some rough times lately. Just as Democrats like to call white Southerners racist, Republicans like to insult California as a failure of liberalism gone amuck.
Several days ago, whilst surfing through the net, I came upon this ingenious comment, by a kind person named Blake:
All you libs in Cal just kill me- most of you have never been told “No” before, and have an inflated sense of self, kind of like Obama.
Sometimes there is a good reason for not doing something- I know you believe Arnold can pull money out of his butt, but there is a time to cut back, and this is one of them…
Daddy’s fresh out of Benjamins.
My first reaction was – “Well, **** you.”
My second reaction was – “Well, **** you.”
California’s politics may be temporarily chaotic at the moment – but guess what, it’s still an amazing place to live in. California boasts such economic powerhouses as Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and Central Valley agriculture. It has amazing beaches, beautiful women, and the most bad-ass governor in the nation. Its diversity is unmatched in the rest of America; its public college system ranks #1 in the world. In San Francisco our state has the most beautiful city in America; in Los Angeles we have the most unique-smelling air in the country.
The point is that when Republicans characterize Californians as liberals who “have never been told ‘No’ before, and have an inflated sense of self,” that offends me as a resident in California. It encourages me to vote Democratic just due to spite.
When Democrats characterize white Southerners as racists, it does more than anything else in driving them to the Republican Party. Insulting white Southerners constitutes the same type of narrow-minded prejudiced behavior Americans are supposed to denounce. Worst of all, it doesn’t even help end racism. Perhaps many white Southerners are racists (just as many members of dailykos love Obama but would not send their kids to a majority-black school). Perhaps they aren’t. But insulting people as racists doesn’t stop racism. It just encourages them to be more racist.