Sunday, February 10, 2008

People ain't never gonna be colorblind: I posed the question a few days ago, why Obama has done so well in places like Idaho and Alaska, and the best answer I found was Sailer's view that a white person in states with few blacks gets to feel like he has a hip black friend by voting for Barack. Growing up in that kind of a state, I would describe the person as racially green; someone who, for lack of experience, is filled with the kind of racial idealism that people across the North had in the 60s. The support Obama is getting from young voters can be explained in the same way.

But these primaries are just more data points supporting the idea the people just can't be colorblind. Blacks across the country voted for Obama because he's black; race-fatigued southern and northeastern whites cast ballots against him because he's black; Hispanics everywhere voted against him because of his color; and idealist whites from Minnesota to Alaska thought of all the good it will do to vote for a black man.

The question is, is there anyone out there that voted for him, and didn't see race? I don't think so.

Whether genes has much to do with it or not, race has always been a potent social reality, and it will continue to be one.

9 comments:

Jewish Atheist said...

I keep hearing these bold statements like "so-and-so group voted for him or against him because he is black." My question is, how do you know? I'll grant you he gets the black vote because of his color, but what evidence is there for any of your other claims? Or that the motive for whites in states with few blacks is to "feel like they have a hip black friend?"

What about the anti-Hillary vote? What about the anti-war vote? What about the electability vote? What about the sexist vote, even?

dearieme said...

Goatherds vote for him because of his father's occupation.

Anonymous said...

Obama has never created a job in his life..............perfect qualification for a democrat with "all the asnwers".

MensaRefugee said...

Is it a Color question... or an extension of the IQ question?

Vanishing American said...

I think it's self-evident, when you look at the obsessive attention paid to race in our society, in our news media, in entertainment and sports, in education, everywhere -- that people can and do and WILL vote based on race in many cases.
I live in a small town composed mostly of people of Northern/Western European ancestry. I have heard people say 'I think we should vote for Obama because then we can prove we're not a racist country anymore.' I have heard this from people who consider themselves conservative and who usually vote Republican.
I absolutely believe race is and will be a factor in this election.

that guy said...

"I have heard people say 'I think we should vote for Obama because then we can prove we're not a racist country anymore.'"

Shelby Steele puts it succinctly:

"The day after Obama enters the Oval Office, Minister Farrakhan and Reverend Sharpton will NOT retire."

that guy said...

I keep hearing these bold statements like "so-and-so group voted for him or against him because he is black." My question is, how do you know?

You have a more parsimonious explanation for the voting patterns?

Anti-Hillary, anti-war, electibility, and sexism don't account for the white vs. black voting patters. They account for other voting patterns (male vs. female, for example) but not the white vs. black one outlined in the original post.

agnostic said...

It would be neat to see more hard data that Whites in low-percentage-Black states are more racially idealistic... could the GSS tell us if White females in Idaho are more open to interracial dating than their counterparts in DC or Boston?

SFG said...

I do recall reading in the comments to a NYT article that some people voted for him because they were sick of the Clintons.