Skip to main content

If Virginia Is For Lovers, Is West Virginia For Bigots?

On Sunday, my local paper featured a column by Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts regarding West Virginia and the “problem” some of its residents seem to have with voting for Barack Obama. The column stated that, according to exit polls from their primary, two out of every 10 voters stated that race was a major factor in how they cast their ballots. Mr. Pitts referred to a clip from “The Daily Show” featuring a white woman who explained her refusal to vote for Obama: “I guess because he is another race. I’m sort of scared of the other race ‘cause we have so much conflict with ‘em.” Pitts went on to remark how sad he found this and made a point that Critical Race Theory scholars from Derrick Bell on down have been making for decades: That the white poor have been victims of a con job by rich whites, who have used them as fodder to maintain their own socio-economic status going back to the “states’ rights” justification for the Civil War and continuing on with them as the front line of white supremacy. As Derrick Bell would say, instead of forging an alliance with poor blacks based on shared interests, poor whites would rather cling to their supposed white privilege and look down on blacks instead of realizing that their alliance with rich whites based on perceived common white privilege has been of little or no benefit to them.

Pitts put it well:

My point is that race has often been used as a means of distracting and diverting the white poor. They had little in life, nor any realistic expectation of having more. But the one thing they did have – or so the con went – was whiteness itself. Which meant they had someone to be better than. Someone to look down upon.

Pitts is far more charitable than I am. I don’t see poor whites who believe as that one West Virginia woman does as victims because I think that’s too condescending and lets them off easy for a conscious choice. I think they choose to be disassociated from blacks because they can’t possibly imagine that people they perceive to be beneath them could be of benefit to them.

Funny. I’m sure that’s what rich whites think of them.

I would ask them, in the words of Dr. Phil, “How’s that Republican party been workin’ for you the last eight years?” If they would be so shallow as to vote for McCain over Obama solely because of Obama’s race despite Obama’s promise to overhaul a government that has worked more against them than for them, well then, they deserve their sorry lot in Appalachia.

Which leads me to question: If Virginia is for lovers, is West Virginia for bigots?


Popular posts from this blog

Retired Man Walking: Too Young to Retire, Too Old to Take Shit

A while back I ran into a friend and fellow professional employed by the State of California, and he offered me his perspective on State employment as a tail-end Baby Boomer like myself -- someone who can't retire because he lacks the requisite age or years of service, but, unlike myself, is tired of taking shit from superiors who don't know what to do with you.

Although my friend gave his permission for me to use his name in this blog entry, I decline to do so because what he does is so specialized that it would not be hard for anyone to identify him as one of the few African American men, if not the only African-American man, in California state civil service who does what he does. For purposes of this blog entry, I will refer to him as he now refers to himself:  Retired Man Walking.

Retired Man Walking, or RMW, has an interesting philosophy he applies to working for the State as a professional who isn't old enough to retire but has been around long enough to know the s…

Hillary Clinton Can Stop Trump -- If She Releases Her Electors

Hillary Clinton isn't going to be President of the United States.  At least not yet.  And not in 2017.

But she can possibly stop Donald Trump from being President by releasing her pledged electors  in the Electoral College to vote for a compromise Republican candidate.

This is part of the strategy of the Hamilton Electors, members of the Electoral College who see that Donald Trump is not qualified to be President.  They argue that the Electoral College's role is not to rubber-stamp the popular vote -- which, in this case, would belong to Clinton -- but to serve as a check on the popular vote to make sure that no one who is unfit assumes the office of President.

According to the Hamilton Electors, named for Founding Father Alexander Hamilton (Yes, he of the very popular musical for which I can't get tickets) Hamilton stated that the Electoral College's test for fitness to be the President was as follows (and I'm quoting):

Election of a Qualified Person: As Hamilton s…

My Prayer and Mantra for 2017 -- Do Not Waste Time on People and Things That Don't Matter

In this era of fake news, fake political candidates, and fake people all around, my prayer and mantra for 2017 is simple:  Do not waste time on people and things that don't matter.

In 2016, I spent too much time and money on things and people who didn't matter.  I allowed myself to become distracted by stuff that, for me and Black Man Not Blogging, didn't really matter for our happiness.  These distractions not only didn't improve the quality of our life together; they decreased it with additional and unnecessary stress.

The good news is that, for the most part, we're okay.  Yeah, Trump and his ilk really suck, but instead of a lot of hand wringing and commiserating, I'm going to do the one thing my late mother She Who  Is Exalted (SWIE) did better than anyone I know:  Play the hand you've been dealt.  My mother was a black female without a college education and with six kids, so playing the hand she was dealt was her survival skill.  Now it will be mine.