Calling a Cracker Vote a Cracker Vote

Before I get started, let me say that some of my closest friends are white people.

I called Indiana for HRC based on what I called and call The Cracker Vote, that percentage of white people who consciously or unconsciously, strongly or mildly, overtly or covertly cannot vote for A Black Man–because it is about the lumpen, not individuals but vague or sharp mental, emotional and psychological images. And an image is not a person is not an individual. Rev. Wright on YouTube = The Angry Black Man = F. E. A. R. (Not the video game.)

The only way to combat The Cracker Vote, liberal and conservative alike, is to expose it. To call a cracker a cracker. Or, more politely, a cracker impulse a cracker impulse–hate the sin, not the sinner, compassion and lovingkindness, all that. To ask HRC, Do you think a percentage of your support comes not because of your positions or ideas or experience but because you are the white person running against the black person? And when she answers no, challenge how any educated, politically aware American adult in 2008 can think that racism, covert and overt, stereotypes ground deep into the cells, disappears when faced with a vote or a candidate? Why then does she rely so on “the white working class vote”? What does she mean by that? Americans in medium-sized, largely white towns who think of black folks as the criminals they see on TV news and in the movies? And if she doesn’t mean that, what does she mean?

Those people have to be called out. The calling out won’t change the hardass core of The Cracker Vote but it will jar the fence-sitters, the ones who are on the Democratic fence not because HRC is the best candidate or a likely winner against McCain but because they feel “comfortable” with her “leadership” and when they get into the booth and the curtain closes behind them or they look at that paper ballot, simply cannot vote for the black man. At the last minute. They cannot or will not say why, and understandably don’t want to talk about it. Calling out the so-called bottom of the ladder will force some of the fence-sitters to confront their shit or switch sides to save face, to avoid saying to their friends, spouses, children, co-workers that they cannot, just really cannot for unknown or myriad reasons, vote for A Black Man.

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I’m experimenting with comments. Wait for approval.

And if you’re hella pissed, email a comment and I’ll get it up here one way or another. Go ahead. Try.

pic: .Larry Page

pic: aaron.michels

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I’m the only one who can’t leave a comment on my own blog. WTF? So here’s my comment (go read the official comments then scroll back here):

saxa, your assumption is that black folks vote for Obama in opposition to white people. Blacks have voted for and helped put in office many white folks in the past and will do so again in the future. Do not mistake Louis Farrakhan and what the MSM implies Rev. Wright is with mainstream black thought or group behavior. As voters, blacks are rarely radical or threatening. And I have heard some of the same blacks-vote-for-him opinion from HRC supporters–see Am Funk’s encounter with an HRC supporter who said A.F. should really vote for HRC because “The Blacks” are voting for Obama. (Many times, “The” in front of a racial, ethnic, or even religious category–think “The Jews” and “The Catholics”–indicates hostility and often smacks of conspiracy theorizing.) Even if it were true that all black folks voted for Obama in any state, it wouldn’t give him the numbers to win anything. Black people are a numerical minority.

Yes, I am making some generalizations in order to make my point. But do not assume, unless it fits, that I am talking about you, saxa. Or that objecting to racism, overt, covert, suspected or proven, means I hate white people.

John, are you really telling me that there are no racial tensions, problems, prejudice in Indiana? I find that hard to believe, and have lived in the Midwest and met my fair share of Midwesterners, some from Indiana, some not. And many of those Midwesterners, white by the way, filled in my Indiana gaps for me. Not talking about “race” doesn’t mean that there are no problems or that everyone gets along. It just means it’s not talked about. That’s one of my objections in the post, the silence. Silence perpetuates the problem. And what does your last statement mean? That because Indianians don’t talk about race, they have fewer problems with their Negroes? Or that we in LA have crime because we have so many black folk down here or won’t close our eyes to the lives we have lived and continue to live and will always live unless we talk, confront and do something about it? Racism is not a black people problem. Oppression harms the oppressed and the oppressor, the maligned and the maligners.

GB

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And Cliff can’t get through either:

Hi G,
Here is my biggest fear leading into the general election. Obama’s campaign has been so willing to denounce any black person who is not mainstream when they endorse him. I am afraid that we will be in a position where he won’t be able to embrace any endorsements from African Americans publicly. I’ve been saying since the start that the key to him winning is that he had to be white people friendly. That wasn’t an insult to him. That was just recognizing what country I live in. I just wish black people would stop making it ok for Obama to ignore our issues. We shouldn’t have to act like we don’t have a few things that affect us more than others. Doing so only feeds into the principle you just wrote about.

Cliff

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Another comment, from Kim, 5/8:

I am a white woman who grew up poor and spent half my adult life in North Florida among a lot of crackers: racist/xenophobic/intolerant white people. But I don’t think I need that experience to see that HRC is targeting the cracker vote and sustaining herself on the cracker vote. And I agree that there’s no way to combat that cracker vote except by calling it what it is. The third of democratic HRC voters who claimed to prefer McCain to Obama doesn’t make sense in any other perspective. I noticed last night that MSM’s terminology for the demographic HRC appeals to was no longer “white working class” but rather “white working people.” (???)

saxa–I think that if Obama’s campaign strategy had been to appeal to misogyny by any means necessary, to suggest he would be disadvantaged by HRC’s “inevitable” white vote, and to declare that any of HRC’s associates, past or present, are “radical feminists” and therefore she would govern as a “radical feminist,” then the numbers you’re seeing would be a lot different. The numbers were a lot different at the beginning of the primary season before HRC’s divisive campaign tactics were clear.

And to clarify–I am not screening these emailed comments anymore than I screened the moderated comments. Until my comment/blog spam problem is fixed once and for all, this is all the process we’ve got, people.

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10 Responses to Calling a Cracker Vote a Cracker Vote

  1. Editor B says:

    Being as I’m from Indiana I wish I could say you’re off-base — but I can’t.

  2. saxa says:

    Just curious why 50% or 60% voting for Hillary makes white people racist, but 90% voting for Obama doesn’t make black people racist? How do you reconcile that inconsistency?

  3. John Dorrill says:

    As a white man living and having businesses in Cenla for 25 years and now living in Indiana, I can assure you there is far more prejudice in Louisiana than there is Indiana. In Indiana there are no where near as many problems that would cause one to even bother with worrying about race. In Louisiana, race and prejudice is always on ones mind because one is constantly reminded about it.
    You know the only time race is a problem is when it is acknowledged. If you don’t bring race to the front of a discussion it stays in the background and is not an issue.

    I live in a Indiana city that is six times larger in population than Alexandria Louisiana and has one tenth the crime.

  4. well thats ritz and saltines 4 ya

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  6. “You know the only time race is a problem is when it is acknowledged.”

    ? …when structural and institutional racism are acknowledged, they become problems, but if they are ignored, they go away? Je ne comprends pas…?

  7. dsb says:

    The WaPo has a story today about Obama field workers encountering overt racism in Indiana (and elsewhere):

    For all the hope and excitement Obama’s candidacy is generating, some of his field workers, phone-bank volunteers and campaign surrogates are encountering a raw racism and hostility that have gone largely unnoticed — and unreported — this election season. Doors have been slammed in their faces. They’ve been called racially derogatory names (including the white volunteers). And they’ve endured malicious rants and ugly stereotyping from people who can’t fathom that the senator from Illinois could become the first African American president.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/12/AR2008051203014.html?hpid=topnews

  8. ceejay1968 says:

    It’s so funny that you used the expression “calling these people out.”

    A few weeks ago, my sister emailed us all the “Obama is a Moslem” piece of trash (before this, many of the women in my family had admitted they would never vote for Obama because of their racism; others tried to be less overt, but it was still so obvious, like when one wrote, “You wouldn’t REALLY, would you?”). Usually, we just politely debate, but I really let my sister have it over forwarding that email. What, I demanded to know, is a Hillary supporter and Democrat doing forwarding this garbage and why in the hell are you doing the reich wing’s dirty work for them? Others responded that it was all over the internet – so I tried to teach them that just because it’s on the intertubes doesn’t make it true – for instance, I sent them a bunch of horrible links where it’s claimed the Clintons are murderers and drug runners. And I used the phrase “I am totally calling you out over this.” The argument ended with my sister telling me I “look down my nose at people” (which is especially funny since three therapists and two therapy groups have tried counseling me about how I am SO forgiving and accepting of people – to a fault!). Anyway, I told her that she had moved from debating the subject to criticizing the PERSON, which is unacceptable debate form and that if she really thinks I look down my nose at people, just don’t talk to me anymore – I mean, if that’s what she thinks of me, why bother.

    It’s the first time in our adult lives that I’ve ever told her to go away and don’t talk to me anymore.

    And it started over this damn election.

    How sad is that??

    I guess there’s a price to be paid for moving away – ethically and morally and politically – from the other crackers.

  9. G Bitch says:

    Ceejay, your bravery is what is needed to crack the cracker vote. You may not change their minds but you have shown them that you will not play that bullshit game. And that will have lasting impact. (Plus, the spreading of spun lies opens you to attack with the truth. If you can’t take it, you shouldn’t dish it out.) Some contexts, and beliefs, do not deserve forgiveness or compassion or even a decimal point’s worth of lovingkindness. Sometimes, we do have to call people out.

    I hope the price is worth it. I think it is but it’s not my sister. And I don’t talk to half my family anyway so you can’t go by me. I feel for you, though. Family is the hardest. But they are the part of the earth you can most directly and immediately affect.

  10. ceejay1968 says:

    Hey, just wanted to say thank you for the thoughtful response.

Comments welcomed. Really.