…in Oregon. Despite all of the talk about how Obama has a problem with white voters, he won Oregon, even though the electorate is essentially entirely white. So what do commentators mean when they say Obama has a problem with white voters?
What they mean is that Obama has a problem with whites whose ancestors or communities participated slavery, ‘convict labor’*, lynching, Jim Crow, and segregation (as well as ‘massive resistance‘). One just doesn’t walk away from that kind of brutality, even decades later. These attitudes linger. So why won’t the media discuss this openly and honestly? This isn’t to say that there aren’t racists in Oregon; I’m sure there are. But there’s a theme here, one that goes mostly unmentioned.
Note: I am not saying that if you support or voted for Clinton, you’re a racist.
*Arguably, conscript labor was as important as direct violence for terrorizing blacks. Most black convicts were arrested on trumped up charges, such as vagrancy (which meant that a black person didn’t have enough money on him). Many of the ‘work camps’ would be better described as concentration camps–the conditions were so brutal even flat-out racists were disgusted. Douglas Blackmon’s Slavery by Another Name is excellent reading for more about this.