Recently, a McCain campaign spokescritter used the phrase ‘real’ Virginian. Anyone who has lived in the South has heard the phrase ‘real Southerner’ before. What’s despicable about that phrase is that it always refers to white Southerners–African-Americans are completely marginalized and ignored in the definition of a Southerner as if they don’t exist. Given the changing demographics of Virginia, ‘real Virginian’ has also entered the lexicon (and is something I’ve heard many times). Here’s what the McCain spokescritter said:
….I can tell you that the Democrats have just come in from the District of Columbia and moved into northern Virginia. And that’s really what you see there. But the rest of the state, real Virginia, if you will, I think will be very responsive to Senator McCain’s message. And remember that, you know, you’ve got places in other states like northern Wisconsin, the iron range of Minnesota, south-central and southeastern Pennsylvania, the St. Louis suburbs and the rural areas of Missouri that are very responsive to our message. And again we’re taking it to them in Pennsylvania and New Hampshire….
I did say outside of north – well, I mean real Virginia, because northern Virginia is where I’ve always been, but real Virginia I take to be the – this part of the state that is more southern in nature, if you will. Northern Virginia is really metro D.C., as you’re aware, Kevin.
(I wonder what that message is). But my question for the spokescritter is this:
Are black Virginians real Virginians?
Because I don’t think they’re “very responsive” to the McCain campaign message. Or maybe they’re just not real Virginians…
Related post: Scott Lemieux doesn’t like this either.
Also, it looks like Virginia is not quite part of the Squirrel-Meat Belt.
It’s a good point == the picture of a “real southern lady” is always white. I will say though, I’ve worked in the DC metro area — and thus with people from NoVA. I moved to Richmond for 5 long years — it was a very different “Virginia”. You would think the Civil War just happened. The impression I got from the natives, is that most Virginians south of NoVA don’t consider NoVA “real Virginians”.
The iron range of Minnesota has been a Democratic stronghold for a looooong time. I doubt people there are very receptive to McCain’s “message”.