Regionalism, Birtherism, and a Desegregation Amendment

Recently, I described polls that described how half of Southerners did not believe that President Obama was born in the U.S. David Weigel examines how many Southern whites believe Obama was born outside of the U.S.:

In the South, like everywhere else, the vast majority of non-white voters said that Obama was born in the United States; 97 percent of black voters, 87 percent of Hispanic voters, and 88 percent of other minorities. The extremely low overall percentage? That's due to white Southerners, who dragged down the average with an extremely high level of doubt about Obama.

So what proportion of Southern whites doubt that Obama is an American citizen? While Ali did not release the racial breakdowns for the the South, and cautioned that the margin of error in the smaller sample of 720 people would be larger than the national margin of error (2 percent), the proportion of white Southern voters with doubts about their president's citizenship may be higher than 70 percent. More than 30 percent of the people polled in the South were non-white, and very few of them told pollsters that they had questions about Obama's citizenship. In order for white voters to drive the South's "don't know" number to 30 percent and it's "born outside the United States" number to 23 percent, as many as three-quarters of Southern whites told pollsters that they didn't know where Obama was born.

Back on the old site, before Blogger EATED IT, I wrote a post about the failure to pass a referendum to remove a segregation clause from the Alabama state constitution (voting "no" would keep segregation in the state constitution):

The Washington Post recently reported about the failure of the anti-segregation amendment to pass in Alabama (it was essentially 50-50). According to the CNN exit poll, 73% of Alabama voters were white. Assuming that the vote to keep the segregationist amendment was negligible among non-whites, this means that 68.5% of whites voted against the anti-segregationist amendment (or for segregation).

I'm sure this is just a coincidence.

Post-racial America, my ass.

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Post-racial America, my ass.
I think one of the under discussed outcomes of President Obama's victory is if left to white voters, McCain would be president. If you shifted our current demographics to what they were in the 70s, it is also likely that Obama would not have won. Too much of the narrative involved in Barack Obama's victory centered around we are overcoming racism (i.e. a great big pat on the back to whites in the US) rather than the shifting demographics in our society (i.e. were less white). My guess is the percentage of whites who are prejudiced against non-whites hasn't really changed over the last couple of decades; whites just make up a smaller percentage of the population than they did in the past.

By ponderingfool (not verified) on 05 Aug 2009 #permalink

Most white southerners are republicans, have strong religious beliefs and are generally ignorant. That makes them susceptible to the radical nutjob idiocracy that dominates right-wing politics today. And I say that as a native southerner.