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Response to Glitterati (Reply #31)

Mon Mar 31, 2014, 05:14 PM

34. I know! I think it boils down to racism.

The ones voting against their own self interests are poor Southern whites. Poor non-whites are wiser in that regard and don't have to vote against themselves.

We think of the Civil War as being something long past. However, it is still quite fresh in the minds and hearts of poor Southern whites. They inherited that "sense" of white superiority from their poor white families and ancestors, ancestors who might have gone hungry, but by golly gee at least they felt superior compared with non-whites. They could boss around non-whites, they could go hungry but saw that non-whites went even hungrier than they did, and they felt special because there was that group that had less of everything, and which had once been considered not to be human, but property. Southern poor whites felt that if they had nothing else in this world, at least they had that - they were considered "superior" to non-whites. They long for that. It's what they've grown up around. It's the only thing they had that made their suffering tolerable, a superiority over non-whites.

Nowadays, as the U.S. hobbles and limps toward full racial equality, that superiority and sense of importance is being stripped away bit by bit from them, and they are forced to face that they truly have nothing. That must feel hellish to Southern poor whites. They learned racism on their ancestors' knees and clung to that because it was the only thing that made them feel special.

In the absence of exposure to a higher education (not necessarily schooling - I think most of what we learn we learn, we learn from people we are exposed to, not from books and teachers), all they are stuck with is a very limited world and world view, which struggles to cling to the vestiges of that sense of "white superiority" their ancestors once felt, and that disdain for non-whites which still gets passed on from poor Southern white family to family. That sense of importance for being white can even be found in their small churches, where they worship their white Jesus among other poor whites, and grasp desperately at proof that they are still as important as they were when at least they were more "important" than non-whites. Otherwise, all they will be able to see in the mirror is poverty and ignorance.

Of the two parties in the U.S., the one that is indisputably racist in every imaginable way, also happens to be the one that has been working overtime for 33 years to tear to shreds the very programs that Southern poor whites depend on and need to survive. It's the party that fights tooth and nail to destroy any public education, because the GOP is terrified of the poor having access to good education. But Southern poor whites are single-minded and have never known much else but their pride in their white skin, so they hang on to their wish that the world were still a world of slavery, when they could feel important for having white skin, even if they barely had anything to put on the table for their families. Even those Southern poor whites who might realize that Republicans are out to destroy any lifeline they might now have, can't help themselves in voting for the savagely racist political party. It's an itch they just need to scratch.

Basically, the South is chronically ill with a deep-set racism that I had never witnessed before until I moved from Miami to North Florida, near Georgia. It is truly something to behold! I could write a book about the shit I've heard from Southern poor whites near here. As crazy a place as Miami is, nothing, nothing beats this for sheer insanity.

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Sarah Ibarruri Mar 2014 OP
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LineLineLineLineLineLineLineLineReply I know! I think it boils down to racism.
Sarah Ibarruri Mar 2014 #34
Glitterati Mar 2014 #38
Sarah Ibarruri Mar 2014 #48
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Sarah Ibarruri Mar 2014 #52
Brigid Mar 2014 #44
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