Friday, May 16, 2008

The times, they are a-Changin'

For some, increased African-American participation in the electoral process due to excitement generated by Barack Obama's candidacy is racist because the vast majority of them will vote for Obama, not for a white candidate. Of course, this kind of attitude begs the question: what about the decades of white refusal in large numbers to vote for any African-American candidate. From the NY Times:

... in Southern states with large black populations, like Alabama, Mississippi and Virginia, an energized black electorate could create a countervailing force, particularly if conservative white voters choose not to flock to Senator John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee. Merle Black, a political scientist at Emory University in Atlanta, predicts “the largest black turnout in the history of the United States” this fall if Mr. Obama is the nominee.

To hold these states, Republicans may have to work harder than ever. Already, turnout in Democratic primaries this year has substantially exceeded Republican turnout in states like Arkansas, Louisiana, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

Some analysts suggest that North Carolina and Virginia may even be within reach for the Democratic nominee, and they point to the surprising result in a Congressional special election in Mississippi this week as an indicator of things to come.

What goes around comes around.

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