I’m really trying to stay off this blog so I can finish the book, but this is difficult to do when good stuff like this pops up in my Google alert box. David Neiwert, writing at Firedoglake, offers a lengthy analysis of the elections confirming what Joe’s been saying here. He ends the post like this:
Too many white voters, especially in rural and suburban precincts, on both sides of the partisan aisle have absorbed these attitudes. Too many of them continue to believe that a black man, no matter how well educated, will ever have “the stuff” it takes to be president. And that’s why we’ve seen the racial voting trends in Democratic primaries that we have.
Indeed. And, there’s a vibrant set of replies of the post (277 comments!) which is mainly a pretty good discussion. Of course, my question (which I didn’t post because I just didn’t want to register at Firedoglake) is: what’s the source for the image? (Shamelessly copied here from Niewert’s post.) Someone should do a follow-up on the good scholarship out there about whites in “lynching photographs” by analyzing images of whites in civil rights era photos. I wonder where there’s an archive of such photos?
Until Google introduced me to him, I didn’t know Neiwert or his writing, so I spent far too long reading his really interesting blog, Orcinus. Neiwert describes himself as a “freelance journalist” based in Seattle, but from where I sit, he sounds like a sociologist. Dale McLemore, a professor of mine at UT-Austin, was fond of saying, “Sociology is slow journalism.” And, as we get deeper into what Henry Jenkins calls “convergence culture,” – his notion that old and new media are colliding in various ways – perhaps we’ll also see more convergence between sociology, journalism, and blogging. For now, it’s back to the current old media endeavor – putting words, in paragraph form, for the printed page.
Neiwert has a good piece, but he too tilts toward blaming older whites.
The big problem is the backstage racism of all whites, including young whites who tend to get a pass on racism. They are just somewhat better at keeping their racist performances in the backstage.
When I see pictures like this, or others where whites are gleefully smiling and enjoying themselves at lynchings or other such hate crimes, I always wonder about the white subjects of the photos. I wonder where they are now, if they regret who they were, or if they wish they were back in the land of cotton…