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View Diary: 70 yr. old Ohio Republican Voter: "I’ve Never Seen Such HATE as This Year in the Republican Party" (122 comments)

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  •  It's not just about race, but I think that race (13+ / 0-)

    is a huge factor for lots of whites in the S.E. in this election.  It has to do with regional history, of course.  And a big part of that regional history in the South has to do with slavery and segregation.

    Imo, if race weren't the main factor for a lot of southern white voters then in 2004 we wouldn't have seen 90% of whites in Alabama voting for McCain while the majority of whites in states like Oregon, Vermont, and Minnesota voted for Obama.

    As for Alan West and Clarence Thomas, I doubt they could win a Republican primary in the more rural/backwards areas of the South.

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 03:37:04 PM PDT

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    •  Obviously race is the main factor (24+ / 0-)

      But it seems to me that it's really just the most prominent and egregious form of a broader problem that poorer white southerners have with otherness in general, be it cultural otherness, regional otherness, religious otherness, or racial otherness. We're talking about descendants of Scots-Irish, right, people who came from very impoverished backgrounds who themselves were and in many cases continue to be discriminated against, who have projected this onto others in psychological group self-defense.

      I speak a bit from experience, in a different context. I'm Jewish. Specifically, Sephardic. A lot of Sephardic Jews came from Arab countries where, while they weren't as discriminated against as badly as in European countries like Poland and Russia, they were still treated as second class citizens, not allowed to have the sorts of educations and enter professions that Muslims were allowed. Most of them were kicked out after 1948, and many of them moved to Israel, where they were, tragically, also treated like second class citizens, sent to outpost towns with inadequate facilities and education and forced to work menial jobs. To this day they harbor deep resentments over this, in addition to over the treatment they got in their previous Arab counties.

      Many of these people, at least the ones I've met, tend to be virulently anti-Arab and Muslim, as well as racist in general, especially ones who've moved to the US, where they view blacks and Latinos with contempt. Much of this is due to ignorance, of course, but a lot also to projecting the racism that they were subjected to onto others that they view as even lower than them, as a way of venting their anger and feeling not quite as low as others. So I suspect that a similar dynamic is going on with white southerners.

      I think that time, education, new generations, and economic opportunity and prosperity, will undo much of this over time. The old south will die, at least as a bastion of racism, bigotry and racial entitlement, and a new south will "rise again". That is inevitable. It's just taking longer than it should.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 04:03:19 PM PDT

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      •  That was a very enlightening comment. nt (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TX Freethinker, kovie, Lawrence

        The founding fathers knew of the mutually corrupting influences of Church and state, wisely sending them to opposite corners.

        by emidesu on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 06:22:14 PM PDT

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      •  P.S. it also helped me understand why (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zett, kovie, Lawrence, artmartin

        some US Copts are so virulently Islamophobic. It frustrates me that having come from a situation of religious discrimination, they would seek to impose it on others, but their history parallels that of Sephardic Jews in many ways.

        The founding fathers knew of the mutually corrupting influences of Church and state, wisely sending them to opposite corners.

        by emidesu on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 06:26:20 PM PDT

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        •  To clarify (7+ / 0-)

          I'm talking about only certain Sephardic Jews, of which there are many kinds. Many of the people I'm talking about aren't actually Sephardic, meaning they're not necessarily descended from Jews who lived in the Iberian penninsula before being expelled in 1492, but because they follow the Sephardic liturgy, as opposed to the Ashkenazi one, they call themselves Sephardic Jews. Sometimes they're referred to as Oriental Jews, as in Edward Said's "Orientalism" (and not to be confused with the no longer used term to refer to Asians).

          And even among such Sephardic Jews, there are subgroups, based on region and country of origin, class, profession, etc. There is also inter-subgroup racism. E.g. Persians look down on Syrians, who look down on Tunisians, who look down on Moroccans. It's all quite silly if you ask me and I was thankfully spared most such nonsense growing up in the US, among more modern and enlightened Jews. It was actually only later in life that I became exposed to all this.

          In any case, yeah, it makes no sense at a distance, but up close, it sort of does, even if, of course, it makes no sense, if you know what I mean.

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 08:40:02 PM PDT

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          •  Iranians look down on ALL Arabs. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kovie

            I lived in Teheran off and on for a couple years.  What I discovered was that Iranians had no trouble with Israelis and Jews at all -- at the time, in the early 70s, there were upwards of 100,000 Jews living in Teheran alone AND there were almost daily nonstop flights between Tel Aviv and the Iranian capital.  There was also a large Israeli embassy, several synagogues, and a trade mission as well.  In fact, my best friend was a Baghdadi Jew with Israeli nationality.  Anyway, when Arabs became the topic of conversation.... wowzers! the racist knives came immediately.  An Iranian friend told me that there's actually a rhyming couplet in Farsi that translates loosely as "Arabs are all c*#k  and no brains."  That's pretty serious nastiness right there.

            -7.13 / -6.97 "The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion." -- Edmund Burke

            by GulfExpat on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 03:26:32 AM PDT

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        •  I'm pretty sure it's human (0+ / 0-)

          nature to want to look down on other humans. People here commonly state they don't understand how black people can be by far the most homophobic demographic in the country considering our history, but if you actually look through the history of the country and most likely any country, just because you were oppressed doesn't mean you have any problems with oppressing anyone else. If that logic held true racism, antisemitism, any form of discrimination wouldn't even exist in the country today because every group has been discriminated in one form or another at one point in time. (except for perhaps WASP men, and some would argue that that is happening today.)

          "The government of the many, not the government of the money" - Nancy Pelosi

          by Americantrueandblue on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 09:54:35 PM PDT

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          •  But in the case of Copts it's so (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kovie

            direct. Not racism turning into homophobia but religious discrimination turned into religious discrimination. That's why the example resonated with me; it's something I've witnessed personally and been frustrated by. (And when the perpetrators are close enough to me I tackle it head on).

            The founding fathers knew of the mutually corrupting influences of Church and state, wisely sending them to opposite corners.

            by emidesu on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 10:35:08 PM PDT

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      •  Does this explain George Allen of Macacca fame? (0+ / 0-)

        His mother is Sephardic... from Tunisia, as I recall.  Perhaps he got his enlightened racial attitudes from her.  Of course, it is dangerous and improper to generalize.

        •  My limited experience with Tunisian Sephardic Jews (0+ / 0-)

          has not been especially encouraging. Let's leave it at that for now.

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 08:28:19 AM PDT

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