The recent Pew Center for the People and the Press generational survey reveals interesting results, results that Ronald Brownstein of the National Journal calls Two Worlds of Whites. I see the split as consisting of whites who fit the future and whites hopelessly lost in a racist past.
Overall, in the Pew survey, 47 percent of non-Hispanic whites agreed with the statement that "the growing number of newcomers from other countries are a threat to traditional American customs and values." Exactly 50 percent of whites disagreed.
Among the whites who find the increasing number of newcomers troubling, Obama's approval rating in the new Pew survey stood at just 21 percent with 70 percent disapproving. The president runs much more strongly among whites comfortable with the changes: 45 percent of them approved, while 47 percent disapproved.
Most dramatic was the divergence between these two groups of whites in a hypothetical Obama-Mitt Romney race in 2012. Whites who consider the demographic change a threat prefer Romney over Obama by a crushing three-to-one: 72 percent to 24 percent. In stark contrast, among whites comfortable with the change, Obama led Romney 52 percent to 44 percent.
Here's the poll link for the full results.
The question appears to measure fear of brown people, hispanics who have immigrated to the United States, many since NAFTA forced them off the land. I think it is a good question to measure the remaining embers of the white supremacist world view among white Americans, a world view that subordinates brown and black people, and that fears those outside a small cultural swath. They fear the future. They fear freedom for others and, perhaps, themselves.
The fearful whites fear a loss of the intangibles attached with the psychological wages of whiteness. I don't think they can be reached. Many are lost causes. Class will not trump white skin. The Limbaugh core lives on resentment. Many middle class and lower middle class white males have seen their status sink over the last 30 years. I think they want someone to kick below them to try to create status in their minds.
But there are many whites who can change and are changing, albeit imperfectly, from our racist past. White people can be part of a rainbow of all ethnicities and races.
The re-election of Barack Obama will accelerate the rainbowing of America. There are many things to do. The 1% is exploiting the 99%. But once many of the 99% realize that we're all in it together, we will strike a big blow against those who do so much to impovrish people.
Building a rainbow means the people are united, and the people united shall never be defeated!