With all the polls it feels like there’s been a sea change in how America sees race, or maybe not. Maybe it’s W’s 22% approval rating skewing the numbers, because there are obvious still some serious misconceptions and racism playing big in the election. Interviews in the ‘bootheal’ region of Missouri (only a few hours South of me here in St. Louis, where Obama drew 100,000 people under the Arch last week) show that indifference, mixed with the old school racism and ignorance, is still alive and well. My favorite part is:
“But Douglas’ cousin Ronnie Johnson is voting for McCain. Or rather, against Obama.
He is reluctant to explain this at first — “You don’t want to know why,” he says.
The others on the porch goad him. And Johnson, a lanky 20-year-old white man who works as a meatcutter at a grocery store, starts to talk about an issue that has persisted throughout the campaign: race.
It is not just that Obama is black, Johnson says. He has heard that Obama is Muslim. (Obama is Christian.) He also has heard rumors that Obama refuses to salute the American flag, and that Obama has promised that black men will have more rights than white men. (Independent fact-checking groups say these rumors are false.)
So Johnson is voting for McCain.
“He’s white,” Johnson says.”
And we wonder why W was elected twice. Someone save us…