Our racist state

Barbara Barrett and Martha Quillan wrote an excellent story in today's N&O about racial prejudice in North Carolina. It's a hard view of the sad reality in North Carolina.

Comments

From the article

Racial undercurrents have affected other contests too -- and they can be used to manipulate black or white voters. In the Democratic gubernatorial race, state treasurer Richard Moore linked Lt. Gov. Bev Perdue to the Ku Klux Klan in advertisements.

The N.C. Republican party aired commercials tying both Perdue and Moore to the Rev. Wright despite requests from McCain and the national Republican establishment to hold its fire.

"Although both parties claim they don't, they have racial overtones," Bacot said of the ads.

Among voters, some Clinton supporters in North Carolina say they would vote for McCain in November if Obama wins the nomination. Greg Gallagher, 52, a construction worker who lives in Pamlico County, was so uncomfortable hearing about Obama's pastor that he worries about the candidate himself.

"The more I know, the less I like him," said Gallagher, who is white. "You listen to this guy -- it's not going to pull people together. It'll break them apart."

Said Gallagher, who is white.

Sorry

I apologize profusely for this looking like it's about Richard Moore. This is about We the People. This is about Glen Gallagher who got sucked into the Wrightboating of Barack Obama. And all the other idiots who believe - because someone told them to believe it - that Obama doesn't say the pledge allegiance.

This is about a political culture of lying.

It's time we all repudiate lying. Or exaggeration. Or whatever you call it. I'm done with it. Zero tolerance.

We the People

is a great phrase. It's not an especially well defined phrase, often used by people who say the majority is more important than the minority. I know that is not how you use it, James, but because it is often used by people who oppose minority rights, I've never been fond of it.

Words are subject to lots of interpretation. Take the word "exaggeration." The definition of the latter is quite often a matter of perspective.

It's no exaggeration that Beverly Perdue profits from a business peddling memorabilia that is closely associated with represssive attitudes and in fact is often code for a white supremacist perspective.

Nor is it an exaggeration to say that she voted against a bill that would increase the power of the state to react strongly to counter white supremacist activities in NC.

I know you are sincere in saying that you did not intend this to be about Richard Moore, but by gum, there he was right there in the blue quote, along with the accusation that he was race-baiting.

I never met Richard Moore before the JJ, but told him then that I was proud to be casting my vote for him. Earlier I had informed one of his staff that in the course of this campaign I've gone from anti-Perdue to tepidly pro-Moore to strongly pro-Moore. His ads, his statements, his debate performance and his speech at JJ have all contributed to my certainty that he is by far the better candidate, not the lesser of two evils.

Your best testament to Richard ever.

Well said.

J

PS When I say We the People, I almost always mean those in minority positions. The weird thing is, I always consider myself in the minority. How odd coming from a white man.

PSS You're also right about Perdue profiting from Confederate crap. I doubt she even knew about it, but now that she does she should say, "I told my husband to get that stuff out of those stores."

Pitiful thing is

that I'm getting so tired and bleary that when I read that post I kept thinking "Rand? What does Tony Rand have to do with any of this?"

I didn't ponder it long and went blithely on my way. Wasn't until I read your response and thought, "Gee, I never knew Linda had strong feelings about Tony Rand" that it dawned on me . . . Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh . . .

"Respect the Rand?" Now *that* is really pitiful.

Except, ahem,

Moore has not claimed that his ad doesn't have racial "overtones." It's totally "toned" through and through. It's definitely and unabashedly a very direct challenge to Bev's false claim to a life-long committment to civil rights.

Her explanation of the so-called "misvote" has been debunked (and wasn't plausible to start with).

It's one thing for her supporters to note that they feel she is going to play the game as they would have it played, but it's another to pretend that in her heart and soul she's sincere about committment to anything other than Beverly Perdue's career.

While several people here have posted about how "insulted" they feel about Moore's ads, the ads are quite accurate and were invited by her own claims. How anyone could have watched her debate with Moore and not felt insulted by the vapidity of her responses, or have watched her godawful corn-syrupy penny-jar speech at JJ and not been insulted is a wonder to me.

Cheers.

While several people here have posted about how "insulted" they feel about Moore's ads, the ads are quite accurate and were invited by her own claims.

WOOHOO!

Race-baiting is okay, as long as you "invite it."

Thanks for clearly that up.
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There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of the comfortable past which, in fact, never existed. - Robert F. Kennedy

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There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of the comfortable past which, in fact, never existed. - Robert F. Kennedy

"race baiting?"

So any discussion of race is race baiting. I see.

A candidate is free to make whatever statements she likes about her record, and if someone challenges that, that's "race-baiting."
Thanks for clearing that up.

What an absolute piece of crap of an argument you have there.

That's not what I said. If

That's not what I said.

If you have a question about what I meant, you should just ask. Stop putting words in my mouth.

If Richard Moore wants to make an argument on Bev Perdue's record on civil rights then he should stand up and make it. I have no problem with the ad he ran on television, my issue was with the radio ad. That radio ad was so clearly race-baiting that it makes me sick to my stomach.

What an absolute piece of crap of an argument you have there.

----
There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of the comfortable past which, in fact, never existed. - Robert F. Kennedy

----
There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of the comfortable past which, in fact, never existed. - Robert F. Kennedy

I apologize, nctodc

for seeming to put words in your mouth.

I am not sure how I did that. I'm reading and rereading your post, which still, after a third read, seems to be saying that Moore's ads are "race-baiting."

If the the raising of a racially sensitive point or points is always going to be called "race baiting," then count me in for "race-baiting."

But I don't believe that's what the phrase is for, and I don't think it makes sense to use it that way. In fact, I think that to use the phrase that way is every bit as logical as calling someone a racist for pointing out racial inequities. Hence my use of the phrase "piece of crap" (which I stand by).

My point remains that the ads are a fair RESPONSE to her having stated that she had a lifelong committment to civil rights.

That's what the radio ads are challenging. No, it's not pleasant to hear negative things.

But again, she invited the challenge through her own statements, and she definitely deserves to be called on the claim.
So I reject your statement that the ad is unfair or otherwise unjustified by her having raised the issue. She did raise it; she brought up the subject. Her claim is not true and he called her on it.

I'm glad he did, and only wish she were being called on a lot of other b.s. maneuvers.

Finally, there's no question in my mind that if she were a GOPer, you and James would be very, very quick to see the ads in a completely different light.

Responses...

Alma Adams, Jim Hunt, Harvey Gannt on one side. You on the other.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

Those responses are why

I made the point about how I do understand supporters backing her because they believe she is going to play the game the way they want it played now.

But what I don't accept -- and I know damned well that Gantt, Hunt and Alma Adams know better -- is that Beverly Perdue is a sincere person who has ever had or ever will have a "lifelong committment" to civil rights.

(Actually, it's kind of strange that Perdue wanted testimony from Alma Adams, given her highly questionable shenanigans of late. No, wait, I'm not surprised, because one is going to cross the Black Caucus to press the matter.)

Hunt, Gantt and Adams all understand politics very, very well. Their support is of someone playing on their team. Richard Moore has not been a regular player on the insider's team. His brief stint with Hunt was more about squaring off than it was about an alliance between men of like minds.

Please.

I'm so sick of politicians telling me what to think about other politicians.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

And doesn't it say something?

Having these heavy hitters going to bat for Perdue reinforces what I have considered one of her big negatives from the start -- she's an insider who plays the game by the game plan that the long-timer insiders have been playing for eons.

These folks are not happy about the prospect of Richard Moore being governor because they don't pull his strings and never have.

Apology Appreciated. But...

Apology appreciated, but you still seem to miss my point.

I have absolutely no problem with Moore addressing the issue--certainly, Perdue has made her civil rights record a hallmark of her campaign and if there is a discrepancy, then it ought to be addressed. It's not the addressing of a racially sensitive issue that draws my ire, it's that particular radio ad in the way it goes after the issue. It's suspect and does amount to race-baiting in my view.

To be clear, I'm pointing to one particular ad, not the totality of Moore's ads. He crossed the line with that radio ad and lost my vote over it.

Finally, there's no question in my mind that if she were a GOPer, you and James would be very, very quick to see the ads in a completely different light.

That's a pretty audacious statement. My response, I suppose, would be twofold:

1. The standard that I hold Democrats and Republicans to is whether or not certain statements or certain votes or certain affiliations, examined within the context of a person's service, reflects a trend of hostility towards a race, gender, sexuality, et. al.

When I defended Joe Biden on BlueNC after Robert P. dubbed him a racist and a bigot, it wasn't because I liked him (though I do) or because I thought Biden's previous statements weren't deeply troublesome (they were)..it was because his record on issues of Civil Rights and social justice proved where Biden's heart really is.

Conversely, I suppose, we could talk about the 2006 Senate race in Virginia. In my view, George Allen's macaca moment wasn't significant in isolation, but ultimately it represented a pattern of racial and ethnic insensitivity (to be nice about it), so I supported his ouster.

In this particular case, outside of this one vote, I don't see a pattern of Bev Perdue being bad on civil rights issues (the store is dubious, at best). That's not to say that she isn't exaggerating her commitment, but what Moore's arguing is that there's no commitment, which seems to fly in the face of reality.

2. Would your response to the ads be different if it were run by a Republican?

(Sidenote: See how my #2 doesn't impugn your motives in the way your statement did?)

----
There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of the comfortable past which, in fact, never existed. - Robert F. Kennedy

----
There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of the comfortable past which, in fact, never existed. - Robert F. Kennedy

You have me there, nctodc

You are right that it was unfair for me to say that you would be looking at it differently were Bev Perdue a Republican. I absolutely take it back, and apologize for it.

BUT, I disagree that Moore is saying she has *no* committment. She claimed a "life-long" committment, however, which isn't true, and which, was rather audacious of her to claim.

Well, I have to say - I think the Moore ads

went a little further than I would have liked. I don't think Perdue has much control over what her son-in-law does with this business. I'm more interested if she has some stock in that business that sells confederate memorabilia while professing a pro-civil rights record. I don't know if she does or doesn't. I decided way before that ad came out that I didn't want her as my governor.
___

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

She certainly does

She has a little more involvement in the business than the relationship to her son-in-law, but the more compelling argument and the one I think is dead on point is her vote in the senate.

Again, that still hasn't been explained.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
-Edmund Burke

Really?

You and the N & O disagree.

Is the ad accurate? It’s an exaggeration. The ad states that Perdue is actively selling “Confederate junk,” although Perdue is clearly not involved in the store operations and is no longer a corporate officer in the business. She did vote against the bill in question, although the bill did not specify a “crackdown on the KKK.”

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

yes, really

And I'm sure it won't be the last time I disagree with something someone wrote. How about you?

It's certainly an exaggeration to say she's actively selling. The wording in the ad 'she's selling' is, however, not inconsistent with the way people talk when they refer to someone who is profitting from ownership or part ownership in the business.

Considering how much money she has received from the family that does "actively sell," it is no exaggeration that she is profiting from it, and notwithstanding her current status with respect the corporation, she certainly HAS been profitting from it for a long time.

That merchandise has been marketed there for a long, long, long time. How about we ask Bev whether that merchandise wasn't there when she was a corporate officer?

It is interesting to me that virtually all the comments thus far on this blog on this topic ignore the matter of that negative vote she cast, which was also in an ad, and which, with this other more "hot" spot, indicates a perspective completely inconsistent with a "lifelong committment to civil rights."

The Ad

For many folks, the ad is inconsistent with her "lifelong commitment to civil rights" and that's why people don't believe that she cast her vote against that bill because she didn't support the principle at issue.

The radio ad that pairs both issues is still cheap pandering, and even as you metaphorically continue to put lipstick on that pig, it's still a pig.

fhblack

Interesting Article.

I love the white woman who emailed Senator Clinton because she thought that the "blacks" were "uneducated." The same woman won't vote for Obama because she's afraid he won't pledge allegiance to the flag. The article notes that Obama has led the Pledge on the floor of the Senate. I guess this woman is not as educated as she thought. And don't people even listen to the part that says "...and to the Republic for which it stands"? That's the important part. Not the piece of cloth.

Williams, who is black, said Obama's candidacy has turned a corner for potential black leaders. Now, she said, she can tell her three young children that they really can become president.

"It is what it is. There's always been racism, and there will always be racism," Williams said.

When I think about race and political races now, I think about Marshall Adame and what he said at the Blogger Bash. (paraphrasing)"Despite the things we've done, we are still the light on the hill. In America, if it's within your reach, you can do it."

That's where we're headed in this election - we're going to try to prove that. Prove that we can choose to be bigger than our personal prejudices and fears, and reach for what we want, and not what we think we can get. :)

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

As a Durham native...

Who has lived for many years in NYC (I have family there) before moving back, I can safely say that racial tensions and ignorance are waaay higher there (specifically in the outer boroughs, not Manhattan), than anywhere I've lived in NC. The media always portrays the South as the hotbed of racial activity, but there are parts of Brooklyn and Queens, if you are black, are a known no-go zone after the sun goes down.

Today I wrote a post about the media's obsession with the white blue collar vote, when in fact Hillary Clinton needs to worry about her negatives in the black community. She couldn't win without that demo, and it's turned on her:

The candidate bleeding a key demographic is... . (I will cross post if there's interest in the topic).

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

Chicago suburbs the same

I can safely say that racial tensions and ignorance are waaay higher there (specifically in the outer boroughs, not Manhattan), than anywhere I've lived in NC.

As an Army recruiter, I was posted to a near-West suburb which was exclusively white (old European families). The high school I was assigned for, um, "marketing", had something like 850 kids, and nary a black face among them. Blacks who were seen driving anywhere in the city were automatically pulled over by the cops, then escorted out of the city limits.

Quite Right

I too lived many years up north and you are very correct. I have never seen anywhere near the amount of racial issues here in the south than I did during the seven years I spent in Pennsylvania. The problem is much worse up north than down here, but the media continues to perpetuate a false stereotype.

Carolina Politics Online

Pam - PLEASE cross post here.

Terrific post.

She cannot be elected without black support -- so why isn't this receiving equal attention in the MSM? Personally, I think there may be a couple of reasons -- 1) the conventional wisdom is that blacks will "come home" should Clinton manage to be the nom; 2) the MSM has a strong interest in keeping this horserace alive despite every single metric showing Clinton cannot win the nomination outside of a superdelegate fight. Those blinders are tight on the media horse.

Once again, you've managed to focus your laser on the right target.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

And yes, you're absolutely right.

There are parts of NYC that are no go zones for blacks when the sun goes down - and vice versa. It is the same in Pittsburgh, or was when I lived there. And it's the same where I live now, in this tiny rural NC town. But it's only parts of the town, and there are other parts, just blocks away, that are completely integrated, where the people we trust are our neighbors, and we trust them because of that, not because of the color of their skin.

What I'm trying to say is that broad generalizations about any region is foolish. I believe that we will always have Howard Beach, as we will always also have Texas Lane (in my town.) But as long as we build more Merry Oak Roads where the children are playing together, they will be of less concern.

Thank you.

Love.
PollyAnna.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

Glad you said that Pam

While we do obviously have racial tensions here, I think it's mistake for people to assume that racism only exists in the South.

NYC has one of the most segregated public schools systems in the nation. Hate crime levels are high and the educational and income gap between whites and people of color in NYC is just as bad as it here in NC.

From personal experience, we have experienced more racial tensions travelling in rural PA with our Black son than anywhere in the South, where it is more integrated. In fact, SC has the highest rate of integrated marriages.

www.MoBetterChange.blogspot.com

For years, the South has been looked down on ...

By our Northern neighbors because of all of our "race" problems. A few years ago, my wife and I took a family vacation to New England. We spent a week tooling around western Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont, away from the big cities and out in the country. You know what? We only saw one African-American the entire time we were out and about.

To say there aren't racial problems in the North is a big lie. NYC, Philadelphia and Boston have all had major racial issues in recent years. The reason that other areas of New England don't have many racial issues is that there just aren't a lot of African-Americans who live in those areas.

Here are the census figures for the black population in a few of the Northeastern States (from 2006):

Vermont: 0.7 percent
Maine: 0.8 percent
New Hampshire: 1.1 percent
Massachusetts: 6.9 percent
Rhode Island: 6.3 percent

Compare that to our state's 21.7 percent and you can probably see how racial differences might be more pronounced here.

I actually think Southern states have advanced more in their race relationships than other states simply because African-Americans are so much more a part of our society. I interviewed for a job in New Hampshire a few months ago, and I was absolutely struck by how few African-Americans there were up there. There were no African-Americans working for the company I was interviewing with. None of their clients were African-American. It was culture shock to me, a simple country boy who grew up in rural North Carolina in the 1960s and 1970s.

I actually think Southern

I actually think Southern states have advanced more in their race relationships than other states simply because African-Americans are so much more a part of our society.

I think there is a lot of truth to this statement; it is a point made by multiple social historians of the South. In fact, I never read an argument countering it in all the histories I've read of the South -- and I've read a lot. It's kind of a touchy point to raise, though, because it is easily misunderstood. After all, the reason African Americans are so much more a part of our society is that this is where the slave trade thrived. But there is a lot to be said for the effects of proximity, and there is no question that in the South, particularly in the days immediately following the Civil War and for a long while post Reconstruction, blacks and whites lived much closer together than we do today.

After the first World War there was a lot of movement by blacks to the north, and migration trends have continued back and forth to this day. But the relative separateness of blacks up North prolonged an alienation that was always there. When blacks moved up north, back in those early teens of the 20th century, the ghettos began immediately. But take a look at census records in southern states as late as the 1920's and 1930's and you find black families living next to white families. We didn't have ghettos immediately. Segregation came, but it came only later as the land was split up and economic ups and downs changed the landscape.

I don't think we can blame the media so much for the perception that the South is the turf for racism in the United States. You can imagine that in high school, as awkward as it was for Southerners to dance through this part of history, the kids up North got this shorthand impression from their own simplistic high school treatments of the Civil War: We up here in the North were the "good guys," and those horrible, evil people down South were the "bad guys."

This attitude is held dear. It's a lot easier to decide that an entire region simply gave birth to inherently evil folk than it is to confront the fact that human beings are callow, selfish creatures, and that had any given Northerner in the 18th or early 19th century been switched at birth with a Southerner of the same period, the baby that wound up growing on the soil that supported slavery would most likely have supported that institution.

Fueling the Perceptions

1. Where in the United States did most of the lynching occur?

2. How often in the North did a black person live near a white person who was a relative, usually as the result of a rape?

These two points, justifiably or not, played a significant role in shaping the perceptions about the two regions.

fhblack

Yea, but look at this list of major race riots in the U.S. ...

This is from Wikepedia, so I don't claim that it's all-conclusive, but it is interesting to note that almost every one of these race riots from 1955-73 occurred in major urban cities in the Northeast, Midwest or Far West.

Civil Rights and Black Power Movement's Period: 1955 - 1977

* 1964: Philadelphia race riots
* 1964: Harlem Riot
* 1965: Watts Riots
* 1966: Hough Riots
* 1966: North Omaha, Nebraska
* 1967: Texas Southern University Riot (Houston, TX)
* 1967: 12th Street Riot, Detroit
* 1967: Milwaukee Riot
* 1967: Minneapolis North Side Riots
* 1967: 1967 Newark riots
* 1968: Orangeburg massacre
* 1968: Nationwide riots following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
o 1968: Baltimore riot of 1968
o 1968: Chicago (April 1968)
o 1968: Louisville riots of 1968
o 1968: 1968 Washington, D.C. riots
* 1969: York, Pennsylvania race riots
* 1970: Jackson State killings
* 1971: Camden Riots
* 1972-1977: Escambia High riots in Pensacola, Florida

Out of this list, the only ones that I would consider deep South were the Orangeburg, S.C., Jackson State (Miss.) and Escambia High riots in Florida (I don't consider Texas part of the South). Riots were in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., and surprisingly (to me any way) there were several in the Midwest.

Timing

Yup, the Klan has had several lives. Indiana was a real hotbed for a while there in the twenties. Very ugly. Again, the movement of racist groups to the north and northwest began with migration of blacks out of the South following WWI. During the twenties, of course, the Klan was also anti-Catholic and anti-Communist in focus. Poor whites felt threatened not just by blacks who were willing to work cheaply but by immigrants from Europe. Hence the anti-Catholicism and anti-communism.

The more urbanized the South became, the less congenial the landscape was for the mob order that prevailed following the Civil War and Reconstruction. You can't understand the history of the South without understanding the lay of the land - which for such a long, long time remained chiefly rural.

It goes without saying that a rural society and economy was not a favorable environment for education. Kids were needed in the fields. Schooling was a luxury for the upper strata -- and the ranks of the upper strata were considerably thinned as a result of the Civil War and the agricultural depression of the 1890s.

Great analysis Brunette

I guess it helped that you actually lived in the South in the '20s and '30s and witnessed a lot of this transformation first hand. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience with the rest of us!

:)

Oh hell yeah!

God is gonna get you for that, Teepack!