West Virginia – Proving Itself As Backwards As The Rest Of The Country Thinks It Is

Salon Article: http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2008/05/13/west_virginia/print.html (view ads)

The article is about how Obama is going to lose and lose big in WV. But it goes into how he is still campaigning in the state, doing TV ads, setup a large campaign system on the ground, and basically done all the things that Clinton refuses to do in “unimportant” states.

But really the take away from this article is this quote by a retired A/C repair guy: “I don’t think it’s being racist necessarily, they just don’t like black people that well.”

Wow. That is just stunning.

It confirms at least one of the media narratives that Clinton is trying to make into a positive; she draws the support of un-educated white people. Fascinating how many Republican and Clinton voters seem to be racist but not seem to understand (or admit) what that racism really is.

I might have mentioned this before, but I was told a few months ago that I was an optimist. People who know me know that isn’t how my friends would have described me. Although I think people get pessimist and cynic mixed up sometimes (they aren’t interchangeable).

The context of this astounding comment on my view of the world was how I saw change occurring in society. I was in a Sunday School class with a bunch of adults. All of them were at least my mother’s age and a couple retired in the early 90’s. Basically I stated that things were getting better and the generations are progressing towards a more inclusive view of the world. If we can keep our nations from killing each other then I truly believe that the natural progression of humanity is towards peace and understanding.

Heck I used the example that deliverer of the quotation above used. He said the people in his neighborhood remember when black meant on the back of the bus. It is hard to change that mindset. My basic point is that the old people are dying off. And with them the regressive, racist, sexist ways. And I am sure that a 30-something will say the same thing about my generation when we reach our early 70s. At least I hope so.

So the attitude in WV doesn’t surprise me too much. But it is a dying attitude and one we should let die with the generation that holds it. Unlike the Holocaust, this way of thinking is better forgotten.

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3 Comments on “West Virginia – Proving Itself As Backwards As The Rest Of The Country Thinks It Is”

  1. slappy Says:

    Lest you forget, the same thing was said about central Pennsyltucky. Hillajerk & Tim Russert clearly pointed out that many hillbillies, er, uneducated white people do not like Obama. These are the same people that voted for someone who seemed like the kind of guy you would want to grab a brewski with. . .

    • Bex Says:

      hmmm…I find your post incredibly insulting, as I am not only a resident in West Virginia, but have spent much of my youth here as well.

      I’m not denying that there are ignorant, uneducated people here….but the way I see it, that’s a common find anywhere you go…a state does not define a person’s intellect.
      I can recall more than one moment when I was asked in serious pondering, if my cousin and I had had a relationship, or if I’d always worn shoes…or if I was racist simply because I was from West Virginia. This being asked to me in more “intelligent” states, Michigan and Nevada.
      So you referring to an entire state, us, as uneducated and ignorant, as racist…seems rather unfair. It’s people like you who put us in stereotyped boxes and call us failures of civilization. YOU set us up for failure by seeking out individuals who meet up to your already formed opinions. You’re like the newscaster of some obsolete TV station that selects the dumbest witness to report on an incident. You’re not going to get all the facts from that one person…and you know that before you even ask them their name.
      Much of this state didn’t vote for Obama because of his lack of experience, NOT because of the color of his skin.
      Perhaps you don’t realize that the state of WV is a “support our troops” sort of state, because so many West Virginians join the military. Obama has no military experience. That is quite a red flag for a leader of a country, to have no experience in something as important as that. Heck if that were the only thing he lacked experience in, perhaps he wouldn’t be so bad. But the truth is, he lacks experience in a multitude of issues, such as politics alone. Of course, this is all the opinion of one lowly uneducated, ignorant, and apparently racist West Virginian that you consider me to be.

      • nothingknew Says:

        I moderate all posts on this site. It is just good practice because there are a ton of spam robots out there trying to add links to any untended forum or comment board. So I had the choice to post the comment above or not. Obviously I decided to post it.

        I can see where the author gets the impression that I consider all WV residents racist. I did not make the statement; “I am sure there are plenty of non-racists in WV”. I don’t consider all of anything to be exactly the same. It doesn’t happen in manufacturing and it doesn’t happen in people.

        That being said Bex’s reasoning has plenty of holes as well. The first being, that since Bex isn’t a racist the voting of WV as a whole for John McCain cannot be considered racist. 43% of people in WV voted for Obama, so obviously 43% of the state’s residents don’t have a lot of problems with him being black. It is that 56% (I rounded the percentages) that worries me. And the statement by the person interviewed worries me as well.

        Secondly I am pretty sick of the litmus test that the POTUS has to have military training because he is the commander in chief. He is also the head of the treasury…does he need to have had an economics degree? The role of commander in chief is there so that we have civilian command of the military. Otherwise we are a banana republic. I’d rather the POTUS was a civilian with as broad an understanding of the US as possible than a person steeped in the traditions of the military. We need someone with a range of experience not one narrow path.

        Also, I think you’d have to admit that people join the military for a host of reasons, some patriotic, some historical, and some financial. It really is one of the last places in the US where a HS graduate can rise to high levels of power and respect. It is an organization that we should respect. But it is still run and filled with people, who we have the choice to respect or not respect based on their words and actions. And they follow the orders of our commander-in-chief, whomever that may be.

        In summary I think this is an interesting situation. I’d love to know how Bex happened upon this post. It is over nine months old. But even so, I can understand why (s)he is upset. The title of the post does paint the brush that WV is a racist state. I am sure there are strong pockets of both racist and less-racist people in WV (because, as we all know, everyones a little bit racist sometimes). But there is an underlying current of racism in just about everything that is being stated about the President; from the teleprompter thing to questions about his experience.

        It is there, whether people say “they aren’t racist, they just don’t like black people” or not.


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