One expects racism from Republicans. The party of the elephant could merge with the just about any white supremacy group and not miss a beat. Hell, most people wouldn’t see any difference.
But overt racism from a Democrat is something else, although it should not surprise anyone that Hillary Rodham Clinton would use racism in her anything goes quest for the Democratic Presidential nomination.
Exit polls from Tuesday’s Pennsylvania primary show nearly one-fifth of those who went to the polls admit racism determined how they voted — and that’s just those who admitted it. Most racists will swear on a stack of Bibles that they don’t hate blacks.
Hillary Clinton won Pennsylvania because she pandered to the overt racism that exists among blue collar whites as well as the latent racism in too many others. She won because the bulk of her appeal comes from the less-educated, the less-tolerant and the less-intelligent among us. If you’re a stupid, illiterate, gun-totin’ white hick you probably voted for Hillary. And so did your ignorant, baby-popping, big-haired wife as well as that bleached-blond bar maid that you’re seeing on the side.
Now, before you hoist your Stars and Bars, clean your AR-15 and hunt me down as another Northeastern liberal who looks down his nose at just plain folk, remember that I can talk about chicken-fried racism with some authority because I’m a product of that culture: a son of the South, raised in the Bible belt where Southern Baptists sowed wild oats on Saturday night and then went to church on Sunday and prayed for crop failure.
Where I come from, the guys with the John Deere hats talk about how they voted for Hillary in the Virginia Democratic primary because “it will be a cold day in hell before I vote for the nigger.”
But racism in America is not limited to the guy with the 185 bowling average and who has confederate mud flaps on his pickup. It’s not limited to those out-of-work Pennsylvania rednecks who drink boilermakers.
Racism is alive in well in the halls of power in Congress, on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and in the boardrooms of America’s largest corporations.
Many Americans talk a good game when it comes to race and equality but they are still bubbas in their hearts and minds and bubbas hate and distrust anything that ain’t lily white and just like themselves.
And those racists are gathering around their candidate of choice: a bleached blond carpetbagger who adapts herself to whatever political environment it takes to win an election.
Hillary Rodham Clinton may not really be one of their own but — in this race — she’s white and, for them, that’s all that matters.