Identity politics? Welcome to the Dark Side.
[Crossposted from Sugar Land is Dreaming]
Here's a snippet of data from last night's exit polls in South Carolina:
And would you look at that -- John Edwards is the candidate for whitey crackers! In fact, if that other white person weren't in the race, Edwards might have taken more than 70% of the white vote!
Of course, this isn't the narrative I heard last night after Obama's crushing victory in South Carolina. I heard it was a black thing. I was at work last night, then I went to a friends house for some beers and viewing of late night nutty shit on History channel afterwards. The first news reports I observed about Obama's victory was rudimentary, mainstream stuff -- the stuff that any normal American is subjected to. And with today's busy lifestyles, many Americans don't get to see beyond the mainstream narrative.
So as I drove home around 1am, I had the radio on and the news anchor was quick to point out that, while Obama achieved a resounding victory, half of the SC primary voters were black and Obama netted most of them. And when I woke up (late) this morning, the Sunday paper of my local rag had this AP story on its front page, which described Obama's SC victory as such:
"The choice in this election is not about regions or religions or genders," Obama said at a boisterous victory rally. "It's not about rich versus poor, young versus old and it's not about black versus white. It's about the past versus the future."And so it goes. For the national media, the narrative is in: Obama rode a black wave to victory. But when I look at the same raw exit poll numbers that the reporters have, I see that white voters in SC gave the white candidates 76% of their vote. If Obama getting 78% of the black vote is a big story, then why isn't this pale 76% for Clinton and Edwards just as big? Why is the national narrative a black thing? I mean, as we all know, nobody is trying to inject race into this election by claiming that only black people can win in SC.
The audience chanted "Race doesn't matter" as it awaited Obama to make his appearance after rolling up 55 percent of the vote in a three-way race.
But it did, in a primary that shattered turnout records.
About half the voters were black, according to polling place interviews, and four out of five of them supported Obama. Black women turned out in particularly large numbers. Obama, the first-term Illinois senator, got about a quarter of the white vote while Clinton and former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina split the rest.