THE GROFF/ELLISON POLITICAL REPORT

Reports of Obama Campaign Plagued by Racist incidents …

Posted in Uncategorized by groffellison on May 14, 2008

Interesting piece by Kevin Merida in The Washington Post  we’re certain quite a few people already viewed by now.  We had to note it:

For all the hope and excitement Obama’s candidacy is generating, some of his field workers, phone-bank volunteers and campaign surrogates are encountering a raw racism and hostility that have gone largely unnoticed — and unreported — this election season. Doors have been slammed in their faces. They’ve been called racially derogatory names (including the white volunteers). And they’ve endured malicious rants and ugly stereotyping from people who can’t fathom that the senator from Illinois could become the first African American president.

The contrast between the large, adoring crowds Obama draws at public events and the gritty street-level work to win votes is stark. The candidate is largely insulated from the mean-spiritedness that some of his foot soldiers deal with away from the media spotlight.

Victoria Switzer, a retired social studies teacher, was on phone-bank duty one night during the Pennsylvania primary campaign. One night was all she could take: “It wasn’t pretty.” She made 60 calls to prospective voters in Susquehanna County, her home county, which is 98 percent white. The responses were dispiriting. One caller, Switzer remembers, said he couldn’t possibly vote for Obama and concluded: “Hang that darky from a tree!”

Documentary filmmaker Rory Kennedy, the daughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy, said she, too, came across “a lot of racism” when campaigning for Obama in Pennsylvania. One Pittsburgh union organizer told her he would not vote for Obama because he is black, and a white voter, she said, offered this frank reason for not backing Obama: “White people look out for white people, and black people look out for black people.”

Notice how Indiana and Pennsylvania got singled out in this.  Which begs the question: what makes these states “swing” states?  Is it an abundance of what Merida is reporting on? Two types of “voters” at possible work here: 1) Bigoted Republican and Independent, primarily White voters who made up their mind quite some time ago or 2) The dominance of those “White working class voters” we keep hearing about.  Sen. Clinton appears to egg that faction on.

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