Sunday, January 27, 2008

Dawn in South Carolina

A native Tar Heel's take on the results, reflecting what so many progressive North Carolinians were thinking and talking about yesterday:

Dawn in South Carolina:

"When I was growing up in North Carolina, our neighbor South Carolina played an important role in our lives--giving us something to look down on. We fell for too many racist demagogues through the years (y'all remember Jesse Helms?), but we weren't always run by them. We didn't have no rebel flag flying over our statehouse. We elected a racially moderate governor at the height of the civil-rights backlash in 1960. It was something to say for ourselves, and we appreciated South Carolina's making us look relatively all right.

After Saturday's primary, this Tar Heel can do nothing but offer a big, deep bow to the Democrats of South Carolina. Not because I was particularly rooting for Barack Obama over John Edwards--but because of these fine folks' rejection of the Clintons' gutter politics. The majority of white Democrats, in a state where the Democratic Party was so long the organized mob enforcing Jim Crow, repelled the Clinton campaign's unspeakably vile attempt to paint Barack Obama as some kind of coke-dealing, slumlord-pimping cousin of Al Sharpton--and their equally vile assumption that Deep South whites, whether they're Democratic or Republican, can be manipulated by coded racial divisiveness in 2008 the way they were in 1968. Or, to add a bit more vileness to the mix, their assumption that they could make South Carolina blacks believe that one of their own would be 'unelectable' by definition."

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