ABC News is running a story as the West Virginia primary is ongoing, saying that “Racially motivated voting appeared to be running higher than usual: Two in 10 whites said the race of the candidate was a factor in their vote, second only to Mississippi.”
As usual, the story about “race” is about white voters not voting for Obama because he is black.
As usual, there is nothing in the story about black voters voting for Obama because he is black.
20% of whites is a story, but 95% of blacks is not?
Although the percentage for whites is a negative vote – voting against someone because of their skin color, whereas the percentage of blacks is a positive vote – voting for someone because of their skin color (there are lots of reasons to vote against Hillary, but I haven’t heard that her race is one of them) – the key point of the ABC article was “racially motivated voting.”
It doesn’t matter whether the vote is for, or against, due to race. It is still racially motivated.
Of course, it can be said that the black community is voting ‘for one of their own’ – similar to how Mitt Romney garnered virtually all of the LDS vote. That had a similar parallel, with stories about how many people were negative voting against Romney due to his religion, with the LDS vote being a given and a non-story.
But it shouldn’t be a non-story.
Is it appropriate to vote for someone because of race, religion, etc., but not appropriate to vote against someone for the same reason?
I don’t think so. If the goal is to eliminate discrimination, which is shorthand for eliminating decision-making based upon a classification deemed irrelevant and improper, then all discrimination should be eliminated. It is a two-way street, not a one-way path to further division.
While there is an argument to be made about history, trend-setting, and other similar reasons to vote for Obama, they still boil down to arguments based on his race and what it means for someone of a certain classification to be President.
And that is the rub, especially in a Presidential election where the President is supposed to represent all Americans. Not just whites and not just blacks.
Maybe a better story is that racism in American politics has been reduced, but there is still a way to go. In only two states have at least 1 in 5 white voters indicated that race plays a decision in the voting booth. While blacks are still voting as a racial block, the overall percentage of Americans factoring race into politics is lower than in previous elections.
ABC, and a herd of other “reporters” have missed that story.