Voting with the gut

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NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered have begun a fascinating joint series that convenes a panel of voters from York, Pennsylvania, for a roundtable discussion of race and how it affects the 2008 election. (Part 1 is here, and Part 2 is here.)

Sadly, some of the conclusions drawn seem to bear out what I was saying yesterday about voting with the gut. One white woman, after swearing that she was raised in a home utterly without prejudice, proceeded to accuse Obama of lying about not being a Muslim:

Leah Moreland, the woman who said she grew up sheltered from prejudice, plans to vote for McCain. Party loyalty is also part of her decision. But her cultural compass also comes into play. She says her gut tells her not to trust Obama.

"I look at Obama, and I have a question in my mind," she says. "Years ago, was he taken into the Muslim faith? And my concern is the only way you are no longer a Muslim is if you are dead, killed. So in my mind, he's still alive."

Although Barack Obama has said repeatedly he is not a Muslim and has never been a Muslim, Moreland is still unconvinced.

"There is something about him I don't trust," she says. "I don't care how good a speaker he is, I just can't trust him."  [full article]

I recommend listening to the audio of both these stories. I was listening to Part 2 in the car yesterday afternoon and yelling at the paranoid white people on the radio. (I yell at the radio a lot these days.)

But though this strikes me as obvious idiocy, I can't be entirely self-righteous. I admit that I'm a lot more wary walking through the crowd of black kids that hang out on our corner than I probably would be with a crowd of white kids (though I like to think that I dislike all teenagers equally).

[ original post:  http://shunn.livejournal.com/468130.html ]

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This page contains a single entry by William Shunn published on September 12, 2008 6:52 AM.

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