Racism Review: White Fear and White Voters: A Florida Example

Racism Review

White Fear and White Voters: A Florida Example

Well, substantial white fear can be seen in many places this week. As Jessienoted yesterday in passing, FoxNews was reporting and nowTampaBayOnline (Tampa Bay Tribune newspaper) has this email from a volunteer in the Florida Republicans’ Temple Terrace office that was passed along by David Storck, chair of the Hillsborough County Republican Party, who tells his team to pass it along and thereby signals he agrees with it helping “us to win this election”:

THE THREAT: HERE IN TEMPLE TERRACE, FL OUR REPUBLICAN HQ IS ONE BLOCK AWAY FROM OUR LIBRARY, WHICH IS AN EARLY VOTING SITE. I SEE CARLOADS OF BLACK OBAMA SUPPORTERS COMING FROM THE INNER CITY TO CAST THEIR VOTES FOR OBAMA.

The email was sent around in these very assertive ALL CAPS, indicating a high level of emotion, including fear. Some of it signals the old white racial frame: Scary black folks “coming from the inner city” voting “in carloads,” in what is apparently a whiter area. One can feel the palpable fear here. The email continues:

THIS IS THEIR CHANCE TO GET A BLACK PRESIDENT AND THEY SEEM TO CARE LITTLE THAT HE IS AT MINIMUM, SOCIALIST, AND PROBABLY MARXIST IN HIS CORE BELIEFS. AFTER ALL, HE IS BLACK–NO EXPERIENCE OR ACCOMPLISHMENTS–BUT HE IS BLACK.

Notice again the level of racialized emotion in this message. Today, some conservative Republicans are back to fighting a Cold War against “Marxism,” a theme that is part of the national McCain-Palen attack line. When in difficulty, the U.S. right-wing likes smear tactics that place a political candidate who is obviously a centrist Democrat as “socialist” or “Marxist.” These themes seem to be just some cover for viewing Senator Obama in old antiblack terms, as the harping here on blackness suggests.

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