Wednesday, May 14, 2008

"Hang that darky from a tree!" - an MTSU student's lesson in American bigotry

Racism rears it's ugly head

U student Danielle Ross is mentioned at the the beginning of a Washington Post article on what her and her fellow campaigners have experienced while working for Barack Obama.

"The first person I encountered was like, 'I'll never vote for a black person,' " recalled Ross, who is white and just turned 20. "People just weren't receptive."

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.

This next account doesn't surprise me. Growing up near Binghamton, NY on the PA border, we often referred to the rural PA county to our south as "Pennsyltucky." The following account seems to confirm the stereotype:
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!"

Read all the gory details from the emerging racist movement against Obama. I guess this was inevitable in the country that enslaved Africans and brought us the KKK.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm a senior and an Afro American, and had hoped that against all odds we weren't going to have so much focus placed on race.... with intimidation and rude, and bigoited behavior taking center stage. I had hoped that our country was waining and other oldsters... would have changed. I guess this country hasn't progressed as much as I thought. It's such a sad day !!!