Posted on December 1, 2008

O Tempora, O Mores! (December, 2008)

American Renaissance, December 2008

Obama by the Numbers

It wasn’t even close. Barack Obama beat John McCain, 65 million votes to 57 million, or 53 percent to 46 percent, and Mr. Obama became the first Democrat to win more than 50 percent of the national vote since Jimmy Carter in 1976. Forty-three percent of whites voted for Mr. Obama, and the wide margins he won among blacks (95 percent), Hispanics (66 percent), Asians (61 percent), Jews (81 percent), and voters under 30 (66 percent), put him over the top.

Mr. McCain received 55 percent of the white vote, 65 percent of the white Protestant vote, 52 percent of the white Catholic vote, 74 percent of the Evangelical vote, 57 percent of white men and 53 percent of white women — and lost anyway. Until recently that level of support would have guaranteed victory. If Mr. Obama can hold his multiracial coalition together, the next Republican candidate will need close to 60 percent of the white vote to stay in the race. [2008 Exit Poll Data, CNN, Nov. 4, 2008. Going After the Faith-Based Vote, AP, Nov. 6, 2008.]

No ‘Bradley Effect’

Throughout the campaign the media repeatedly warned us that polls showing Barack Obama in the lead might overstate his support because of something it called the “Bradley Effect.” The name comes from the losing campaign of the black former Los Angeles mayor, Tom Bradley, when he ran for governor of California in 1982. Polls showed him winning handily, but he lost to George Deukmejian by 100,000 votes. There have been other contests in which black candidates facing white opponents had comfortable leads according to polls, only to lose or win narrowly. The theory has always been that devious white poll respondents claim they are voting for the black candidate but actually vote for the white.

The results of the presidential election showed no “Bradley Effect.” Polls showed Mr. Obama winning 51 to 53 percent of the vote, with John McCain getting 42 to 44 percent. The final result, 53 percent to 46, shows that, if anything, the polls slightly understated support for Mr. McCain. [Alan Fram, No Hidden White Bias Seen in Presidential Race, AP, Nov. 7, 2008.]

‘Devil Like Talent’

80-year-old Klaus Emmerich is the dean of Austrian political journalists. He spent part of his 61-year career as the Washington correspondent for ORF, the Austrian state television broadcaster, and is the network’s top political commentator on US affairs. During coverage of the US election, he said, “I wouldn’t want the Western world to be directed by a black man. And if you say this is a racist remark, I say you are damn right it is.” The next day, in an interview with the Austrian Standard, he described Obama’s victory as an “extremely disconcerting development” because “blacks aren’t as politically civilized” as whites. He later told another Austrian newspaper, Die Presse, that Mr. Obama has “a devil-like talent to present his rhetoric so effectively.”

ORF got complaints about Mr. Emmerich and a spokesman for the Austrian Green Party demanded that he be fired, but the broadcaster says it is still studying the matter. [Austrian Journalist Slammed For Racist Obama Rant, Der Spiegel, Nov. 7, 2008. New Obama Race Row as Austrian TV Pundit Says Black People ‘Are Not Civilised Enough to Rule,’ Daily Mail (London), Nov. 7, 2008.]

Silver Linings

In November, Democrats picked up at least 6 seats in the Senate and 19 in the House, so the country is likely to veer to the left. Still, in the heartland, there were signs of resistance. In Missouri, voters overwhelmingly — with 89 percent of the vote — made English the official language. In Nebraska, 58 percent of voters approved the state’s Civil Rights Initiative, a ballot measure banning racial preferences in government hiring and university admissions. This is the latest success for black California businessman Ward Connerly’s American Civil Rights Coalition, which has succeeded in getting voters to ban so-called affirmative action in California, Michigan, and Washington. Unfortunately, Mr. Connerly’s effort in Colorado this year appears to have fallen short by a few thousand votes. [Official English Wins by a Landslide in Missouri, ProEnglish, Nov. 5, 2008. Matthew Hansen, Nebraska Voters Back Affirmative Action Ban, Omaha World-Herald, Nov. 5, 2008.]

In California, a ballot initiative to overturn a state Supreme Court ruling that lets homosexuals marry each other set conservative blacks against liberal whites. A slim majority of whites voted to let the ruling stand, but 70 percent of blacks and 53 percent of Hispanics disagreed, so same-sex marriage is once again illegal in California. There were street protests against the result in Los Angeles and a candle-light vigil in San Francisco. [Karl Vick and Ashley Surdin, Most of California’s Black Voters Backed Gay Marriage Ban, Washington Post, Nov. 7, 2006, p. A3.]

Forrest Rides Again

Nathan Bedford Forrest High School in Jacksonville, Florida, opened as an all-white school in the 1950s, and the United Daughters of the Confederacy suggested the name as an act of defiance against the Supreme Court’s 1954 ruling in Brown v. Board of Education. Times have changed. Blacks now make up more than half the student body, and hold two of the seven seats on the Duval County School Board. On November 3, the board held a hearing — one of several over the years — on whether to change the name.

More than 140 people attended the three-hour session, during which blacks railed about Forrest’s Ku Klux Klan associations. Many whites defended Forrest. “He was a good man,” said June Cooper, a 1970 Forrest High graduate who is white. “He was a military genius.” In the end, the school board split along racial lines, 5-2, and voted to keep the name. [Ron Word, Fla. School Will Remain Named After KKK Leader, AP, Nov. 4, 2008.]

Diversity Alert

Cheshire County, England, believes that “educating children in the beliefs of different faiths” is “essential to understanding” — and students better like it. In early July, two students at Alsager High School refused to kneel on prayer mats, wear Muslim headgear and pray to Allah as part of a unit on Islam. The school punished both boys with detention. Says the irate grandfather of one, “If Muslims were asked to go to Church on Sunday and take Holy Communion, there would be war.” Karen Williams, mother of another student in the class adds, “Not only was it forced upon them, my daughter was told off for not doing it right. They’d never done it before and they were supposed to do it in another language.”

The school has no comment, other than to say, “We accept that such teaching is to be conducted with some sense of sensitivity.” [Report: Schoolboys Get Detention for Refusing to Pray to Allah, Fox News, July 5, 2008.]

Dead White Flight

Detroit used to be the fourth largest city in the US, and reached its peak population of 1,850,000 in 1950. Now it is less than half that size, and loses about 5,000 people every year. Most of the whites fled to the suburbs years ago, but many remain — in the city’s cemeteries. Perhaps not for long. Whites are now digging their relatives out of Detroit’s cemeteries and spending up to $5,000 to re-inter them in majority white suburbs like Macomb County. City records show nearly 1,000 disinterments from 2002 to 2007, but experts say “thousands upon thousands” have taken place off the books over the last 20 years. Why? Patrick Lynch, a funeral home director in suburban Clawson, Michigan says that “people have to drive to a place that may take them through neighborhoods they otherwise may never go.”

Stephen Vogel, Dean of Architecture at the University of Detroit Mercy, says it’s racism. “What it says to me is that there is a deeply ingrained fear on the part of suburbanites in terms of their attitude toward the city and its hold is very powerful and very deep,” he says. [Charlie LeDuff, Flight of the Dead: Suburban Families Move Loved Ones from Detroit Cemeteries, Detroit News, Aug. 12, 2008.]