Monday, May 12, 2008

West Virginia

I used to do a lot of windsurfing in the Outer Banks, and to get there from Wisconsin I would drive south to Louisville Kentucky, take Route 64 east across Kentucky, West Virginia, and Virginia, then cut south into North Carolina. West Virginia is a gorgeous state, and it was always my favorite part of the long and often boring trip.

But West Virginia is also very poor (4th lowest household income in the US), uneducated (lowest college graduation rate), and extraordinarily white (96%). As a result Hillary Clinton is going to crush Obama in the West Virginia primary tomorrow, and McCain will almost certainly win the general election there in November.

It's a real shame because West Virginia had the potential to be a swing state. But, like most of Appalachia, West Virginia simply isn't going to support a black candidate with a funny name. Call it racism, or xenophobia, or ignorance, but that's the way it is.

Beautiful state. Wonderful people. But if you don't look and talk like them they tend not to like you.


Update - Here's someone who explains this far better than I ever could:

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