Race still a factor in Southwest Virginia

John McCain won all but one of Southwest Virginia's counties. Barack Obama pulled out a narrow victory in Montgomery.  In Floyd County, Obama pulled 39.02 percent while McCain received 59.01.  The third party candidates and assorted fruitcakes got the rest.

In the Senate race, Democrat Mark Warner pulled down 62.48 percent in Floyd County while Democrat Rick Boucher, running unopposed, tallied 97.93 percent (2.07 percent wrote in other names).  Some exit polls showed three quarters of white voters in Southwestern Virginia voted for Democrat Warner and Republican McCain and half of those admitted that race was a factor.

Hmmmm. Democrats carried two of three races in the county, along with most of Southwestern Virginia.  But a black Democrat who swept most of the rest of the nation couldn't beat an absent-minded old man saddled with the albatross of George W. Bush's failed policies and a nut case governor from Alaska.

Some will, of course, claim their vote for McCain was all about the man and his policies and had nothing to do with the color of Obama's skin.

I'm sure a number of voters made their decision based on policy or philosophy and note race but  too much hate preceded this election season in the mountains of Southwestern Virginia, much of it emanating from the bowels of the rabid right, the pulpits of the ignorant and the armpits of white supremacy. This, unfortunately, is a bastion of fear mongering with unsubstantiated claims that homosexuality is a sin, marriage must ony be between men and women and abortion is murder.

While some may have had honest policy differences with Obama, I believe too many voters in on the Southwestern part of the Old Dominion voted their fears, their stereotypes and their bigotry on Election Day.  Too much hate flowed out of this part of the Commonwealth in this election, from the disgusting emails spread by the anti-Obama extremists, the invective-filled last-minute ad by the "Republican Trust" that dominated TV ads in the final weekend, the racist diatribe of longtime GOP activist Billy May to the anti-Muslim ravings of Virgil Goode. Let's remember that Southwestern Virginia voted overwhemingly for the racism of former Senator George Allen and the homophobic Marriage Amendment two years ago.

Retiring Virginia Republican Congressman Tom Davis put it best Tuesday when he said the GOP has become "a rural, white political party."

Still, there were signs of hope in the final results. Obama got almost 40 percent in Floyd County. That's progress, but we still have a long road before racism is a historical footnote and not a sad reality of modern life.

John McCain won all but one of Southwest Virginia’s counties. Barack Obama pulled out a narrow victory in Montgomery.  In Floyd County, Obama pulled 39.02 percent while McCain received 59.01.  The third party candidates and assorted fruitcakes got the rest.

In the Senate race, Democrat Mark Warner pulled down 62.48 percent in Floyd County while Democrat Rick Boucher, running unopposed, tallied 97.93 percent (2.07 percent wrote in other names).  Some exit polls showed three quarters of white voters in Southwestern Virginia voted for Democrat Warner and Republican McCain and half of those admitted that race was a factor.

Hmmmm. Democrats carried two of three races in the county, along with most of Southwestern Virginia.  But a black Democrat who swept most of the rest of the nation couldn’t beat an absent-minded old man saddled with the albatross of George W. Bush’s failed policies and a nut case governor from Alaska.

Some will, of course, claim their vote for McCain was all about the man and his policies and had nothing to do with the color of Obama’s skin.

I’m sure a number of voters made their decision based on policy or philosophy and note race but  too much hate preceded this election season in the mountains of Southwestern Virginia, much of it emanating from the bowels of the rabid right, the pulpits of the ignorant and the armpits of white supremacy. This, unfortunately, is a bastion of fear mongering with unsubstantiated claims that homosexuality is a sin, marriage must ony be between men and women and abortion is murder.

While some may have had honest policy differences with Obama, I believe too many voters in on the Southwestern part of the Old Dominion voted their fears, their stereotypes and their bigotry on Election Day.  Too much hate flowed out of this part of the Commonwealth in this election, from the disgusting emails spread by the anti-Obama extremists, the invective-filled last-minute ad by the "Republican Trust" that dominated TV ads in the final weekend, the racist diatribe of longtime GOP activist Billy May to the anti-Muslim ravings of Virgil Goode. Let’s remember that Southwestern Virginia voted overwhemingly for the racism of former Senator George Allen and the homophobic Marriage Amendment two years ago.

Retiring Virginia Republican Congressman Tom Davis put it best Tuesday when he said the GOP has become "a rural, white political party."

Still, there were signs of hope in the final results. Obama got almost 40 percent in Floyd County. That’s progress, but we still have a long road before racism is a historical footnote and not a sad reality of modern life.

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137 Responses

  1. Hey democrats/liberals- I don’t want to hear your complaints. Shut up for 4 years. And be careful what you vote for- you got it!

  2. i’m not a local, so i’m butting in here, but … an unfortunate effect of this election, in my opinion, was how widely it divided people who simply held different opinions.
    i found this notion from rana at notes from an eclectic mind inspiring, and intend to take it as my post-election rule:

    I could care less for whom my friends vote. I believe every one of them and every one of you are good people with real problems who do the best they can and act according to the dictates of conscience.

    So my election day message to everyone is that I’ll feel the same way about every one of you tomorrow regardless of who the president is and whether you voted for him or not. You don’t worry about politics in a life raft and that’s what your friends are, your life preservers in this stormy existence we all lead.

  3. I feel encouraged that the flimsy and manufactured questions about Obama didn’t stick, that enough people did listen and hear the proposed policies he outlined over and over, that so many understood they (95%) would be getting their taxes cut instead of raised, and that so many were and are uplifted by Obama’s message of unity. I believe as Colin Powell does that Obama will provide the transformational and generational change our country needs now.

    I was sad to hear that there were some racial slurs spoken to a couple of friends of mine at one county polling location, but overall things were orderly, friendly, and upbeat.

    I appreciated that McCain gave a class act concession speech and Obama’s acceptance speech was that of a true leader … historic, the likes of which I haven’t heard since JFK.

  4. I say what I believe and I do it straight out under my own name. I didn’t say you were either a racist or illiterate. I DID say your obvious grammatical mistake enforced the belief that racism and illiteracy are akin to each other.  I didn’t "imply" that everyone in Floyd County or Southwestern Virginia is a racist. I did say that too many still walk among us.

    It’s obvious I hit a nerve. When that happens: I have to wonder. Do people react so strongly because they are not sure, in their hearts, is their own beliefs are not driven by racism or bigotry?  I don’t have the answer but I saw enough racist activity in this election to back up my claim that bigotry is alive and well in Southwestern Virginia (and other parts of the nation as well).  I hear racial epithets from the quarry driver who delivers gravel for our driveway, at the tables of local restaurants and from people on the street.

    Colleen Redman wrote in her blog about the woman at the Floyd Post Office who said that if Obama is elected, the blacks in this nation would "line up all the white people and shoot them."

    Unfortunately, racism is still too much a part of our society and as long as one racist misquotes the Bible to support such bigotry, we must stand up for equality. Calling each other names doesn’t solve the problems but calling out racists and the racism they promote does help identify them.

  5. I hope you are not the one who is around our children at WES. I will assure you I will inform all parents of your propaganda and unmoral comments. You will not be a part of my or any sane people children of WES. Just wait till the next PTA. I will see to it that you will no longer be a part of our childrens lives.

  6. Maybe its time Doug for you to pack your bags and take you and your hate monger speach that you spew and go back up to Northern VA with the “people” that you so often agree with it.

    Obama talked about nothing but change and never spoke about what he would do to make his changes. You are the same way Doug.

    I didn’t vote against Obama because he is Black, I voted against the man because his heart is.

  7. Don’t have guts enough to use your full name Eric? Most of the others commenting here do. Real brave for someone asking me to leave my home. Are you brave enough to walk up to me and say it to my face? I doubt it.

  8. Just what case do you rest Doug? The fact that I called you on things ONCE again? I seen the results last night and told my husband that you would go off and blog saying that it was all racist votes. Seriously Doug you need to take a long hard look at things. Just because you HAVE encountered some racist remarks doesn’t give you the right to assume that EVERYONE in the county or Southwestern Virginia is a racist. This rampage you are going on is really only hurting you and making you look like an ass. You are a great writer and have had some really great pieces here, but you are going out WAY out in left field by stereotyping all of us here.

  9. "I seen this one coming?"  I SAW this one coming is proper grammar. When you make such an obvious grammatical mistake you enforce the belief that illiteracy and racism go hand in hand. You left yourself wide open for that one.

    As for your claim of calling me out you are wrong, as usual. I did not say everyone who voted for McCain was a racist. I never have. I said that in my opinion too many who did were driven by racism and bigotry and it has been my experience that racism, however, latent, is still a driving factor in too many elections. That belief was also bolstered in many pre-election polls and in the exit polling from Tuesday.

    You claim that I say everyone is Southwestern Virginia is a racist. That is a lie and you know it. I never have and I challenge you to find where I ever wrote or said that. If you want to debate me Monica, stop bringing a knife to a gun fight.

  10. …than the predominant group of our neighbors who didn’t see fit to pull the lever for Obama. It’s no surprise that few would cop to that even if it were the case.

    I think most of McCain’s supporters were operating under the impression that he would have had their best interests at heart when making the big decisions. I don’t know exactly what that says about our neighbors but they’re still our neighbors.

    While I’ll never understand the vengeance some display while voting to cut their own throat, I’m coming to understand that the religious right can’t afford to discriminate against ignorance.

  11. So because of ONE mistake and by the way it was a little early for me to comment. Not enough coffee in me and a rough night with a baby. I am now illiterate AND a racist. Not saying you came RIGHT out and said it, but you ARE in fact implying that. Furthermore, I tend to type how I talk, I am country that doesn’t mean that I do not know proper grammer. And no you aren’t coming right out and saying that everyone who voted McCain is racist but you are in fact implying that. I am not bringing a knife to a gun fight and as before I will sit and debate you until the cows come home. You are making implications and many people are seeing it not just me. It doesn’t take someone with a Harvard degree to read between the lines at what you are insinuating here. Just how do you know what everyone who voted was thinking? Were you somewhere in their minds observing their thoughts? I don’t think you were. But of course it is you opinion, just like everyone else. You know the old saying, “opinions are like assholes and everyone has one”? You are entitled to your opinion, but I would be very careful on how I word my opinion.

  12. To say that McCain won in our region because of racism is not a fair assumption. Many of us voted against Obama because of his lack of transparency. There were completely unresolved issues as to his American citizenship/birth certificate, his years of membership at a church where a pastor espoused racially motivated hatred for America and black liberation theology (which is every bit as racist as those who oppose a black man because he’s black), and very largely because of his close ties to communist/socialist teachings and leaders. Too many questions unanswered for comfort, and a campaign run on sound bytes and warm fuzzies instead of reason. But anyone who questioned was immediately assumed to be a racist. So the questions were not addressed, just clouded by the emotion of an accusation of racism. He was groomed by members of the Communist Party from childhood and those of us who still believe in the liberties the Constitution affords us have no affiliation with the philosophies of Karl Marx. Those were the issues that made people suspicious, Doug, not the color of his skin. And lest anyone forget, Communism and Humanism have always been allies and both were big supporters of Darwin’s theory of evolution…go back and look at the original title of Darwin’s book and its mention of “inferior races” and Margaret Sanger’s promotion of abortion because of racial inferiority. Connect the dots from cause to effect. See whose politics have more to do with racism.

  13. As a regular visitor here, and as a native Virginian, I’m quite upset with your latest entry Doug. To come to such a conclusion as you have is to me, a stretch of the imagination. I’m going to respectfully stop here, before my disgust gets the better of me and I go off on a rant of my own!

  14. You know, when Ralph Hayden still ran the barber shop here in town he warned us that the coloreds, the jews and the mexicans would take over and destroy our way of life in Floyd County. At the country store, I heard him tell the audience that you, Mr. Thompson, was out to destroy him, our music culture and the friday night jamboree. It sure looks like he was right. The county was founded by white, God-fearing people and we don’t need outside agitators messing it up. God back to Washington you goddamned nigger lover.

  15. Grand you are being very harsh. Outsiders as you put it have not messed up this county. This county has come a long way and many new things brought here. I am glad to see more things open up and our youth have more to do around town besides ride laps from Westend to X-Press.

  16. “In your hands, my fellow citizens, more than in mine, will rest the final success or failure of our course. Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty. The graves of young Americans who answered the call to service surround the globe.

    Now the trumpet summons us again – not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need; not as a call to battle, though embattled we are – but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation” – a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself.

    Can we forge against these enemies a grand and global alliance, North and South, East and West, that can assure a more fruitful life for all mankind? Will you join in that historic effort?

    In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shank from this responsibility – I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavour will light our country and all who serve it — and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.

    And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.

    My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

    Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.”

    From JFK’s Inaugural Speech

  17. To get back to a more fact based conversation. I am thoroughly inmpressed with the voter stats coming in. Of the registered voters in Floyd – about 10100, an impressive approximate 75% of voters turned out to exercise their constitutional rights as Americans. Whatever your vote, it is impressive that voting is taken as serious as it is in Floyd. Historically, Floyd has always voted in about a 65/35% split between Republican and Democrate. Floyd this election voted 60/40. Floyd slpit their votes though – republican president/democratic senator which is interesting.

    Does anyone know if Floyd has ever voted for a democratic president? I am just curious.

  18. Doug you haven’t hit a nerve with me. I am VERY sure of how I feel, I react so strongly because I don’t tolerate people making assumptions of me when they don’t even know me. I can’t agree or disagree with you on what is being said around town. I am not out in the public to witness anything. I am home with my family and taking care of my schooling. I am not hiding my name from you or anyone else for that matter. You KNOW I am real and my email IS in fact valid.

  19. Sure, some of it might have been racism, but using the fact that Dems carried two out of the three spots in this county is not a good judge of what happened here. In fact, it’s downright misleading. Obama is widely known as the most liberal Senator in the country (THIS is just one of the reasons why I didn’t vote for him – nothing to do with color). Whether you like it or not Southwest Virginia is a socially conservative area. People here do not identify with some of what Mr. Obama stands for (Abortion rights, Stem-Cell issues, Gay marriage). This is a fact. Warner is WELL known to be very bi-partisan and left the governor’s office well liked by many democrats and republicans alike (THIS is why I voted for him). Warner sits much closer to the center of the political spectrum, making it much easier for ‘Pubs to vote for. Finally, the last democrat (Boucher) ran unopposed – SO OF COURSE HE WON THE COUNTY. Now (any logical person) should be able to see why exactly the Dems carried two out of the three races in the county. As far as using demographic’s from around the country to support the argument – I don’t buy it. SWVA has historically been red-leaning (even when there wasn’t an African American running). I don’t know why you expected something so drastically different.

    Finally, I really do resent the broad brush you are painting with here, because my whole household voted McCain – not one of them due to any kind of “racism.” But I guess I’m just being “self-righteous” and my latent racism is boiling to the surface.

    PS – I guess VA isn’t the only homophobic state in the Union. Prop 8 looks like it might pass in the People’s Republic of California.

  20. I am not hiding behind the fact that I am not racist Doug. Racism is all around us. But you seem to think that you are above being racist. If you want this country to be equal with no race between us then lets start by getting rid of the things that are racist. Its that simple.

    First we will start with Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow Coalition. Then we will stop BET (Black Enertainment Television) and JET Magazine. Lord knows if there was a WET t.v. channel the blacks would come out of the woodpiles to protest.

    While were at it how about we change the United Negro College Fund to The United People of America College Fund.

    I think you get the picture. I could go on for days with all the things that blacks are privledged with. However if one white does something good for his people then gosh darnit hes a damn racist.

    As a show of peace between us I will even let you pick the time for White History Month.

  21. For you to say “racism still ruled SW VA is sickening to my stomach.” I use to enjoy coming to your website, but you have come so utterly far in your biased, ridiculous reporting, that you have now stooped as low as the racist rednecks that live among us in these mountains. Your statements are ridiculous. You just made an utter idiot out of yourself.

    I am not old enough to vote, but if I was old enough to, I can tell you why he wouldn’t have got my vote. Sticking a pair of scissors into a partially born babies head, and then opening them to enlarge the hole. A suction device is then placed on the head, sucking the literal brains out of a baby, while the skull collapses, killing the baby.!! A man who wants to put that into practice is a sick man.

    For you to judge people in this area, and call them racists just because they don’t feel the same way as you do on certain issues is very immature. Nice job Doug. Really Doug, if only you knew how idiotic you look right now.
    Congratulations, maybe since you pissed off everyone on this side of the state, you can go get a job brutally murdering babies. Maybe, you could become a preacher who marries gay people. Or just maybe, Mr. Obama will call you and ask him to be his press secretary. Then we’d really be screwed.

  22. I told myself I wasn’t going to read this blog today but well curiosity got the best of me. What can I say,I’m obviously a glutton for punishment. Whether you like Doug or not I think we can all agree he is a masterful ‘pot stirrer’. I can’t help but wonder if he isn’t chuckling with glee that he has raised the hackles of so many people with his post this morning. But it is his blog and he has his right to share his opinions as those who have posted have a right to share theirs. I too feel it is wrong to make it seem all who voted for McCain are racists. Sure some of them were no doubt whatsoever. But does anyone remember that VA was the first state to elect an African American governor? I voted for him, didn’t matter if he was African American or white, Democrat or Republican I liked what he had to say and his ideas.
    Couldn’t the case also be made that perhaps some folks did not vote for McCain because his running mate was a woman?? Let’s be fair here there are people who don’t believe a woman should be in such a high office.
    Certainly a lot of food for thought. Let’s hope that the best most qualified person won and that the country will make a turn around for the better.

  23. Doug – For what it’s worth, I am well acquainted with many residents of SW VA who are die-hard Republicans and vote that ticket no matter who the candidate is. These are well educated, professional people who are in no way racists. I have to disagree with you on this…………..especially given the voting history of the region. I, personally, voted for Obama. I weighed the pros & cons of each candidate and tried to become an informed voter, and believe that many others did the same. Unfortunately, there will always be those amongst us who only vote the ticket, or actually do base their decisions on emotional or racial issues, but to stereotype the entire region this way doesn’t serve any good purpose. That’s my two cents but I won’t let politics come between us! Hope we can agree to disagree.

  24. …Please get a life. It is apparent you need help, badly. To Doug’s point regarding racism…you are obviously the epitome of this disgusting attitude.

    Your life must be miserable. I can’t imagine a worldview so twisted, and hate filled as yours.

  25. What I can’t wait for is in four years when we’re still in a mess or in a much bigger mess, who is the liberal media and Democrats gonna blame then? Starting in January, they have no excuses. If the country isn’t they way they want it in four years, they will have no one to blame but themselves.

  26. Hey Zach, Kelly, Grand Wizard and all the rest who are sideways and self righteous about the election results…are you honestly satisfied with the state of our economy here at home so much that you voted for 4 more years of GOP rule? If so, then point me to the facts regarding how and where our (yours and mine) tax dollars have contributed to a more healthy economy, please.

    $10B a month going to a war…er, I mean going to Haliburton’s corporate profits, headquartered in UAE-Dubai (http://www.halliburtonwatch.org/news/dubai.html) is a great thing for our economy isn’t it?

    You want more of this? Well, you got the $900B bailout and hardly a penny of that is finding its way to Main St USA. Most of that went to pay shareholder dividends at these fine, ethical and patriotic Wall St companies. These guys are thieves, robbing the future from working folks (read you and me) and their children, and their children, and their children. Need I say more?

    I’m a hardworking small biz owner in Floyd, VA and a native Virginian who grew up working along side poor blacks in Tidewater VA on the fish wharfs and boats during the summers. It taught me at a very young age that people are mostly the same…they love, they care, they bleed and they have hopes and dreams for their families, too…just like white folks, gee, imagine that.

    Hatred and Fear have no place in political discourse.

  27. Joanne:

    Your premise might work if Republican Jim Gilmore had done better than Democrat Mark Warner in the Senate race in Southwestern Virginia Counties.  We’re not talking about straight-ticket voters here but about those who voted Democrat for Senate and Republican for President.

    Mark Waner and John McCain certainly did not share the same stance on policies facing this nation. Yet McCain won counties also carried by Warner. Exit polls showed McCain captured 60 percent of the white vote in Virginia overall and 75 percent in Southwestern Virginia. Warner captured 76 percent of the white vote in Southwestern Virginia. More than half of those who voted for both Warner and McCan admitted race was a factor.

  28. The economy is not more important than a life. Period. Say what you want, but it’s not. If it is, then maybe you should give up your baby or grandbaby’s life. That way, it will be one less life for you to support. More money to you. Obviously, I do not expect you to do this, I use it as an example. A baby is a life. Plain and simple. There’s no argueing that.

    And on the Bailout Plan, I know Bush signed it in, but let’s not forget the Democratic Senate and Congress made it into a bill. The war, it looked good at the time, it doesnt anymore. We dont just pull out. That’s the wrong thing to do. We pledged those people our support, and that’s what they get, til the job is done.

  29. Writes Serena Wimmer:

    But does anyone remember that VA was the first state to elect an African American governor? I voted for him, didn’t matter if he was African American or white, Democrat or Republican I liked what he had to say and his ideas.

    Wilder, however, did not even come close to winning Southwestern Virginia. He won because of vote in the urban areas in Richmond, Tidewater and Northern Virginia

  30. I plan on quitting work on Inauguration day. Let the government take care of me. With the promises that have been made, the government will pay for my home, my car, pay my bills, give me free medical care and anything else I need. Hell I’m gonna love this.

  31. http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/results/polls/#val=VAP00p2

    While we are playing with numbers from VA, when asked if Race was an issue when voting 18% of voters said that “Yes” it was. Of that 18% that said yes 67% actually voted FOR Mr. Obama. Of those that said no (81%) it was a almost an even split on those who voted for Mr. Obama and Mr. McCain. That doesn’t exactly suggest white racism at the exit polls.

  32. The exit polls you cite were statewide. I pulled the exit polls by region. The numbers for Southwestern Virginia were far more damning.

  33. Doug Wilder did garner a significant number of votes in Southwest, and outright won Montgomery, Buchanan, Dickenson, Russell, Wise, Giles, and Lee Counties; as well as the cities of Norton, Lexington, and Radford.

    Wilder didn’t do particularly well in Floyd County, losing by nearly 20 points (60,40), to J. Marshall Coleman. Coleman was the classic plastic Republican that low-information rural Virginia voters have been buying into for 2 generations – he talked about outlawing abortion…just like John McCain. 30 years on, abortion is still legal, and rural Republicans are poorer, have less political influence, and are watching their children move away to find jobs. Apparently they like being screwed by the Republican Party.

  34. Mr. Wizard, you are well into your 80s and will soon become an anachronism. Your platitudes will become stories just to scare children with on Halloween. Also, with any luck, you have not bred prolifically and by the end of this century, you and yours will have found peace in an all-white heaven. Burying opinions like yours can’t come soon enough.

  35. Zach:

    I hate to break it to ya, mindless denunciations of abortion don’t grant you ANY moral high ground in the real world, seriously do you think that anybody wants abortions to be performed??

    Taking your lack of age and/or experience into consideration, I’m wondering if you have any thoughts on how we should eliminate the demand for abortions?

    I’ll be the first to concede that I’d be all for outlawing them without a second thought if nobody wanted one. Until then, I’m grateful that there are safe places women can go when they want one, aren’t you??

  36. to share with the class where you have found your information? I am curious to see these results.

  37. Zach…your opinion is just that; an opinion. Some are more well informed than others and i bet you don’t have children either.

    Kelly…more power to you. I’ll not trust the gov to take care of me, thank you.

    You two let the gov and god tell you what to do. It must be nice to let others run your life…somehow taking responsibility for ones own life is more than most folks can handle in one lifetime.

    Peace

  38. My, my, aren’t people getting all riled up over the outrageous suggestion that racism might still exist in our county and other parts of Virginia and the nation. How dare Doug suggest that some hide their racism under the guise of claiming their votes are based on policy, not color.

    So many people accusing Doug of overreacting when all they are doing is overreacting themselves.

    Monica Goad claims Doug is exaggerating the presence of racism and later admits she doesn’t get out much because she has kids to raise. Rose Bowen resurrecting McCarthy-style tactics to spread misinformation. Eric using racism to claim racism doesn’t exist. Zach Robinson admitting he is not even old enough to vote and then offering standard right-wing rhetoric on adult issues.

    Doug has the courage to state publicly what others only whisper: Racism still exists in our community. I hear hateful racial epithets more often than one should in polite society. I hear the "n-word" uttered by teachers, police officers, elected officials and so-called "pillars" of the community.

    So much hand wringing, so much indignation, so much loud cries of "unfair:" So driven, perhaps, by too much guilt?

  39. facts right before you start in on people. First off get my name right and second I never said he was exaggerating, I said he was implying that EVERYONE who did not vote for Obama was a racist. I KNOW it exists in the county, I never once said it didn’t.

  40. As the owner of a news web site, I receive the raw data from exit polls conducted for the wire services both nationwide and statewide. I reviewed that data before writing the original post earlier today. The services are still crunching that data. Once it is released with all the varibles and weighting I’ll post a link.

  41. Debate issues not personalities. If the two of you keep this up, both of you will be banned.

  42. I made a mistake on your name and I emailed Doug and asked him to correct it. I do not, however, feel I made a mistake on suggesting that your have claimed Doug is exaggerating. Your stated that Doug was implying that all of those who voted for McCain did so for racist reasons. That, from my point of view, suggested an exaggeration on his part. I know both Doug and his lovely wife and the Doug Thompson that I know never implies. He says what he thinks and leaves no room for interpretation or misinterpretation.

    I also know him to be a gentle, caring man who contributes so much of his time and resources for the good of the community, be it helping alcoholics deal with their addictions to sponsoring musical groups at Oak Ridge Pavilion. You say he does not know you. I suggest that you also do not know him. If you did you would realize that your observations, along with the observations of others, miss the essence of the man.

  43. I’m sorry if my point came across that way. I am not trying to use racism to claim racism doesn’t exist. I am simply saying that Doug claims to be non-racist. And spews nothing but how whites are racist against blacks. But yet never mentions the fact that there is black racism against whites.

    Racism is everywhere you look. Its not just white or black. And to consider yourself mighty enough to judge others as Doug does than he must live a perfect life.

    My main concern is that if things here are so bad and according to the post we are all commenting on Doug states that:

    “I believe too many voters in on the Southwestern part of the Old Dominion voted their fears, their stereotypes and their bigotry on Election Day and only the more enlightened voters from other areas of the Commonwealth saved us from joining the other patriarchs of the regressive South. too much hate flowed out of this part of the commonwealth.”

    Then he should expect this sort of response from the people of this county. He basically said that we are unenlightened voters that hate blacks. If thats how you feel Doug then call a spade a spade and stop all the rhetoric.

  44. I accept the apology on my name Carol. And I am glad to know that Doug actually DOES respond to emails.

  45. Folks, as happens all too often when you discuss race or religion along with politics, you find that the discussion all too quickly deteriorates into name-calling and off-topic tirades.

    It has never been my intent to suggest that everyone who supports John McCain over Barack Obama is a racist and I have never written a column that suggests that. Some feel that I am "implying" such but I don’t feel my style of writing leaves much wiggle room for implication.

    Perhaps the original headline on this post led some to believe that I was issuing a blanket condemnation of all who voted for McCain. I changed the headline after the original article was posted.

    I believe racism still exists in Floyd County, in Southwestern Virginia and in other parts of the nation. It is not as bad as it once was but it still exists in our society. As I have stated before, racism is a hot-button issue for me. I have been fighting racism for 50 years.

    When I reviewed the election results from Southwestern Virginia I saw a pattern that showed Democrats like Mark Warner getting a higher percentage of votes in Floyd County and Southwestern Virginia. Combined with raw data from exit polls, it incidated, to me, a pattern where race was a factor wtih a significant of those who voted for both McCain and Warner.

    But I also said in the post:

    While some may have had honest policy differences with Obama, I believe too many voters in on the Southwestern part of the Old Dominion voted their fears, their stereotypes and their bigotry on Election Day.  Too much hate flowed out of this part of the Commonwealth in this election, from the disgusting emails spread by the anti-Obama extremists, the invective-filled last-minute ad by the "Republican Trust" that dominated TV ads in the final weekend, the racist diatribe of longtime GOP activist Billy May to the anti-Muslim ravings of Virgil Goode. Let’s remember that Southwestern Virginia voted overwhemingly for the racism of former Senator George Allen and the homophobic Marriage Amendment two years ago.

    How does this suggest or imply that I feel that anyone who voted for McCain is a racist? I believe too many did but I do not believe that ALL did nor have I ever suggested so. I also believe that one vote made for racist purposes is one vote too many.

    I also said:

    Still, there were signs of hope in the final results. Obama got almost 40 percent in Floyd County. That’s progress.

    Writing on my news web site, I said:

    Obama acknowledged that the problems facing America are daunting. He cannot, and will not, turn this nation from its self-destructive course overnight or even over the next few weeks and months. America’s decline has been years in the making and the cure will take months and years to purge this nation of the cancer that inflicts our national psyche for far too long.

    We can only hope he succeeds and that the nation can unite behind him to make it happen. Obama assumes the helm of a sinking ship, battered by the storms of division and taking water from a rising tide of corruption and cynical political opportunism.

    He will need help and the same American voters who put him into office also gave him a Congress that should be more receptive to his programs and ideas for change.

    We, as Americans, must give the new President and Congress a chance to deliver.  We must put aside our own selfish interests, party affiliations and fears from the past.

    It’s time to stop thinking as Republicans or Democrats or liberals or conservatives or red state or blue state.  Such labels lead to division, not cohesion. Such divided loyalties breed partisanship not patriotism.

    We’re Americans and in these troubled times that is, should be and must be all that matters.

    So let’s deal with the issues here and leave the name calling for Free Republic and Daily Kos. Question my reasons if you wish but please do not attack other posters on this web site.

  46. Well Kelly, you go girl… Quit that job and get in line for some much deserved self righteous hand-outs. It seems you’ll feel right at home. In speaking with a friend who has been in Social Services for many years (in the midwest), she’s informed me that, overall, HALF of those in Welfare programs are, in fact, White. The other half is a mix made up of Black, Hispanic and others. These are National statistics from as far back as you can count.

    And no one party/admin has done a better job of putting more people of all colors on the welfare rolls than the Neo-Cons of the past 8 years. So pack a lunch hun, it maybe a long line.

    But here’s what I don’t understand… Nowhere in this year’s Democratic platform did I hear them say that this was going to be a cake walk (all the handouts you speak of) if Obama won. What I clearly heard last night, and what I’ve been hearing was: hard work, determination, more education, helping your neighbors, cleaning up corruption.. So what am I missing?

    Was ‘Drill, baby, Drill’ going to somehow help you? Or was it going to help the big oil companies that have admittedly bagged Billions and Billions in pure profit during the past several months alone… People like the Bushies would sure appreciate it, to be sure, but how does that help the rest of us…the 95% who are not the wealthy elite?

    I’ll believe all who say: it isn’t a color issue. Personally, I think it’s cultural. Bush talks ‘country’ and sounds like a good ol’boy. Doesn’t matter if he steals the country blind… if he sounds like one of the neighbors while doing it, then that’s ok. Are rural folks that intimidated by someone who sounds different than they do? Clinton was a Rhodes Scholar, but he could whip out the southern and charm your pants off (no pun intended). So he could ‘pass’… could that be it?

    Let’s put it this way… From now on, if you ascribe to the highest office in the nation, you better damn well be LITERATE, LEVEL HEADED, and COMPASSIONATE. And have a GPA higher than 2 (that leaves Sarah out). None of which we’ve seen for the past 8 years. And no, we couldn’t take another 4… it’s going to be hard enough to recover. We obviously needed someone who would make us look good to the world, because they’re mighty pissed right now… And, someone willing to make some hard choices… so that maybe, just maybe we can recover from the looting that’s taken place.

    Ultimately, I think it’s going to take community to get through this mess. It’s more important to have faith in each other as good neighbors and not worry so much about the choices that divide. Hopefully, we can all remember our manners while we’re at it…

  47. I appreciate the link to your fine column on the other web site. I believe you accurately captured the essence of Obama’s election and the many challenges he faces.

    When I first read your article here this morning, I was offended. Then I read it again and realized you were not talking about everyone or even some of my friends and family who voted for McCain.

    Yes, racism is still present in Floyd County. You see it in the looks that people give a mixed race couple when they enter a local restaurant. You hear it in the comments made by people who toss around racial slurs as part of casual conversation.

    Times are changing. As you noted, Obama received almost 40 percent of the vote in Floyd County. That is a high percentage for a Democrat as well as a person of color.

    I congratulate you for having the courage of your convictions. Don’t let the naysayers get you down.

  48. I was smitten to notice last night the differences between the respective candidates’ approach to their potential celebration parties. Senator Obama chose a format that was open to one and all in a public park of his home city. Senator McCain chose an invitation-only event to a very high end resort in his home city.

    Had any of us from Floyd County elected to attend one of those parties, all we would have had to do was to print out an internet ticket for the Obama event and join the hoi polloi at Grant Park in Chicago. In Phoenix, however, I think we would have found ourselves on the outside, looking in.

    I think that speaks volumes about whom the candidates had at interest all along.

  49. It may take years, but when the truth comes out about Obama and ACORN and all the other crap he was/is involved in , he will make the Clintons look as pure as the driven snow.

  50. I sorry Elaine, but how do you what race I am? I have never mentioned race during this discussion. Seems as if you are tad presumptuous. For all you know I could be black, or Asian, or Latino, or Italian, or an Eskimo.

  51. Doug – I think a study is in order to determine the amount of far-right-fringe and low-information-voter kool aid that has been consumed and/or absorbed by some kind of strange osmosis. There is clearly some kind of domestic terrorism at work. Wishing all a speedy recovery. Our future depends on it.

    Perhaps Fred First could also offer some ideas about how to cleanse the air of the noxious fears and fumes the comment section emits.

  52. I’ve seen several people post comments here claiming Doug said that EVERYONE who voted against Obama is a racist. I just re-read his post twice and fail to see where he made any such claim. What he said was there was too much hatred and racism coming out of this part of Virginia.

    If someone could please back up their constant claims that Doug is saying every anti-Obama voter is a racist with an actual quote from Doug, then please do so.

  53. I did presume, Kelly… judging by your name, as others might presume my heritage by my name.

    But my point was.. I’m not sure how you presume to get all your bills paid come January by jumping on welfare…? If you did, it would most likely be because your community is going to help support you. Welfare can’t do it all.

    Neighbors helping each other out. That’s how folks get through tough economic times. So dropping that which divides us seems like a good first step.

    If you assumed that we could all have a free ride, then you didn’t ‘hear’ what Obama said.

    Our country has been robbed by the out going admin. Those who voted for them and those who didn’t are equally paying the price of their faulty (and IMO) criminal actions. 4 more years of the same would not change a thing. But now there is hope.

    And I know a lot of folks that would be grateful for that job of yours…

  54. Doug’s original post implied that everyone voting against Obama was racist. He has changed it from what it first started out as. Not everyone took his words as implication on racism in the area, but initially it came across that way. I can’t speak for anyone else, but that is how I took his post and this was the reason behind all of my posts.

    I do want to share something. My daughter and I were talking about how school went today. She told me on two occasions that some kids were upset and bashing about Obama being President. My petite little 10 year old daughter stood up to these kids and told them “whether we like him or not, we should give him a chance and see what he can do”. Another kid told her he shouldn’t be President because he is black. She came back with “his race doesn’t matter, it is what he is going to do about things that counts”. I am VERY VERY proud of my daughter and I guess I have raised her right.

  55. I’m a senior in high school, today I was engaged in a politeful conversation with a black friend of mine. We talked about the election. About what it meant. I do agree with him on this.

    I am proud to say as an American, that we have officially moved forward from the darkest, most embarassing days of our nation. In electing a black president we can officially say America is the land of oppurtunity. I am proud to say this. I am proud today that I am experiencing this historic event, one that unifies our country rather than split it.

    Now, fully engaged with him in a conversation, I asked him why ( if he could vote ) he would vote for Obama. His answer: Because he’s black. Simply that’s all he said. I went on to ask him if he was a Christian, and his reply was yes sir. As I explained to him that Obama supports Abortion and Gay Marriage rights he drew a blank. He finally said. Wow. He didnt know. Now granted he can’t vote, but I fear he speaks for many young blacks across the nation. Not akin to Obama’s morals/ policies, but only akin to the fact that he’s Black.

    One more important note. The only thing he seemed to say about Obama was that he was going to get more money. I asked why: “Because he’s gonna take all the rich people’s money and give it to me”. I said. Okay. Imagine this. You win the lottery. 15 mil. The government is going to take 1 million of it, and give it to peope like me and you. His response – ” While Hell No, I’d be pissed off as hell if someone did that to me. How can the go take that money from me? That’s just wrong”.

    Just for the record – Im’ 17. My dad is a school teacher and my mom is a church secretary. I have two brothers. It’s safe to say that we don’t fall into the “rich” category. Do we want other’s money? No, we’ve been making ends meet for as long as I’ve been alive, so why change now. Also, growing up here, in the rural mountains of Va, I have learned the value of hard work. The value of what I work to earn. The value of a neighbor helping a neighbor.

    Not the value of “let’s take the sweat off another mans brow, a little bit of his money, a value that probably won’t affect him at all, and take it to help me live better.” That’s not what I’ve grew up on , and that’s not the way I want to live. I don’t want to live with the governement controlling my life. I can fend for myself, and make ends meet for myself.

  56. Zach your friend is too young and uninformed to speak for anyone, let alone young black voters. We are not single issue voters. Being black and living in America forces us to consider a myriad of societal issues when determining who we will vote for. We are overwhelmingly democratic voters and this year our candidate happened to be black. And clearly, the Republican party offered us very little. Had McCain 2000 showed up without Palin and Joe the Plumber, then I might have had a more difficult time choosing a candidate. But to assume that we chose Obama just because of his race is wrong. We vote the issues like everybody else.

    On your “important note,” sounds like your friend mixed a little Palin-speak with Obama economic policy. Please let your friend know that we already tax the wealthy at a higher rate and that all of our taxes go toward paying for a variety of things and isn’t signed over to us. Unless you live in Alaska. In that socialist state, Governor Palin takes from the wealthy (oil companies) and actually does give each Alaskan a check for $1,500.

    And as for you Doug. How dare you speak the truth about the racist county in which we live! You know nobody likes to hear that because it means that they may actually have to confront the issue and talk about it. Zach is a maverick. He actually goes out of his way to talk about race with a black friend. That’s highly unusual in these parts where it safer to just bash you.

  57. I don’t see Barack Obama as having a black heart whatsoever. It is patently apparent he has love in his heart for the American people, his family, his friends, his government.

    You sir, are WRONG.

  58. You sir, are the epitome of everything that’s rotten in America. You are like a cancer which needs desperately to be excised.

    You sir, are now a MINORITY, thank heavens.

    You sir, are irrelavent in today’s USA.

    You sir, are an abomination.

    You sir, are not even worthy of the moniker “sir”.

    African Americans are equal to Caucasians, in every way. They have a lovely, joyful, culture. They should be PROUD.

    I am a caucasian, middle-aged woman, not African-American.

    You sir, are what I am most ashamed of in the USA. I hope your kind dies out SOON and NEVER returns.

    Stamp out racism? YES WE CAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  59. “groomed by members of the Communist party”? “communist/socialist teachings”??

    Since you apparently seem capable of using the internet you could have learned fairly easily the “questions” you had could be found in full context (not sourced/edited from Matt Drudge/Newsbusters/Faux news”) including the verification from the State of Hawaii of Barack Obama’s birth certificate.

    Perhaps if you turn off Faux news and research your information online you could be better informed than you clearly appear not to be.

    Doug’s point is well made.

  60. Good for you and your daughter, Monica! You have every right to be proud of her and her wisdom and such a young age.

  61. Just curious, Zach, but why didn’t either Bush revoke Roe v. Wade? Obama does not personally support abortion either. Oh, and because I just can’t resist really getting you going…why shouldn’t gays be allowed the same rights as far as marriage goes?

  62. You DO NOT come on this web site and threaten people. You DO NOT use this web site to spread your homophobia and hate. If anyone needs to be kept away from our children it is you, sir.

  63. I am sorry sir, but you may not dictate how taxpayer dollars are spent on public education simply because someone holds opinions different from yours. Otherwise, those taxpayers should have a similar right to “see to it” that your child’s education does not come at taxpayer expense.

    We know taxpayers have no such right, and you should know that you should not threaten public employees and their jobs. Your proper recourse is to place your child(ren) in private school(s), at your full personal expense, or home school as many folks do in Floyd County.

    The re-distribution of wealth from those who hold differing views than you, via public taxation, to your child’s(ren’s) benefit, is un-American as was so forcefully pointed out to us all during the recent presidential election.

  64. Fred, what are you talking about? Propaganda? I think you are getting carried away with yourself, aren’t you? My children go to WES, and you don’t need to worry because I don’t attend PTA unless my children are in the program. I am not a member of the PTA. My youngest has already participated in the program and the other doesn’t like to participate anyway. I have no desire to be around you or any other small minded people such as yourself. I am very rarely at the school unless I have a parent-teacher conference.

    Because I support gay rights that makes me immoral?

    I strongly suggest you get a grip and be careful you don’t start slandering my name in public. Please leave my childrn out of any concerns you have with me.

  65. How DARE you threaten someone for saying their opinion! You call yourself a CHRISTIAN? Christians don’t behave that way. You are a hypocrite!

    It is NOT for YOU to judge Tracey or ANYONE for how they believe.

    And I would hardly say you were SANE. You are backwards and judgemental.

  66. Unfortunately, for 8 long years we liberals have had to watch this great country be torn apart by the Bush administration. Now, we get a chance to fix it but it may take more than 4 or even 8 years to do the job right. Why am I a liberal? Read the following:
    John F. Kennedy defined liberalism this way:

    “If by a ‘Liberal’ they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people — their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties — someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a ‘Liberal,’ then I’m proud to say I’m a ‘Liberal.’

    Oh, by the way, I was born in Roanoke and raised in Galax, Grayson and Carroll Counties, Virginia.

    You go, Doug!

  67. We may also want to remember that Jesus was crucified at the request of “God fearing people” because he was an “outside agitator” that was “messing it up”. Those “God fearing” folks asked that a criminal be released instead of Jesus, according to the popular account.

    The God I’m familiar with is kind and forgiving. I think some folks just fear everything that they don’t understand– including God.

  68. If Bush wouldn’t have ran the country like a drunken frat party, then maybe so many people wouldn’t have voted democratic!

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