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Why Did Mississippi Black Counties Vote for Romney?

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So Santorum won in Mississippi; no surprise there. Having been raised in Sunflower County, MS (which I refer to as the deepest part of the Deep South), I just had to look at Nate Silver’s chart of real-time county by county primary election reports; at first I wasn’t able to explain what I saw, for anyone truly familiar with Mississippi would see at a glance that most of the counties with majority black populations went for Mitt Romney! My own Sunflower County is 71 percent black, and despite the fact that Santorum has won the state, Romney won my county by over 16 percent. In 69 percent black Hinds County, home of the state capital, Jackson, Romney won by 13.5 percent.  Now why is this the case, especially given the fact that Romney is not only about as white-bread as it gets, but also that blacks weren’t even allowed to become Mormon priests (or is it preachers) until 1978?

First of all, 98 percent of the votes cast in the Mississippi Republican primary were cast by white voters. One percent were cast by blacks, one percent by other. This is despite the fact that it was an open primary; Democrats could vote in the Republican primary, too, and the state as a whole is 37 percent black.

So the blacks by and large weren’t voting, which is in and of itself no big surprise. But that begs the question then: why is it that Romney consistently won in majority black counties where the blacks weren’t voting, but consistently lost in majority white counties were the blacks also weren’t voting? The minority vote in the Mississippi Republican primary was not a factor at all, so why did Romney win decisively in majority black counties, but got trounced in majority white counties?

Now some might see this as a matter of Mississippi’s great racial divide; remember, this is the state where just last year, a poll showed that 46 percent of Republicans still thought interracial marriage should be banned. But in this case, as strange as it seems, racism is only indirectly responsible. Back in the 2008 election, Mississippi went for McCain, of course, but if one looks at the county by county results and compares them to the 2012 Republican primary, the similarities are obvious.

But in 2008 the blacks were much more active at the polls, whereas in the 2012 Republican primary they weren’t a factor at all, so why should there be a correlation at all between the two elections? Personally, I think the answer is simple, if somewhat nebulous. In majority black counties, even the racist whites (like some in my family) interact with blacks every day, whereas this is not the case in the majority white counties. By virtue of this interaction, of working with, talking to and going to school with the socially conservative, but politically liberal blacks every day, I’d say the whites in the majority black counties have become somewhat more favorably disposed towards blacks in general and, by extension, to liberal ideas and liberal concepts, and so were more receptive to the Father of Obamacare, Mitt Romney. Conversely, in majority white counties where the whites deal with blacks much less, they would face much less of that liberalizing influence, so to speak. And the county by county results of the Mississippi state Republican primary speak for themselves.

If one looks back at that chart again, one will see two apparent outliers, white majority counties where Romney easily defeated Santorum:  in Lafayette and Oktibbeha counties.  This is noteworthy because those are the homes of the two largest universities in Mississippi, Ole Miss and Mississippi State, respectively,- and I’m sure a few Republican college students were listening when Santorum referred to colleges as liberal indoctrination centers:

“Let’s look at colleges and universities,” he said. “They’ve become indoctrination centers for the left. Should we be subsidizing that?” He also criticized Harvard University. Noting that its motto is Veritas, he said that “they haven’t seen truth at Harvard in 100 years.”

So in summary, it’s nice to be able to look at a statistical question that had obviously troubling racial overtones and yet be able to see that the answer had less to do with overt racism and more to do with simple human interactions.

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About Glenn Contrarian

White. Male. Raised in the deepest of the Deep South. Retired Navy. Strong Christian. Proud Liberal. Thus, Contrarian!
  • Glenn Contrarian

    Suzanne –

    I’m not presenting a direct attack against the Mormons nor is it meant as such. I was only pointing out in so many words that one can expect that there would be resistance among many blacks to the idea of a Mormon president simply because – as even your reference admits – blacks were not allowed to be priests in the LDS until 1978.

    And if you’ll read my article more carefully, you’ll see that it is in no way an attack on Romney (who is leaps and bounds better than Santorum!), but is obviously an observation about the white voting electorate of Mississippi and why they vote as they do.

  • Joe
  • Joe

    It may also be that Blacks tend to have fewer prejudices. Or maybe Blacks studied their history and know The Church of Jesus Christ of LDS is unique for their progressive pro-Black stances. Obama’s Congregationalists were also some of the most progressive. Congregationalists claim to be first in America to ordain a Black
    man to Priesthood in a white Church (before Catholics, Methodists, Baptists, etc).
    Unfortunately, according to the naacp this man (part Black)was run off when they found out he was Black.
    Shortly after this Mormons were ordaining
    full Blacks.
    Anti-Mormons in the 19th Century attacked Mormons for their teachings on equality.
    Anti-Mormon attacks eventually turned to rape, massacre, tar and feathers etc.

    Some of the first anti-Mormon publications said: “As the promulgators of this extraordinary legend maintain the natural equality of mankind, without excepting the native Indians or the African race, there is little reason to be surprised at the cruel persecution by which they have suffered…”

    “The believers in this miserable production, are known by the name of “Mormonites,” and their book is commonly called “The book of Mormon.”…” Among them is a man of color, a chief man…” (From “Hearken O Ye People” discussing an early Black Mormon leader in 1831, whose “Black Spirituality” greatly influenced the beginning of Mormon thinking)

    (From Black lds) The Manifesto of the Mob.
    “This manifesto calls for the “removal” of the Mormons. For (among other things, like believing in miracles) : “…inviting free Negroes and mulattoes from other
    states to become “Mormons,” and remove and settle among us. This exhibits them
    in still more odious colors….”

    Joseph Smith taught that all were equal and that if slaves were set free and allowed education they would outshine the highest white dignitaries. He ran for president trying to free slaves in a way that would have avoided the Civil War, and may have avoided later issues in the South.

    No one is certain as to why the LDS priesthood restrictions were implemented (evidence indicates it may have been for survival). A statement on the ban wasn’t made until 1852 in a legislative forum, not an ecclesiastical.

    Brigham Young did believe in some mainstream Christian teachings (which Christians may have picked up from the Muslims who first occupied Christian Africa and began slaving), but he had also praised Black LDS Elders, denounced racism, pronounced a curse on whites for abuse of slaves, and called upon congress to pass laws protecting Blacks.
    If you check Blacklds.org you will see some of the history, and that there are about half a million Black LDS today.

    My Black LDS family members feel at home in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and we have always felt welcome.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Joe –

    Look again at my article – only ONE percent of the votes were cast by blacks. The question I’m raising is, why is it that even though the black votes were so few as to not be a factor at all, the whites in majority-black counties broke strongly for Romney, but the whites in majority-white counties broke strongly for Santorum.

    Think about that question deeply – and bear in mind that only ONE percent of the votes were cast by blacks – and get back to me.

  • WhiteDude

    Asia for Asians, Africa for Africans, White countries for everyone????????

    Everybody says there is this RACE problem. Everybody says this RACE problem will be solved when the third world pours into EVERY white country and ONLY into White countries.

    The Netherlands and Belgium are more crowded than Japan or Taiwan, but nobody says Japan or Taiwan will solve this RACE problem by bringing in millions of third worlders and quote assimilating unquote with them.

    Everybody says the final solution to this RACE problem is for EVERY white country and ONLY White countries to “assimilate,” i.e., intermarry, with all those non-Whites.

    What if I said there was this RACE problem and this RACE problem would be solved only if hundreds of millions of non-blacks were brought into EVERY black country and ONLY into black countries?

    How long would it take anyone to realize I’m not talking about a RACE problem. I am talking about the final solution to the BLACK problem?

    And how long would it take any sane black man to notice this and what kind of psycho black man wouldn’t object to this?

    But if I tell that obvious truth about the ongoing program of genocide against my race, the White race, Liberals and respectable conservatives will just say that I’m a naziwhowantstokillsixmillionjews.

    They say they are anti-racist. What they are is anti-White.

    Anti-racist is a code word for anti-White.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Everybody says there is this RACE problem. Everybody says this RACE problem will be solved when the third world pours into EVERY white country and ONLY into White countries.

    Care to support your assertion with a link to ANYBODY who says this?

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    My theory would be that a majority of blacks plan to vote for Obama and that a GOP primary would be a waste of time to get out of work to go vote.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Anti-racist is a code word for anti-White.

    Hey, you [personal attack deleted before editor could get to it]! For ONE thing, the main thrust of my article’s not even about racism! If you had READ my article, you would have KNOWN that!

    That, and I grew up racist in a racist family less than five miles away from a family acquaintance, a man who was the most powerful racist in America for a generation (James O. Eastland), you [personal attack deleted before it was written]…and like most people who did Really Stupid Things when they were young, I grew up and began to understand just how wrong racism is. Very, very few whites can talk about racism like I can – because I’ve seen it from BOTH sides. You, sir, obviously don’t know your a** from a hole in the ground when it comes to racism.

    So if that’s all you got – nothing but WHINING because you were too d**ned lazy to READ the article – then go somewhere else. But then I’m not surprised, because in my experience, one of the main reasons that racists are racist is because they’re too d**ned lazy to THINK, but just want to find somebody to blame.

    Go somewhere else, guy. You make me sick.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    I +1’d your article Glenn

  • Igor

    #5-WhiteDude seems to be ignorant of history when he says:

    Asia for Asians, Africa for Africans, White countries for everyone????????

    Everybody says there is this RACE problem.

    White Europeans, justified by their Holy Scripts and powered by gunpowder, went all over Asia, Africa, etc., killing natives and stealing their resources, using trumped up legalities to steal their farms. Committing genocide, enslaving populations with drugs, etc.

    Everywhere our White European ancestors went they sowed poverty, corruption and death.

    I guess we taught those heathens a thing or two.

  • Igor

    Maybe White Dude should move to Sanford, Florida, where he can feel secure that a well-armed white guy can hunt down a black kid intruder, gun him down, and the police won’t even question him, let alone sequester his weapon as evidence. He can even expect that the Police will contrive excuses for him, hide evidence, not identify the body, and tell everyone it was self-defense.

    White Dude would probably be much happier among his Own Kind.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    This is a bit late, but it’s hilarious so I’ll post it anyway.

    There are a whole bunch of these. Haven’t watched many of ’em yet, but the Joe Biden one is indistinguishable from what he might actually be saying. There are also Obama and Romney ones.

  • Joe M

    It seems that everyone is a self-proclaimed know-it-all. I can see where Mississippi is coming from. They are trying to preserve and protect centuries old values that liberals are trying to erase. I think they are smart, not dumb. Schoolhouse education is nothing but books for breeding corporate puppets. It’s a here and now education. It is ignorant of centuries old wisdom that established society and family community. Liberals are basically self absorbed people who only care about themselves or their own kind. Maybe some can argue that Conservatives are the same in that way. But the difference is obvious to me. Conservatives want to protect unborn babies, sacred marriage, and the fact that no one has the right to come in and change our communities into a gay friendly one. The usage of “prejudice” is simply a cop-out because liberals can’t think of anything else to justify their actions. They just feel the desire to squash anything that gets in the way of the “progress”. Gays need freedom because their mental illness is their driving force. If they didn’t fight to get what they want, they would have to exercise self denial and sacrifice like men have been doing since the beginning of time. You only find selfless people in a Conservative community.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Liberals are basically self absorbed people who only care about themselves or their own kind.

    Why, thank you for that blanket snap diagnosis, Joe. Perhaps you can tell us what’s ailing Charlie Sheen, Tom Cruise, Simon Cowell and Anne Heche as well.

    Conservatives want to protect unborn babies

    But no-one else, apparently.

    sacred marriage

    Ah. So anyone who got married in front of a judge or a registrar – their marriage is null and void as far as “conservatives” are concerned?

    and the fact that no one has the right to come in and change our communities into a gay friendly one.

    How heartwarming that you don’t want “your” communities to be friendly. And quite ironic in light of your earlier statement about liberals “only caring about themselves or their own kind”…

    The usage of “prejudice” is simply a cop-out because liberals can’t think of anything else to justify their actions.

    Basic human rights?

    They just feel the desire to squash anything that gets in the way of the “progress”.

    What exactly is it that is being squashed?

    Gays need freedom because their mental illness is their driving force.

    You clearly missed the memo about the American Psychological Association saying that homosexuality is not a mental disorder. Oh, but I forgot: they’re all liberals too…

    If they didn’t fight to get what they want, they would have to exercise self denial and sacrifice like men have been doing since the beginning of time.

    Yes, the great monuments of ancient Egypt and Rome, the Mongol hordes, the Spanish/Christian conquest of the Americas, the European empire-building era, the French aristocracy of the 18th century, the Credit Mobilier scandal and the rise of multinationals are all shining examples of self-denial and sacrifice. Yep. Men were quite happy practicing nothing else until those dastardly liberals showed up.

    You only find selfless people in a Conservative community.

    Then how do we account for you?

    (I’d post links to the websites of one or two gay Republican organizations and liberal charities, but I fear Joe’s head might explode.)

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    I reckon Joe M is struggling to come to terms with his own sexuality!