What's The Matter With Alabama

More

I'm taking a wait and see approach with this idea that upwards of 70 percent of Southern whites don't believe Obama is a citizen. This is a case, where, I think, either side could be right. Given my current reading, it really wouldn't shock me if the numbers bore this out. But my experience with opinion polling tells me to take a wait and see approach.

There probably is something to be said about birthers in general, and the fact that, even if the 70 percent number is high, the belief seems to be pretty concentrated in the South. I'll be writing later this week about the weight of white supremacy on white Southeners, and the problems of trying to erect a populist aristocracy. Obviously, essential to that is class of peons. With that backdrop, I can understand why a disproportionate number of white Southerners (if not 70 percent) can't seem to accept what's happened. The peon is king. What does that make you?

UPDATE: From comments, more data coming in--only 32 percent of white Virginia Republicans believe Obama is a citizen.

Also a note on the populist aristocracy. I was trying to craft a term to sum up the dreams of white supremacy. I think the basic aim is to offer a kind of nobility (literally) to all white people, on the basis of skin. The way that nobility is demonstrated is through power over a peasant (?) class--blacks. Bear with me. I'm working my way through it.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

From This Author

Just In