NYT: Mississippi Ruling a ‘Racial Split'? | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

NYT: Mississippi Ruling a ‘Racial Split'?

The New York Times has a piece today called "In Mississippi, Ruling Is Seen as a Racial Split" (photograted by none other than one of the JFP's star photogs, Kate Medley):

A federal court ruling in June that forces voters to register by party could return Mississippi to the days of racially polarized politics, as many white Democrats warn that thousands of white voters will now opt definitively for the Republican Party.

Republican-leaning voters in Mississippi have long been able to cross party lines in primaries, voting for centrist Democrats in state and local races while staying loyal to Republican candidates in national races. But political experts here say that by limiting these voters — almost all of whom are white — to Republican primaries, the ruling will push centrist Democratic candidates to the other party, simply in order to survive.

Most black voters in Mississippi are Democrats, and black political leaders have been pushing for years to prevent crossover voting in Democratic primaries. Black leaders say they want to end precisely what white Democrats here seek to preserve, a strong moderate-to-conservative voice in the Democratic Party, and in the process to pick up more state and local posts.

Previous Comments

ID
113510
Comment

The NYT's headline is a bit misleading. The ruling isn't the real source of the racial split. The ruling merely acknowledges the constitutional right of leaders in the state Democratic party to open a racial rift, which was their expressly stated goal in filing the suit. Ike Brown has his race-based party. But, while we should acknowledge that some people (like Brown and his white counterparts) are unrepentant racists, we should also recognize that this isn't just a split over skin color. It's a split over ideas. Whiteness is a good proxy for middle-class status and blackness is a good proxy for poverty in Mississippi. It comes as no surprise, then, that non-racist whites would support a party of lower taxes and free markets and non-racist blacks would support a party of wealth redistribution. I hope we can remember this little nuance in the years to come, but I am not holding my breath.

Author
laughter
Date
2007-07-18T11:41:05-06:00
ID
113511
Comment

The Democrats’ dominance at the local level may now be threatened by Judge Pepper’s ruling. Judge Pepper ordered the Legislature to put a new system in place by Aug. 31, 2008. He also said photo identification for voters should be instituted, a requirement that is meeting resistance from some who welcome his other findings. “If this thing comes to pass, it’s the end of the Democratic Party in the state of Mississippi,” said Hob Bryan, a longtime centrist state senator from the northeastern part of the state. “I don’t want to exclude anyone from the Democratic Party,” Mr. Bryan said. “I want to include more people.” I have mixed feelings about Judge Pepper's ruling. I don't think the move would be the end of the Democratic party, but I do think the voter ID ruling would hurt a lot of elderly people who are loyal, faithful, dedicated voters.

Author
blu_n_a_redstate
Date
2007-07-18T12:32:27-06:00
ID
113512
Comment

I guess this is realignment at work here in Mississippi.

Author
Trust
Date
2007-07-18T12:48:29-06:00
ID
113513
Comment

Hmm... interesting that Democrats wanted closed primaries. They got it. Be careful what ya'll wish for.

Author
LawClerk
Date
2007-07-18T13:03:44-06:00
ID
113514
Comment

I imagine this case will head up the appeals ladder for a while.

Author
Trust
Date
2007-07-18T13:14:07-06:00
ID
113515
Comment

On another thread, someone told me that if I register as an independent, I can't vote in an election where an independent is not running. That stinks.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2007-07-18T19:12:26-06:00
ID
113516
Comment

The New York Times is the preeminent source of information on what Mississippi's problems are! Too bad we don't have little graphics here with rolling eyes.

Author
LawClerk
Date
2007-07-19T07:27:41-06:00

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