"Racism against blacks was the glue that bound the South to the Democratic Party."
Larry Elder in 2011
Having grown up in the deep South, I thought the entire nation held southern values relative to people of color. However, as I entered adulthood and began to travel, I learn that wasn't true; that, for the most part, racism was concentrated in the South, although pockets of racism could be spotted in various parts of the county.
Over time I made many visits back to my home. Each visit led me to believe that racism was on track to becoming a thing of the past. Then, in 2008, the first-ever black man was elected President, and the entire planet learned that racism was alive and well --- especially in the South.
With Barack Obama as President, racism reared its ugly head in an unparalleled hateful vengeance. Hate groups increased by 813 percent during the first six years of his Presidency, with the conservative right graciously providing the fodder that fed the rise of those hate groups. It should come as no surprise where the most heavily concentrated hate groups live: Generally speaking, for nearly 150 years (1865 thru 2012) the South and Southeast has aligned themselves with the political Party that embraced racism.
The charts below reflect the voting history for seven southern states after two major historical events:
- When Republican President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves after the Civil War.
- When, 100 years later, Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson gave people of color the same rights as whites.
Overall, the south voted Democrat after Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation and Republican after Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act in 1964.
(NOTE: Keep in mind that a Democrat from Georgia ran for the Presidency in 1976 and most southerners believed incorrectly he would govern as a racist. When that didn't happen they voted him out four years later for a Republican who did. Additionally, in 1992 and again in 1996 Arkansas voted for their home-state candidate Bill Clinton.)
Blue = Democrat
Red = Republican