Welcome to WHAT NOW, a morning round-up of the news/fresh horrors that await you today.
Almost immediately after the race was stunningly, mercifully called for Democratic challenger Doug Jones—making him the first Democrat elected to the Senate from the state in a quarter century—people started passing around graphics which showed just how stark the racial divide was in this special election.
- Of white voters overall, who are 66% of Alabama’s voters, 67% voted for Moore.
- Among black voters, who are less than one-third of the state’s voting pool, 96% checked the box for Jones.
- 63% of white women voters—a group, you may recall, that was instrumental in electing Donald Trump president even after he admitted to sexual assault on video—voted for Moore (compared to 72% of white men.)
- Again, compare that to black male voters, 93% of whom voted Jones, and black women, a staggering 98% of whom voted for the Democrat.
What we saw play out in Alabama is not a fluke; it’s a feature of the system. Black voters have long been a cornerstone of the Democratic Party, despite receiving little in return for their loyalty, proving yet again that they’re not just another group to hollowly target with “voter outreach” every four years.
Most pressing in my mind, beyond the need to seize on this real momentum to organize the South, is the question of what the fuck is wrong with white people. They repeatedly heard the case against Moore—which included him not being so sure abolishing slavery was good and saying in no uncertain terms that he views gay people as subhuman—and voted for him anyway, so strong is their adherence to the Republican tribalism that has for decades animated voting patterns in the Deep South.
This was another crisis averted only because black voters mobilized despite the vast majority of white voters doing everything in their power to stop them. In the coming days, we’ll have our fill of pontificating about the forces of good that saved democracy in Alabama—The Washington Post’s heroic reporting and a whole lot of white people tweeting their love for black women like they’re not part of the problem are already frontrunners—but never let this reality escape you: white voters wanted to deliver the Senate seat to the Republicans badly enough that they overwhelmingly backed an alleged pedophile.
Do not forget this, hold your people accountable, and organize, now.
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