A March 10 – 11 survey by Public Policy Polling reveals that a majority of Republicans in Alabama and Mississippi – states with primary elections last night Tuesday March 13 – believe the President of the United States is a Muslim. Forty-five percent of Republican voters in Alabama think Obama is a Muslim, while 41 percent are “unsure.” Only 14 percent believe he is Christian. In Mississippi, belief in the president’s supposed Muslim faith is even stronger. Fifty-two percent of Republicans there think Obama is Muslim, while 36 percent are unsure and only 12 percent believe he is Christian.
Yes, boy and girls… It’s that time again! With the political world returning its attention to the voting action in Dixie, the bulk of the nation is indulging once more in that most satisfying of political pastimes: jeering at what a pack of racist, ass-backward idjits they think populate the Deep South.
Don’t get me wrong. Believe you me, I love pokin’ fun at The South as much as the next guy. Maybe even more so. But I need to state plainly and clearly that, for me, it’s done out of love. For all of its quirks and idiosyncrasies, I love The South. I sincerely do.
So when I see these kinds of survey results being broadcast, I get a bit shirty and more than a bit suspicious. And here’s why…
You don’t see these kinds of survey questions asked in Vermont or Oregon or Michigan. Why does The South get the dubious benefit of being asked questions that deliberately expose certain facets of the culture?
So an average of one in four respondents still think inter-racial marriage shouldn’t be legal. A whole lot of Republicans in Mississippi and Alabama can’t get with that whole ebony-and-ivory thing. Racist? Ayuh, I’d say so. But can someone please explain to me what this has to do with the current Republican presidential race? Discussions of gay marriage I understand. But interracial marriage – since when is this a relevant topic in American politics?
Similarly, why do we need to know respondents’ views on evolution? Last time I checked, not even Santorum was waving the creationism (or intelligent design) banner in this race.
You don’t see Arizona or Colorado Republicans asked about how they feel about Hispanics and if they should all be rounded up and sent back to Mexico. I don’t recall any polls conducted in certain sections of New Jersey society as to what the people there think about blacks.
Every state has its not-so-admirable biases. I don’t see what it adds to the public discourse in asking Republicans in the Deep South – and evidently only these states – about these particular issues.
At least with comedians, you know it’s supposed to be a joke. You may not laugh or you may not even appreciate the humour but at last you know that’s the point of the exercise.
Not so when a polling company puts out such facts.
It’s a cheap shot. Under the mask of political research, it’s just cultural profiling for laughs, and easy ones at that.