So, yesterday, there was some random poll asking Republican voters in Mississippi who they want to vote for for governor, and for president, and whether or not interracial marriage should be legal. Huh? The pollsters asked the question of everyone, and claim to be trying to get a sense of the kinds of people likely to want to vote for each candidate, but have only released the Republican results so far. Now, my objections to the sensationalism, research methods, and feeding of the politico-media election frenzy machine aside (it's April and you're trying to generate a scandal poll? really?!), what I'd like to talk about for a second are the reactions to the results. Commenters were shocked (shocked, I say!). Agencies reposted it. Adam Serwer describes the results startling, and points out that the younger generations ideals do seem to be shifting. I think the latter point is an important one, but have to disagree on the former. We are startled by something when it is unexpected. Shock carries, to my mind, that same element of surprise with its outrage. 46% of a random sample of Republican voters in Mississippi says interracial marriage should be illegal, and people are shocked? Maybe, but only if you're shocked, that the number's not higher. IT'S MISSISSIPPI, FOOLS! Why is anyone shocked that almost half of a sampling of conservative voters -- hell, *any* voters in Mississippi -- is racist?!
Racism in Mississippi isn't a news item, especially in a random sampling of conservative voters. It's a Thursday.