[cross posted from my journal]
I, too, am pissed the fuck off about some of the racist bullshit (shame on you, Dan Savage) circulating around about how the record high turnout of black voters for Obama passed Prop 8 in California and how horribly homophobic they are.
But let's pretend for a moment that there were no people of color in the U.S. Let's pretend that this past Tuesday, all voters who went to the polls were white. How, then, would the election and the ballot measures have fared?
* McCain would have won the popular vote, 55% to Obama's 43%.
* McCain would have won the following blue states with the following percentage of white votes: Florida (56%), Virginia (60%), Ohio (52%), Indiana (54%), New Mexico (56%), Nevada (53%), Pennsylvania (51%), New Jersey (50%), and Maryland (49%).
* Super blue California would have barely gone for Obama with 51% of the white vote.
* McCain would have won the election in a landslide with a total of 319 electoral votes to Obama's 219.
The ban on gay marriage would still have passed with 55% of the vote.
The ban on gay couples adopting would still have passed with 58% of the vote.
Prop 8 would have been defeated by only a small margin of 51% to 49%.
There is currently no exit poll data on race, but 51% of Colorado voters voted to keep Affirmative Action. According to the most recent census estimate, Colorado is 90% white, so if non-white people are 10% of Colorado's population, I can't help but believe that they didn't at the very least contribute the 1-2% necessary to tip the votes into the Yes category.
The ban on gay marriage would still have passed with 60% of the vote.
There is currently no exit poll data on race, but 58% of Nebraskans voted to end Affirmative Action. According to the most recent census estimate, Nebraska is 91.5% white.
Two other interesting facts that I haven't heard any of these critics mention:
* In Arkansas, 54% of black folks voted to ban gay couples from adopting versus 58% of white voters.
* In Michigan, 59% of black folks voted for stem cell research versus 51% of white voters.
Telling, isn't it?
For all of the critics who want to point fingers at the 70% of black voters in California who voted for Prop 8, I encourage you to look at this data and think hard.
The historic win for Obama that so many people, millions of white people included, are incredibly happy about? Not only did white voters play a huge role in passing some of these terrible ballot measures, but black and brown voters won Obama this goddamn election, so think for a hot minute before you try to bite the hands that fed you.
[ETA: I rechecked some of my links, and fixed the states that I had erroneously counted as McCain wins with white voters. My apologies for the error. They should be fixed now. Thanks!]