Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Western Pa. "racist"?

U.S. Rep. John Murtha caused quite a stir and was rightly lambasted for his remark in an interview with the Post-Gazette editorial board that Western Pennsylvania was "racist." Talk about painting with a wide brush.
Murtha met with the Observer-Reporter editorial board a few days later and acknowledged his mistake.

"I shouldn't have said that," he explained. "What I should have said was that there are racist elements here, and who would argue with that?" That there are racist elements all over the country is true, and you would think undeniable, yet some would indeed argue with that.
Murtha said he was confronted by a man who was angry about the racist remark. "I'm not a racist," the man told Murtha, "it's just that I can't vote for a black man."

I had a similar experience the other day. A guy told me: "I don't care, I'll vote for Obama, I don't care if he's black or green with yellow polka dots. He's not going to move next door to me or marry my daughter, so it's OK for him to be president."


Anonymous said...

I have no problem voting for a black man, just not Obama. Race has nothing to do with it. I am glad that Murtha recognizes his mistake by unfairly labeling his constituents on a national stage.

Steelerfan43 said...

As I mentioned on Brant's blog about this same subject, I am disappointed that Murtha back tracked on his statement. If he feels this way then he shouldn't have apologized. I have to agree with him that there is racism not only in Western Pennsylvania, but all of Pennsylvania, more than what people care to admit to. There is also still racism across this country that a lot of people turn a blind eye to. I did not feel he should of apologized for speaking the truth.

Anonymous said...

I agree with anon above - I too have no problem voting for a black man, just not Obama. If Colin Powell were running, he would have vote in a heartbeat.

Anonymous said...

Colin Powell would be my first choice for President, but he has chosen not to run. That being said, if I would put my faith in him to run the country, how could I not have faith when he endorses Obama?? I trust his judgement, and now there is no doubt that Obama has my vote on election day.

Anonymous said...

Having been born and raised in Washington county, I know for a fact that there is a "racist element" in the area. Where isn't there? The scary thing here is that nothing seems to change. I only hope that if Obama does win he'll get to live out the entire 4-8 years. If he wins and survives the first 4 I'll have more faith in the people of this country.

Ellipses said...

I hate to beat a dead horse, but this particular horse ain't been beat for a few weeks...

Average the "racists" from all over the US out of the total population... you will get a number, the relative "racist-ness" of the country... let's say it's 10%.

Then, go look at specific areas... SW PA, Eastern KY, Western WV, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle... and find the average "racistness" of those areas... if it's greater than 10%, it can truthfully be said to be a racist area (more racist than the average)... if it is less than 10%, it can be called a less racist area.

Let's say that SW PA is 20% racist... it would then be TWICE as racist as the mean... That doesn't mean that everyone is a racist, but that race is a bigger issue in that area than in other areas.

Now, do you say all that BS to make your point? OR... do you just say that SW PA is a racist area? I prefer brevity from my politicians... but I guess it isn't the best tact.


Dale Lolley said...

Are we including black racists in that? Or are you guys of the belief that minorities can't be racists?
I'd say the percentage is probably about equal to that of white racists.
Ironically, one of the least racists areas I've lived at in Pa. - and I've lived in a number of areas of Western Pa. – is Murtha's Johnstown.
But he's entitled to his opinion. May not help him get re-elected, though.
Then again, most people in his district would vote for Satan if he had a (D) beside his name.

Suisun City, CA said...

I'm sorry to have to comment here; however after reading this post I am compelled to write.

I lived in Washington from 1977-1991. At that time my family moved to California. I grew up in Washington and had very core values and beliefs instilled in me from this experience.

Is the Washington/Greene area racist? YES! During the time I lived in Washington, I experienced 2 cross burnings. The 1st was during a Ku Klux Klan rally in Taylorstown, in protest to Mel Blount's youth home. The 2nd was during my freshman year at Waynesburg College in front of the co-ed dormitory.

It wasnt until I was watching a documentary on the KKK that I remembered so vividly these experiences and wanted to contribute my thoughts.

Yes, I think that if you asked the average person, they would have no real racist experience-like a good ol' fashioned cross burning!

My brothers were very close to the GOE's son. We hung around the same groups of kids...because my school didnt have (any?) other racial background I heard all the hate jokes. At one time, my mother was called a "nigger lover". I pleaded with my friends that black people bleed the same color as "us".

It was standard to hear a hunter joke it was "coon season". There were jokes for every racial group, but more jokes were always told about the blacks.

Until you leave the area and experience other people, cultures and religions it is easy to not see what the problem is.

I so much appreciate all the good family values I learned from my hometown; but my hometown has a lot to learn about the rest of the world.

Thank you for allowing me to share my experience with your readers, Mr. Burroughs!

Suisun City, CA

Anonymous said...

Racists come in all colors. The smart racists keep their mouths shut and practice racism in quiet ways. The racists you hear about are those yapping around election time.