FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

The “Mongrelization” of the White Race

Ah, nostalgia. Donald Trump’s unremitting weirdness and vulgarity (which, at first, were so startling as to be cringe-worthy, but which, over time, have congealed into “business as usual”) has harkened us back to the days when a national figure could boldly and unapologetically launch a presidential campaign based solely on the advocacy of racial segregation.

Of course, we’re speaking here of former Alabama governor, George Wallace. The year was 1968. America was in turmoil. Wallace sought the presidency as a third party candidate, running on the AIP (American Independence Party) ticket with vice-presidential candidate Curtis LeMay, a deranged ex-Air Force general who wanted to use tactical nuclear weapons in Vietnam.

Wallace was not only a white man from a white-dominated state, but “whiteness” itself was his profession. He was a crusader for “whiteness,” a champion of “whiteness,” a veritable Johnny Appleseed in the proliferation of “whiteness.” For Governor Wallace, “whiteness” was more than a skin color. It represented a belief system.

Fun Fact: Alabama was the last state in the country to repeal its miscegenation (banning interracial marriage) laws. It didn’t get around to it until 2000. Prior to that, a black man marrying a white woman in Alabama was not only frowned upon, it was illegal.

Back to Wallace. Anyone who listened to his fiery speeches 50-odd years ago, has to recall his use of the incendiary phrase, “the mongrelizaton of the white race.” Indeed, that was Wallace’s signature message: The citizens of these United States must join together to prevent the mongrelization of the white race.

But what makes Wallace’s 1968 presidential campaign so memorable isn’t that he was some cracker governor of a former slave-state spewing undiluted racism, or that his words were so full of hate. Rather, what makes it memorable is the fact that, while running on an unabashedly “white is right” platform, he received the third-most Electoral College votes of any non-traditional candidate in history.

Wallace received a whopping 46 Electoral College votes. Only the Civil War-era John Breckenridge (with 72) and Teddy Roosevelt (with 88) received more. And in the years since TR got those 88 votes, way back in 1912, no “outsider” except one has come close to getting what Wallace got, and that fellow happened to be another segregationist—Strom Thurmond, a States’ Rights Democratic (Dixiecrat) candidate, in 1948. Thurmond received 39.

What about Ross Perot who, in 1992, managed to amass an impressive 19 million popular votes? Clearly, Perot had struck a chord with disenchanted constituents. So how many Electoral College votes did Perot he get? Answer: zero. How many did Ralph Nader ever get? Answer: zero. Alas, how many did the “insider” Democratic anti-war candidate George McGovern get, in 1972, running against the pro-war Richard Nixon? Answer: 17 (to Nixon’s 520).

So what’s the lesson here, if any? Could it be that something as raw and deep-seated and recidivistic as racial enmity can be depended upon to prevail over a pro-reform, pro-labor, or unambiguously anti-war platform? Not a pretty thought.

More articles by:

David Macaray is a playwright and author. His newest book is How To Win Friends and Avoid Sacred Cows.  He can be reached at dmacaray@gmail.com

July 09, 2020
Richard D. Wolff
COVID-19 Exposes the Weakness of a Major Theory Used to Justify Capitalism
Ahrar Ahmad
Racism in America: Police Choke-Holds Are Not the Issue
Timothy M. Gill
Electoral Interventions: a Suspiciously Naïve View of U.S. Foreign Policy in the Post-Cold War World
Daniel Falcone
Cold War with China and the Thucydides Trap: a Conversation with Richard Falk
Daniel Beaumont
Shrink-Wrapped: Plastic Pollution and the Greatest Economic System Jesus Ever Devised
Prabir Purkayastha
The World Can Show How Pharma Monopolies Aren’t the Only Way to Fight COVID-19
Gary Leupp
“Pinning Down Putin” Biden, the Democrats and the Next War
Howard Lisnoff
The Long Goodbye to Organized Religion
Cesar Chelala
The Dangers of Persecuting Doctors
Mike Garrity – Erik Molvar
Back on the List: A Big Win for Yellowtone Grizzlies and the Endangered Species Act, a Big Loss for Trump and Its Enemies
Purusottam Thakur
With Rhyme and Reasons: Rap Songs for COVID Migrants
Binoy Kampmark
Spiked Concerns: The Melbourne Coronavirus Lockdown
Nino Pagliccia
Venezuela is on a Path to Make Colonialism Obsolete
George Ochenski
Where are Our Political Leaders When We Really Need Them?
Dean Baker
Is it Impossible to Envision a World Without Patent Monopolies?
William A. Cohn
Lead the Way: a Call to Youth
July 08, 2020
Laura Carlsen
Lopez Obrador’s Visit to Trump is a Betrayal of the U.S. and Mexican People
Melvin Goodman
Afghanistan: What is to be Done?
Thomas Klikauer – Norman Simms
The End of the American Newspaper
Sonali Kolhatkar
The Merits of Medicare for All Have Been Proven by This Pandemic
David Rosen
It’s Now Ghislaine Maxwell’s Turn
Nicolas J S Davies
Key U.S. Ally Indicted for Organ Trade Murder Scheme
Bob Lord
Welcome to Hectobillionaire Land
Laura Flanders
The Great American Lie
John Kendall Hawkins
Van Gogh’s Literary Influences
Marc Norton
Reopening vs. Lockdown is a False Dichotomy
Joel Schlosberg
“All the Credit He Gave Us:” Time to Drop Hamilton’s Economics
CounterPunch News Service
Tribes Defeat Trump Administration and NRA in 9th Circuit on Sacred Grizzly Bear Appeal
John Feffer
The US is Now the Global Public Health Emergency
Nick Licata
Three Books on the 2020 Presidential Election and Their Relevance to the Black Live Matter Protests
Elliot Sperber
The Breonna Taylor Bridge
July 07, 2020
Richard Eskow
The War on Logic: Contradictions and Absurdities in the House’s Military Spending Bill
Daniel Beaumont
Gimme Shelter: the Brief And Strange History of CHOP (AKA CHAZ)
Richard C. Gross
Trump’s War
Patrick Cockburn
Trump’s Racism May be Blatant, But the Culture He Defends Comes Out of the Civil War and Goes Well Beyond Racial Division
Andrew Stewart
Can We Compare the George Floyd Protests to the Vietnam War Protests? Maybe, But the Analogy is Imperfect
Walden Bello
The Racist Underpinnings of the American Way of War
Nyla Ali Khan
Fallacious Arguments Employed to Justify the Revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s Autonomy and Its Bifurcation
Don Fitz
A Statue of Hatuey
Dean Baker
Unemployment Benefits Should Depend on the Pandemic
Ramzy Baroud – Romana Rubeo
Will the ICC Investigation Bring Justice for Palestine?
Sam Pizzigati
Social Distancing for Mega-Million Fun and Profit
Dave Lindorff
Private: Why the High Dudgeon over Alleged Russian Bounties for Taliban Slaying of US Troops
George Wuerthner
Of Fire and Fish
Binoy Kampmark
Killing Koalas: the Promise of Extinction Down Under
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail