FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The “Mongrelization” of the White Race

by

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

Weekend Edition
February 23, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Richard D. Wolff
Capitalism as Obstacle to Equality and Democracy: the US Story
Paul Street
Where’s the Beef Stroganoff? Eight Sacrilegious Reflections on Russiagate
Jeffrey St. Clair
They Came, They Saw, They Tweeted
Andrew Levine
Their Meddlers and Ours
Charles Pierson
Nuclear Nonproliferation, American Style
Joseph Essertier
Why Japan’s Ultranationalists Hate the Olympic Truce
W. T. Whitney
US and Allies Look to Military Intervention in Venezuela
John Laforge
Maybe All Threats of Mass Destruction are “Mentally Deranged”
Matthew Stevenson
Why Vietnam Still Matters: an American Reckoning
David Rosen
For Some Reason, Being White Still Matters
Robert Fantina
Nikki Haley: the U.S. Embarrassment at the United Nations
Joyce Nelson
Why Mueller’s Indictments Are Hugely Important
Joshua Frank
Pearl Jam, Will You Help Stop Sen. Tester From Destroying Montana’s Public Lands?
Dana E. Abizaid
The Attack on Historical Perspective
Conn Hallinan
Immigration and the Italian Elections
George Ochenski
The Great Danger of Anthropocentricity
Pete Dolack
China Can’t Save Capitalism from Environmental Destruction
Joseph Natoli
Broken Lives
Manuel García, Jr.
Why Did Russia Vote For Trump?
Geoff Dutton
One Regime to Rule Them All
Torkil Lauesen – Gabriel Kuhn
Radical Theory and Academia: a Thorny Relationship
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: The Work of Persuasion
Thomas Klikauer
Umberto Eco and Germany’s New Fascism
George Burchett
La Folie Des Grandeurs
Howard Lisnoff
Minister of War
Eileen Appelbaum
Why Trump’s Plan Won’t Solve the Problems of America’s Crumbling Infrastructure
Ramzy Baroud
More Than a Fight over Couscous: Why the Palestinian Narrative Must Be Embraced
Jill Richardson
Mass Shootings Shouldn’t Be the Only Time We Talk About Mental Illness
Jessicah Pierre
Racism is Killing African American Mothers
Steve Horn
Wyoming Now Third State to Propose ALEC Bill Cracking Down on Pipeline Protests
David Griscom
When ‘Fake News’ is Good For Business
Barton Kunstler
Brainwashed Nation
Griffin Bird
I’m an Eagle Scout and I Don’t Want Pipelines in My Wilderness
Edward Curtin
The Coming Wars to End All Wars
Missy Comley Beattie
Message To New Activists
Jonah Raskin
Literary Hubbub in Sonoma: Novel about Mrs. Jack London Roils the Faithful
Binoy Kampmark
Frontiersman of the Internet: John Perry Barlow
Chelli Stanley
The Mirrors of Palestine
James McEnteer
How Brexit Won World War Two
Ralph Nader
Absorbing the Irresistible Consumer Reports Magazine
Cesar Chelala
A Word I Shouldn’t Use
Louis Proyect
Marx at the Movies
Osha Neumann
A White Guy Watches “The Black Panther”
Stephen Cooper
Rebel Talk with Nattali Rize: the Interview
David Yearsley
Market Music
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail