Welcome to the Club
How White Liberals Became a New Racial Minority
By ROBERT OSCAR LOPEZ
So you log on to the NPR web site, and you glance over the U.S. map from November 2, 2004. The red footprint seems to smother the whole country. Fringes of blue cling to the coasts and the Great Lakes for dear life. The colors drive home a sense that some antagonisms can’t be drowned in wine and song, blown off with a few hours of reality television, or diffused with politeness.
It’s a civil war. The Civil War, in fact, all over again. Ohio and Indiana seem to have crawled over the border Â but don’t be tricked by their geographic location. Cuyahoga County, on the southern shores of Lake Erie, is the home of Cleveland and its Rust Belt suburbs. That county voted two thirds for Kerry. So did Lucas County, ringing Toledo. Ohio’s split down the middle between the new North and the old South. Indiana is about as northern as Kentucky. The Mason-Dixon line is no longer definitive Â the divide is cultural, psychic, social. But it’s still geographic too. The blue states are all contiguous, adjacent, clinging to each other for their dear life against the encroaching march of the Republican empire.