Race, Appalachia and why Obama won’t get their vote

Leave it to Al Jazeera of all places to explore the reasons why people in the Appalachian region of this country won’t vote for a black man to be their President. This video takes place in Kentucky. And despite the explosive topic, I can’t believe that major American news outlets haven’t explored this. Of course, they’ll be the first to claim that Sen. Obama can’t win the white vote, citing losses in several Appalachian states as the reason why. And now we know it’s not white people that won’t vote for Obama, it’s a very specific type of white person.

Still, according to Halfricanrevolution, the piece still doesn’t go into the history of coal mining.

“After emancipation, coal mining companies sought an advantage over unions by hiring former slaves as scabs since, the unions were racist, wouldn’t allow blacks as members. The companies didn’t have to fulfill many obligations to this new, unorganized labor force, and a lot of white miners lost their jobs. So it actually makes sense that people would see race relations as a question of pure exploitation; with one side dominating the other. That’s the history of the region.

Exploiting racial tensions helped the coal companies make a buck. And that story was repeated in urban and rural areas all over the country for years. So who exactly benefited from all this racial tension? It wasn’t coal miners or factory workers.”

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