The Racialized Politics of California

Anonymous writes:

RL: All of the hardcore, out and out racists that I know are conservatives.
All the conservatives I know, vehemently insist that they AREN’T racists, and that their politics aren’t racist either. They truly, honestly believe they are just trying to be FAIR, and if a certain policy (eg, dealing with crime or welfare fraud), happens to have a “disproportionate impact” on a certain race, that’s their own damned fault for their disproportionate misbehavior. FWIW, a few of them are interracially married, or the product of such.
You can disagree that conservatism actually is fair or wise (in fact, I know that you do — this is a socialist blog)… but… as an insider, I’m telling you their true inner motives. Correct or not, in their heads and hearts they THINK they’re just doing the right thing — they are NOT, repeat NOT, acting out of hate.
Same for voting Republican. They honestly thought, 20 years ago, that the Republicans were the good guys. And they still honestly think, today, that the Republicans are the lesser of 2 evils. THAT is why they vote Republican. It has nothing to do with sending a “f*** you” to blacks.
You must know a very strange set of conservatives. OR perhaps we define the term differently.

Here in the California, almost all of the interracial couples would automatically be Democrats. You won’t find any Republicans or conservatives interracially married. That is something that you would just never see.
Here in California, you might find a few Black conservatives. I have met a few. But they were not interracially married, and they are rare as hen’s teeth anyway. Almost every Mexican American or Hispanic you meet here in this state is a Democrat. I can’t remember the last time I met a Hispanic Republican here in California, although when I was teaching school, I had some Hispanic kids who told me that their parents were Republicans. Their parents were Hispanics with high paying jobs. In general, as a Californian, you would wonder if Hispanic Republicans even exist. Most Asians are Democrats here in California. Japanese, Chinese and Korean Americans almost all seem to be Democrats. I can’t remember the last time I met one of those people who was a Republican.
It is true that you will find quite a few Laotian, Vietnamese and Hmong Republicans here in this state. Some of them might even be married to White people.
Politics here in California are unbelievably racialized. If you meet a White person here, there is a very good chance that they are Republicans who call themselves conservatives. If you meet an Hispanic, usually a Mexican American, they will almost always be a Democrat. Nearly every Black you meet except for a few will be Democrats. Most all NE Asians you will meet will be Democrats. It will be very common to run into SE Asian Republicans. They vote Republican because they fled from Communist regimes. Some other groups are hard to figure here in California.
Jews: Mostly Democrats, but it is not unusual to meet a Jewish Republican.
Arabs: All Arabs you meet will be Democrats.
Indians, Punjabis and Pakistanis: I have no idea who they vote in my state. I have known a number of them, but I never talked politics with them. They don’t seem to be very interested in US politics.
Armenians: Hard to say, maybe 50-50 split Democrats and Republicans.
Ethnic Whites – Italians, Portuguese, Greeks, Spaniards, Yugoslavs, etc.: Very mixed, but at least in this part of California, many of them are now Republicans for some odd reason. If you see an “Hispanic” Republican around here, it’s almost always as Portuguese or in some cases a Spaniard.
Other Hispanics (Central and South Americans): Apparently most of them are Democrats, but I haven’t asked many of them about their politics, so I don’t know. Central American neighborhoods in Los Angeles vote Democrat by high margins.
Iranians: Not sure how they vote. I have known some of them, but we never talked politics.
Filipinos: Probably vote Democratic. I have never talked politics with a Filipino, and I have known quite a few of them. They are not very politically involved. Filipino neighborhoods in Los Angeles probably vote very Democratic.
American Indians: Almost all of them are Democrats, and they vote more than you think they do. Never heard of a Republican Indian. Is there such a thing.
Bottom line is that the Republican Party here in California is a very White party and has been one for some time now. You will meet countless White conservatives and Republicans, but you will almost never meet one single non White Republican other than a SE Asian. If you see a conservative rally in this state, everyone holding a sign will be a White person, no exceptions. I have never been to a Republican Party meeting in this state, but I would imagine that everyone there would be a White person.
By the same token, the Democratic Party in this state is becoming the party of all of the non-Whites and some of the Whites. Democratic Party functions here in this state are quite mixed, but most of the real activists in the party are White people. The other races are just not that involved in party politics enough to go to meetings and whatnot.

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0 thoughts on “The Racialized Politics of California”

  1. Good article but there are probably more white democrats than you think. The crazy state of todays republican party has caused many republicans to become democrats, myself included. Jerry Brown really is the best of both worlds, progressive but fiscally conservative.

  2. As a fellow Californian, I think this what you’re saying here is true. I just want to add though, that with Hispanics, there is some generational difference when it comes to party affiliation. For example, when I was kid, most of the “Mexican” kids I went to school with were US-born from families who were US-born. They were “chicanos.” Many of them were very religious, including being members of 1970’s and 1980’s Christian fundamentalist churches. This meant that they were quite conservative culturally and politically. I’m pretty certain many of these families were Reagan supporters.
    The majority of Hispanics in today’s California are very different from this old-school chicano population. They’re newly arrived immigrants, or are children of immigrants who have arrived over the past 20+ years. They may be Catholic, and they may even be Christian fundies, but first and foremost they seem to identify as being Mexican most of all. Not even “chicano” – just Mexican, or Latino. For whatever reason this translates into them almost exclusively supporting Democrats – especially Hispanic Democrats. Voting for their own seems to come first (and who can blame them?).

  3. Ethnic minorities and immigrants in the west do tend to be left-wing that is the ONLY reason why lefties support immigration. If you’re a right-winger and support immigration then you need to get your head sorted and stop being so stupid.

    In my opinion the New England blue-blood lifeline of the Republican Party-families like the Bushes for example-are simply incorporating the rural Anglo-Saxon populace as serfs in a modern-day version of the Feudal land-owning system (Corporations). Poor rural Republicans will be the police, enlisted military, voters, church, consumer base for big business much like the knights of Feudal England who protected the interests of the Lords.
    Essentially the Republicans want sheep. This is one reason for the co-opting the religious right, as oppose to morality. Uneducated people with children will accept any wage they are offered.
    Ethnic groups who formed the manufacturing base of my own city tended to be the absolute enemy of Republicans because of the unions. Generally, big business does not want to fork out any money to public funds, infrastructure, decent wages etc. it is completely a matter of self-interest.
    Generally, ethnics are incredibly cynical. Armenians in California, for example. Republicans really do not like cynicism at all. Its a form of skepticism.
    I’d posit that rural whites are not very worldly or street-smart. They’ll buy anything Republicans tell them without a single shred of doubt.
    Neocon Jews have vested interests and perceive Republicans as being capable of maintaining the status quo. They lack any sense of idealism regarding abortion or evolution. It is all about taxes and protection of their own priorities.

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