They’re refighting the Civil War right now over at Yglesias. Two of the resident trolls, Brett Bellmore and J. Scott Barnard, are cranking out their loony version of the party line (not exact quotes):
Affirmative action is like lynching. The main racists are the Democrats, especially the black Democrats. Saying that racism is a factor in the South is just as bad as McCarthyism. There was no Southern Strategy, and if there was, it didn’t have anything to do with race. When the Dixiecrats left the Democratic Party, it was to get away from the racism of the Democrats. Blacks are Democrats because they are racists and want handouts; it has nothing to do with finally getting the right to vote, or anti-lynching laws.
There happens to be a very exact index of racism: the belief that interracial marriage should be illegal. This is not a proxy issue – there are no non-racist reasons for supporting these laws. In the year 2000, Republican Alabama voted on an constitutional amendment repealing the state constitution’s ban on iterracial marriage. About 40% of the voters, and 50% of the white voters, voted to keep the prohibition.
I happen to be a Yankee the way a lot of “southrons” are Rebs, and I’m not too happy with the way they’ve taken over our government. Someone’s got to lose, and right now it’s me. Hopefully in the future it will be the CCC (KKK without the bedsheets) which is on the outside looking in, and not the NAACP (and me).
Conclusion from the second link above, a very careful study:
“This gap [between publicly professed racism and the actual vote in favor of a racist law] suggests two possibilities. First, survey measures of white racial attitudes might seriously underestimate the level of white racism: Pressure to give socially acceptable answers seems to lead whites to give response in surveys that they do not reflect the choices that they make in the anonymity of voting booth. Second, these results raise the possibility that the ‘old,’ biological racism that defined white attitudes prior to the civil rights era is not as dead as some have suggested.25 As mentioned previously, laws against interracial marriage grew out of traditional notions of blacks’ biological inferiority. That such views might still persist today suggest that white racism is perhaps both more prevalent and more pernicious than many have previously thought.”