Hold up, white liberals! Don’t go waving your victory flags just yet! Alabama was just an illusion. The climatic Alabama election last week highlighted, like never before, social justice issues still plaguing society in the United States today. Yes, the deep red conservative state did elect its first democratic senator since 1992 (wags flag), but why?
Many hoped that recent sexual misconduct allegations against Roy Moore would significantly influence Alabama’s special election. Nevertheless, 76% of voters reported that the allegations did not influence their vote at all. Exit polls showed 68% of white voters supported Moore despite national attention on recent accusations of pedophilia, xenophobia, homophobia, and blatant racism. White America at its finest: worshiping ideals of freedom, equality, and self-governance since 1776…unless you’re not white.
28 percent of voters were African American, which allowed Doug Jones to win last week’s election. White people that blindly consider this a win without considering the social context behind it continue to perpetuate the ignorance and inequality that society already harbors. On average, women preferred Jones by 57%. However, when broken down by race, 98% of black women voted for Jones, while 63% of white women voted for Moore. This clearly is not solely an issue of party lines, but rather a glaringly obvious issue of privilege. The white women of Alabama held tight to their social, structural, and institutional privilege…even if that meant having a racist, sexist pedophile in office.
Positive social change cannot continue to be on the backs of people of color in this country. Good intentioned white people must begin to focus on the people close to them that represent the white 68% that voted for Roy Moore. Complacency is no longer acceptable; as the numbers show white people are the problem. Moore won over both white men and women alike, including those with and without college degrees. This is not a matter of education, but rather a learning of morals. To be a nation of progress, White America must begin to value humanity over privilege or we will continue to lose a battle against ourselves.