“He’s Other”

A few gems on Obama’s racial identity from Southerners interviewed by the New York Times:

– “He’s neither-nor,” said Ricky Thompson, a pipe fitter who works at a factory north of Mobile, while standing in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart store just north of here. “He’s other. It’s in the Bible. Come as one. Don’t create other breeds.”

-“I would think of him as I would of another of mixed race,” said Glenn Reynolds, 74, a retired textile worker in Martinsdale, Va., and a former supervisor at a Goodyear plant. “God taught the children of Israel not to intermarry. You should be proud of what you are, and not intermarry.”

-“He’s going to tear up the rose bushes and plant a watermelon patch,” said James Halsey, chuckling, while standing in the Wal-Mart parking lot with fellow workers in the environmental cleanup business. “I just don’t think we’ll ever have a black president.”

The irony, of course, is that the South probably has more mixed race people than any part of the country. Very few “old family” Southerners would survive the old “one-drop” rule were their family trees to be fully excavated.

UPDATE: For balance, here’s some Midwestern racists.