Appearing on Fox and Friends on Friday morning, Fox News personality Geraldo Rivera tried to pitch a thoughtful argument against racial divisions in America, but the nuances of race relations and political participation in this country failed him.
“You have all the black and brown people on the one side, all the white people on the other side – sadly, politics in America is becoming increasingly about race and ethnicity,” he said.
Of course, he didn’t mean that literally, having said just a few seconds earlier that plenty of white people will still be voting for President Barack Obama — but then a moment later, he suggested those same people will support the president at a “historically low” rate in November.
“People hate when I talk about that, but that’s a reality,” he concluded.
Rivera was attempting to elucidate recent polling by Gallup that shows President Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R) roughly splitting the poor and middle class vote, but Romney edging ahead of the president with the wealthy, whose numbers exhibit a strong racial divide.
But even so, that lead isn’t nearly what Geraldo makes it out to be, and he neglects a key point: Gallup summarized that the true split in American politics is between white and minority, but between rich and the poor, and that the racial component which emerges from their data is mostly a result of an aggregate ethnic split between the classes.
“U.S. voters’ 2012 preferences so far align with the perception of the Democratic Party as the party of the poor and the Republican Party as the party of the rich,” Gallup concluded. “Obama holds a wide lead among lower-income voters, in large part due to the high concentration of minority voters in this group, while Romney holds a smaller, but significant, edge among upper-income voters.”
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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