White Resentment in Electoral Politics from 1964 to 1972: Baltimore, Maryland & Lowndes County, Alabama
13 Pages Posted: 22 Sep 2019
Date Written: July 10, 2019
Both Baltimore, Maryland and Lowndes County, Alabama were areas with high black populations that faced various hurdles to democracy and black political representation. White candidates used racial animus, whether coded in rhetoric or openly, as a cudgel of support in both areas and politics became an extended battle as to who was considered “acceptable” as a neighbor. Lowndes County was overruled by white supremacists without democratic legitimacy that were supported by a violently hostile white population who controlled the area’s economy while Baltimore’s white, particularly white working class, community worked to limit black opportunity by supporting City Council and gubernatorial candidates who opposed open-housing, coalescing to support William Schaefer in the 1971 election, and hindering the evolution of Baltimore from a majority-black population to a majority-black government to represent it through gerrymandering and powerful white political clubs in majority-black areas. What made the two distinct was that the Southern system of segregation was enforced through extrajudicial violence and intimidation while Baltimore’s segregation and hostility to black opportunity and black neighbors was done mostly behind the curtains of polling booths and in political clubs.
Keywords: racial politics, urban politics, political machines, Baltimore, Lowndes County, civil rights movement, Black Panthers
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