If you live in Florida and your new neighbors are gray-haired, they probably just came to help the state withstand an invasion of minority families and return conservatives to elected office. But if your local Little League is growing, it may mean victory for Democrats.
The Washington Post reached these conclusions in a piece headlined, “In Florida’s burgeoning suburbs, white voters siding with Republicans try to keep a surge of young and minority voters at bay” by Tim Craig and Aaron Williams.
Right from the first word, the story contains a series of racial stereotypes. Young people and minorities always vote for Democrats, while white people, especially the older ones, always vote to keep people of color down by electing Republicans.
“Everywhere Donna Wilkenfeld looks in this lush suburban Orlando neighborhood, the 56-year-old transplant from Tennessee sees neighbors who she suspects share her passion for the Republican Party, especially its stance against illegal immigration and the party’s unflinching support for President Trump.”
Wilkenfeld is “white and plans to be the ‘first one out the door’ to vote” in the Nov. 6 election.
“But just a few blocks away from the house on East Citrus Street where Wilkenfeld settled in hopes of soon retiring, 37-year-old Sara Suero looks around and sees a completely different image of Florida’s Seminole County …”
Suero, who is Puerto Rican and Costa Rican descent, “counts numerous African-American, Asian and mixed-race families as her neighbors. She also is eager to vote.”
“Even though [Trump] says he is not racist, he is racist … and he only cares about himself,” Suero told the Post.
In the final weeks of the midterm campaigns, “the clash of views in this middle-class neighborhood represents the battle over Florida’s direction in Trump’s America,” Craig and Williams wrote.
“It’s a struggle that increasingly pits older white voters, including transplants with hopes of retirement, against the state’s rapidly diversifying youth in a demographic battle that presents challenges for both parties in a state gaining nearly 1,000 new residents a day.”
Adding to the whites v. minorities battle the Post sets up is the fact Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum seeks to become the first African American governor in the state’s history. Gillum, the Post wrote, “is hoping to boost turnout among the minority and younger voters who tend to vote far less frequently than the holder white voters on whom the Republican nominee, former congressman Ron DeSantis, is depending.”
It continues the theme, pointing out that according to the Census Bureau, 40 percent of Florida’s 20 million residents are now 50 or older, and more than two-thirds of them are white. “Those residents have formed the backbone of recent Republican victories here,” it says, then cites the 2016 presidential contest, which Trump won in Florida by 113,000 voters with what it said was 64 percent support from whites, according to exit polls.
“But 57 percent of Florida residents under the age of 30 now identify as a minority – a percentage that leaps above 70 percent in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, the state’s two most populated” – and more than 7 in 10 non-white voters supported Hillary Clinton 2016, according to other exit polls the Post cites.
Florida won’t become a Democratic stronghold for some time, according to the story. Even with the “surge” in minority population, white voters over 50 still outnumber minorities between 20 and 30 by 4-1.
But the blue wave is coming at some point, the story indicated.
“The other half of the divide quickly becomes apparent here in Altamonte Springs, which has … seen an influx of young families, many from Puerto Rico and Venezuela. Latinos now make up 21 percent of the population.”
“At Eastmonte Park, located on South Ronald Reagan Boulevard, Little League Baseball enrollment has been consistently growing by about 20 percent per season.”
This may not mean what Craig and Williams assume it does. Five out of six college baseball players are white and only about 5 percent are Hispanic, according to the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport.
Photo by akrabat