Barack Obama’s campaign opened a downtown office here on March 15, just in time for the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade. It was not a glorious day for Team Obama. Some of the green signs the campaign had trucked in by the thousands were burned during the parade, and campaign volunteers — white volunteers — were greeted with racial slurs.
Actually, there is a bit of a sports parallel. We often complain about the media sticking too closely to its narratives about games and teams, but that tendency shows up in politics as well as sports. Racism is often treated as a specifically Southern phenomenon, so when open racism makes an appearance above the Mason-Dixon Line, it doesn't register. That said, racism in Scranton doesn't come with the same legacy of slavery and Jim Crow, so maybe the different narrative isn't entirely irrational.