Congressman Okinawa Jack Murtha (D-PA-12) said that Obama would win his district despite the innate racism of his constituents. That did not sit very well with those constituents, and Murtha has finally decided to clarify his bad self to Pittsburgh’s WTAE Channel 4 Action News on Monday. According to Jack, naught buy five to ten years ago, the people of Western Pennsylvania were “rednecks.”

“What I said, that indicted everybody, that’s not what I meant at all. What I mean is there’s still folks that have a problem voting for someone because they are black,” Murtha said.

Murtha said the history of southwestern Pennsylvania is rife with racism.



And there’s more.

“This whole area, years ago, was really redneck,” Murtha told Channel 4 Action News.

Murtha believes there is one segment of the population which is holding on to its racist beliefs and he said it’s difficult for them to change. Murtha said it may be even more difficult for them to vote for Sen. Barack Obama for president.

“Particularly older people. They want change but they don’t want to see things go too far,” Murtha said.

Some, not all, of his constituents hate African Americans because they are black. Has he spoken to these people? Do they write to him to express these thoughts? What does he do about this? Does he warn businesses which might want to relocate into Pennsylvania’s 12th District that they’d better watch out because whole swaths of his constituents are hardened racists?

You know, this could be projection on Jack’s part. Jack Murtha, at 76, fits the profile of racists he just gave to WTAE. But no, it’s no more fair for me to assume that Murtha is an old racist than it is for him to assert the same of his older constituents.


“You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not.”

“And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

That was Barry, of course, who had just returned to the friendly climes of San Francisco from the evidently hostile venue of Murtha’s western Pennsylvania small town home of Johnstown.

It’s time for that fossil to go. Donate to Murtha’s opponent, the Republican, Colonel Bill Russell at his campaign web site.