White Like Me
MICHAEL, an African-American poll worker.
UNIDENTIFIED POLL WORKER, an unidentified poll worker.
JODIE BRUNSTETTER, wife of North Carolina state senator Peter Brunstetter, who sponsored legislation to put an anti-gay marriage amendment on the state ballot.
CHAD NANCE, a Winston-Salem freelance journalist.
An early-voting site at the Forsyth County Government Center in downtown Winston-Salem.
MICHAEL: “I had my back to her like this. She said, ‘The reason my husband wrote Amendment 1 was because the Caucasian race is diminishing and we need to, uh, reproduce.’”
UNIDENTIFIED POLL WORKER: “[Mrs. Brunsetter said] the Caucasian race is diminishing. The reason that’s a problem is that it was white people that founded this country. She just wants a white majority so the good ol’ US of A can stay white.”
BRUNSTETTER: “We are looking at the history of the United States, and it is already law about what marriage is: between a man and a woman. And we are looking at how America has been a great country. That’s why people are coming here. And people who founded the United States wrote a Constitution, and it has been what has preserved this society. And we were just talking about lots of different things when the gentleman was turning around.”
NANCE: “You didn’t tell that one lady that it was to preserve the Caucasian race because they were becoming a minority?”
NANCE: “She’s lying?”
BRUNSTETTER: “No. It’s just that same-sex marriages are not having children.”
NANCE: “Yeah, but you didn’t say anything about Caucasians, white people, preserving them — that’s why it was written?”
BRUNSTETTER: “No, I’m afraid they have made it a racial issue when it is not.”
NANCE: “She didn’t say it was a racial issue. She said that you had said that part of the reason it had been sponsored and written was to preserve the white race. [Pause.] You didn’t say anything about Caucasians?”
BRUNSTETTER: “I probably said the word.”
NANCE: “You didn’t tell her anything about Caucasians? [Silence.] I want you to clear it up if you could.”
BRUNSTETTER: “Right now I am a little confused myself, because there has been confusion here today about this amendment, where it is very simple. The opponents are saying things that are not true, and there has been a lot of conversation back and forth. Right now I have some heat stroke going on. There has been lots of confusion. ”
NANCE: “Did you say anything about Caucasians?”
BRUNSTETTER: “If I did, it wasn’t anything race-related.”
NANCE: “But it is about identifying a race. No context on Caucasians?”
BRUNSTETTER: “There has been so much talk about this point that there is just a lot of confusion.”
NANCE: “You’re not going to be able to explain it?”
BRUNSTETTER: “Well, it’s a little hard.”