Is the South more racist than the North?

The big hullabaloo yesterday was over Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s suggestion that racism is over.

As you can imagine, a lot of folks weren’t too happy to hear that claim, not the least of which was Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

A lot of other sites get into the details – Adam Serwer over at Mother Jones has a particularly good story that a lot of folks are linking to – so I’d rather focus on something that particularly caught my eye in Adam’s story.

First, some quick background, as Adam explains: “Under Section 5 [of the Voting Rights Act], parts of the country with histories of discriminatory election practices have to ask for permission—or ‘preclearance,’ in legal terms—from the Justice Department before making any changes to their voting rules.”

As you can imagine, most of those “parts” are in the South.

Some places like Shelby County, Alabama claim that the South has changed, racism is pretty much gone, or at least is no worse than that which is found in the North.  So they say Section 5 is now unfair and unconstitutional.

Is the South more racist than the North?

Justice John Roberts, another conservative justice, then then chimed in:

Chief Justice John Roberts, arguing that voter registration and participation of black voters is higher in Mississippi than Massachusetts, asked Solicitor General Donald B Verrilli Jr., who was defending the law, “Is it the government’s submission that the citizens of the South are more racist than the citizens of the North?”

Verrilli reportedly cleared his throat awkwardly and said “no.”

What else could he say?  He represents the President, a Democrat, and an African-American, and regardless of how deep in Republican pockets the South is, it still doesn’t help Democrats to have a scandal over the fact that a black president just accused southerns of being racists.

Roberts knew there was no other answer Verrilli could give politically, so it was intellectually dishonest of him to ask the question in the first place.

But Roberts’ question seemed remarkable in another way as well.  Are we to believe that the South is no longer more bigoted than the north?  Really?

Mississippi

And Mississippi just “happened” to forget to abolish slavery until two weeks ago.  Riiiiiiiight.

Mississippi also just happened to forget to vote for women’s suffrage – dead last among the states – until 1984, 64 years after the 19th Amendment became law of the land.  Take a look at the last five states to ratify the 19th amendment:

  1. Florida (May 13, 1969)
  2. South Carolina (July 1, 1969, after being rejected on January 28, 1920; not certified until August 22, 1973)
  3. Georgia (February 20, 1970, after being rejected on July 24, 1919)
  4. Louisiana (June 11, 1970, after being rejected on July 1, 1920)
  5. North Carolina (May 6, 1971)
  6. Mississippi (March 22, 1984, after being rejected on March 29, 1920)

All from the South.

In what state did 46% of “hardcore Republican voters” polled in 2011 think inter-racial marriage should be against the law?

Mississippi.

And in what state did a middle school in 2010 not understand why it was a problem that only white students were permitted to run for class president?

Mississippi.

Where is the headquarters of the lead religious right group that claimed Latinos are all socialists?

Mississippi.

Where did racist students riot over Obama’s 2012 election victory?

Mississippi.

Alabama

Where did voters in 2004 decide to keep segregationist language in their state constitution?

Alabama.

Where did a state senator call African-Americans “aborigines” in 2011?

Alabama.

Where did a Republican suggest we “empty the clip” on undocumented immigrants?

Alabama.

Which state passed a law repealing all municipal civil rights laws, and taking away the right of cities in the state to pass any civil rights laws in the future?

Alabama.

Tennessee

Which state wants to ban the word “gay” in schools?’

Tennessee.

In which state does that gun CEO live who threatened to “start shooting people” if President Obama signs any executive orders on gun control following Sandy Hook?

Tennessee.

Or the mayor who posted a racist anti-Obama rant on Facebook?

Tennessee.

Texas

In which state’s GOP convention did we find a pin that read “If Obama is president…. will we still call it the White House?”

Texas.

Virginia

And who can forget Macaca?

Virginia.

The state that took a lesbian’s child away from her simply because the mother was gay?

Virginia.

Who celebrates Confederate History Month?

Virginia.

Who won’t confirm judges who are gay?

Virginia.

Who defend a law, all the way to the Supreme Court, making it a crime for a black man to marry a white woman?

Virginia.

Two words: Senator Macaca.

Virginia.

Georgia

Where did a high school teacher just have her kids write an essay on how President Obama is turning America into a socialist state just like Lenin and Stalin did?

Georgia.

Whose state Senate threatened to secede in 2009?

Georgia.

Where did the KKK rally in 2010?

Georgia.

Whose white Republican US Senator said that the black president should show a bit more “humility“?

Georgia’s.

Louisiana

Caught using pro-Klan books in public schools?

Louisiana.

Justice of the Peace refused to marry an inter-racial couple in 2009?

Louisiana.

I know there are good southern Democrats, and probably some decent southern Republicans too, though few of them seem to ever get elected to public office.  But as a gay man, and someone who follows all civil rights issues pretty closely, most of our civil rights problems don’t happen in Vermont, Illinois, and New York.  They happen in Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee.  They happen in the South. (And in the “new South,” the southwest – Arizona comes to mind.)

If the South isn’t more racist, more intolerant, than the North, then why do these things keep happening… where?

The South.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

Share This Post

  • caphillprof

    I’ve been to Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. Your alleged diversity is not reflected in your neanderthal politics.

  • Michael C

    You don’t like the South? Have you ever been to any place in the southern United States? Probably not so just keep your mouth shut. Oh no, there’s no racism anywhere else. You’re a moron. That’s why Bobby Jindal is the Governor of Louisiana, Black mayors, etc. That’s why places like Miami, Dallas, New Orleans, and Atlanta are so diverse.

  • Mason

    I’ve lived in VA all my life, and I have only experienced racism a few times. The majority of the people here are very tolerant. I am also multiracial and bi which is extremely common here. Also, a lot of people here think that mixed children are the prettiest. And most people date interacially.

  • mplo

    The reasons for that are very complex, imho.

    Not that any form of segregation is countenanceable, but, unlike the South, which had Segregation de Jury (segregation by law), the Northern School districts, including Boston and other northern cities, had Segregation de Facto, which meant segregation existed as a fact; the neighborhoods were segregated, and therefore, so were the schools.

    When school desegregation took place in the South (i. e. Alabama, Mississip, to name afew areas.), things often went much more smoothly. One also has to bear in mind that, in many areas of the South, whites and blacks had lived side by side since antebellum (Pre-Civil War) days, so Segregation de Jury or the Jim Crow laws, were implemented in the South to limit contact between blacks and whites.

    The Northern form of Segregation (i. e. Segregation de Facto), on the other hand, while unofficial, was/is much more deep-seated, and therefore harder to root out and to get rid of, which, imho, goes a long way towards explaining why many Northern metropolises, including and particularly Boston, became so explosive when mandatory school busing was implemented as a means of desegregating the school districts.

  • mplo

    Racism in the North is much more deep-seated and more deeply-rooted, and therefore harder to root out and to get rid of than the racism in the South, which is much more blatant.

  • Sweetie

    Schools are more segregated in the north.

  • caphillprof

    I’ll take that as an admission that you have accomplished very little in the last 30 days. Much like the rest of the Department of Justice.
    Subject: [americablog] Re: Is the South more racist than the North?

  • Kes

    Caphillprof, I can’t tell if you are genuinely confused about what the role of the Department of Justice is, or whether you were shooting for “smarmy dis” (but missed and instead landed in “perturbed 3rd grader comeback”). I need to know so that I can appropriately couch my reply.

  • caphillprof

    And what have you personally really accomplished in the past month?

    Subject: [americablog] Re: Is the South more racist than the North?

  • JozefAL

    Not having read any of the comments, here’s a little factoid that Justice Roberts sort of overlooked when he pulled that “Massachusetts vs Mississippi” voting comparison stat:

    “Massachusetts was 84.1% White (76.4% Non-Hispanic Whites), 7.8% Black or African American….”

    In MIssissippi “59.1% of the population was White (58.0% non-Hispanic white), 37.0% African American or Black,….” (both sets of figures come from the 2010 Census via Wikipedia and reflect total populations, not just the eligible voting-age population)

    Now, Massachusetts had 6.5 million people according to the 2010 Census while Mississippi had just under 3 million people. Doing a little quick math, that means that Massachusetts has about 507,000 African-Americans while Mississippi has about 1,110,000 African-Americans. Just from raw numbers alone, of course, it’s obvious “that voter registration and participation of black voters is higher in Mississippi than Massachusetts.” You could have 100% of Massachusetts’ African-American voters turning out to vote, and they’d still be outdone by just 50% of Mississippi’s.

  • splashy79

    But, that was in the 50’s, not now. This is what is happening now, or quite recently.

  • splashy79

    Great listing of just what they are up to in the South. As someone with their roots in the South, I recognize that way of thinking.

  • JD234

    To bring a little science to this, based on the 2008 National Election Survey, white southerners were more likely than white northerners to say blacks were “lazy” rather than “hard working”, and more likely to have said they were “uncomfortable with the idea of a black president” than northerners. This is a nationally representative survey, and those two differences are statistically significant (though not actually very large).

  • Krusher

    Justice Scalia is delusional. He probably thinks HE’S not racist.

  • Mike Meyer

    RACISM IS THE POLITICS OF AMERICA AND BIGOTRY HER SOUL! (Article I section 2 U.S Constitution)
    ( so its all legal)
    BIGOTRY— the only thing shared equally among all the states. (be black in Oakland&say it ain’t so.)

  • Pro Forma

    I think it’s true that you find racists everywhere, however in some areas of the country racist attitudes and statements are tolerated more, while in other areas they are not. The South in general falls into the first category. I am Hispanic, but most people don’t know it from looking at me. When I’m in the South, presumably educated good ole boys will freely express their animosity towards Latinos and blacks even in a professional setting. This would not be tolerated in California or New York, for example.

  • Ninong

    There are racists in every state, it’s just that in certain states the racists are part of the majority and in others they’re in the minority. The local governments reflect the majority. Pretty obvious, I know. Having lived in a city that reliably gives 85% of its vote to Democratic presidential candidates and in a state where the Republican candidate is guaranteed to win (and, worse still, in a precinct that is reliably 95% Republican), I can tell you that it’s like moving from a civilized society back to the Middle Ages when you leave that 85% Democratic, City by the Bay, and move to the Deep South.

  • UncleBucky

    That image is so bad, I have to wash it away with some kind of drinkie. Better make it consciousness obliterating!

  • Kes

    Actually, I work for the DOJ as an attorney (though not in the branch that handles Voting Rights Act enforcement) and the only meetings we have are statutorily mandated trainings. We’re busy doing actual work, in overcrowded offices, with short deadlines, and I’m expected to put out a lot more work product (and at a higher quality, and with lower pay) than my friends doing similar work in private practice. I don’t know what you base your asinine concept on, caphillprof, but perhaps you should rethink your strategy of joining hands with Republicans while tap-dancing down the Tea Party Path of “hate on the feds.” Today you’re insulting me and my co-workers, but tomorrow it may come back to bite you in your own ass when they use this kind of empty rhetoric you’ve employed to axe some program you care about.

    EDIT: With that having been said, I agree with Olson’s idea that the easiest solution is to just have the provisions applied to everyone. It’s not like institutionalized racism can’t crop up in new places, particularly as voting demographics shift.

  • Naja pallida

    Well, if Scalia had his way, he’d get to make decisions for everyone. Oh, wait… he basically does already.

  • hollywoodstein

    Also too, high voter turnout rates do not mean there are no attempts at suppression. I can attest that historically high turnout rates in minority majority districts I worked GOTV in November were in response to voter suppression attempts.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Agreed! “How I’z love ya, How I’z love ya, my dear old Swannie.” Is still racist.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Don’y worry sweetpea, nobody’s gonna throw ya in the briar patch.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Welcome Colo. I used to live in Gunnison….enough said.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “Why is he not required to recuse himself?” These days majority of he Justices feel they are above the law and completely indifferent to justice or democracy. They spend their intellectual capital on nuances of elitist power.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Overcoming the electorate to mandate a loser into the Presidency, Citizen’s United, and dismanteling the Voting Rights Act. What’s next? Overcoming Roe v Wade? Is there a trend here that we may call the Supreme Coup?

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    That’s not the case. Nicho’s point that FOX news and the Teaballs have made bigotry mainstram again—–it’s the age of a neo tehno-klan.

  • Bill_Perdue

    The US is a sewer of racism, including the lethal hatred of native Americans, immigrant bashing, gay hating and misogyny,

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    It is not more subtle than the North, what nonsence. And, they do get elected to office. Let’s start with Peter King, Jim Inhof and others.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Two of the most racist cities in which I have moved are Chicago and Detroit. Still, my memories of the deep South make those cities look like amateurs by comparison.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “The conservatives on the Supreme Court are just denying that the institutionalized racism exists.” That is precisely the argument most racists make. The Supreme Court has at least three racist judges, one of them ironically, Black.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    IT is time to consider impeaching for derliction of duty among the supremes.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Scarlet O’Lindsey has been on the wrong side of a hoop skirt for decades.

  • http://www.facebook.com/monoceros.forth Monoceros Forth

    No kidding. Apparently we’re supposed to take their abuse in peace. The least criticism of it is censorship and bigotry and abrogation of the freedom of religion and all the rest of it.

  • http://twitter.com/BillFromDover Bill from Dover

    The difference being that the North, at least, attempts to hide theirs while the south openly relishes in it.

  • http://twitter.com/BillFromDover Bill from Dover

    And why would the acumen of this supposedly highly-intelligent judge equate you average voter suppression tactics used today with only those that affect just the black vote?

    There are douchebags and there are douchebags and there are conservative justices on the Supreme Court hell bent on destroying every Goddamn principle that made this country the envy of the world.

    Thanks a lot for John and Samuel, George… thanks a fucking lot!

  • http://twitter.com/BillFromDover Bill from Dover

    Good point.
    To boil it down even more, hows about simply telling these people to do their fuckin’ jobs?

  • http://twitter.com/BillFromDover Bill from Dover

    Lindsey Graham has a pulse?

  • caphillprof

    I don’t like the south. They still talk of secession and putting people in their place.

    But I don’t like voter suppression anywhere. Not in Ohio, not in Pennsylvania, not in Indiana, not in Kansas. Anywhere!

  • caphillprof

    I’m tired of this sheer amount of work. Have you ever known attorneys employed by the DOJ? Do they spend less than 90 percent of their time “attending meetings?”

  • nicho

    They never get tired of that. It comes from the same bag of tricks as “If you call me out on my intolerance, then you’re intolerant.”

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    I put North Carolina behind me, and I haven’t looked back. It was a very uncomfortable place for a nicely tan guy who liked men.

  • Naja pallida

    I think the discussion is moot. The areas singled out by the Voting Rights Act for extra federal scrutiny have earned the extra scrutiny by being overtly racist, and preventing people from voting on the basis of race. This is an empirical fact. Some areas have been removed from the list, by improving their voting and districting process, and some areas have been added to the list because they have taken steps backwards. After this election though, I’m with Mr. Olson – just make it nation-wide, and actually make the Justice Department do something useful for a change.

    That being said, Scalia and Roberts are ridiculous, and weakening the Voting Rights Act would be a travesty on par with Citizens United. Especially when Congress, almost unanimously agreed that we still needed the Voting Rights Act just a few years ago… and we can’t get Congress to unanimously agree that the sky is blue. This Supreme Court is just chomping at the bit to once again be on the wrong side of justice and history.

  • dula

    There are racists in the North but they are more indifferent about it because they don’t need to codify their bigotry into law. Southern racists are doubly inspired because they’re still bitter about losing the Civil War.

  • http://twitter.com/arleeda Dawn Vincent

    I’m a Southern Democrat (TN and GA), and I agree that the law needs to be expanded over the entire country. Right now isn’t it Wisconsin and Pennsylvania who want to change voter regulations?

  • nicho

    I remember when I was a kid in the ’50s in “liberal” Massachusetts. Racism was there, but not codified as it was in the south. There were plenty of places blacks were not allowed — and they knew not to go there. It just wasn’t written into law. They also knew better than to move into certain neighborhoods or else face a shitstorm of unpleasantness. Also, a young black man walking in a neighborhood where “he didn’t belong” usually ended up in jail. Those were the days when the police could arrest you for “loitering” or “vagrancy” on a whim.

  • nicho

    But that’s one of the missions of Fox News and the Tea Baggers — to make racism, homophobia, misogyny, etc. acceptable again. They’re doing a great job of it.

  • BlueIdaho

    I lived in Texas for many years and it is my opinion that the white population there is more racist that in the northern states where I have lived and worked. If you have ever watched the movie Giant and been shocked by some of the racism in that movie I can tell you that a lot of those attitudes still exist–especially in the western parts of the state. It has changed for the better since I was a kid growing up there, but it is still prevalent and many racists are elected to public office over and over again.

  • ChasVoice

    This’ll help answer the question:

    Slavery in the US Northern States
    http://chasvoice.blogspot.com/2012/10/slavery-in-northern-us-states.html

  • lynchie

    Very well expressed. I understand your feelings. I am a Canadian, though have lived her for 30 years and have become an American citizen as have my children (all born in Canada). When we moved here to New Jersey we immediately felt the racial issues even in the north. My trips to the south were a mixture of meeting people who have overcome the prejudice and like you met many who had that arrogance and “privilege”. As we lived here longer we also met in New York and New Jersey many who could barely mask their feelings. We live now in western Pa. and the racial feelings are barely masked. It is like a scab you pull off and it gushes out. This country is very young but we have learned little. We have a Congress which subsists on using fear as a method of governing. Other than building the biggest bombs, fastest planes what have we really offered to the people to raise them up. We went to the moon and then like a kid with a new toy became bored with that idea and we still have our slaves. Anyone trying to live on minimum wages barely survives, thousands go to bed hungry, thousands homeless and the new master/slave creation called foreclosure is truly dehumanizing. If we can not learn to grow as a country together we will be lost. We have a congress which caters to the wealthy at the expense of the middle class, poor and elderly. We have the temerity to call our “earned benefits” entitlements as if the master has to brush a few more of his scraps from the table and all the while our “leaders”: are arguing about how to curb their out of control spending and whether people should have the right to vote. God we are lost.

  • http://www.facebook.com/monoceros.forth Monoceros Forth

    Instance #2059 of the tired, “Pointing out racism is the real racism,” canard.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I didn’t have time to go through every state, there was, sadly, so much info, I had to stop at some point ;-)

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    And it’s almost become a Red State problem, more than just a Southern problem.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Sure, but isn’t that sort of the point. The goal, at least in my view on bigotry towards gays, for example, is to force it to become more subtle, at least at first. Make it clear that it’s not acceptable, so people watch what they say, watch what they do, and slowly the culture starts sending out the message that while some people are still bigots, it’s not “accepted” or acceptable. And that starts to change minds, the minds of kids, etc. So sure, there’s still racism in the north, but I think our crazies don’t get elected to office nearly as much because there’s a price to pay for it, and in the South, the price is less.

  • Indigo

    Lip service integration is all John Roberts is looking for and he’s found it. So the case is closed because his expectation has been met. It’s a shameful fact but . . . he’s the Chief Justice and we are not. Unfortunately, he’s a young man and will remain on the court for several more decades. I hope for his wisdom to grow and his fixation on Ian Rand to fade but I’m not holding my breath.

  • SkippyFlipjack

    I’ve thought the same thing, and I think the issue might be the sheer amount of work involved for Justice. I’m curious how much time they currently spend on Voting Rights Act-related oversight.

  • silas1898

    I agree too. The old “If you have nothing to hide…..” argument actually works here.

  • SkippyFlipjack

    Rather than resort to bad Nazi analogies you might try rebutting the piece by citing some racist events and news that happened in the last decade in the North. The question is not whether the South is racist but whether it is more racist than the North. John’s approach is valid.

  • silas1898

    Celebrating Confederate History Month is not the action of some isolated “individual”. This and other actions are taken by the state legislature reflecting the majority opinion in the state.

    As for the “individual” actions, they are cheered and supported by the racist majority.

    You are being intellectually dishonest, making lame apologies for this behavior

  • Badgerite

    Mother Jones also has a piece on Justice Roberts rather extensive history dating back to the Reagan administration of being the point man in trying to get the the Voting Rights Act repealed or at the very least made less effectual. Doesn’t that call into question his presumed impartiality in this case? If this is something he has argued for dating back 30 years, how can he claim to not have a formed opinion when judging this case? Why is he not required to recuse himself?

  • silas1898

    It’s much more subtle in the North. There are plenty of racists here, but thankfully they usually don’t get elected to public office.

  • UncleBucky

    While your solution is logical, I never thought of it this way until your and drdick52’s post below. I certainly AGREE. :)

    Section 5 for the WHOLE USA, states, territories and commonweaths (e.g., PR). Watch Lindsey Graham bust a blood vessel!

  • UncleBucky

    Yep, one has to go behind the “stage dressing” to see backstage of the Song and Dance that is the “New South”. Yep. Additionally, as someone else wrote, this infection has travelled all over the Nation and so there are sick areas like you mention in the Midwest. For example, Michigan is the southernmost state of the North, unless Wisconsonians want to apply for that badge. :)

  • Jim Olson

    The simple solution to this problem, is to make this particular part of the Civil Rights Act apply evenly to everyone. All districts everywhere, when changing voting rules, must submit to Justice Department review. Problem solved.

  • http://www.facebook.com/randyariddle Randy Riddle

    Bingo. The conservatives on the Supreme Court are just denying that the institutionalized racism exists. Or, more likely, think it’s fine to turn a blind eye towards it.

  • UncleBucky

    The “South”. Returning “SouthernIST” Culture and Silent Progressive/Liberal “SouthernERs”

    Number one, sadly Molly Ivins will not be commenting here. I wish she could, who could provide some important insight. Anyone else? Where are the strident progressive SouthernERs?

    But for MY part, UNLESS Southern Progressives/Liberals start kicking butt, all I can surmise is that the “South” (note the scare quotes) is sadly hypocritical (their alleged “Christian” faith does not match their actions), and that they are deeply racist, deeply homophobic and deeply against our Nation (i.e. strident voices still harbor Neo-Confederate goals).

    Yes, I am a NorthernER, from Chicago, although my people come from Poland and Germany, escaping the pogroms of Russian occupiers of Poland and the poverty that was caused in Germany after the “rich” of that era prosecuted WW1 on the Continent. I am a Democrat, a member of the DemocratIC Party, to be certain of the adjectival endING. My US heroes are centered in Lincoln, TR, FDR, RFK and MLK. I knew the USA would suffer a terrible change in the 70s and 80s with the emergence of this “SouthernIST” culture and accent that has captured the US Military, corporate culture and the entertainment and news media.

    “SouthernIST” culture comprises expectations about family, caste and racial pride. There’s the accent, the questions about ethnicity and the use of “code” words. The “Texas Shout” we hear at football games, morning talk shows, and other public events is “code”. When I hear a Southern accent, I temporarily suspect the person of being a SouthernIST, until of course I observe other characteristics and reactions, then I reassess my gut-level. For example, in the PBS Series “The Civil War”, I listened to Shelby Foote and thought, he’s not telling the truth, but he did, and I regret his passing. On the other hand, there were interviews with some descendants of Civil War Confederate “heroes” who rankled me a lot. You could still see the arrogance and frustrated “privilege”. I have lived in the same neighborhood as African-Americans who fled the South (Mississippi, mainly) because of discriminatory anti-civil-rights laws and traditions. “Y’all” says more than 2nd Person Plural. Fawgetaboudit.

    Music incorporates a lot of “code”, be it church music, patriotic music or popular music. “Amazing Grace”, allegedly written in the captain’s cabin of a slave ship, and “Dixie” all give me that sick feeling that I am in the wrong place. I feel uneasy when “Country and Western” music is played in Muzak or on some relative’s car radio. Oh yes, I love the steel guitar, folk music from the South, and musical artists from the South who don’t tweak those “SouthernIST” musical dog whistles, but I still feel like I’m in the wrong place in the presence of possibly “SouthernIST” background music.

    The most recent Dodge ad for “Farmers” tweaked all these SouthernIST dog whistles. I am glad that some people created some alternative videos to show the hypocrisy of that original ad. I could write a diary on all of the linguistic, musical, media and other influences that have caused this SouthernIST cultural transformation. I would love to travel to various Southern states. But I have traveled in “SouthernIST” areas of Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri and Michigan (Northern states, eh?) and found regions there to be as noxiously “SouthernIST” as places in Southern states. I have developed an allergy to things “SouthernIST”.

    Now, again, I wish that that great Southern voice of Molly Ivins had not been lost. And I wish that Southerners who are also USA Patriots would not stifle their voices, instead speaking up to give me hope that there are at least as many of them as there are of the Theist, Teabagguer, Libertarian, Neo-Conservative and Neo-Confederate minds that I suspect would drown the US government in a bathtub along with me (I guess) if they could find a way. There are a number of Southern voices that bring me great joy:

    1. I remember a lovely story told by “John Henry Faulk”, originally from Austin, Texas. Faulk recorded his “Christmas Story” in 1974 for the NPR program “Voices in the Wind”. Yeah, this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5h4S9A9Nbs

    2. Also, who can forget the story by Truman Capote, “A Christmas Memory”? Here, a movie was made of it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0vjTfVyZco

    3. Naturally, “To Kill a Mockingbird”, by Harper Lee, movie trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mi88P7KfaMA

    There are many others. But keep in mind, as it seems right now, voices from the “South” are different than these faded and distant stories.

    RIGHT NOW on the CBS Morning show, they are featuring an article on the “new” Chattanooga, TN. I hear varying accents, I see varying images (but not varying “faces” a-hem, get it?), and I am intrigued. But you have to look behind the stage settings, eh? More later on that?

    Don’t attack me for what I feel, Progressive/Liberal SouthernERs. Let me hear YOUR VOICES. Show me where you are changing this horrible development of the “New South”. Otherwise, I feel what I feel. :)

    -Uncle Bucky

  • http://www.facebook.com/elijah.shalis Elijah Shalis

    The South is not anymore racist than places in the north except the Souths racism is more entrenched and somewhat institutionalized.

  • drdick52

    I am not actually sure that the South is any more racist than the rest of the country, but that is not because they have become any less racist. More to the point, racism is a major problem all around the country. Some of the worst race riots over school desegregation were in Detroit and Boston. The riots of the late 60s were mostly in northern cities and LA. There have been many voter suppression and intimidation efforts in the Midwest as well. I would argue that Section 5 needs to be expanded to include the entire country.

  • http://www.facebook.com/paul.k.ogden.5 Paul K. Ogden

    This is such an intellectually dishonest piece. What you’re doing is taking what individuals did in particular states and then smearing everyone in the state with blame for what the individuals did. Ironically this whole guilt by association tactic is SOP for hate groups. The Klan and other racist groups would take a violent crime committed by a black man and then suggest all black men are violent. The Nazis would take a bad ac by a Jewish person then suggest that all Jews are that way. The people in the southern states might be on average more racist, but your analysis only proves your own willingness to resort to the tactics of those you claim to despise.

  • sunmusing

    John…the south is just as racist as it has always been, but there has been a flow of racists out of the south to places where other racists seem to coagulate…like a bad disease…I live in a small town in Colorado, have been for over forty years. There has always been a narrow minded base who lived here…It was “‘Merica, love it or leave it”…As an old “white hippie”, living in a commune (add commie to the list), this was just the beginning of my “enlightenment”…Black folk were not welcomed into the community, and the few who stayed were welcomed into our commune…there were always the death threats, and once a “hippie dip” like what the farmers do to their livestock to rid them of bugs…Oh, we had a winger news rag, which to this day is still a racist-winger rag…I am a coal miner, and for a bunch of guys who shower together everyday, they sure like to pick on the gheys…but the whole point is…when President Obama was first elected it was like a slave rebellion just happened and we had volunteers to go find that uppity-n*****…and as a well known, “tree hugging hippie” I was also dubbed a N*****lover…and of course my best friend was a bull riding cowboy, black as the ace of spades, over 6’6″ inches, a Nam vet with nine bullet holes and missing body parts…but back to the point of racism….it is alive and well in the USofA and shows no sign of weakening or slowing down…Scalia is a paid tool of the industrialist who want to take us back to slavery, but not JUST black folk but for the rest of us as well….I don’t see how any of these corrupt justices can continue with any sort of credibility…they lost creds in 2000, and PBO’s picks have not been able to level things out…
    ps. sorry for the length of my missive…

  • http://www.facebook.com/randyariddle Randy Riddle

    You forgot North Carolina, where local KKK and neo-Nazi groups are still active and periodically hold rallies. There was one well-publicised one in Liberty, NC about a year or so ago.

© 2014 AMERICAblog News. All rights reserved. · Entries RSS