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The last bastion of acceptable bigotry: Hatin’ on the South

I’ve lived all over. And everywhere I’ve lived that was not here was highly segregated. I remember in the 80s, in south Jersey, my dad telling me he went on a run with another soldier who was local. As they ran, he’d say to my dad “this is where the Xs live”. X being blacks, Asians, Jews, Italians, Catholics and so forth. Dad quipped to the guy “I thought it was the South that was segregated?”

Hawaii, there were Haoles and everyone else.

And on and on.

And, in the WaPo (Yeah, that WaPo):

These crude regional stereotypes ignore the deep roots such social ills have in our shared national history and culture. If, somehow, the South became its own country, the Northeast would still be a hub of racially segregated housing and schooling, the West would still be a bastion of prejudicial laws that put immigrants and black residents behind bars at higher rates than their white neighbors and the Midwest would still be full of urban neighborhoods devastated by unemployment, poverty and crime. How our social problems manifest regionally is a matter of degree, not kind they infect every region of the country.

In fact, many of the racial injustices we associate with the South are actually worse in the North. Housing segregation between black and white residents, for instance, is most pervasive above the Mason-Dixon line. Of Americas 25 most racially segregated metropolitan areas, just five are in the South; Northern cities Detroit, Milwaukee and New York top the list. Segregation in Northern metro areas has declined a bit since 1990, but an analysis of 2010 census data found that Detroits level of segregation, for instance, is nearly twice as high as Charlestons.

The becoming our own country part sounds appealing. Except we do have a higher per capita of religious fundamentalists.

19 Responses to “The last bastion of acceptable bigotry: Hatin’ on the South”

  1. the pawnbroker Says:

    Not the last bastion, apparently, as your last sentence illustrates so well.

  2. Drang Says:

    So, this new nation thingy, what would the immigration policies be? My parents live there, if that helps…

  3. The Neon Madman Says:

    Yes, this won’t be the last one. There’ll be something after this, after the next, ….

  4. Backwoods Engineer Says:

    “The becoming our own country part sounds appealing. Except we do have a higher per capita of religious fundamentalists.”

    Watch out who you hate on. They may, in fact, be your allies.

    I’m one of those “fundamentalist” Christians (I don’t know what people really mean by that; perhaps that we take the Bible seriously, which I do), and I read your blog every day, and stand strong for the Bill of Rights, most especially the right to keep and bear arms, which can hold all manner of tyranny at bay.

    But, hey, if you don’t want allies that have your back, I can shove off.

  5. Ron W Says:

    Well said, Backwoods! Fundamental is a synonym of basic. So yes, I am a Christian fundamentalist which means I adhere to the basic beliefs of the Christian Faith from an objective reading if Scripture. One of those fundamentals is Liberty as in “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (II Corinthians 3:17) and “Stand fast therefore in the liberty with which Christ has made us free and do no become entangled again in the yoke of bondage.” (Galatians 5:1)

    In opposition to us, are authoritarian Religious and political extremists who despise and disdain liberty. The latter are the most dangerous since they use legalized force and hired guns to impose
    their agenda. Therefore as Jesus taught, we need to maintain a balance of righteous armed resistance against this “spiritual wickedness in high places”.

  6. Oleg Volk Says:

    I was warned about the fundies when I moved to the South. Most of them turned out to be friendly, easy-going people who were rather less judgmental than the self-proclaimed liberals.

  7. Ron W Says:

    Oleg, good point, just notice the intense judgmentalism of many so-called liberals against those of us who choose to exercise the basic human right of armed self defense. Of course, they have a free speech right to judge us. But they want government to impose their morality on us by hired guns!

  8. Patrick Says:

    I’ve noticed a higher number of fundamental Christians in the South as well. What I don’t understand is why noticing that is some kind of bad act, or proof of some kid of intolerance. Noticing that something is unique does not mean that it is bad.

    Ergo: the South has more hot days than the North; it generally understands how to roast a pig like none other; and also has better fishing than most places I’ve been. I lump those observations in with, “more evangelical churches per square mile” to be decent things that add to the culture and character of a place.

    I know there are those out looking to hate on “fundies”, but I don’t see it here. I sense you are in friendly company, especially considering how Unc has highlighted real acts of hate against Christians.

    Saber that blade and wait for the time you actually need it. Should the time come, those of us “not fundie” (but maybe religious all the same) will surely have a friend’s back.

  9. Patrick Says:

    And as a serious inquiry, does the term “fundie” offend anyone? Honestly, I see it used frequently by people on all sides and have never sensed derision in its use.

    But if it is some kind of trigger-word, I’d like to know. Really, I am not being a wise guy.

    Thx.

    FWIW, I grew up Catholic but walked for reasons. Haven’t landed anywhere else yet, but with young kids we are looking around again.

  10. Ron W Says:

    As a “fundie” Christian, I’m like a “fundie”football coach who stresses, blocking, tackling, running and passing. And, as I said, one of those fundamentals is Liberty, which is opposite of the fundamental belief of most of religious and political arena, that being Control.

  11. the pawnbroker Says:

    As I alluded at the top, Unc’s comment indicates that religiosity is his view a bug not a feature of Southern culture. This is a reverse form of bigotry much like the recent flag stupidity, the implication being that the flag itself is emblematic of racism or basic religious belief itself is emblematic of intolerance.

    This is actually not at all rare in gunnie circles including some of the most popular members who caustically deride religion and even God himself as simple-minded belief in magic or a ghost in the sky, and similar derisive comments like Unc’s seem to be a bid to curry favor in that club.

    These are smart people, maybe too smart for their own good as they think that anything that cannot be scientifically proven must be farce, and yet they are completely oblivious to the ironically blatant and hurtful bigotry that their dismissive attitudes and comments reveal.

    Southerners who know the true history of the civil war are not racists, but they bristle when told or forced to remove emblems of their heritage. And Christians who believe in Creation and the Word of God do the same when they are blithely derided and labeled as disciples of money-grubbing blow-dried teevee evangelists for whom God has a special place in hell.

  12. Ron W Says:

    Well-said, pawnbroker! As for “money-grubbing preachers”, the Bible says to “give willingly as you purpose in your heart” (II Corinthians 9:7), not ” under compulsion” according to what a preacher demands. However one can choose not to give. The worst “money-grabbers” are the politicians with whom you have no choice and who use the threat of fines, jail and guns to make you give to them!

  13. Backwoods Engineer Says:

    Good comments, pawnbroker. I sensed the same as you did, hence my comments, which could have been worded better, I admit.

  14. mikee Says:

    As a lapsed Roman Catholic, I still get to tell any evangelicals that go on longer than necessary that they talk a good talk, but need to stop their heretical schismatic ways and get back to the one true faith. This usually either evokes a laugh or righteous charges of idolatrous papism. The ones that laugh are worth keeping as friends, the ones who get all huffy are useful as cannon fodder for the culture wars.

  15. Patrick Says:

    @mikee: I have similar experience.

    I was once told by a modern evangelical that Catholicism was a ‘cult’ – some odd offspring of Christianity.

    My response was that anyone who follows a bible written during a time when the US Copyright system existed had no place calling an order that can trace it’s roots back to the Holy Roman Empire and ‘The One’, “an offshoot”.

    Again, like you I find some laugh and some get downright huffy. My view is if you cannot laugh at your God, you need a new one. Mine has a good sense of humor – check out our new pope!

    (see what I did there?)

    😉

  16. Ron W Says:

    mikee, I’m always agreeable to “the one faith” , the true one, as in Ephesians 4:5 regardless in which building one gathers–or doesn’t gather. As Jesus said, “I AM ithe Door” through which His sheep may go IN AND OUT and find pasture…John 10:9. There’s a lot of LIBERTY there, too much for those who think they gotta lock down the sheep in one place….LOL

  17. Lyle Says:

    “…we do have a higher per capita of religious fundamentalists.”
    So are you saying that you do see the connection between a higher per capita of religious fundamentalists and low segregation, or that you do not?

    Is this like some of the comments about Utah or South Idaho, saying that its a pretty great to live and raise a family, except for all those Mormons?

  18. Lyle Says:

    It’s still pretty acceptable to make fun of fat people. Rush Limbaugh is a big fat idiot, Michael Moore is a big fat slob, Rosie O’Donnell, that douche Governor from New Jersey, and so on and on.

    And Christians. Don’t dare say anything about Islam, but it’s pretty OK to bash Christians, and if you’re a leftist it’s a requirement.

    White Men. Pretty much anything goes when it comes to insulting and making fun of white men. You will neveer be excoriated in the media for hatin’ on white men. It’s ecpected of course, because honky, cracker, redneck asshole pricks are such total douchebags. See? No one cares? Ever. Not even white men.

  19. Backwoods Engineer Says:

    Lyle,

    The standard warning from Martin Niemller applies. But most Americans don’t even know who he is.

    Ah, never mind.