Category Archives: The South

A Note from the Past: My 2010 Election Post

This is a revised post from 2010.  So much of it is still relevant, but a lot has changed since then.  And not for the better.  I’ll repost it more or less as is and use it as a starting point for my current political thoughts as we get closer to the election….

 

I’ve thought a lot about this over the last few days as we head to the 2010 election. For Progressive’s like me, it’s forecast to be a rough one who’s results may lead us backward as opposed to foreward.

And, once again, the South will lead us there. We’ve always been good at looking fondly backward in the South–whether the facts support it or not.  That makes for fertile ground for the Republicans.  I’ve always said:  “Republicans look backwards with Fear while Democrats look forward with Hope.

That got me thinking. Why is it the South is such a stronghold for the Republicans? Here are my thoughts:

  1. The South is heavy with fundamentalists and evangelical religions. These people have been played by the Republican Party like a cheap violin. Here is what I would say to them: Open your eyes. Under Bush, the Republicans controlled the government and did not ban abortion or execute any of the other points of your agenda. If they didn’t do it then, they won’t do it now. They are using you. Wise up.  
  2. There is a history of Patriarchy in the South that is not dead. Many people, especially in smaller towns and rural areas, still follow the leadership of local political leaders with little thought. They are used to being led without questions or taking time to check the facts because they think they “know” the person and he/she is “one of us.”  
  3. Education is not really valued by a large portion of Southerners. They are suspicious of the overly educated and think they don’t understand them. The Republicans are very good at playing dumb and coming off as one of the “good ole boys” while they use the votes of the poor whites in the South to channel money and benefits to their rich friends on Wall Street.
  4. Southerners resists looking at anything too deeply. Introspection is not valued in the South. Action is….The Republican’s play on this very well.
  5. Facts don’t mean much in the South. Truth has always been conceptual rather than a reality. Any region that can convince itself for over 150 years that the Civil War was about “states rights” rather than slavery is capable of any kind of self-delusion.
  6. The South tends to hate the idea of Big Government, even if they enjoy the benefits. They can over look little things like Social Security, Medicare, new bridges and highways, and insurance that covers pre-existing conditions and college kids. They somehow don’t make the connection that the federal government provides these things…
  7. Southerners value personal freedom above all else, as long as you are a straight white man.
  8. The President is Black and he’s a Democrat. To a large group of folks in the South, this alone is enough reason to vote Republican. Although you may never get them to admit it…

What can Democrats do to change all this and win the South?

  1. Learn to fight. The South and most of the Country values people who stand up for their principles. The GOP has Balls and the Democrats have Brains. You have to have both to win in the South.
  2. Push for independent, bipartisan redistricting commissions.
  3. Get out your message. We’ve got to publicize the benefits of the legislation we do pass and how it helps the poor and middle class as opposed to the Rich. The Democrats and The President have failed miserably at this for the few years. We have real achievements, but no one knows it.
  4. Take on the bullies at Fox News. We have got to make people realize this is not a news organization, but a propaganda machine that provides entertainment to the ignorant. We should be pushing companies not to advertise on Fox News. We should be telling the Management to turn it off in Public places like restaraunts and gyms.
  5. Call a liar a liar. This relates to number 1, but I can’t stress this enough. The Republicans look right in the camera and lie. And no one calls them on it. We have to start making people aware that there are things called “Facts” and stand up for them.
  6. Make this about Class Warfare. A class war is going on for years and most of the country just started to realize this. And the Republicans started it. Call’em on it. 
  7. Make it clear: Unless you have an individual income of greater than $200,000 or a combined Family income of over $300,000, there is absolutely no financial reason to vote for the Republicans. If you want to vote for what is best for your pocketbook, vote for the Democrats. The Republicans really only answer to the Corporations and the wealthy.
  8. Make Obama white. That’s about the only way you can get about 35% of white Southerners to support the Democrats. We have to focus on the remaining 65% of the South with open minds.
  9. Wait it out….The older, closed minded, prejudiced Southerners are dying off. The younger ones are more open minded,  better educated and have seen more of the world. These are the Southern Democrats of tomorrow.
  10. Make your Democratic friends vote. Even if you have to go to their house or job and throw them in the car and take them to the polls. There are more Democrats than Republicans in many parts of the South. The problem is Republicans always vote and Democrats don’t. If more Democrats would actually just show up at the polls, we would win a lot more races.

Those are my thoughts for now.

All I have left to say is:

If you are a Democrat, get off your butt and vote. There are no excuses.

If you are a Republican-why don’t you just book a spa day for Tuesday and let the election go? That would really be best for all of us….

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Filed under Elections, North Carolina, Politics, Scott's Commentary, The South

Young Boy With Two Gay Dads Will Be Allowed In Swimming Pool

It’s nice to see some positive news from Virginia…

And for people to see just how the Private Sector tries to use anti-Gay Republican legislation to discriminate, not just against Gay people, but their children…

The good news is that, thanks to a Change.org petition with over 80,000 signatures-multiplying by the moment- they can also be persuaded to change.  But it seems they only change once there is enough Public Pressure to do so…

Wouldn’t it be nice if they did the right thing to begin with?

From the NewCivilRightsMovement.org:

 

A young boy with two gay dads will now be allowed to swim in a Virginia health club pool after a Change.org petition went viral, garnering as of this writing almost 80,000 signatures in a few days — and escalating by the thousands every few minutes. As The New Civil Rights Movement reported Tuesday, a same-sex couple who have a two-year old son had been denied access to the Roanoke Athletic Club‘s swimming pool, which is owned by the regional Virginia medical provider, Carilion Clinic, which revoked the membership of the family after they realized the family was headed by two gay dads.

The petition, by LGBT activist Mark Lynn Ferguson, noted that two men, Will Trinkle and his “partner Juan Granados wanted to take their 2-yeard-old son [sic] Oliver Trinkle-Granados to the gym’s outdoor pool during the summer months.”

Only children on family memberships are allowed to use the pool, so Trinkle signed up for a family plan. His application was accepted and processed, clearly listing him, his same sex partner, and their child as members.

Nine days later, a representative from the gym contacted Trinkle and told him that his application was processed by mistake. According to Trinkle, the representative said that the company was “‘tightening policies’ so no families like us would ever ‘get as far’ as we had.” The representative went on to claim that Roanoke Athletic Club is following Virginia state law, which does not recognize same sex marriage.

Now, just moments ago, Change.org wrote via Twitter that “The Carilion Clinic announced they will change their family policy so children with gay parents can swim in the pool!”

More:   Success! Young Boy With Two Gay Dads Will Be Allowed In Swimming Pool! | The New Civil Rights Movement.

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Filed under Gay, Social Justice, The South, Uncategorized, Virginia

Conservative Southern Values and the New Class Warfare

I usually take  Alternet with a grain of salt, but this article really stood out for me….

Alternet is has an admittedly Progressive editorial view.  Their articles can lack focus, run on too long and be very wordy.  They truly need some editorial help to tighten things ups, but they make some very valid points.  If you can find them….

But this one really stood out for its quality and point of view.  It is really worth clicking the link and reading it in its entirety….

And, given the GOP’s “Southern Strategy” that they have employed since Nixon, it has a real resonance.  As the GOP becomes a regional, Southern party, this is something to really keep in mind….

It’s looking more and more like the South may be winning the Second Civil War and we have to think of how to stop this…

This is something I’ve been saying in cocktail conversations for years…

Arguably, the true Conservative position would be to return to the New England view of wealth and the world….

That’s the Traditional way….

For most of our history, American economics, culture and politics have been dominated by a New England-based Yankee aristocracy that was rooted in Puritan communitarian values, educated at the Ivies and marinated in an ethic of noblesse oblige (the conviction that those who possess wealth and power are morally bound to use it for the betterment of society). While they’ve done their share of damage to the notion of democracy in the name of profit (as all financial elites inevitably do), this group has, for the most part, tempered its predatory instincts with a code that valued mass education and human rights; held up public service as both a duty and an honor; and imbued them with the belief that once you made your nut, you had a moral duty to do something positive with it for the betterment of mankind. Your own legacy depended on this.

Among the presidents, this strain gave us both Roosevelts, Woodrow Wilson, John F. Kennedy, and Poppy Bush — nerdy, wonky intellectuals who, for all their faults, at least took the business of good government seriously. Among financial elites, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet still both partake strongly of this traditional view of wealth as power to be used for good. Even if we don’t like their specific choices, the core impulse to improve the world is a good one — and one that’s been conspicuously absent in other aristocratic cultures.

Which brings us to that other great historical American nobility — the plantation aristocracy of the lowland South, which has been notable throughout its 400-year history for its utter lack of civic interest, its hostility to the very ideas of democracy and human rights, its love of hierarchy, its fear of technology and progress, its reliance on brutality and violence to maintain “order,” and its outright celebration of inequality as an order divinely ordained by God.

via Conservative Southern Values Revived: How a Brutal Strain of American Aristocrats Have Come to Rule America | | AlterNet.

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Filed under Elections, Politics, The South, Uncategorized

The Novel Has Begun….

New post up on my other blog…

I’ve been playing with writing a novel and here is a very rough draft of part of the first chapter….

Click the link if you want to read more:

I was living in a dying town.  It was official.  I had seen the story listing the “official” government lists of dying cities and my town was on the list.  It was in the Washington Post, so it must be true.

The funny thing was, I had come back here to get away from the dying.

But both death and time do have a way of catching up with you.

I wondered how the town would react if I reprinted the story in our local newspaper.  They would probably just ignore it.  Or some of our stalwart citizens would angrily condemn it in angry letters to the editor.  Either way, it was probably best to just ignore it.  That’s what people generally did with bad news from outside here in Southside  Virginia.

It had always been an insular, closed off little town, but it was even more so now.  The cotton mills were gone and tobacco was now widely thought to be worse than opium.  But, people couldn’t let go of the past.  People here were still fighting the Civil War and referring to it as the “War of Northern Aggression” on the local blogs and on Facebook pages.

It was not a good place to be young, smart or interested in new thoughts and things outside of the town or a good place to live if you asked too many questions or challenged the status quo.  Never had  been.

Those were the thoughts I was having as I sat on the old glider of my Grandmother’s house in the mill village and nursed a Virginia Gentleman and water.  Things always stayed the same here.  Or people tried like hell to make them do so.

That’s why I was so surprised to see a new Volvo come down the hill and pull in behind my Lexus in the gravel drive way beside the house.  I didn’t often have visitors.  However, I was only slightly surprised to see Peyton Chandler McManus get out of the Volvo and walk up to the porch.  She had been gone for years, but I had heard she was back in town.

More:  The Novel Has Begun…. | My Southern Gothic Life.

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Chapter 61: Bosom Buddies | My Southern Gothic Life

I posted a new post on my other blog a day or two ago…

Here is a brief excerpt and a link to the full blog entry….

 

My Best Friend had Heart Surgery this week…

I don’t like to think of us as old enough to have to face these issues, but I guess we are…

And “Best Friend” is a very inclusive, non-exclusive term for me…I have several.

First and foremost is Steve, my partner and soulmate.  He’s in a class by himself.  I have another friend who is a “Best Friend”, who goes back more years than I care to count, but she’s like my “female” “Best Friend”.

This guy is, I guess the best way to put it, my male “Best Friend”.  He’s the Brother I never had…

via Chapter 61: Bosom Buddies | My Southern Gothic Life.

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Sordid Lives….

If you need some Holiday amusement and/or want to feel better about your own family or community, you must see this movie.

It’s a cult favorite and was later made into an equally amusing series on  TV….

Both are available on DVD.

If you missed it, especially if you are Southern, it might be a good way to spend a little time…

I loved it!

 

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Filed under Movies, The South, Uncategorized

Interracial Couple Banned From Kentucky Church

And what century is this???

As Gandhi said:  “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ”

From HuffingtonPost.com:

 

In a move to “promote greater unity” among its body and the Pike County community it serves, a small Kentucky church voted to ban interracial couples from membership and from participating in certain worship activities, Kentucky.com reports.

Though reminiscent of some Jim Crow-era mandate, the Gulnare Freewill Baptist Church actually made the decision earlier this month, following a visit from 24-year-old Stella Harville, daughter of the church’s secretary and clerk, and her 29-year-old fiance, Ticha Chikuni, a native of Zimbabwe.

According to Harville’s father, Dean Harville, Stella brought Chikuni to the church in June where they performed a song for the congregation.

Following the visit, pastor Melvin Thompson told Harville that his daughter and her fiance could not sing at the church again. Thompson later proposed that the church go on record saying that while all people were welcome to attend public worship services there, the church did not condone interracial marriage.

His proposal, which was accepted by a 9-6 vote last week, also suggested that married interracial couples be prohibited from becoming members and used in worship activities, except for funerals.

“It’s not the spirit of the community in any way, shape or form,” said Randy Johnson, president of the Pike County Ministerial Association, according to Kentucky.com.

While Pike County and the surrounding community come to grips with the church’s decision, researchers at Ohio State University and Cornell University say black-white marriages in the United States are soaring, increasing threefold, from 3 percent in 1980 to 10.7 percent in 2008.

via Interracial Couple Banned From Kentucky Church.

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Filed under Race, Religion, The South