Thursday, August 6, 2009

Southerners taking the heat for Conservatives

Posted By on Thu, Aug 6, 2009 at 12:11 PM

I, too, have noticed the talking heads adding the word "Southern" before the word "Conservative" lately.

As someone who grew up deep in the heart of Dixie — Montgomery, Ala., arguably the heart of Dixie — before a several year stop in Atlanta, another bastion of the Civil War, on my way to the Q.C., it's difficult to argue there isn't a connection.

Throughout my life, "Hello" has been immediately followed by "What church do you go to?" Even applications for sororities, class reunions and scholarships in my home state asked that question.

Every single year in high school some redneck would bring a rebel flag to school and set off a day of fighting, which was always terrifying. (By the way, I graduated in 1995 not 1965.)

Also since childhood, I've wondered why some white people assumed I was a bigot and that it was OK to use the 'N' word around me and talk about other races in derogatory ways — as if that's behavior we all revert to when we're left alone with our white-only friends and family.

Though, that shouldn't be too big of a surprise since, to this day, you're as likely to see a rebel flag flying in front of someone's rural Alabama home as you are an American flag.

Part of why I left Montgomery was because of the constant assumption that I was a Conservative, religious, bigoted Republican because I'm white and part of an old, wealthy Southern family — by marriage.

So, yeah. I get why Southerners are taking the heat today and have to say: It's not an amazing revelation since many in the South have been piling wood on this fire for a long, long time.

Alas, Voinovich was not entirely wrong. Not all Southern Republicans are wing nuts. Nor does the GOP have a monopoly on ignorance or racism. And, the South, for all its sins, is also lush with beauty, grace and mystery. Nevertheless, it is true that the GOP is fast becoming regionalized below the Mason-Dixon, and becoming increasingly associated with some of the South's worst ideas.

It is not helpful that “birthers” – conspiracy theorists who have convinced themselves that Barack Obama is not a native son – have assumed kudzu qualities among Republicans in the South. In a poll commissioned by the liberal blog Daily Kos, participants were asked: “Do you believe that Barack Obama was born in the United States of America or not?”

Hefty majorities in the Northeast, Midwest and West believe Obama was born in the U.S. But in the land of cotton, where old times are not by God forgotten, only 47 percent believe Obama was born in America and 30 percent aren't sure.

Southern Republicans, it seems, have seceded from sanity.

Though Voinovich's views may be shared by others in the party, it's a tad late – not to mention ungrateful – to indict the South. Republicans have been harvesting Southern votes for decades from seeds strategically planted during the Civil Rights era. When Lyndon B. Johnson predicted in 1965 that the Voting Rights Act meant the South would go Republican for the next 50 years, he wasn't just whistling Dixie.

Read the rest of this viewpoint from The Charlotte Observer's Kathleen Parker.

Alabama's "Song of the South" as posted by DarkRebel19 on YouTube:

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Pin It
Submit to Reddit


Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Creative Loafing encourages a healthy discussion on its website from all sides of the conversation, but we reserve the right to delete any comments that detract from that. Violence, racism and personal attacks that go beyond the pale will not be tolerated.

Search Events
items in Creative Loafing Charlotte More in Creative Loafing Charlotte pool

© 2018 Womack Digital, LLC
Powered by Foundation