Monday, December 19, 2005

The American South: America's Whipping Boy

Everything that is wrong with this nation is due to the despicable influence of The South. It's true. Ask anyone from another part of the country. In a previous post I mention an author whose whole premise seems to be that The South has infected the rest of the country. He seems to feel it's up to what he calls 'the creative class' to stop the virus from overtaking the country and leaving 'the creative class' isolated and outnumbered. That got me to thinking about how The South is perceived. Election night 2004. I watched as the commentators commented as the poll results were coming in, with no attempt to mask their dismay. I heard Chris Wallace say something to the effect of, 'It looks like most of the country is voting like the south!', with astonishment and disbelief in his voice. One morning a couple of years ago I heard Katie Couric commenting on a news report that had just aired about racial conflict somewhere. She seemed disgusted and shook her head and questioned/commented as to why The South is 'like that'. She was corrected by her co-host. This incident had happened in a northern state (I don't remember which one). She looked confused for a second and then just shook it off. She didn't get it. I can't tell you the relief I feel when I hear news of a KKK rally and find out it was up north - Michigan or Wisconsin. Thank God it's not in Georgia or Alabama. That would be fodder for endless analysis of the evils of The South. There was a news story that occured close by where I live. It involved a young black man. The national press took it and ran with it. The spin the story got in the national press was that it was 'The South' punishing a black man for getting a scholarship to college. Of course, if that were true, there would be all kinds of punishing going on down here. Lots of people get scholarships to college. We'd be slap worn out from punishing. This young man was painted as a victim. I happen to know the rest of the story, and the rest of the story was certainly NOT related in the news. He was not a victim. Some of the leaders of the national black community came to this area to shoot reports about this incident. It was ludicrous and embarrassing. Our black community booted them out of town. I was proud of them for that! One of the news reports I particular remember was done by a nationally known reporter. He stood in front of a raggedy ol' barn that had a confederate flag painted on the side of it for the entire segment. He told his national audience about how backward we are and how hard we work to keep 'young black men in their place.' That really was news, it was news to the people who live in this area. Now, I live close by, like I said. I have NEVER seen a barn with a confederate flag painted on the side of it like that. Since I saw that segment, I've kinda kept an eye out for that barn. I still haven't seen it. He had to have looked high and low to find an old run down barn with a confederate flag painted over the entire side of it around here. If there is one. I'm not saying there aren't any problems here. I know there are. I'm not saying there aren't confederate flags here and there. There are. But come on! Well, as my husband says, The South is the nations best kept secret, otherwise everybody would be moving down here and that would not be a good thing. Let them keep thinking if they come down here they'll have to wrestle with albino banjo picking hillbillies. We'll just keep our little secret.