Friday, March 13, 2009

Southern Pride and Ignorance.

You know, being a redneck doesn't mean that you have to be ignorant.
Just because you're born a working class, white guy in a southern state doesn't mean that you have to be the lame caricature of the under educated, closed minded, Limbaugh listening doofus.
If you don't have all the things that your heart desires, it's not the fault of African Americans, immigrants, New Yorkers, Democrats or liberals. It's pretty much your own fault for believing the crap that's put out by the Right Wing Propaganda Machine.
That's right, those Republicans that you look to that are somehow going bring back those halcyon, antebellum days when all the white folks down south were wealthy and got the respect that they deserved. Dream on. It ain't going to happen.
If you're working your butt off for a less than living wage, chances are it's because of the way you vote. If you're voting for the person because they wave the flag and thump the Bible, because they wear a little flag in their lapel, because they blame someone else for your low wages, because the NRA tells you to, because they're white or because you're just too damned lazy to check the facts yourself, then you're screwing yourself and your family. In other words, you're proudly ignorant and see no reason to change.
That's no problem. It's a free country and I would fight for your right to stay blissfully ignorant. I mean, if you don't mind being played for a chump by the people you vote for, that's your business.
Cheap labor. Even more than race, it's the thread that connects all of Southern history -- from the antebellum South of John C. Calhoun and Jefferson Davis to Tennessee's Bob Corker, Alabama's Richard Shelby and the other anti-union Southerners in today's U.S. Senate.
It's at the epicenter of a sad class divide between a desperate, poorly educated workforce and a demagogic oligarchy, and it has been a demarcation line stronger than the Mason-Dixon in separating the region from the rest of the nation.
In their zeal to destroy unions and their hard-fought wage-and-benefits packages, the Southern senators could not care less that workers in their home states are among the lowest paid in the nation. Ever wonder why the South remains the nation's poorest region despite generations of seniority-laden senators and representatives in Congress?
The idea of working people joining together to have a united voice across the table from management scares most Southern politicians to death. After all, they go to the same country clubs as management. When Mississippi Republican Roger Wicker warned of Democratic opponent Ronnie Musgrove's ties to the "Big Labor Bosses" in this year's U.S. Senate race, he was protecting the "Big Corporate Bosses" who are his benefactors.
The South today may be more racially enlightened than ever in its history. However, it is still a society in which the ruling class -- the chambers of commerce that have taken over from yesterday's plantation owners and textile barons -- uses politics to maintain control over a vast, jobs-hungry workforce. After the oligarchy lost its war for slavery -- the cheapest labor of all -- it secured the next best thing in Jim Crow and the indentured servitude known as sharecropping and tenant farming. It still sees cheap, pliable, docile labor as the linchpin of the Southern economy.
Think about it.


  1. Great blog. As a Southern liberal myself I completely appreciate your view; I think you nailed this one. I came upon your blog by accident, but I'm glad I did. Keep up the good work.
    If you ever get a chance check out my blog. So far it's just been some quasi-humorous rants on various subjects, but I will probably take it down a more serious road before long. Take care. Peace!

  2. I agree -- great blog and you are on point. Although I'm not a Southern liberal, I'm a Bostonian liberal smothered in a very red part of CA. Dems in my town are on the down-low, afraid to let anyone know their political leanings for fear of some sort of social rejection. More people like you and me need to speak out and tell the truth. Progress depends on it.

  3. Reprint of a Letter to The Editor
    May 11, 2005
    Dear Editor

    Democrats are arguing forcefully to protect the right of filibuster and free speech in the Senate Chambers in order to block the Bush nominations to the courts. Democrats in the Senate argued just as forcefully against filibuster of some of President Clinton's nominations. Filibusters by Southern Senators held up Civil Rights advancement and infuriated Democrats in the fifties and sixties. Democrats are now on shaky ground, defending what they once despised. If it was bad then, it is bad now.
    Let us not forget the hypocrisy of the republicans, who have successfully embraced the filibuster when in the minority, to block good Democrat Judges and legislation. Let us always remember the hypocrisy of the current chief hypocrite, Bill Frist, who has gleefully supported past minority republican filibusters. Now, and only now, that he is in the majority is he opposed. Now he just wants Senators to vote; to do their Constitutional duty.
    My hope is that Senate Democrats are playing a cagey game of shallow opposition to make republicans ravishingly hungry to destroy the filibuster which they have used successfully to the detriment of America. When the republicans' desire is at its peak, the Democrats might just step aside and watch the filibuster fall forever, waiting on that day when they are once again in the majority. Further, overturning the filibuster will allow the republican majority to exercise its will. That action will hasten our day of punishment for allowing republicans in places of authority. Only when we are properly punished and repentant can American begin to "throw the rascals out" and repair the damage to our country.

    Jim Lewis


I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative. I believe that to be so obvious and undeniable a fact that I hardly think any hon. Gentleman will question it.

John Stuart Mill (May 20 1806 – May 8 1873)