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Sunday, July 24, 2005


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Well, shut my mouth! I was born in Atlanta and never lived north of the Mason-Dixon (thank-you, Jesus!). On the weekends, I take Bubba's pickup out muddin' and then put on my hoop skirt for mint juleps on the porch. Bubba don't drive much since that accident with the cow...

It's barely been a week and I've already gotten the opportunity to subject a wider audience to a couple of my favorite rants. Being a born-and-bred Southerner, the misrepresentation of my culture just fires me up like a pig on a spit.

Southerners often find themselves unsheltered by the parasol of political correctness. It's perfectly acceptable to portray Southerners as either dumb, often-racist, white trash or rich, drawling divas spending daddy's money.

Except for when they are crooked, stupid small-town sheriffs.

Which is not to say, as Sloop points out, that these types of people don't exist. But they aren't everything. And it's not that we want to pretend they don't exist: They are an intrinsic part of our culture. But they aren't representative of it, nor are they the epitome.

What I dislike the most about Southern slams, is that it is a sign of laziness and ignorance, an unwillingness to look past the superficial.

It's like going to Myrtle Beach and saying "Okay, I've seen the South!"

Knowledge and/or information gathered with an agenda or preconceived conclusion won't get you more than a sliver of truth.

The South is a complex, beautiful and ugly place. Some of the greatest ideals are nurtured here and some of the worst of man's failings grow right alongside. Kinda like any place with a rich history.

There are times that I despair of living in such a back-water place and other times I love it so much it's painful. I don't mind anyone who explores the less attractive side of it, but don't present that as the whole truth.

And remember this: a Southern accent, even a red-neck one, doesn't preclude intellect. Make that assumption and you might get taken for a ride.



I can say that I'm less in love with the South than I used to be. Particularly in July and August.


I'm particularly annoyed when people from other parts of the country remind me of how racist the South is.

Of course, it IS racist. You have got to be deaf, dumb, or willfully ignorant to not know that.

But I always enjoy being lectured on race relations from people from places like Iowa and parts of Wisconsin, who see non-white people on TV sometimes. And New England -- liberated New England! Anybody checked out race relations in Boston.

Also, last major race riots, according to my memory: Los Angeles, and then Cincinnati.

A friend in the 4-Corners area recently went to a City Council meeting in Farmington, N.M., where council discussed renaming a street after MLK. Before you say, "Wait, hasn't every city in the country already done that?" let me note: the proposal failed miserable. White audience members snickered at comments about MLK from black folks.

I can only say that that would NEVER fly in Atlanta.

So anyway, the South deals with its racism upfront. I think the rest of the country often bashes us for it, then goes on acting in their own racist ways.

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