Newsflash: The Deep South Still Backward, Ignorant, Racist

I was reading this article in that leftist rag the New York times today and I couldn’t help but being shocked by the ignorance and racism on display in it. I’m very upfront about the fact that I dislike the South, but the fact that someone could say something like this to a national newspaper is mind blowing:

I mean, seriously, can’t these people let go of the 1800’s and stop being so reactionary and close minded toward anyone slightly different from them? We’ve had to drag these morons into modernity twice at the point of a gun. Why in God’s name are they so attached to a mindset that has kept them stupid and poor, and why are they so willing to try and foist it on the rest of us? For the sake of all of us, Deep South, if you are so committed to your ignorant closed minded way of life, at least do the rest of us normal people a favor and stop voting so we don’t have to try and sanely govern the country with the fucknuts you keep electing. Thankfully Virginia and North Carolina are slowly transforming into normal places, marginalizing the rest of the South. You think that would wake up the Deep South, but then again that would require them to do something that is intelligent, progressive, and forward-thinking; and we all know those things are antithetical to their precious “Southern Values.”


You know, there’s a pretty good rule about reporting. Wherever you go, if you talk to enough people, you’re going to find somebody who will say something asinine. Jay Leno knows that…it’s what he does with his “Jaywalking” segments.

Sadly, that also appears to be true on the Dope.

“That leftist rag the New York Times”

Always a good way to start deriding ignorance.

Except that in this case we have strong empirical evidence that this woman simply said what everyone else there thinks. From the same article:

That was sarcasm.

There’s a good article in Slate today on how all whites, not just Southern whites, didn’t really vote for Obama.

ETA - found it. McCain beat Obama by a 12 point margin among white voters. Not just we racist asshole Southerners (I’m sorry, my white sheets are in the wash today so I had to wear plaid ones to work) but all white voters.

Note, I’m not just trashing the South because they overwhelming voted against Obama, it’s only exhibit 903,495,894,385 of the South’s backwardness. Besides, a 12 point margin is a far cry from 9 out of 10 (by the way, that 12 point number is skewed by the 9 out of 10 number put up by the whole south).

How does that statistic break down by region, though? Were the Southerners bringing the average down?

That’s a terrible article. What the statistics actually show is that more whites voted for Obama than any Democratic candidate for president except Clinton in 1996 (1% difference) and Carter in 1976.

Can you define the deep south please? My whole family lives in Georgia, we’re white, and we all voted for Obama.

Since I am a white guy in the south who voted for Obama and am not afraid in the least of “outbreaks from blacks”, I am either a bad southerner or a good Democrat.

I am so conflicted.

Yeah, prejudice and bigotry sure is a terrible thing. You shouldn’t judge all the members of a group based on the actions of some of them. People are individuals, you know?

I don’t really have a strong opinion either way on the article, but come on guys…you know perfectly well that the plural of anecdote is not data. I’m an atheist living in the Bible Belt. Does that mean it must not really be the Bible Belt?

No. We have evidence that a Democrat running in Right-leaning states will have less of a chance than a Republican of catching the white vote. If you wish to assert that a 90% tally for McCain among white voters indicates racism, you need to demonstrate that Kerry, Gore, and Clinton each got significantly more than 10% of the white vote.

Do you have those figures?

Is there still time for me to switch my vote to McCain and be afraid of colored folks so that I can fit MichaelQReilly’s prejudgment? It must be nice to live in a land free from stereotypes and prejudice.

Sweet, sweet irony.

If you look at the maps on the link, particularly #2, which indicates which counties voted more Republican than in 2004, you can clearly identify a region that goes from East Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and up through Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia. Parts of Georgia and the Florida panhandle saw lesser gains. Alaska and Arizona were special cases.

The “Deep South” is not a good descriptor of the region as it covers Appalachia but not Alabama or South Carolina or Southern Mississippi.

Well, the South don’t like you neither.

As Lamar points out, you can always find someone to say something stupid. And you can always find some poor schmuck you can make innocently pose under his deer and bass trophies to maximize, for ignorant Yankees, the impression of Redneck Hickville – just in case they didn’t get that from the article.

Comedian Jeff Foxworthy has talked for years, with exasperation, about this tendency of the media when talking about the South. Something to the effect of how they never talk to educated Southerners, they always talke to that one woman in the muumuu with the sponge rollers, who says after the tornado, 'It was pandelerium! I thought we’d be killed or even worse. I looked out the window in time to see the chicken’s coop go right over our roof! All I could think was, Caroline still has my casserole dish!"

I am a transplanted Southerner – ergo, not a “real” Southerner, apparently – but I find this sort of IMO pretty obviously biased reporting to be exasperating.

So when I find a black person saying something ignorant, I can impute it to all of them – after all, they went for Obama by 95%!

You want to find bigotry, check the mirror.

The OP, no matter how badly he presents his point, still has a point, I think. If one comes from a place where the vast majority does not believe in the ideas portrayed in the article, badly written or not, the fact that people–neighbors, coworkers, fellow parishioners-- are willing to voice such ideas is fucking horrifying. And terrifying.

You Dopers from the South, thanks for not being like the people quoted. And it’s important to note that there were many people from Kansas, Missouri, and other non-Southern states echoing such sentiments for the media during the campaign.

That said, for many non-Southern Americans, parts of the South do seem to be a flashpoint for sentiments such as the ones quoted in the article. Is the media complicit in this? Sure they are. But, sadly, stereotypes in many cases exist for a reason. You could definitely find Californians, Oregonians, Michiganders, Massholes (I’m an expat), et al, willing to state such ideas to a member of the media, but you would have to look a lot harder. Sure seems like that anyway.

My Google Fu is not strong. But I followed a link from Slate or Salon a couple two-three weeks ago. BBC reporters were in Missouri doing a news segment on natural gas. They were on-site with a plant manager when this man went into an Obama rant, mentioning Islam, Satan, and race war, with little or no provocation. Maybe someone can find that link.

When those of us who don’t live amongst large groups of people like that man see something like that rant, many of us react with horror and fear. And I think that is what the OP is getting at. But he could have done a better job of making his point. I have tried like hell to not be inflammatory in my post. Please let me know if you think differently.