Anti-Southern Bigotry and Elitist Yankee Faux Liberals

Mark Strauss’s article Let’s Ditch Dixie: the case for Northern secession [Slate] is some of the most repulsive anti-Southern bigotry I have seen in a long, long time. It’s quite amazing what kind of virulent parochial, racist, classist tripe Northern liberals are willing to spew as long as the target is Southern whites. Consider this immortal passage:

The South is a gangrenous limb that should have been lopped off decades ago. More people live below the poverty line in the old Confederacy than in the Northeast and Midwest combined. You are three times more likely to be murdered in parts of Dixie than anywhere in New England, despite a feverish devotion to law-and-order that has made eight Southern states home to 90 percent of all recent U.S. executions. The South has the highest infant-mortality rate and the highest incidences of sexually transmitted diseases, while it lags behind the rest of the country in terms of test scores and opportunities for women.

Now try rereading the above with The black race substituted for The South. This horsecrap sounds like it came straight out of a Klan or Aryan Nation speech. He repeatedly uses slurs about fried chicken, NASCAR, and other things that are too white trash for his tea-sipping PBS-watching ass. Way to show your progressive class solidarity, brother.

Look, I am a relatively privileged white male in the South. I am not oppressed, no matter what the thugs in the League of the South may want to claim. But, this is pure hatred. And after this Strauss has the shamelessness to say that cutting off the South will get us a more leftist country. Well, gee, Marky, if the country is going to be full of snide little faux liberal elitists, who sums up the cultural differences between South and North as, and I quote, NASCAR fans against PBS viewers, then I’ll be glad to see you gone.

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10 replies to Anti-Southern Bigotry and Elitist Yankee Faux Liberals Use a feed to Follow replies to this article

  1. A Northerner

    Haha, I agree with that guy. We should wall the South off and flood it. And Ohio.

    The only thing more laughable than Southern racist bible-thumpers are Southern liberals.

— 2004 —

  1. A Southern Liberal

    Actually Northern-rascist bible-thumpers are even more annoying. It’s even more irritating when they spew filth in Wisconsin or Jersey accents.

  2. Discussed at www.radgeek.com

    Geekery Today:

    It’s Time to Stop Blaming the South: elitist ‘progressives,’ the South, and the struggle for social justice

    So I was minding my own business, publicizing this year’s Southern Girls Convention in various forums for progressive and radical politics, when someone decided it…

  3. Discussed at www.radgeek.com

    Geekery Today:

    Dear Democrats

    Rednecks. Hicks. Hillbillies. Dumb crackers. NASCAR Dads. Trailer trash. Joe Sixpack. Economically masochistic culture warrior fundies. Ignorant, beer-swilling, rib-eating, Bible-banging, truck-driving undereducated yokels. Poor white…

— 2005 —

  1. Priscilla

    True and false. The “poor black” cultural stereotype is in large part often the “poor Southerner” cultural stereotype. The racial divide is something that people who could benefit from poor whites hating poor blacks have been fostering for centuries.

    But I grew up being a poor Southerner, with a yuppie liberal movement by my parents, and I’ve observed every part of the Southern lifestyle, and as far as I can tell there’s no room for final analysis yet. We’re still moving, changing, and learning.

    And I don’t know about STDs, but screw the test scores. If 99% of the children in Georgia take a test, their scores average out to … say, 70. In Nebraska, 2% of the children take the same test, and they average out to 95. And everyone screams about Georgia having bad education. Compare apples to apples, then call me.

  2. A defiant New Yorker

    I have been in the south for 10 years-it’s been unfortunate-the rednecks are still fighting the damn civil war, if they had won the south today would just be like Mexico, with all the poor southerners jumping the border to the north to work-Actually that is probably an insult to Mexicans, whom work hard and don’t blame blacks for all their problems.

— 2007 —

  1. KR

    The stench of northern bigotry seems to permeate everything. Their arrogance overwhelms and suffocates any rational discussion of differences. To you condescending northerners, we didn’t ask to be back into the Union. We were forced. We don’t like you any more than you like us. I would like to wall YOUR sorry piece of this country off. If you don’t like us, GREAT! Just PLEASE, OH PLEASE stay the hell out of the South. We definitely ‘don’t give a damn’ for you!

— 2008 —

  1. John

    I find it hilarious that “A defiant New Yorker” believes that us Southerners “blame Blacks for all our problems,” while the very article in question is somehow blaming White Southerners for mostly Black problems.

    “The South has the highest infant-mortality rate and the highest incidences of sexually transmitted diseases, while it lags behind the rest of the country in terms of test scores”

    So Southern hillbillies are to blame for Black and White problems, both? Rednecks have wrecked Atlanta by…feeding and clothing them sufficient enough for them to reproduce and become the majority? Crackers destroyed New Orleans, because they overpopulated it with Blacks? That is an interesting viewpoint. Somehow, with a name like Strauss, that kind of logic doesn’t suprise me. Here’s an interesting test for anyone who isn’t prejudiced. Take “The North’s” scores, combine them with Southern Black’s scores, and see if you don’t suddenly, magically, “lag behind the rest of the country.” Go on, I dare you.

    The great thing about the coming second civil war is that the North (and the South) has sent to China the advantage that allowed them to beat us in the first one…their manufacturing base. The difference is without it the first time, the North would have fallen. So lets see, us violent rednecks versus media types, professors, feminists, Muslims, metrosexuals and minorities…well, to know how that’s going to turn out just take a look at who comprised the majority of any ass kicking American army today or in the past…that’s right, girls, it was us pasty Southern hicks, closely followed by our kinsmen in spirit, the Northern hick/hillbilly/cracker/redneck/typical White person.

  2. Rad Geek

    John,

    Statistically, poor white folks in the South tend to have more or less the same problems in terms of access to good education, unplanned pregnancies, lack of access to abortion, sexually transmitted diseases, persistent poverty, etc. as poor black folks in the South (as well as poor Latin@s, poor Vietnamese people, etc.). These conditions have very little to do with race per se and a lot to do with the problems that accompany being poor while caught underneath a plutocratic regime. The problem is a problem that has to do with blame, but the answer is not to blame poor black folks for what they face, any more than it is to blame poor white folks for what poor blacks folks face. The thing to do is blame the rich and powerful people, both Northern and Southern, who have their boots planted firmly on working folks’s necks and their hands deep in working folks’s pockets, whether their victims are black or white.

    I don’t know what you mean when you say Rednecks in Atlanta have been feeding and clothing them [black folks] sufficient enough for them to reproduce and become the majority. Black folks in Georgia have fed and clothed themselves by their own work since before Atlanta existed. Rednecks are certainly not their worst enemy — black Southerners’ worst enemy has always been the same as poor white Southerners’ worst enemy, the planter aristocracy and its latter-day descendants, the politically-connected white lawyers and developers and bankers and the rest — it really is a bit much to pretend as if poor white Southerners were somehow doing poor black Southerners some kind of favor.

    Crackers destroyed New Orleans, because they overpopulated it with Blacks?

    Well, the federal government destroyed New Orleans (by creating the conditions that caused the flooding, through repeated ill-conceived Army Corps of Engineers projcts, and then again by roadblocking it and forcibly excluding people from their own property for months or years at a time, so that perfectly salvageable property was left to rot and then condemned and seized by the local governmet). As far as I know, crackers (if you mean poor white Southern farmers) have never been a particularly influential lobby within the federal government, so I think it hardly makes sense to blame them. But I have no idea what you mean by claiming that somebody overpopulated it [New Orleans] with Blacks. Is there some right number of black people for New Orleans to have, which it exceeded? If so, what is it, and how did you determine that number? And given that black folks have been living and working in New Orleans in very large numbers ever since there has been a New Orleans, and continued to choose to stay in or move to New Orleans of their own accord when they were free to do so (which has been quite a long time for some families — New Orleans had one of the largest and oldest freed black communities in the country throughout the antebellum period), I think it’s a bit odd to talk about things as if black people were just being shipped into New Orleans in crates, rather than choosing to move there or stay there and make lives there and raise families there like any other group of people.

    As for who’d win in a fight, well, I don’t really care. Why do you? I sure don’t want to try a do-over of the Civil War; what I’d like is for people to be left alone each to go their own way in peace.

  3. Anonymous

    “Arguing with a man who has renounced reason is like administering medicine to the dead.”

    Rad Geek-

    The problem isn’t that a person like John is factually mistaken as to the identity of his oppressors; the problem is a deep-seated tribal way of thinking and feeling about life, and human beings in general.

    I agree with your sociological analysis of Southern (and, today, much of American) society, but there’s still no hope to the social problems you describe without a change in consciousness, among both the people and the elites. This is a matter of cultural influence (through schools, universities, media, etc.) as well as structural change, but there’s no way of fighting that battle while confining one’s concerns to an analysis of power-relations. And this requires identifying and challenging the harmful aspects of a culture and actively supporting cultural resistance to social closure.

    Someone like John is bad and wrong. If liberal people cannot acquire the courage to say such things openly, and act upon their words, then a restoration of humane and democratic values to the American polity is a lost cause. People with ideas only cosmetically and accidentally removed from Nazism are popping up everywhere- not only in the halls of power, but in the popular movements which oppose the calcifying ruling class.

    But these popular movements suffer from the same anti-intellectual, anti-educated, pragmatist intellectual disarmament as the higher circles, and as a result they are utterly defenseless against cooptation by brutal forces, people who are not spiritually any different from the Bush regime but merely our of power and angry about it.

    To oppose those is power, primarily in the name of opposing the powerful, as opposed to opposing the vicious values and worldview which makes them as brutal as they are, can only at most result in exchanging one group of monsters for another. Yes, power corrupts- yes, the clique in power has become terrible and incompetent enough to become vulnerable to populist revolt. But fundamentally what is terrible about the powerful is what they share with the general society at large- a society losing its grip on reason and education and everywhere embracing faith, violence, and proud ignorance. It is not in the last analysis the elites but the people who must be challenged and changed. The neoconservatives have not corrupted a functioning liberal society; on the contrary, it is the rejection of the values of a liberal society by half the United States which has allowed crude con-men, demagogues, faith-healers, and thugs to rise to the social top.

    You can’t fight against the closed society by reaching out by people who, even if they are personally harmed and degraded, believe in the values which oppress them. The only people who can change society for the better are people who have (however partially) internalised the open society’s way of life. But there’s no way to accomplish this in conjuction with populist appeals; those who would benefit most from liberalisation are often among its most fiercest opponents, precisely because the ressentments and myths of the ancien regime are all they have and all they have known.

    One can’t stop Islamism by reaching out to the Islamist masses against their Islamist (or cynical) masters. Neither can one stop an emerging American fascism by trying to ‘work with’ fascist mentalities among the oppressed. It’s easy to make everything solely about power, but I think that intelligent people who preach this approach to political movements- people like Fanon or Foucault, or Rothbard among libertarians, are actually doing a seriously dangerous disservice to those who truly want to see a world (or a country) without oppression. Communists and right-wing extremists can also be loudly ‘against the system’.

    The enemy isn’t ‘Power’. The enemy is illiberalism. Those on the left who want liberation cannot afford the contrary doctrine; nor can those who need desperately need liberating- including, ironically, the populists themselves. The sad reality of the world is that most slaves as well as most masters believe in the psyche of slavery- and that the enemies of slavery are, as often as not, among the powerful who have had the privilege to learn how to live in freedom and acquire the mind and independence a free society absolutely requires to survive.

    We must never, but never, give an inch of legitimacy to racists, fascists, and others who openly repudiate civilisation and reason. And this applies more than twice in a time like this.

    John-

    [This space intentionally left blank]

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