Hey, The South, Come Join The Rest Of Us In 2009


I know racism is a loaded accusation and shouldn’t be tossed around lightly.  Former President Jimmy Carter recently launched it at Rep. Joe Wilson for his absurd outburst at President Obama during his address to Congress.  Perhaps it was unwarranted to label him a racist, perhaps not.  But to simply dismiss that race has anything at all to do with some of the dissent with Obama is to be blind to reality.

Just take a look at these approval-disapproval numbers:

Obama's Approval-Disapproval Numbers

(via The Daily Kos)

Notice Obama’s numbers in the south: 28-67.  Unreal.  That’s not a slight shift from the rest of the country.  That’s polar opposite.

It seems like a lot more than coincidence that a black president would have such an unfavorable approval rating in the part of the country that seceded in order to be able to keep slavery from being outlawed, don’t you think?

I know that urban areas across the country are in dire need of education funding and improvement, but I think our entire society would benefit from pumping money into schools in the south, especially the rural areas.  And not just K-12, but let’s start a mandatory adult education program for all registered voters to inform them of a couple apparently overlooked topics like American History and Biology.

(thanks to The Daily Dish for the link)


  1. Hey Bud,

    Allow me to first admit that, as an educator in the south, I obviously am not able to read this without bias.

    As such, I’m going to leave a quick surface commentary:

    I do agree that the numbers in the south are contrary to the rest of the country. I even may agree that I do believe race may be at the very deepest root of the issue. However, I don’t believe it’s due entirely to poor education.

    My brief and distant poli-sci background reminds me that the South is reportedly full of Democrats stemming from “The War of Northern Aggression” (as it is affectionately called in these parts). After their Civil War loss, Southerners were not particularly fond of then Whig President – Lincoln.

    From my limited experience down here in the land of sweet tea and grits, I have noticed that there is more of a strong right-wing following then I would have previously assumed. However, I have also learned that down here in the “Bible Belt” it is still okay to celebrate CHRISTmas in the classroom, pornography is a mortal sin, and northerners are crass and mannerless. I am beginning to believe that these right-wing tendencies are more directly a result of generalized HYPER CONSERVATISM rather than being race related. I’m realizing that political opinions stem from “my Daddy’s Granddaddy being a Republican.”

    This is not to say that the country wouldn’t benefit from people developing opinions (political and otherwise) from say, actual facts. Sadly, though, I would dare to say that this isn’t a problem relegated solely to the south. Instead, I would opine that it’s a problem facing ignorant people throughout the entire country.

    Wow! I can’t believe I have defended my new geography. Maybe it is starting to become home. :)

    Please continue, though, to push for more money to the educational system down here. We will take it however we can get it!

    • I agree with you, Heather. It’s not just race-based. But at some point there is a breakdown in learning – whether it’s a cultural thing or an actual systemic problem – when people find it perfectly okay to use the “my Daddy’s Granddaddy was a Republican” rationale to explain one’s own political views. At some point that person turned off his/her own brain and just listened to what someone a long time ago had said was the way to do things. I don’t mean to blame the educational system or to say that teachers in the South are inept by any stretch. It just seems that the current crop of Southern voters (or at least, those polled) happen to need some more learnin’.

      I definitely agree that it has to do with this neoconservatism that has tied the GOP directly with the Christian faith. And the South being a hotbed for conservative Christians (well, Baptists used to to be the benchmark for ultra conservative but I think they’ve been overtaken by evangelicals and Mormons at this point), it makes sense that they would latch on to whatever the GOP says simply because they’re the “traditional values” group. So in that case, again, it’s not directly racism.

      But, there’s something about a group of people who are STILL sore about losing the Civil War. I mean, really? One hundred and forty-some years later and Southerns still grumble about how their side should’ve won? It’s hard to not believe there’s some serious institutional racism going on with those people – you can’t really want the South to have won the war and not have some issues with black people.

      So, the problems in the South are much, much deeper than bad schools. I completely agree with you. I don’t really know of the schools in the South being particularly worse than any other similar region (that is rural, suburban, urban) across the country. But, like you said, if we can pump more money into education, it sure couldn’t hurt.

      • You are implying that conservatism is a result of poor education and an inability to think critically. Obviously had they been rational and unbiased a year ago they would have been persuaded by Obama’s profound arguments…. What were they again? Right: “Change”, “Hope”, and “Something to believe in”.

        Granted, these were certainly more sophisticated than Bush’s arguments: “Jesus said so” and “The boogityman goan getchoo”. But is following an empty suit who spouts similarly empty rhetoric (and just happens to have the right skin color to satisfy your deeply ingrained need to be seen as hip and progressive) REALLY any better than following a halfwitted religious zealot? At least Bush actually told you what he thought, however moronic it might be. Obama would rather tell you “I know exactly what you’re thinking, I totally agree, and it’s time we DID something about it”.

        What I find disturbing is the number of people who will come away from one of these speeches believing that he actually SAID something. Seriously, the bastard got a Nobel Peace Prize for doing nothing at all. Is he really that hard to see through?

        Anyway, returning to your point about education, it is my belief that supporting EITHER of these cartoonish political parties demonstrates a severe lack of synaptic activity.

        A bona-fide Mormon Republican told me once: “To be twenty and not be liberal is to have no heart. To be forty and not be conservative is to have no brain.” If it were me talking, I would add: “To be sixty and not be independent is to have no courage.”

        • Not conservatism. Racism. I was saying that racism is the result of poor education. Which is also not exactly a strong argument. It seems that racism stems more from upbringing than anything else, but it’s hard to say. If it were easy to figure out where it all starts, it’d be easier to combat, but I have to think that a solid education starting at a young age is the best way to do that.

          I am not one of those people who think Obama is the savior, so please don’t lump me in with that group. I prefer facts and actions over rhetoric and beliefs. That said, I did support the Nobel Peace Price given to Obama at the time, but I saw it as more of a symbol that America had righted the ship in terms of we weren’t torturing people anymore. It’s sad that we were at the point where simply not torturing people would be worthy of that award, but that’s what eight years of incompetence did for America.

          I am almost in complete agreement with you regarding following either of these political parties. I feel that the Democrats are the better of the two in that they at least have some direction that isn’t just based on being contrarians or being Christian. The Democrats are frustrating in their own way, and I’ve always been more liberal-minded so always considered myself part of that party, but I don’t adhere to everything they say or represent. I have my own ideas and thoughts and they don’t need to align with the positions of the Democratic Party at all times. It seems that nowadays people are forced to be one or the other and that’s that. What ever happened to gray area? You know, that place where most of us reside?

          You make a great point about being independent. I think that line of thinking should be more prevalent within the parties. You shouldn’t be excommunicated from a party simply because you’re not a drone who just repeats the same rhetoric as all others in your group. The Democrats are better about this than the Republicans by far. Granted, the so-called Blue Dogs catch a lot of heat lately, but they’re not being forced out like Olympia Snowe most likely will be or Sen. Cao from Louisiana for supporting the health care bills. Partisanship has gotten completely out of hand.

  2. […] about Jimmy Carter: Hey The South, Come Join The Rest Of Us In 2009, Voting and Christian Citizenship, Listen to your Elders, O Solo Mama, Patrick Buchanan is an […]

  3. […] about Jimmy Carter: Hey The South, Come Join The Rest Of Us In 2009, Voting and Christian Citizenship, Listen to your Elders, O Solo Mama, Patrick Buchanan is an […]

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: