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Sun Feb 10, 2013, 05:52 PM

Salon: Southern White Protestant resistance to change similar to the North in the early 1900's.

As difficult as it may be, outsiders should try to imagine the world as viewed by conservative white Southerners, who think they are the real Americans — that is, old-stock British-Americans — and the adherents of the true religion, evangelical Protestantism. In this perspective, the rest of the country was taken over by invading hordes of Germans, Irish and other European tribes in the first half of the 19th century, leaving the South, largely unaffected by European immigration, as the last besieged pocket of old-stock British-Americans, sharing parts of their territory with subjugated and segregated African-Americans.



This local British-American ethno-racial hegemony in the South was eroded somewhat by the migration of Northeasterners and Midwesterners to the Sun Belt following World War II and the advent of air-conditioning. And now, predominantly nonwhite immigration from Latin America and Asia threatens to make white Southerners of British Protestant descent a minority in their own region. Texas and Florida are already majority-minority states. It is only a matter of time before the same is true of every state in the South. Southern whites will go from being a minority in the nation as a whole to a minority in the South itself.

But it is difficult, if not impossible, for many white Southerners to disentangle regional culture (Southern) from race (white) and ethnicity (British Protestant). The historical memory of white Southerners is not of ethnic coexistence and melting-pot pluralism but of ethnic homogeneity and racial privilege. Small wonder that going from the status of local Herrenvolk to local minority in only a generation or two is causing much of the white South to freak out.

Just as white Southerners today are gerrymandering congressional districts and contemplating gerrymandering the Electoral College to compensate for their dwindling numbers, so the outnumbered Yankees of the North sought to dilute the political influence of European “ethnics” in the early 1900s. When the 1920 census revealed that largely European urbanites outnumbered mostly old-stock Anglo-American rural voters, Congress failed to reapportion itself for a decade, because of the determination of small-town Anglo-Americans to minimize the power of “white ethnics.”

http://www.salon.com/2013/02/05/the_white_souths_last_defeat/

Interesting view that the reaction of white Southerners to waves of immigration is similar to white Protestants in the North a hundred years ago. It's just that immigration did not affect the South much a hundred years ago but is now. And the modern Southern reaction to racial and ethnic change is not that different than long ago, i.e. gerrymandering and fighting the change for as long as possible.

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Reply Salon: Southern White Protestant resistance to change similar to the North in the early 1900's. (Original post)
pampango Feb 2013 OP
OKNancy Feb 2013 #1
Skidmore Feb 2013 #2
justabob Feb 2013 #3
hedda_foil Feb 2013 #4
FredStembottom Feb 2013 #6
muriel_volestrangler Feb 2013 #17
freshwest Feb 2013 #5
SpartanDem Feb 2013 #9
freshwest Feb 2013 #10
SpartanDem Feb 2013 #12
freshwest Feb 2013 #14
SpartanDem Feb 2013 #7
NutmegYankee Feb 2013 #8
LiberalFighter Feb 2013 #11
CTyankee Feb 2013 #13
SpartanDem Feb 2013 #16
Populist_Prole Feb 2013 #15

Response to pampango (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 06:40 PM

1. Thanks for posting.. bookmarking

to read the salon article after my chili dinner.

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Response to pampango (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 06:46 PM

2. How is it that the ethnicity of those residing in states other than the south

is noted by country or region of origin and the southern whites are labelled "American" on that map?

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Response to Skidmore (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 07:00 PM

3. from the article.... is how respondents identified themselves

"It shows the concentration of individuals who identified themselves to census takers as non-hyphenated Americans."


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Response to Skidmore (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 07:05 PM

4. The answer is in the article. That's how they self identify,unlike the rest of the country.

They're of predominantly British colonial ancestry and consider themselves American without the hyphenation almost all other Americans use to describe themselves. They actually believe they're the real Americans.

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Response to hedda_foil (Reply #4)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 08:07 PM

6. I find that soooooo interesting....

In my family we have always said "American" because we are such entrenched American mutts. Dutch, Irish, German, Scottish, French, English, Sicilian, Native, Africans R us!

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Response to hedda_foil (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 05:13 AM

17. Also, the question was "ancestry or ethnic origin"

The point at which your family left behind an ancestry, and had an ethnicity in common with the people where they lived, is quite a subjective judgement.

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Response to pampango (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 07:31 PM

5. Am I reading this wrong? Mostly English in Utah? So they're Mormons?

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Response to freshwest (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:32 AM

9. Given that LDS was founded in 1830

where settling Utah by the 1840's what ethnicity do you think most of their converts would come from?

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Response to SpartanDem (Reply #9)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:37 AM

10. Stumps me. Should have had a large population of natives already there.

LDS has members in the UK, but they're more recent than 1830, AFAIK. And didn't the Mormons first start in MO?

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Response to freshwest (Reply #10)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:53 AM

12. They started in Western NY and moved west from there.

Last edited Mon Feb 11, 2013, 05:30 AM - Edit history (1)

My point was given the ethnic demographics of the 1830's, it's not surprising that a state full of Mormons claim English ancestry.

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Response to SpartanDem (Reply #12)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:59 AM

14. Yeh, guess the immigrant population was heavily English. Mine came over 200 years before then.

That side of the family was English, very much so. All these years of Eurocentric history books don't cover much of what was really going on. Just because natives aren't memoralized in the older texts, they were here. And I thought the LDS claimed some relationship to them, too. Anyway, nice talking to you.


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Response to pampango (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 08:40 PM

7. What states were those election rigging laws proposed, again?

With the exception of VA all those states were Midwestern blue states. I think the author completely over looks the urban/rural divide on this matter, this racial resentment isn't just limited to the South. In MI it was justified by some outstate legislators because Detroit "skews" vote for the rest of the state, which is just thinly vied racial code. Rural MI and the rest of those states are for most part homogeneously white. Now that resentment wasn't strong enough to actually get these laws passed, but the fact that they were proposed shows it does exist.

That said, I do think in the future these election rigging laws actually get passed in the South. Take a state like Georgia that Obama lost only by 6% I have a hard believing rural Georgians are going let themselves be outvoted by Atlanta.

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Response to pampango (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:20 PM

8. There was a very significant German population before the Revolution in Pennsylvania.

My German ancestors fought in the Continental Army. They had arrived in 1752.

Otherwise, having grown up in the South (of Pennsylvania parents) I agree with the author. While the NE has notable ethnic distinctions, but not hatred, the South had just race. There were no Irish/Polish/German/Italian/etc there. You were just white.

One of the reasons I enjoy the NE more is those ethnic distinctions tend to lead to very tasty culinary selections. And the culture is more lively - St. Patty's day is a blast up here! A melting pot is always better.

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Response to pampango (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:42 AM

11. If they were the old stock British-Americans

then why did they move south?

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Response to LiberalFighter (Reply #11)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:56 AM

13. I've wondered that. My earliest forbear was from Scotland and he came in 1790.

I have often wondered if he came through Charleston. I don't know how my Welsh forbears got here in the 1800s. I don't think everybody went through New York or Boston from the British Isles. Had to be a southern port for a bunch of them. It's my guess anyway...

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Response to LiberalFighter (Reply #11)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:26 AM

16. The south was settled largely by the Scots-Irish

who arrived relatively late so they settled in the less populated less expensive parts of the country. I read a book last year on the history fundamentalism in America called The Sword of Lord it's by Andrew Himes, the Scots-Irish played a big role development of fundamentalism in this country.

How the Scots-Irish Invented Fundamentalism


James’ second problem was a troublesome group of dirt-poor, hardscrabble farmers and fighters in the borderlands and lowlands along the Scottish, English, and Welsh borders. They led a marginal existence, were famous for their cattle-rustling and raiding, and were considered to be pugnacious, contentious, and easily inflamed. They were known as the “Border Reivers” or “Borderers” because they had played the invaluable role of a buffer between the Scottish and English warring parties during 300 years of intermittent fighting.

The Borderers were militantly Protestant, espousing an especially dogmatic and anti-Catholic version of Calvinist Presbyterianism. They believed that every word of the Bible was literally true, and that anyone who disagreed with them on any speck of Biblical doctrine was headed straight for Hell, including the Irish Catholics with whom they had been at war for centuries, and the denizens of the Church of England whom they despised for slavish service to the British state and monarch. They were people of strong convictions, easily angered, and valued for their fighting prowess. They cherished their individual freedoms: their freedom from taxes, freedom from the interference of the state in their lives, freedom to practice their religion just as they pleased. They were a ferocious people of an egalitarian spirit, and did not easily accept the yoke of any king, governor, or politician.
hey didn’t get along with the native Irish, either. The next century was replete with complicated conflicts that would sputter for a time and then flare up into armed dispute with their Catholic neighbors to the south or rebellion against a British monarch who failed to appreciate their political demands or their Calvinist theology. Life continued to be marginal, brutish, and oppressive, and their sojourn in Ulster was not a happy one. They struggled with famine, wars, and religious persecution. The first large scale immigration of Scots-Irish to America was a group that arrived in Boston from County Londonderry in 1718, and then moved to New Hampshire, where they founded the town of Londonderry.

They were followed by hundreds of thousands of other Scots-Irish over the next several decades. Many of them first settled in Pennsylvania, and then, finding all the eastern lands in the colonies either occupied or too expensive, they traveled south into Virginia and the Carolinas, and to the interior frontier lands, to the foothills of Appalachia—an area geographically very similar to their original homes in the borderlands between England and Scotland. By the beginning of the Revolutionary War, the Scots-Irish probably constituted about a quarter of the colonial American population, and on at least one occasion King George III referred to the war in North America as ‘that Presbyterian revolt.” Over the next several decades the Scots-Irish spread farther west and to the lowlands of the deeper South , and by the mid-19th century, they provided the dominant culture of the American South.

http://andrewhimes.net/content/how-scots-irish-invented-fundamentalism


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Response to pampango (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:09 AM

15. Having relocated to the south many years ago, the non-ethnicity vibe was most apparrent to me

It's decidedly less so today in this large metro area I live in. If the "natives" balk at this, I haven't really noticed. Then again I haven't been around to hear any dog whistling when their only among themselves, although one friend of mine does tend to beat his chest about his ethnic purity ( how long his ancestors were in the US ) when his tongue loosens after a few drinks.

I remember a joke a pundit from a local independent paper from 15-20 years ago I thought funny:

Question to a yankee: What are you?

Answer from a yankee: I'm half Italian and the other half German and Polish.

Question to a southerner: What are you?

Answer from a southerner: Presbyterian.

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