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Bertha Venation Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:13 PM
Original message
About Southerners.
Actually, what I have to say is about one particular Southerner. It's clearly anecdotal -- and I may be biased, but these are facts about this woman.

Seems many DUers are eager to generalize about all Southerners, since most of them are among the country's 59M 2004 Assclowns. But for God's sake, South-loathing DUers: please realize that all Southerners cannot be categorized as inbred, backward, ignorant, brain-dead idiots.

Mrs. Venation is an Appalachian hillbilly, born and raised in Eastern Tennessee, well within the Bible Belt. Her parents and most of her large extended family are extremely devout Southern Baptists, and that's how she was raised. Mrs. V.'s parents' religion doesn't much influence their politics. They're Democrats and they voted Kerry/Edwards. When Mrs. V. came out to them, they told her it made no difference; that they would never love her any less for knowing she's gay.

Mrs. V. is a progressive liberal. She's more liberal than I am, and more outspoken (although more shy IRL). She has a logical mind, and knows how to keep her cool, making her very valuable in a debate.

Among the jobs Mrs. V. has held are coal miner, caregiver to the profoundly retarded, and escort and guard to women at a battered women's shelter (armed as necessary). Due to gender discrimination in the early 70s, she successfully sued the TVA. She has always been -- from an early age -- a fervent and outspoken defender of laborers, Americans struggling for equality, and a woman's right to choose. (Among the influential experiences my beloved has had was an incident the morning of the Birmingham church bombing. She was 12 years old. At church that morning, she and a few of her friends stood discussing the bombing and weeping. A deacon walked by and said, "Don't know what you all are so upset over. It was only four little nigger girls.")

Mrs. V. reads the Washington Post front to back every day, as well as most of her hometown newspaper on line. She is our family's political analyst. Right or wrong, I rely upon her for much of my news about Congress & the Administration. She devours it all -- as well as devouring local news, real estate news, book reviews, etc., etc.

I shared this general prejudice against Southerners until the first time I spoke to Mrs. V. on the phone. We had corresponded for months, and I'd come to know an intelligent, well-read, well-spoken, sophisticated woman. I knew she was from Tennessee, but didn't expect to hear that accent on the other end of the line! Just hearing the accent, my prejudice kicked in instantly. But since I knew this woman, it was gone within ten seconds. Gone forever.

Saying "I know all Southerners aren't like this, but most are so I'm right" is not acceptable. Replace the word "Southerners" with "liberals" and imagine those words coming from the mouth of a neocon. Then the picture may begin to emerge.

(originally posted in the Lounge. Figured there might be a more varied response here.)
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charlyvi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:18 PM
Response to Original message
1. Thank you.
Edited on Sun Nov-14-04 12:20 PM by charlyvi
I am a liberal Southerner and, though I've tried not to let it get to me, some of the comments on DU have been very insulting and hurtful to us. Ignorant people are not region specific--they live everywhere. Next time my feelings get hurt on DU, I will read your post--I'm bookmarking it. Again, thank you.
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Gyre Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:20 PM
Response to Original message
2. There are always statistical outliers
which render generalizations overbroad. And obviouly, your relative is one of those. But a generalization is just that; it doesn't pretend to be 100% accurate. When we say that "southerners suck". We don't mean ALL of them, just most of them. :)

Gyre
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Bertha Venation Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. When they say "liberals suck," they don't mean ALL of us, just most of us.
I can't understand your POV, Gyre, and it looks like my point is either ignored or missed.
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ulysses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. so, when someone says
"Blacks are ignorant and lazy", can I assume that they're taking the statistical anomalies into account and are really only referring to a certain portion of the African-American community?
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prof_science Donating Member (343 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:24 PM
Response to Original message
3. Good post...
...unfortunately, until the majority are more like Mrs. V and less like that bastard deacon, us northerners will take smug satisfaction in looking down our noses at y'all. I'm not saying it's right, and I'm not saying that I myself engage in southerner bashing... anyhow, I can vouch for the fact that there are PLENTY of yokels up north, too.
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Bertha Venation Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. you "will take smug satisfaction in looking down our noses at y'all"
Please explain how this point of view is not bigoted.

("Y'all." Cute.)
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prof_science Donating Member (343 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 01:26 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. Oh, I won't...
...it is bigoted. I never said it wasn't. I think that statement was more a shot at smug northern liberals than anyone else.

Personally, I don't look down at Southerners, excepting those who fit the stereotype of undereducated and hateful. I think, in general, when you read about people slagging on "southerners," it's the yokels who are the target of the insults. Most of us here have a sufficiently nuanced view to make a distinction between the yokels and those who are intelligent and happen to live in the South.
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ulysses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:25 PM
Response to Original message
5. thanks, Bertha.
Ms Venation sounds like some friends of ours. :hi:
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William Bloode Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:32 PM
Response to Original message
7. I know the feeling well....
Being a hillbilly from the mountains of western North Carolina. Part of the problem i see and have seen around here is the awfull and painfull predudice.

All these holier than thou's around here talk of predudice and racial slander. It just happens to be ok with them to make fun of poor rural white folks.

We are backwards, inbred, religious whacko's who rape our sisters and daughters in many minds, and it is often said here. It really grieves me at times as i see the administration here seems quite allright with it.

But what would happen if i(or others) began to make disparaging and sterotypical remarks about blacks, jews, arabs, asians, or gays . I would be removed thats what would happen. The double standard continues, and poor rural folks like myself will be trashed, while things said about other races, or groups will not be tolerated.

If you would just take the time and effort to actually be fair with southern rurals you would see a large increase in their participation in your party.

It's not that we or most of us have anything against anyone of any race. The point is that the Democratic party is seen as anti-south, and any of the party membership do not help.

Why should we vote for a party that so disrespects us? <<<<Thats why you cant win in the South. A little respect would go long way, but sadly many in your party would just as soon give up on us altogether, now what does that message send?
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Bertha Venation Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. "the Democratic party is seen as anti-south" -- yep.
For the record, for any northerners looking down their noses, "poor white trash" aren't restricted to The South. Come on and look down your nose at me, too; I was raised PWT in Orange County, CA.
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jdj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:34 PM
Response to Original message
8. We got our own little treehouse on DU now.
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Bertha Venation Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:50 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. I've seen that and it's very cool, but not being a Southerner myself,
I haven't been sure if I could join in intelligently. (Unless being from Southern California counts....)
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