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Tom Coburn is a Big Fat Jerk


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Sunday, December 05, 2004

Aethern on Understanding the South

Aethern at Lion's Den has been writing a series over on Kos about the South and what Dems will have to do to win it back. Unfortunately, there's so much traffic at Kos that her work keeps dropping off the front page.

Which has bothered me quite a bit, as what she has to say is right on target. Especially on the issue of racism, the inability of *outsiders* (so to speak) to understand the South outside of conventional stereotypes and the true values of Southerners.

In any case, I watched her post at Kos drop off the front page and was pretty disappointed, as she really nailed it today.

And then ... entirely by accident --- I happened to click on a link on the blogroll over at Rob's Place, and there it was.

Go. Read it. As the descendant of generations upon generations of Southerners and hillbillies, and a current resident of Arklahoma :=D [that is, I live in the Ozarks right on the Oklahoma/Arkansas border], I can tell you she has absolutely nailed it. Nicely done, Aethern!

2 Comments:

At 1:43 PM, Blogger Rob said...

It was like a slap in the face to me...one I needed. I jumped on the South-bashing train in the election aftermath, and boy oh boy was I way off base. The "Understanding the South" series was a much needed wakeup call...should be required reading for all future Democrat candidates and party leaders.

Lion's Den is a surefire permanent member of my blogroll!

 
At 2:36 PM, Blogger Cookie said...

Yea, it's common. And easy to fall into the generalizations. Even Southerners do it --- I remember, for example, the first time I realized that maybe all my guilt over my family's roots and my upbringing --- maybe it wasn't as justified as others kept telling me.

It happened in Colorado. Which is the whitest place I've ever seen! Someone said to me there's nothing in Oklahoma but bigots, how can you stand all those racists? Yet, that day, there was fixing to be a Ku Klux Klan rally in Denver. And no one was batting an eye. It suddenly struck me that maybe a lot of those people casting stones at us may want to take a better look at the racism in their own backyard.

In any case, I'm bringing my reply to Aethern at Kos over here: At least, by doing this, I can find it again! :=D

Ignore typos, please, I'm too lazy to fix them ...

I live in Arklahoma. :=D The Oklahoma Ozarks right nect to Arkansas.

i'm surrounded by working cowboys, real live Indians and small farmers. ALL of these people are in grave jeopardy, and they know it. These are people whose families  have lived on these lands for generations. I watch cowboys on the road out front training horses for other people --- this is how they make their living. I watch the cycles of planting, of rearing young horses (and donkeys) of sheepherding, whatever.

And I've gone to local meetings and these people are well aware of what they're up against [the corporations and urban encroachment] --- and they know, without good organization, they're doomed.

This is one of the few places left where the kids are actually staying around to carry on the family traditions. And they desperately need help.

Furthermore, this is a county which is 75% registered Democrats - but it swung Republican this time --- because the registered Dems didn't vote. And why didn't they vote? At this point, they've given up on the Dems. The Dems don't like them, the Dems don't share their values, so they don't even bother anymore.

The values of these people are essentially Democratic, however --- they're not Republican. These values have nothing to do with race --- they have to do with preservation of community and culture, with outreach to the poor and elderly and sick, with hard work, kindness to others and taking care of your own.

The louder the Dems suawk that these guys are just stupid bigots, the further away they'll move from them and the more insular they'll become.

And that's not to say there aren't the bigots --- but it's time to stop generalizing that ALL of these p[eople are bigots. It's time to launch the bigot argument at its proper  target (the corporations and the administration's policies).

And, if the Dems approach these communities on these communities' own footing and with their values [pro-community, keep it local, protect the farmers and indians and cowboys from corporate takeover, help the poor and elderly and disenfranchised], the Dems would win big around here again.

 

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