Florida-native Kathleen Parker has an excellent piece for the Washington Post about the way that the media and politicians treat Southerners. Her article has generated 857 comments at last count so it would appear that she is on to something. Below is an excerpt:
Southerners, some of whom have actually ventured beyond their state’s borders, understand that biscuits and grits are local fare and that northern politicians probably haven’t enjoyed much of that. They understand that a city boy probably hasn’t had much experience in deer stands and duck blinds. They get that you have a different elocution, so why try to imitate theirs? Would Romney speak English with a Latino accent to win over a crowd in Little Havana?
No, because that would be racist — or something. Which raises the question: Why is it perfectly acceptable to mock white Southerners? If it’s because you think they’re ignorant, then when did it become okay to mock the less lucky? Or to ask only residents of the Deep South questions you don’t ask people in other regions?
Bias isn’t only found in answers, but in questions, as illustrated by a recent poll by the Democratic-affiliated Public Policy Polling group out of North Carolina. People in Alabama and Mississippi were asked about evolution, interracial marriage and whether President Obama is a Muslim. More than half of Mississippians apparently believe Obama is a Muslim, and 45 percent of Alabamans do.
These headline-producing findings are interesting and a little disturbing, but are they unique to the South? As Michelle Cottle points out at the Daily Beast, PPP didn’t ask these questions in other states.
The U.S. region that was invaded and conquered doesn’t have much use for condescending outsiders, but most have warm hearts and will laugh at your corny jokes. And they’ll take your poll, though they may or may not answer honestly, depending on whether they’ve had their biscuits and cheesy grits that day.
Which is to say: There are lots of ways to be smart and lots of ways to be dumb, and it would appear that the South does not have a monopoly on the latter category.
Not only does this article ask politically-incorrect questions like ‘Why is it perfectly acceptable to mock white Southerners?’ but it also notes that the South is today part of the United States only because it was ‘invaded and conquered.’ The Washington Post had better be careful publishing article like this one. It’s certain that Morris Dees and company at the SPLC will not be happy about this. Pretty soon we might see a new symbol appear on that infamous and grossly inaccurate ‘Hate Map.’ Undoubtedly Dees will label Parker and the WaPo as a ‘dangerous, Right-wing extremist, Neo-Confederate, White Nationalist Hate group.’ That is generally how people are treated when they speak up for Southerners and point out the double-standard that US society applies to Dixie.