Friday, June 29, 2007

Methinks We Need More Loud-mouthed Southern Progressives

The Washington Post ran an article today on the impact of the small-town Southern constituency on the death of the immigration bill. Now, I didn't read the entirety of the bill that was being considered, so no comment on that one way or the other, but heaven help us, is this how they see the South. And then the scary realization that it might not be that far from the truth sunk in.

The article began with a quote from a lady who probably blithely chattered to the reporter without realizing just how racist her statements were; although, I'm not quite certain how you don't realize that this statement is racist. ". . . It was like an instant feeling of 'I'm in the minority, and if we don't get control over this, pretty soon all of America will be outnumbered.' "

Somewhere toward the middle we got a quote from a Christian Progressive who hopes that our hearts haven't become so hardened against our fellow human beings, but most the folks the reporter quoted have more in common with the first woman.

The writing technique the reporter were interesting as well. We get a landscape descriptions of Gainesville, Georgia that lingers on the remaining Antebellum mansions in the town and a park with a memorial to Confederate Soldiers. Anyway, interesting framing effect, lovely use of stereotyping there, Post reporter. But, I can't fault you on the nice way you pointed out that the South has become the tool of Bill O'Reilly and Fox News. One man "decided to get in touch with his senators because, 'Everyone [radio and television talk show hosts] was saying you need to let them know how you feel about this right now.'" Yes, and if everybody was jumping off a bridge would you jump too?

And we've got some work to do. Maybe, possibly, not responding to the cries of Bill O'Reilly and company to jump with a mass "How high?" would be a good place to start. Cause, frankly, if you don't want to be portrayed as the racist tools of talking heads the best thing to do is to stop being the tool of a talking head. Stop reacting out of fear.

I know there are some other Southern progressives out there. Let's speak up and speak out no matter how many fights we manage to cause over the turkey at Thanksgiving. Get an alternate opinion out there for consideration! And I know there are Southerners who find flaws with the way immigration into the US is handled currently but are more concerned that the system is creating a racially based caste system for low-wage labor. Talk a bit louder. Be heard. Shout!

Excuse me, I'm going to go put dents into a cinder block wall with my head now. And maybe just give up and work of losing some more of my accent.

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