Friday, November 12, 2004


Neal Pollack takes on the South-haters:

I was born in Memphis, grew up in Phoenix, got married in Nashville, went on my honeymoon in North Carolina, and live in Austin. Many dear friends grew up in and still reside below the Mason-Dixon Line. The South is diverse. It's varied. And yes, it's ignorant in many ways. But I've never lived in a more segregated place than Chicago, the epitome of a great Northern city, and have never seen as much concentrated poverty and injustice in this country as when I lived in Philadelphia, the birthplace of our Constitution. So spare me the superiority rap.

The south gave us Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Michael Jordan, Hank Williams, Tennessee Williams, fried chicken, Gone With The Wind, Truman Capote, pecan pie, barbecue, Mark Twain, and manned flight. The list goes on and on. Thomas Jefferson and George Washington were both from Virginia, both founding fathers and both gun-toting slave owners. If you say 'fuck the South," you're saying fuck Nashville and Charlotte and Charleston, and Atlanta, and Austin, and New Orleans, and Athens, Georgia, the city that gave us the B52s and R.E.M. and...OK, well, fuck R.E.M. But that has nothing to do with the South.

And that's a very, very partial list, one which leaves off Steve Cropper, Al Green, and Elvis, fer chrissake.

An article in the current issue of Seattle's weekly The Stranger convincingly argues that much of the conflict is between urban centers and rural outlyers, not simply Blue and Red States. If we scornfully write off "The South," we abandon all those fine Democratic-voting folks in the southern urban archipelago.

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