Friday, December 01, 2006

On second thought

When this first started, I could have said, "Yep. I hate the South" followed by several jokes involving common southern stereotypes. Then you could have either taken it for a joke, or taken me for an asshole (probably both). Either way, it wouldn't be any worse than what appears on some blogs, and the issue would be dropped.

Or I could have said, "Whoops, sorry to offend, I didn't mean to hurt" and that would have been it.

Instead, I did what I normally do: I engaged in dialogue. I made explanations, responded to objections, and asked questions. Why I thought dialogue was a good way to respond to being called an ignorant douchebag, I don't know.

Now I say, screw that. If you don't like what I say, go ahead and think I'm a jerk.

When southern states stop using the Confederate flag for official things (like placement at statehouse grounds, appearance on state flags, appearance on licence plates), I'll consider giving up my biases about the South. Not a second before.

Next week, back to focusing on football.


  1. I call you an idiot. To stereotype the entire South as being people that support the Confederate flag and the values behind it is ignorant and moronic. Being from the South myself, I know that that simply isn't the case at all.

  2. Dear English Professor-

    Can you explain something to me? I am personally wondering if this statement you made in an earlier post is self-defeating? You states, "In general, the only thing I have intolerance for is intolerance."

    Isn't this a referential absurdity? Isn't intolerance of intolerance intolerant itself? To be tolerant wouldn't you have to be willing to let the intolerant person have their belief system and be willing to accept that?

    Your dear friend,


  3. About the confederate flag... I concede the confederate flag is undesirable for many reasons, but consider this if your stance is related to bigotry. Many times White people will take a stance that they assume Black people want them to. Then the White people can pat themselves on the back and say look how I stood up for you. But many White people have no idea about anything concerning Black people. As an example concerning the Michael Richards thing (aside from the fame grabs by Jesse J and Al), it is primarily White people trotting him out to apologize and do all these things that they think we want him to do. Guess what? Michael Richards will NEVER be forgiven by the Black community. His statements were so angry and over the top that there is no doubt he is a racist. So either the people trotting him out are either really attempting to make amends to White people so White people can forgive him or they really have no idea about Black people. It's probably both.

    I live in Georgia and we recently took the confederate symbols off our flag. I was frankly a little disappointed when it happened. That flag provides constructive notice. I live in Atlanta, but Atlanta is different from Georgia and when you see a truck with Confederate tags or pass a porch flying that banner, you know you need to tread carefully in that part of town. I prefer to see the devil I'm dealing with. I know how a person flying that flag feels and I know exactly where I stand with that situation and I can act accordingly. Removing overt racism doesn't actually remove racism, so I'm more vulnerable to acting in a situation with a false sense of security because I don't have the notice that something like a confederate flag offers.

    Every Black person doesn't feel the same way that I do, but there was not as much outrage over the flag from Blacks that you might assume. So I say that to let you know that if railing against that flag is an affirmation of your lack of bigotry, you may only be conveying that to White people.

  4. yes please back to football. greater matters await like the favre count and vikings play off run. seriously. what does it matter what you think about the south? it doesn't. it really doesn't. and it doesn't matter what neil young thinks either. make all the sweeping generalizations you want. every day in class i single out the midwest as a bunch of hayseed chomping slackjaws with as much tolerence for culture as my cat has for a cup of milk and the sky hasn't fallen.

  5. Fo what it's worth, I was talking to a British guy at a party last night, and he said, and I quote:

    "I'm only prejudiced against two groups of people. People who are prejudiced against others, and the French."

  6. Mini Me: you're free to assess me as an ignorant, moronic idiot, and I don't take offense. However, people often refer to "America" without assuming it refers to "all Americans" or believing that all Americans are stereotyped by the label. If you say "America is a militaristic nation," that statement may be accurate even though there's a large segment of the population that is generally and strongly opposed to war (I don't consider myself less an American for being a pacifist). I am not stereotyping all southerners with this attitude.

    Head Chick in Charge: I understand your point about overt racism being preferable to covert racism, as you can deal with it directly. I said something similar in my defense of Michael Irvin: his joke involving stereotypes of race and athleticism was much less dangerous than the implicit statements about race and athleticism that get made all the time.

    That said, the Confederate flag still represents values which I find distasteful. Here's the list, from wikipedia, of states that allow usage of the confederate flag on license plates: Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama, Maryland, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Louisiana. In addition, the flag is displayed at the statehouse grounds of South Carolina and on the state flag of Mississippi. So (in theory, under democracy) the majority of voters in those states either support the use of the confederate flag for official uses or are indifferent to it. The First Amendment means, of course, that people should be able to display anything they want. However, does that change when it is a state-sanctioned display like a license plate?

  7. It absolutely does matter when potentially racist symbols like the confederate flag are state sanctioned, but I'd rather have confederate flags on license plates than the Supreme Court rolling back public school desegregation (yesterday's case).