No, the South Isn’t just a bunch of Teabagger Rednecks — Stop Stereotyping All Of Us

Texans Gather to Fight For Women's Rights in Austin

Texans Gather to Fight For Women’s Rights in Austin

It’s no secret that I am a Southerner and proud of it. I have spent all of my life from Virginia to South Carolina, to Georgia and Florida, and now Louisiana. I’ve been to Seattle, Portland, New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and other liberal havens, but the places that sadly hang onto the Stars and Bars and the ghosts of Jim Crow are also the same places I’ve called home.

I could have escaped these places, yet on every attempt to leave, I ended up being called back home. As much as I love progressive politics and the city culture, it seems that the Red States are where I need to be.

Now I have to clear the air on something. There are a ton of us down here in the Bible Belt who don’t long for the days prior to segregation and the Civil Rights Act. We’re not always your idea of what a liberal/progressive should be, but we are still in the trenches in conservative country, desperately fighting to turn these Red States a little more blue. We may prefer canned beer to bottles of wine, and fried chicken over tofu, but that doesn’t make us any less of a liberal or progressive.

Despite overwhelming odds and hopelessly gerrymandered districts, we showed up at the polls regardless. That packed Senate chamber that cheered on Wendy Davis’ filibuster? That happened in one of the strongholds of the GOP — Texas.

Here’s the one thing I just don’t get — the seemingly constant need by a lot of self-proclaimed liberals to put down people they don’t see as ideologically or culturally equal to them. It’s as if they have to flout their liberal credentials every single chance they get and it’s not helpful at all. Look, I get it. You live in a bastion of liberalism, eat only locally-sourced organic vegetables and only use public transportation. Hey, that’s cool, but how does that make you superior to those of us who do manual labor for a living and don’t have multiple liberal arts degrees? You know, the people you like to refer to as “trailer park rednecks” even as you type up your newest blog about intolerance in your favorite punching bag, the South?

You’re not helping the cause, you’re hurting it. There’s a lot of people in the center and moderate right who would likely vote with us more often if they didn’t feel like they were constantly being mocked and judged. We get it, there’s a lot of things that need changing down here and we’re working on it. What are you doing to help?

Comments

Facebook comments

  • Benjamin

    Just out of curiosity, what could we Yankees do help change Dixie Culture? I would think it be viewed as condescending, presumptuous, and elitist if us to say you need to change your culture in certain ways. Such perceptions might cause people to dig in their heals and become more obstinate, defeating our purpose. And that’s not a rhetorical question meant to justify inaction. I genuinely want to know. I may use the same tactics to talk some sense into my fellow Ohioans.

    • Paula Alderson Beard

      I am a capital L Texas Liberal woman, Benjamin, and the fight that we are having here in Texas for our rights as women is a genuine all out war. The Tea Party Taliban GOP in Austin thinks it can do whatever the hell it wants and we are here to say it’s not so. Your question about what you can do to assist us intrigued me. I would love to see more support instead of the asinine comments about giving Texas back to Mexico, let them secede if they want to, adios, good riddance. There are so many liberals and progressives here, in all parts of the state, not just urban areas. We are building grassroots organizations to get the vote out in 2014 and 2016 and we really need the moral support of the rest of the country. North Carolina needs the same! Give us some respect, we are down and dirty, fighting in the trenches with a bunch of ignorant rednecks that want to impose their version of morality on everyone.

      • Benjamin

        Its good to hear that you are fighting. We aren’t having much luck in Ohio. I was so excited about the success of Wendy Davis’ filibuster, and then immediately disappointed by Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, my home state. Even my pro-life wife thought that our new budget and abortion/birth control regulation was total bullshit. Rest assured, we don’t want to lose Texas.

      • WinterRose

        John Kasich has done well for OHIO. What is wrong with you?

      • Pitipua

        Well, if we look back in history, a lot of Northerners and progressives went down in the Freedom buses and helping with organizing and with actions back in the Civil Rights movement. Maybe that needs to be reactivated now with young, old, enthusiastic and positive people interested in constructive action.

      • DallasJim

        I am a happy liberal and would welcome any real help. “Yankees” coming here in buses would blow this place sky high. They hate you guys with a passion while you’re in the north. They might not let you off a bus here. Sad but true.

      • WinterRose

        The Democrats FOUGHT against the CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT.

      • Ankynan

        Paula AND Benjamin, I’m from Ohio/Midwest and lived in rural small-town SETX ftom 11/04 to 6/12. In the first 2 weeks after Obama was inaugurated in ’09,I heard about the Tea Party & the Birthers on the streets of my town, pop. <2,500. BEFORE I heard it on the news. They were prepared to hit the ground running. I also heard about it in church. In fact, someone tore our church apart over the fact that my husband, the priest (Episcopal), is a Democrat. Truly evil.

        I had colleagues who, knowing I'm a Democrat, talked in my presence about their hate for Obama in words I won't use here. And when I said "hey, now it's my turn to have my choice in the White House," they were even nastier.

        I $upport Battleground Texas, I $upport Wendy Davis & now in Ohio again after many years away (grandchildren! ), and in a city again, I am working for the rights of all.

        Paula, you are not alone.

      • Paula Alderson Beard

        Ankynan, small towns and rural areas in Texas can be brutal. They are so proud of their bigotry and hatred and vehemently hate anyone that thinks differently from them. I can only imagine your experience in that part of Texas. Even if someone secretly agreed with you, they would not dare say so openly. Rest assured that there are many people in rural Texas that keep their heads down, but vote for our side. We need every single last one of them to vote!

      • Chicago IL, and surrounded by right wing bigots. I find it stunning that someone like Joe Walsh, radical Tea Party could get elected in DuPage County, IL. He only lasted one term, but think how many had to vote to elect him in the first place! We have our fair share of loony reactionaries here too.

      • stx

        Dennis Hastert lasted longer than 1 term, unfortunately.

      • WinterRose

        If you are going to accuse the Tea Party of being Right Wing Bigots than post the facts to back up your accusation. Walsh is not Radical however Obama and his administration is. Chicago is a SHIT hole but I reckon you like it that way.

      • WinterRose

        Paula are you not spreading HATE, exposing your BIGOTRY and VEHEMENTLY HATE all Conservatives that refuse to BOW DOWN to your the RADICAL RULES by SAUL D. ALINSKY that you so follow? You don’t even know or understand what the TEA PARTY is about. Texas economy is BOOMING thanks to GOVERNOR RICK PERRY. I guess you want Texas to be ran into the ground like the City of DETROIT which has been ran by Liberals for years. Sadly California which used to be a clean productive beautiful state is now broke and the Central Valley aka the BREAD BASKET of the NATION has been destroyed by morons like BROWN. You really are so clueless that I pity you.

      • WinterRose

        Do you know that it was Tea Party people who vandalized your church? and can you provide the names and or facts that Tea Party folks used racist names against the *Anointed One*. Because I belong to the Tea Party and a friend of Lloyd Marcus who is black and have never been to a Tea Party Rally where anyone was racially attacking Obama or leaving litter all over the grounds or fighting. I have seen and was even physically attacked by liberals who infiltrated at the Rally posing as TP Patriots. They were arrested. We are still waiting for the video of the person who SPIT on the Black Senator. Years later no one has come forward. You’re not working for the rights of ALL. You’re working to SILENCE the OPPOSITION. Shame on you.

      • lmanningok

        As a West Coast liberal, I was delighted to see the huge Texas turnout to protest Governor Oop’s blatant, unapologetic stance against women. Please keep up your efforts…they help all American women and we’re behind you 100%. Google Christian Patriarchy to get an idea of where this horrible ideology is coming from. It’s all over the country and has its roots in the usual suspects: The Old and New Testaments.

      • WinterRose

        You’re a close minded bigoted hypocrite. If your going to shout to the world that you’re for women’s rights but EXCLUDE *CHRISTIAN CONSERVATIVE WOMEN* than you’re a *BIGOTED HYPOCRITE*. BTW?

        ITS ALRIGHT TO BE A REDNECK. What are you? INNER CITY ASPHALT STREET THUG? Wise Up.

    • lindylou

      We are fine with “Dixie Culture” as long as those gracious manners are real. Too often the genteel behavior is a façade for some pretty ugly racism and bigotry.

    • Twango

      What Paula and Aretha had to say is a huge. I too am in Texas and many of us are fighting with everything we have to turn this state blue. So many that are on the fence and could be turned blue change their mind in a heart beat when they see the ‘just secede’, ‘give it back to Mexico’, ‘well of course THAT happened there, what else would you expect’, etc.

      • Ankynan

        Twango, my experience in a small town in SE TX from 11/04 to 6/12 made me not regret leaving when the time came, except for a few friends. I got so tired of hearing secession talk and hatred for moderates, even, fer pete’s sake. You wouldn’t believe how they talk about people who live in Austin.

        I support – $$ – Battleground Tecas & Wendy Davis. But even my friend who had a legal abortion when she needed one will not stand up to oppose the Tea Party. She is almost **venomously** “faithful” to the party line. :'(

    • Brian Bayley

      You’re joking right? How do we fix the elitist self righteous culture you spawned from? You missed the whole point of the article. I have an idea treat people with love and respect and if someone disagrees with you try and listen, they may have a point.

  • Heidi

    We do’t all think, say and do these things. I live in an area that has a huge amount of transplanted people, many from the states you mentioned, and none of them are political conservatives. It’s happened so much that the stereotype has been broken for me, which is very, very good. We all need to stand together and be supportive of each other, especially at this particular time. 🙂

    • squibby

      It’s the same here in Nashville, TN. Most folks here are imported from around the country and I fortunately have not often met with the level of backwoods bat shit that many southern areas have the misfortune of possessing. What I’m seeing is a masterfully prepared tactic being used against us and as much as I am a pacifist, I truly see violent riots as being the only believable outcome. There are too many causes to fight for/against: Keystone XL, Monsanto, abortion (which I’m against but I’d rather a woman who’s determined to do it, do so safely instead of resorting to the alternative), marriage equality, racism (Still? WTF?), religious freedom for ALL, NSA spying tactics and an endless plethora of rules that no one could ever know in their entirety in order to NOT break them, but one tool of a judge had to go and rule that not knowing is no excuse for breaking, thereby endlessly perpetuating our FPP (for-profit prison) nightmare, among other things. Simply put, we the people need help. I’m not one for waiting for someone else to do something, but I wonder if Anonymous would be able to help us sway things here. I hope they can and will help us before we are forced to remind our lawfakers exactly who the boss is around here (OF, BY AND FOR THE PEOPLE). Thanks to the CIA’s disinformation program and another tool of a judge ruling that it is legal to lie on the news, everything is so unreliable and unbelievable that it would take nothing short of a full scale, country-wide rebellion to set this country in the right direction. I shudder to envision our future; it won’t be pretty.

    • lmanningok

      Well said, Heidi. No matter where they live, the Tea Baggers, Christian Patriarchs, Aryan Nation, etc. MUST be shamed as being unAmerican: They oppose the principles of our imperfect but beloved Constitution.

  • Lu States

    hey, i’m a big lefty liberal progressive living in san francisco, and

  • deborah1955

    I too am a Louisiana proud liberal, and sometimes it looks as though all is lost down here. But I just remember that truth always wins out in the end, so we just have to keep fighting and telling the truth. The truth is the one thing republicans fear the most.

    • WinterRose

      Yes the Democrats and Liberal Progressive Ideology has worked so well for America and the American People. We have more Blacks living in poverty than ever before. We have more people on Food Stamps and Welfare than ever before. Wake Up Deborah. Conservatism works. Liberalism has always failed. Liberals are the ones who lie and the weak minded like you fall for it hook line and sinker. Liberal hate blacks who are Christian and Conservative because they believe that they are intelligent enough to *THINK* for themselves and SUCCEED via HARD WORK. People like you stay enslaved on the Liberal Plantation and you belong to the party of *JIM CROW*, SEGREGATION*, *THE KKK*, and the party who fought against the *CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT*. I bet you support *PLANNED PARENTHOOD* who was *FOUNDED by MARGARET THATCHER* who wanted to rid society of every BLACK PERSON. Look up the word GENOCIDE. Wise Up and get right or stay enslaved and support the party who promises you bread crumbs for your votes instead of joining the Conservative Movement who believes in HAND UPS not HAND OUTS. The party who teaches ACCOUNTABILITY and RESPONSIBILITY and by working hard ALL can achieve the AMERICAN DREAM. Put down the KOOL AID.

  • Billy Sunday

    I, too, am a son of the south. I live in Pensacola, Fl. I am a capital L Liberal. There are a lot of us here. We tend to stick together -the way most groups do who are under siege. We all canvassed for Obama and we turned Florida blue- twice. What you callous Yankee sophisticates (!) don’t know about, or don’t care to know about, is the existence of a different South. One that functions just fine outside of the stereotype. We are authors, artists. poets and musicians. And without us, the soul of the US of A would definitely be -uhm- well- let’s say milquetoast.

    • Aimee Barfield

      Hello fellow Floridian! We turned it blue for Obama twice and it’s gone blue many, many, many other times (including 2000).
      I kid you not, I saw people mocking our fellow Floridians waiting in 8-9 hours in line to vote. Fellow ‘liberals’. I was stunned.

      • WinterRose

        Obama has failed. Where have you been.

    • WinterRose

      Florida has down well under a Republican Conservative Ideology. If you want to see what Progressive Liberalism creates just look at Detroit. Enough Said.

      • Billy Sunday

        Rose. Did your mama have any kids that lived? Margaret Thatcher started Planned Parenthood? Never knew that!!!! Detroit was abandoned by the auto industry. Nowhere near enough said. Florida is lagging behind in just about every category. Just like every state with a wingnut governor and a republican statehouse. If not for us milking yankee tourists, we’d be as poor as Detroit. And the average person on welfare is white as you are. Doofus.

      • Jeff Mathis

        Thanks for slapping WinterRose for me, I doubt that it did any good. Facts and reason aren’t part of their thought process. This are the kind of dimwits that got us a Governor who in reality should be in prison not in the Governors office.

  • JonesRobynj

    Dear Manny, I am and have always lived in Virginia. You say you are sick of liberals putting down the South. Well, I’ve lived here and have seen this state go from being some place I would never think about leaving until I have seen what has happened to us since the first Black President was elected. I am ashamed of what I see. Experiencing the absolutely egregious behavior I have seen come out of our politicians here, makes me wish I wasn’t born in the “south”. You also need to understand something. If you are not guilty of that type of prejudice, zealous, pre-civil war poison, then don’t worry about what the rest of us say about those people who are dead set on walking on everyone’s rights. They claim that WE southerners who understand what it means to be free in this country and realize that the days of keeping minorities down and in their place, are communists, ignorant, fascists and big government idiots. The people who you do not speak of, are the ones that drew first blood and continue to do their level best to push their backwards self centered concepts of right and wrong to a point which have practically paralyzed this whole country’s progress. They don’t give a damn about the facts and as far as I am concerned they ARE backwoods, ignoramuses who I wouldn’t trust to walk my dog. If they lived in the North, I’d look at them in the same light. They are a cancer which is making things bad for us here and everywhere. All they want to do is show off their male egos, tote guns at coffee shops, and ride around talking about succession like they are in some bad dream. They offer no solutions that are beneficial for everyone, They pervert the constitution and do their level best to tear down everything we have accomplished instead of solving problems and making things better for all humans that make up this country. They only care about their stupid little world and have no idea what it means to be a good Christian. I am outraged to say the least. You don’t like people talking bad about ya’ll, then it is up to us as Southerners to try to educate these imperfect citizens causing all of the problems.

    • lindylou

      You from NOVA or ROVA?

    • Debbie Day

      I could not say it any better. I live in NC just a few miles from Virginia in the northwest and I hear the same things said from mouths that gush hate for anyone that does not vote as they do, don’t worship like them and believe that gays are an abomination and don’t hesitate to tell you your not a Christian if you think different, and all the while they are packing heat and loving their AK-47 to mow down target sheets, cause hell what else can they use that kind of power on. Their heroes are Hank Williams, Jr. or Ted Nugent, and everywhere you go the TV is set on Foxx News and they wouldn’t think of watching another station cause they know they speak the truth! And heaven forbid if you read any other bible than the KJV and they would consider you a sinner if you studied from different Bibles or study books on the history of the times when the Bible was written, cause you do not add to or take away. Family members will write you off, and the pain of that is terrible, but their beliefs are right and you are wrong. Of course they will pray for your soul, but don’t pray for mine, because I’m right. And in the middle of all this, you write on FB and you post information from many different news media and FactCheck organizations trying to get people to read and educate themselves. And it goes on & on!

      • JonesRobynj

        Thanks for your comment Debbie. NC and VA have a lot in common on many levels and I have plenty of friends who live in NC. I live in Suffolk and lots of people shop up here and I hate that the good people of your state have to endure the ignorance of people who call themselves “Patriots” . Ignorance runs rampant everywhere these days and they have a completely ignorant Republicans party that does nothing to curb their stupid radicals. I have nothing against being radical as long as it is for a correct, pro-growth agenda that pushes us forward to a more perfect union. It would completely drive me crazy to live around people like you described. I have family in Lynchburg and go there from time to time and also see the same ignorance permeating that area as well. I have pretty much cut myself off from them for that specific reason. The funny thing is that these are not stupid people. They are intelligent, hard working people but have been spoon fed this crap all of their lives. It’s very sad. I guess those of us who see the bigger picture are just going to have to drag them into the light whether they want to or not. They sure can’t be left behind to go down the tubes or we wouldn’t be any better than them.

      • WinterRose

        Thanks for posting your Pseudo rant about Conservatives. I can tell that if we had more *INTOLERANT* people like you the DESTRUCTION of our CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC would be forever DESTROYED. You’re the one who is *HATEFUL* as well as *IGNORANT*.

      • WinterRose

        Its FOX NEWS and the other Cable News Networks have extremely low ratings because they are not Fair and Balanced. They spew their Progressive Liberal Ideology and LIE and call Conservative Women Right Wing Sluts. Does Ed Schulz ring a bell? Yes gotta love all of you *Loving*, *Tolerant*, *Open Minded* *Liberals* who are all about *CHOICE* except when it comes to *SCHOOLS*, *FREE MARKETS*, *What kind of Vehicle you can Purchase & Drive* *What you can and cannot eat*, *What you can and cannot say*, *How much money you can have*, *PRO~LIFE*, *The right to PRAY and READ the BIBLE in our schools*. *CREATIONISM*, *Cannot say MERRY CHRISTMAS or have NATIVITY SCENES* etc. Fox News has both sides and employes both Conservatives, Republicans, Liberals and Democrats as well as Independents and guests are debate on both sides of the aisle. If your a black Male or female Christian Conservative well the most vile and racist names are spewed by the left. So tell me who the haters are?

        Here is a small list of Christian Conservatives (Black and White and Mexican and Asian) who are attacked by you so called anti RACIST TOLERANT LWNJ’S.

        *Deroy Murdock*
        *Tim Scott*
        *Alan Keyes*
        *Allen West*
        *Herman Cain*
        *Stacy Dash*
        *Harris Faulkner*
        *Angela McGlowan*
        *Michelle Malkin*
        *Michelle Bachman*
        *Ann Coulter*
        *Monica Crowley*
        *Megan Kelly*
        *Susanna Martinez*
        *Nikki Haley*
        *Governor Sarah Palin*
        *Scott Walker*
        *Mike Huckabee*
        *Charles Payne*
        *Walter Williams*
        *Thomas Sowell*

        I could go and on and on about the vile racist hate filled violent attacks that you liberals call Christian Conservative Male, Female, Black. Mexican, Caucasian, and Asian Americans. Shame on You.

  • BigTBone

    Yankee raised but now living in SC. Read the local news comment sections. Especially on articles about this Zimmerman trial or anything related to Obama. I try not to stereotype but I shit you not- someone yesterday said the Boston Bomber pleaded not guilty because of “Obama’s Muslim Brutha Hood”. It’s hard to feign tolerance when a lot of the folks are deluded, dense, dumb and distracted.

    • Aimee Barfield

      You can read those same comments in Yahoo news articles. That’s why I only read comments at Salon myself, at least the people replying to the idiots have wit.

      I’m a native Floridian, there are idiots and bigots everywhere. I’ve been outside the country and have travelled around the country and there is one thing you can’t escape from *some* people, stupidity.

      It’s not a Southern thing.

      • Larry

        Unfortunatly this is true about Bigots and Idiots. I live in the Central Valley of California and if the rest of Calif. was as Red as Hanford, Ca; we would be living in the Stone Age.

      • Nessa

        Placer County here. I totally get what you mean.

      • ming_on_mongo

        Same here in Butte County… it cracks me up whenever folks talk about “lib-rul Kalifornia”! And as others here have noted, the ‘problems’ usually seem to start whenever folks of the ‘Southern Conservative’ persuasion, apparently expect everyone else to march in ‘lockstep’, on everything from “Jee-bus” to “furiners” to “‘Murika” to “homa-sektchules”. Aka, “you ain’t from around here, are ‘ya, boy?”

      • WinterRose

        I was born in Hanford and lived in Lemoore and now I live in Colorado *Which is being destroyed by Liberals*. The Central Valley that was once the BREAD BASKET of the Nation has been destroyed because of Liberals. The state is BROKE. Environmentalists have destroyed the family farms because of the *Delta Smelt* which is not NATIVE to California*. The state is full of Illegal Aliens most who are criminals getting freebies at the expense of the Conservative Taxpayers. Perhaps you should move to san FAGcisco or LA. The Central Valley is farm country or was. Hanford, Lemoore, Visalia, Tulare, Laton, *Fresno <<< SHIT HOLE*, Riverdale, Burell, Coalinga, Avenal etc is RED the rest of the state if blue and CA. has become a SHIT HOLE now. People are leaving. Wise Up.

    • Marsha Adamson

      I agree, I am the ONLY liberal in my family and when we get together, it’s ME who gets attacked constantly about my college education and how I think I’m better than them. I am so sorry they feel this way, but I will not be ashamed of my education. I don’t hold it above them, I even avoid political conversation around them, but they say intolerant statements like you mentioned as if it was common sense that is socially accepted and in casual conversation. It never ceases to surprise me.

      • Dale Mulkey

        you should tell them yes you are better then they are because your not ashamed of your intelligence but that they must be ashamed of their ignorance as they bring it up all the time.

      • Marsha Adamson

        One thing about being educated, is you don’t waste your time on fools. lol I just ignore them.

      • WinterRose

        And you believe that Conservatives are not educated? You truly are *Close Minded*, *Intolerant*, and a *Bigot*. I paid for my own education and am the CEO of my own company. *Yep* I am an uneducated 26 year old entrepreneur and I grew up in and out of foster care. I know for a fact that your Conservative Parents PAID for your EDUCATION with hopes that you would receive an *Education* vs. an *Indoctrination. What a waste of money that you are so weak minded that you allowed yourself to be *TOLD what to THINK* instead of being *TAUGHT* how to *THINK*. You should look yourself in the mirror. What you will see is a *Narcissistic* *Ignorant* *Ninnyhammer. Wise Up

      • Marsha Adamson

        I said that the Conservatives were just dumb, not educated. You can be an educated fool. They were just not popular. I worked 3 jobs and had scholastic scholarships that got me through not only an Undergraduate degree, but also a Masters and Post Masters studies. My parents did not pay for my education at all. Why in the world would you make such an accusation without knowing the FACTS beforehand? “Ninnyhammer”? LOLOLOL! Please, name calling is so third grade. Also, I wasn’t the one who called you “ignorant” it was the person who commented after me and the word used was “ignorance”, not that you were ignorant. There is a difference. “Ignorance” in this case is just that my family doesn’t know any better, not that they are stupid. It’s like being intolerant of others because of their race or sexual orientation, that’s “ignorance” as it was being used in their reply. Now go be an “entrepreneur” for your obviously VERY busy business and stop being a bully. What I said originally was not so horrible that you should be yelling at me. That is just what happens at my family reunion and I don’t deserve that. I worked hard for my education and I am proud of it, and I am sorry you didn’t get the same opportunity or make the same choices as I did, but I will not be sorry I am educated. No way. Now, as I said above I’m not wasting any more time with you (talk about being overly emotional, what’s with all the yelling? lol) Have a nice day.

      • WinterRose

        How very tolerant you are. I’m Conservative so what is it you know about me that would confirm your analysis that i must be Ignorant. What are you basing your so called FACTS on?

      • Brian Bayley

        Isn’t it a prerequisite for a liberal to think they’re better than anyone who disagrees with the liberal agenda?

      • Debbie Bock

        Brian…..what do you disagree with…..that comment was laughable! And exactly what IS the liberal “AGENDA” 😉

      • Brian Bayley

        Taking all guns from citizens, aborting fetuses at any stage, creating a socialist/totalitarian society…at any cost, all the while disregarding and demonizing anyone who disagrees. Your self righteous ends justify your means. You don’t even know what your own agenda is? The sooner you realize the end is an illusion and it’s only the means that matter the better off we’ll all be.

      • Marsha Adamson

        Brian, no one has taken your guns. All we want is to give women a choice whether to abort or not…that’s the American way or so you Reps. keep telling us. We believe ALL Americans are important, not just the Conservative few and their “beliefs”. Do we need an “agenda”? Wouldn’t that make Obama a “dictator”? Make up your mind what you think we are and then do something, anything, in Congress…we’re waiting for your grand ideas. How could we be self-righteous? We’re freaking “Socialists” in your view…do you even know what a Socialist is? Go read about it, it is not about the few, it’s about the many, like Medicare and Social Security…you know those things you grasp at when you get of age as if it’s going to disappear. You say you worked for it and paid into it, so did all of us, that’s why it’s like insurance, that’s how insurance works. WE ALL work together for the common good. That is the American ideal. Somewhere along the way Conservatives have lost that ideal and it’s very sad, because that’s what made us great.

      • Brian Bayley

        You just proved my point when you put conservative “beliefs” in quotations, saying you care about ALL americans (except unborn ones), thus implying that conservatives don’t care or only care about other conservatives, that I don’t understand socialism. A died in the wool socialist is going to explain to me what made America great and use the phrase “the greater good” in the same sentence. So, in your ideal America, if I was someone not taking things acquired through the greater good and I am not contributing to the greater good than it sounds like I have no value in your society. But if you can force me to either take or contribute then I have value.

      • WinterRose

        Brian Liberal do not think for themselves. They depend on others and BIG GOVERNMENT to make their decisions for them and their families. In their minds they are ENTITLED. Debbie clearly is *Ignorant* and has no real idea of what being a progressive liberal means and that it has always failed.

      • WinterRose

        Yes Brian it is a prerequisite for *LIE*berals* to *THINK* they are better than everyone else but when you ask them to post the FACTS they instead go on the attack. Sadly Marsha Adamson cannot post anything based on *FACTS* but rather her own *Emotional Opinion*. She refers to her parents and the rest of her family as *Stupid* because they are *Conservatives*. The very one’s who PAID her College Tuition and she most likely lives at home on their money. Liberalism creates DEPENDENCE. In other words Liberals demand that others do for them what they should do for themselves. They are *TOLD* that the wording *The PURSUIT of HAPPINESS* must be provided by others. Sadly Marsha is on the road to SERFDOM.

      • WinterRose

        Its OK every family has their black sheep. Liberals tell PEOPLE what to THINK they don’t TEACH people HOW to THINK. Sadly you fell for the lie and cannot see the forest for the trees. If your a Conservative Student and Christian one can be sure to be shouted down by your liberal progressive professor and if you want to have a Club say like the * YOUNG REPUBLICANS* than you’re not allowed on *Campus*. If you’re *PRO LIFE* you can be sure to have your voices silenced and or attacked verbally and violently. You mention the word *INTOLERANCE* not because they are but because YOU are the one who is *INTOLERANT* of their beliefs and views and Opinions which are based on FACTS while liberals base their FACTS on their EMOTIONS.

        I am 26 you seem to be around my age yet I’ve grown up and believe that I am the one who has to be Accountable and Responsible for my life while Liberals believe they are ENTITLED to enjoy the FRUITS of another’s LABOR or that someone else should pay for your abortions, education, child care, give you a free house, etc. For example I am against Homosexual Marriage but the so called TOLERANT HOMOSEXUAL BI LGBT believes they have the right to destroy Christians Businesses and demand that they have the right to REDEFINE MARRIAGE for everyone else. WAKE UP and WISE UP.

      • Marsha Adamson

        I love how you guys steal our rhetoric and try to turn it back on us, lol. “…liberals base their FACTS on their EMOTIONS” LOLOLOLOL! Please try and come up with something original for once…you can do it, I know you can. Btw, enjoy the fruits of my labor when you work a 5 day work week, enjoy weekends off, get Medicare and Social Security when you retire, etc., etc., etc. Also, brainless, insurance pays for “abortions” just like it pays for YOUR medical needs you choose to have, but I guess yours is more important than the rest of us. Education and child care are and have always been a Socialist idea, like you know, other public things, such as, the fire dept, police, interstate hwys….those things you enjoy everyday. You probably went to a public school. Also, I worked at a university and no stupid assed Conservative/Christian groups were ever “shouted down”. They just weren’t all that popular because they were boring and the people who ran them were as dumb as stumps. Students have always had a choice of going to those things or not and they just don’t. We never even noticed them, we didn’t care about them because they just weren’t that interesting. Sorry.
        As far as you being against “HOMOSEXUAL BI LGBT” (btw, the b in the LGBT means bisexual, so there’s no need to repeat it.) that did not surprise me and I really don’t see the need to put it in all caps, lol. Anyway, the “Christian” businesses were the ones who chose to deny them to have a wedding cake, what if it were a black person? What if those shop owners said, “I’m not putting a black couple on this cake.” What then? Do you see the problem? You can get married like before, no one is telling you you can’t, you can believe it’s a “Christian” marriage even though probably you don’t follow the Bible in it’s strictest sense of what “marriage” is (go read about it). Do what you want, just let others do what they want. Deal?

  • Kathy

    Thank You Manny – I’m a NE Republican which ranks one pretty much mocking RINO status anywhere you go these days which it is also majorly unproductive. I would love to know more about how to align with folks all over the country who are just looking for common sense, economically productive, personal responsibility producing, fiscally responsible, compassionate policies ! Lets start a new party – I am so sick of this $%&#% and love what you have to say.

    • Benjamin

      A new party would be great. The Party of Reason, mayhaps? I’m just as sick as you are with all the bullshit bickering that goes on between the two current parties in power.

  • Randall Kramm

    Huntsville, Alabama.

  • Mickie

    I am Virginia born and bred. Unfortunately, the most ignorant and bigoted are the most paranoid and the loudest. I was raised to ignore such rude behavior, but that no longer works as the media gives more and more time and space to nasty, inflammatory rhetoric. We have to speak up and refute the stereotype whenever and wherever we can… keeping our southern manners intact.

    • lindylou

      I agree Mickie, about the southern manners. We are northerners who are toying with the idea of retiring to the Outer Banks of North Carolina!

      • lmanningok

        Not sure what is meant by “southern manners.” I hope it includes protesting loudly at racist/sexist remarks. Being “PC” for me means being “polite and considerate,” not “politically correct,” a term that implies I’d really rather use the “N” word rather than “African-American.” That’s insulting to liberals.

      • lindylou

        P C. Polite and considerate, these are qualities instilled in many a southern belle and gentleman. It’s a behavior code, designed to make you feel singled out for kind treatment. That’s all. Look beneath, there’s the same old system.

      • AQ

        You’ll fit right in. NC is just like North Dakota–backwards attitudes, anti-educational mindset and all.

      • lindylou

        Not quite. ND still has a higher literacy level that most states. They just fell under the spell of the worshippers of the holy zygote. They will get over it. Even the tiny town of Leith pushed out the white supremacists, who are now bargaining for land around area 54. (Perfect match).

      • AQ

        literacy rates =/= mindset about education. Nice false equivalency though, good job you.

      • lindylou

        You would fit right in at a southern gathering. Kind on the surface, but mean as shit beneath all that polish.

      • AQ

        ITYM “NoDak gathering”.

        Unlike you, however, I’m up front with my disdain for certain folks.

  • SPac316

    Heh, not all of us like to eat Tofu or organic foods. 😛
    Some people take public transportation either because they can’t afford a vehicle or they don’t have a drivers license.
    So who’s judging now? 😛

    regardless and In all seriousness, I never thought all Southerners are right-wing bible thumping extremists. I’ll betcha there are Northerners who are. 🙂

    • paul

      Just for the record, when people refer to right-wing bible thumping extremists, they are referencing CONservatives, not Liberals. This holds true anyplace one lives; North, South, East or West.

  • Pati Bea

    To quote an idea expressed by the blonde character in SATC, “Teabagging” means something completely different to a lot of us.” Either way, not all Southerners are teabaggers.. I would rather be a toilet cleaner.

  • Greg Weaver

    Well put. I’m a gun-toting, meat-eating, bleeding-heart liberal, and it took me a while to finally face up to that last one. Leave the lockstep-marching to the GOP, don’t exclude the rest of us who aren’t exactly big-city types.

    Honestly, I think the Left would steal away 40% of the Right’s base if they would drop the gun-control stuff and leave the laws exactly as they are now (push for better enforcement, but no new restrictions. Stop whining about assault rifles)…although the hard part would be convincing people that the Left really dropped it.

    I wince every time I see someone talk about banning guns, because for a lot of non-religious people on the right, it’s one of the few or only issues tying them to the GOP…and it’s an important one.

    • paul

      Sorry if you don’t like our “whining” about guns Greg, but we would all be better off without them. Now go wince.

    • JefferyHaas

      I liked guns as a kid in Maryland, I liked em as a young man in Minnesota, I liked them as a professional in L.A., and I liked them in Texas and I have been a liberal my entire life.
      Now that I am BACK in SoCal I STILL like them.
      Let me make it clear to you Greg, I don’t support a ban, I simply support better background checks and better training and responsibility.

      Still a gun owner but still liberal. There’s not as many liberals coming for your guns as you might think.

    • Aimee Barfield

      Yeah, I’m a Southerner and I’m not going to give up the gun control debate. No one has talked about ‘banning’ guns. Gun control is a ‘gun ban’. I support an assault weapons ban myself, we did just fine without them for the ten years the ban was in place.

    • BigTBone

      Sad to admit that I supported W when he ran for office the first time. I saw a looming terror threat coming and Willie was running around the oval office with his pants around his ankles. Gore didn’t make a compelling argument (at the time) and republicans seemed to be better at defense/national security.

      Time has shown that those years under W were a recipe for the malaise we have now. To blindly support this failed ideology from the right – as it moves further to the right than ever – it’s hard to identify what ‘liberal’ actually means today.

      Weapons should be difficult and deliberate to access. I once waited 10 days for a handgun permit a few years ago. There’s legitimate concerns for the types of hardware available today. Presenting firearms in public should come with serious consequences. Stop letting the war on drugs create gun violence. Infiltrate and break up gangs… etc.

      The left’s biggest problem is that they can’t control the narrative.

    • Glkanter

      Closing the private sale loophole is not “banning guns”.

    • Dale Mulkey

      you really should grow up and oh by the way go tell the leave my assault weapon alone speech to the familys of the kids killed by them. if your a liberal your a sorry excuse for one

  • Denise Levine

    So you complain about liberals stereotyping Southerners in the same article where you stereotype liberals as organic vegetable eating, bus riding, liberal arts educated elitists?

    • paul

      Exactly Denise. Manny is a hypocrite.

    • JefferyHaas

      Yeah, I don’t get that….I lived and worked in Texas for ten years.
      I gave it my best shot because I believed I would be living in Willie Nelson’s Texas but it turned out to be Rick Perry’s Hellhole instead.

      But let me assure you, while I was there I made a great many friends with a lot of wonderful people who I still cherish and I downed many a bottle of Shiner Bock, and I still drink it out here in Southern California.

      Sorry Manny, but you’re taking it way too personal.
      Our anger isn’t directed at the many fine liberals working hard to change the South. It is directed at the very same people you’re fighting. Wake up Manny.

    • Angie

      You do have a point. But maybe he’s just reacting to having read so many articles/comments that say, “Let them secede!” “We’ll be better off without them!” “If the liberals there don’t like it, why don’t they move?” It’s really frustrating when even in a state like SC, we had 47% vote democrat in the last gubernatorial election. There really is potential for change here, and were we to turn the tide, so much good could be done. It’s just that the changing of the Good Old Boy Guard is slow and tedious because they have a lot of money and power. We’re fighting a very hard fight to save our homes and make it better. We don’t want to give up what we love – our Blue Ridge Mountains, our lakes, our National Forests, our beaches… there’s more to love than there is to hate. Those of us fighting often feel like our progressive compatriots in other regions don’t even know we exist. It’s really frustrating. Manny is writing from that place of frustration.

      • Glkanter

        I say this about Texas, as I recall reading that threat a few times: “Let them secede!

        I suggest the changing of the guard is *not* happening as a matter of generational shift.

      • lmanningok

        How can we non-Southerners help make it happen?

      • Dale Mulkey

        sorry but you cant complain about someone doing something and then turn around and do the same thing. its called being a hipocrite and his whole article shows he is one great big one

      • DallasJim

        Your lack of understanding does not make him a hypocrite. It just makes you less compassionate.

      • lmanningok

        Oh we definitely know you exist and are grateful to you. PLEASE don’t give up. Frankly, I blame my fellow liberals for voting for that ego-driven Ralph Nader in the Gore v Bush campaign. I also think Gore would have fought harder if he’d known how devastating Bush/Cheney and their gang would be to the US. Now we’re stuck in all this mud slinging. Again, we’re behind you 100% and are proud of your fight…it’s for all Americans.

      • DallasJim

        Yeah. They have Koch brothers money behind them.

    • busboy33

      I think he’s showing the hypocrisy intentionally. Stereotypes beget stereotypes, and all that. We’re quick to notice the offensive Yankee stereotype, but let the HillJack Redneck one slide by with a giggle and a “I’m sure they’re not ALL like that. Some of my best friends are from the South”.

  • Cristin Robin

    Manny, I’ve lived in Michigan my entire life and I thank you for standing up to those of us, and I’m guilty of this, who paint everyone in the south with a “broad brush”. Because of who I am, I’m afraid to go to the south, but that doesn’t mean that all of the south is bad. Hell, I’d love to visit some of my favorite historical places, but when one fears walking down the street, it’s hard to view an area in a positive light.

  • dddavid

    OMG, liking tofu is NOT a requirement for liberalism. That stuff is nasty!

    • paul

      OMG, slaughtering and eating dead flesh is far nastier.

      • FourQ

        If by “nastier” you mean “more delicious”, then I agree!

      • paul

        NO FourQ, that is not what I meant. Your not funny, just ignorant.

      • paul

        NO FourQ, that is not what I meant. Your not funny, just ignorant.

      • FourQ

        Says the guy who doesn’t understand the proper use of apostrophes.

      • Dale Mulkey

        omg unless your a 12 year old valley girl grow up and act like a man

      • lmanningok

        OMG Dale! Until you learn that a sentence begins with a capital letter, that there’s a difference between “your” and “you’re,” that a comma follows an opening phrase, that “12-year-old Valley girl” needs hyphens, and a sentence ends with a period, you need to stop pretending you’re an educated man.

      • paul

        OMG DALE! Who the fuck are you to tell anyone how to act?

      • paul

        OMG DALE! Who the fuck are you to tell anyone how to act?

  • paul

    For someone who does not like to be stereotyped, you sure does a lot of it yourself Manny. Let me address how us city slickers are helping y’all down in the bible belt. We pay taxes. Our money is disproportionately redistributed to your show boat states. That’s money, or help, we don’t get back. Let’s flip this around. What have your bible states done for us? Lets see, you’ve held the country backward socially, you’ve sucked up valuable resources financially and you’ve sent uneducated pernicious politicians to the Congress and Senate politically. But no, Manny, you have the audacity to deride progressive places which you have ostensibly visited, but for some inexplicable reason, refuse to to live in? Sorry, but you are a redneck. It’s not because you prefer chicken over tofu, it’s because you are as hypocritical as those you deride. I don’t know what disease continually lures you to the immoral swamps of the south, I’m just glad I’m not infected with it.

    • lindylou

      Great!

  • Frannie Zellman

    Manny Schewitz…hahah…cute nick. So you like sweet wine, do you? 🙂

  • JefferyHaas

    Manny, we’re not putting you down, we’re screaming to get through the thick skulls of the very same people you’re fighting against.
    If you can’t figure that out you need to listen better.
    I do not know ANY liberals who view themselves as somehow locked in a class struggle against working folks down South.
    All your talk about tofu and wine is phony, so please…stop it and learn who it is we’re castigating. We’re on your side, fer Chrissakes.

    • AQ

      Y’all are doing a shitty job of showing that you’re on our side.

  • JefferyHaas

    Manny, if you ever decide to visit California again, stop by the Long Beach area. We’re less than five miles from “The Orange Curtain” and I assure you that you’re going to hear us say the same stuff about all the uptight right wing idiots in Orange County.

    We’re not painting all Southerners with a broad brush, we’re applying the paint where it sticks and, trust me, some of it sticks just fine right here on the West Coast.

    Open your ears and listen better.

  • kimhusseinbrunelle

    Never fear, not all of us Lefties from the north buy into the stereotypical portrait of Southerners. I know I’m not the only one who has friends living in red states who I appreciate and admire immensely for their continued fight to bring change to some pretty backward places. If not for you and people like my friends, how can any of us ever expect things to improve for so many people who deserve better lives than the ones they are living now? In closing, let me thank you for your very insightful and intelligent posts, each of which further shatters the stereotype that so many good Southern people have to live with.

  • MrWereman

    Right… So now all liberals drink only wine and only eat tofu? Way to perpetuate stereotypes yourself.

  • Pitipua

    I think liberals and progressives –myself included– aren’t exempt of classist bias, i think that is a lot of what rides underneath. Definitely a lot of this needs to be bridged through dialogue such as the one you initiated with this very well written piece. A lot of the disconnect and the stereotypes on both sides comes from ignorance. But it also comes from direct experience. We moved from northern CA into central FL for most of the 2000s and we really tried to belong but could not adapt. On a regular basis we would get take aback by the narrow-minded, backward, xenophobic, ignorant and -frankly- hostile attitudes we would encounter all too often from regular people. Our son, then a child, used to participating in protests since he was a baby, got so scared by people’s hostility during a peaceful protest against the Iraq war that he begged us to leave early and go home. As teachers, my husband and i got blackballed after speaking up against NCLB and could not find work again, despite excellent evaluations. I won’t tire you with a long laundry list of horror stories, but the long and short of it is that we gave up and we moved back in 2008. Honestly, i have to say that my negative bias against the south was formed while we lived there. I commend you for staying true to your roots, but i wouldn’t want to ever set foot there again. And no, we do not run with the Whole Foods, wine sipping crowd, neither. To each their own, i guess.

  • strangelander

    Well, Manny…the I’m-better-than-you thing isn’t a one-way street. This “effing stupid libtard sheeple” sees disparaging remarks about “libs” everywhere I go on the net. It isn’t helpful. Tell me something…who was it who trashed the word “liberal” and the word “feminism?” Who gave them such negative connotations that even strong people try to shy away from identifying with the labels which represent some of the best things that have happened in this country in the last century? I don’t have a degree either, Manny. I labored in the trenches, so to speak, for all of my life. And none of the liberals I know are poor leeches feeding at the public trough and hoping for a hand-out. So maybe it would be more helpful to ask the Tea-nuts why they live and breathe by these false stereotypes. Is it possible you don’t ask them because you know they won’t ever give up their prejudices?…that you’d be talking to a brick wall? That they won’t ever give up the notion that everything they hear from Beck and Rush and Fox News is the unvarnished truth? Curious….

  • lindylou

    Manny, I grew up in North Dakota, the state that invented to political tools of recall and referendum, and now has a hideous anti-abortion law. Fortunately, it also has Heidi Heitkamp. I now live in Northern Virginia, wealthy, but still tending blue. I do not willingly eat tofu. I do not buy organic. I will not pay 6 dollars for a head of farmers market lettuce. I DO look for the made in the USA label. I do not wear Birkenstocks. I like wine and I also like PBR. Stereotype that.

    • AQ

      Thank you Lindy, for not getting irony and thus reinforcing the stereotype I have of the morons I went to school with (I also grew up in North Dakota, right smack in the middle of the state).

      Good job.

  • Common Sense

    Manny, I live in Ohio and we too have our insanists. I was born in Texas and lived in the South for years. Even tho I realize places like Austin Tx and Charlotte NC exist and that blue people live even in the most backwards areas I portray the South as a monolith of backwards superstition and political insanity. Why? It’s because y’all may exist but are as meaningless as tits on a boar hog. The South glorifies their ignorance, intolerance, disgusting past, and vile present politics. Hell, I still haven’t forgiven y’all for starting the Rebellion of the Slavers that killed a million people. So until you are able to elect more than a handful of national officeholders and governors who are not totally whacked and who keep the rest of this nation hostage to their paranoid, delusional, and sociopathic ways then you will remain irrelevant. Sorry that you need to live in a culturally depressed land of voluntary morons, but I really do appreciate what you are up against. The truth is that Warren County (where I live) would fit nicely in South Carolina and I am fighting the same fight.

  • seaturtle

    Manny, I, too, am a Liberal from the South (Chas’n, SC) but I now live in another red state, Arizona. Seems I went from the fat to the fire (literally).

    I still have a lot of friends back home, and they are all Liberals. I’ve known them all for a lifetime & can safely say that not one of them nor I has ever put down anyone because of where he lives or what he drinks.

    My personal belief is that, when it comes to the basics of being human, NO ONE is superior to anyone else. Some are smarter, wealthier, more talented, & better looking than the rest of us, but they are not superior to any other person who does his best. And anyone who looks down on anyone else is self-deluded.

    My fellow Liberals out here in AZ have put together local groups to support one another and share ideas about how to organize & win elections. We are outnumbered to be sure, but we are making some headway.
    I’m hoping my Southern brothers & sisters are doing the same.

    • shellgirl

      “NO ONE is superior to anyone else……anyone who looks down on anyone else is self-deluded.” ABSOLUTELY AGREE!!

      • seaturtle

        Thank you!

      • lmanningok

        I do hope we can agree that racists and sexists are people we can and SHOULD look down on. Shaming people for poor quality of character is one way of helping them improve their characters. Then comes the hard work of discussing WHY they should improve. That’s a whole ‘nother ballgame.

  • seaturtle

    Oh! Almost forgot: I HATE tofu!

  • sticklerforaccuracy

    “Manny” —
    Asking not to be mocked and judged while mocking and judging the group you’re asking is just a poor tactic. What makes you think that behavior will get you what you want? And that chip on your shoulder is a might heavy, don’t you think? Instead of mocking and fighting against the people who want the same things you do, focus your efforts and energy on the harmful issues happening around you.

  • Michael J Watts

    I was born in Texas. I’ve lived in South Carolina and Virginia… not by choice, the Navy. Also the Navy put me in Washington before sending my ship west to Virginia (it’s true, you can go west and end up on the East Coast).

    I like eating BBQ and drinking beer as much as the next guy. I enjoy watching football in the fall.

    But every night my DVR records The Rachel Maddow Show and Stewart/Colbert. I regularly read books and blogs. I even do some myself. I am pursing a double major in mathematics and political science.

    I am very active in Democratic politics in Texas. I do align with the Democratic Party, but to best describe my political leanings: I am a Pragmatic Progressive Minded with hints of Populism and Activism Democrat.

    I am disgusted by what our legislature is doing (or as we call it “The Lege”). To top it off I went to high school with one of the members…. AND HE DIDN’T GRADUATE!!

    I think LGBT folks are getting a raw deal in this country. We have quite a few in Texas, and no it’s not just Austin. I know gay folks from across the Lone Star State. Shoot…. there’s a gay bar in AMARILLO!

    I like having good roads to drive on and we do a lot of that here in Texas, but I also recognize that pouring concrete everywhere is a short term solution to a much longer term problem. I wish I could afford a more fuel efficient vehicle (my car gets 25 MPG), but how do we mass market these advances so that EVERYONE can have these types of vehicles?

    I’m not the only Democrat in Texas.

    Here is a list:

    Wendy Davis: We’ve known about her since her upset victory in 2008.
    Jullian and Jaquin Castro: down in San Antonio, one is the mayor and the other is a Congressman
    Mar Vessey: represents both Fort Worth and Dallas
    Kirk Watson
    Royce West
    Sylvia Garcia
    Leticia Van de Putte: she’s known for her quote, but she’s a passionate advocate for Veterans.
    Mary Gonzales: represents West Texas, first openly Bi/Queer woman in The Lege
    Gene Wu
    Annise Parker: Houston Mayor (currently the largest city with an openly gay mayor)
    Lupe Valdez: Dallas County Sheriff
    Joel Burns: Fort Worth City Council Member

    We used to have good Democrats in this state: Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, LBJ, and Sam Rayburn.

    I am willing to put good money that more people in this state agree more with the people I listed than they do Perry, Gohmert, Cornyn-Cruz, Patrick, Riddle, Rep. “Rape Kits = Abortions”, or Stickland “I carry a firearm on my person and I’m a proud high school dropout.”

    Anyone who doesn’t live in Texas or any red state who criticizes us and asks why don’t y’all move, I say this: some of us like living here and some of us can’t move away. If you would like to help us out, you are free to donate money to our state Democratic Party and any Democratic candidates running in 2014. Maybe you can send some folks to teach Democrats how to win elections. Other than that, we’re doing what we can here.

    Many Texas have expressed this: I’m proud of my state and it’s history and culture and the natural beauties that are here. I am just ashamed of the Republicans who represent us in The Lege, The Governor’s Mansion, and Congress.

    • seaturtle

      Michael, Please keep up the good work! Dems are being ignorant if they think our party doesn’t need the South. Southerners are people, too, and they VOTE!
      Can’t recall his name right now (brain fart), but that MD from VT who ran for the Dem Presidential Nom back in 2004 (?) ….DEAN!
      Anyway, he was laughed out of town when he suggested that Dems pay more attention to the South. He was head of the DNC then & he saw the possibilities down there, but it seems Dems can be every bit as stubborn & narrow as Repugnants!

    • Ankynan

      Michael, good post. As a one-time resident (11/04-6/12) of small-town rural SE TX (50 mi north of I-10), I know many good people who basically believe as I do BUT. They listen to Fox lies and believe them truth. They have legal abortions but won’t defend other women’s right to make that choice. They talk about loyalty and democracy but couldn’t believe that I, their pastor’s wife could truly vote my morals since I vote Democrat. They don’t believe that insisting I keep my mouth shut while Bush was in office means they should accept my democratically-elected Presidential choice. They see no discrepancy in Perry’s talking secession while running for President. They still talk of “The War of Northern Aggression” and follow it up with “America Love It or Leave It” in the right-wing pro-Viet Nam war sense.

      It was a very difficult place to be & I was not sad to leave.

  • Wes Falls

    If you’re keen enough to take exception to Northern rhetoric, then you’re keen enough to understand that its not you we’re describing.

    • FourQ

      Yeah, it’s just those “other” southerners, don’tchaknow…

    • AQ

      Yeah, and some of your best friends are Southerners too, I bet.

  • quinn stilletto

    Thanks! I needed that!

  • Robert William Alexander Jr.

    I’m
    a white rural southerner, and I try to be realistic about the
    craziness/bad politics/bad religion that has the region in thrall…And I
    know it can’t stand. The lies and contradictions are unsupportable, and must give way so sound policy. American leftistsneed the left in the South: the
    Blacks, the Hispanic immigrants, Women, Gays, Liberal or just sensible
    White men: you would not be America without us. And you sure as
    shootin’ don’t want to hand Texas, or South Carolina, or Heaven forbid,
    Mississippi the Bomb…Help us out, quite stereotyping a whole region.

    • seaturtle

      Robert, what happened to the “New South” we used to hear so much about? Why do the Repugnants hold such sway over the South?
      I know Southerners are way more than a collection of hayseeds. Heck, I was born & raised in Chas’n, SC & actually met very few “crackers” there. Almost all of my friends were Liberal, and they still are.
      I know they try to win elections. I know they work hard at it (Chas’n’s Vic Rawl comes to mind), but still they lose. If the Democratic Party is not giving enough support to you, then shame on them. I hope you find a way to make that known to Liberals outside of the South so you can attract more attention to what’s going on there.
      Also, and this part is hard, try to build Liberal strongholds in districts that are not yet totally entrenched in Repugnant ideology. And don’t be ashamed to ask for $$$. There are plenty of us out here who would gladly contribute to a worthy candidate’s campaign, myself included.
      I would love to see more Southern Dem/Liberal websites!

    • lmanningok

      I like feisty Southern white men like you, Robert, willing to swim against the tides of stereotype. Keep it up. We’ve got your back. (I hope.)

  • Marti Salvato

    I get it, Manny. I have always been a liberal trapped in a red state, except for the brief period of time in my childhood when Kentucky was still the land of the independents and the yellow dog dems. That being said, my bucket list definitely includes living just once in a liberally inclined state so I’ll try to save the best for last.

    • Marti Salvato

      One last point, though. Characterizing ‘northern’ liberals as tofu eating wine drinkin’ is not the best way to make friends and influence people, either.

  • inotowok

    Born and raised in East Tennessee. When I went to grad school in Washington, D.C. it was right as Loma Prieta earthquake in San Francisco. Someone in class was distressed because SF was such a beautiful place and she had friends there. Then she says, “why don’t earthquakes happen in places people don’t care about like Tennessee.”

    Damn the snobbery. Ultimately it is another form of hate.

  • Humble Harrison

    “It’s no secret that I am a Southerner and proud of it.” You are proud of being born somewhere? You are proud of something you really had no control over? This sounds like the mind set of a nationalist. Don’t get me wrong, I agree with the message of the article, people shouldn’t be stereotyping anyone based on where they are from, but to be proud of where you come from is something different entirely. As George Carlin rightly stated “Pride should be reserved for something you achieve or attain on your own, not something that happens by accident at birth”, “It’s a fucking genetic accident”. By all means be happy that you were born in the South….but proud? Would you be proud of our eye color? No. Why? You had no control over it, it’s just chance that your eyes are the color they are.

  • David Dacus

    “…city culture…bottles of wine…tofu…eat only locally-sourced organic vegetables…only use public transportation…multiple liberal arts degrees…newest blog” ~ Oh YOU without YOUR own stereotypes cast the first stone.

  • DoctorThink

    I don’t pick on people or their backgrounds. It’s wise to ‘police your own’ and try to get your allies to be more high-minded.

    However, I understand where that ‘liberal’ disdain comes from, I think. One place is the anti-intellectual frustration that some progressives feel, and have felt, for the better part of a decade now. The constant drum beat of vitriol just gets to folks after a while, especially if you live around it.

    That’s not to excuse the behavior. Just to say, we’ve all had to thicken out skins over the years. Perhaps it’s wise, now though, to not dish it, but simply take it.

  • atunionbob

    Just a thought…if the southerners keep electing people to the state legislature and to Congress who believe that God speaks to them and only to them. Why do they keep getting elected? If the southerners are not, majority of them, stupid then what are they? The stupid legislatures have done more harm by voting out health care, food for the poor, housing for the poor, education for the population, computers ( fla) abortions ( even when a womans live depends on it) gun back ground checks, and every job bill to boost the economy that has been introduced. How can any one think that the southerner is NOT stupid for voting these people in to office and re-electing them time and time again? I know there are some in the south that are smart…but when the legislature purposely does every thing possible to keep them poor and uneducated, what else do you expect?

  • American Teacher

    You ask, “What are we doing to help?” What can we possibly do to help? Seriously, how can we help?

  • boblgumm

    Get off your high horse Manny. Locally sourced organic vegetables, mass transit or more liberal arts degrees in the north has nothing to do with why northerners bash the south. And there is certainly nothing wrong with manual labor. In fact, in celebration of manual labor, us northerners invented unions.

    It is the prideful ignorance, nihilistic self destructive behavior, and the shear hatefulness of outsiders and outside ideas that make right thinking folks of all regions of America recoil in disgust about much of what the south is about.

  • Anon

    We also might vote on your side more often if you used proper grammar.

    THERE ARE!!!!!!! NOT THERE’S!!!!!!

    “There’s a lot of people in the center and moderate right who would
    likely vote with us more often if they didn’t feel like they were
    constantly being mocked and judged. We get it, there’s a lot of things
    that need changing down here and we’re working on it. What are you doing
    to help?”

  • C Felix Reardon

    I know you don’t speak for Limbaugh, Hannity and their ilk, but, when the right (either the fore-mentioned or their followers) stops stereotyping the left as lazy, socialist, looking for a handout, leeches on society, perhaps the left will stop stereotyping the right.

  • firedrake

    I am Alabama born and bred, but I lived in California a good chunk of my life, including the 33 years from 1977 to 2010, married to a New York-born liberal. I’m a dyed in the wool liberal myself. Well, I divorced in 2005, fell in love with a lady from Kentucky, and moved back to the South.

    I can tell you there is just as much “Southern” attitude in the inland counties of California as down here in the south. Just as redneck, just as country. Yet, I moved here to Kentucky, and while much of our area seems right-leaning and conservative, the majority of this county is actually Democratic. We are kind of quiet, but that’s beginning to change. MoveOn has a beachhead here, and Alison Lundergan Grimes at least has an honest shot at beating McConnell.
    I do love and remember Southern manners, but as has been said, they frequently hide backstabbing and bigotry. However, you’ll find more progressive progress in the cities than the rural areas. We’re not going to change the mind of the “big city” liberals by bitching about it. We’re going to have to band together and actually DO something.

  • cj

    people are fleeing the cities and states the liberals have destroyed and moving to the south to get away from what they have caused only to come here and bring there failed ideas with them to the voting booths

  • Marsha Adamson

    I have lived in Tennessee all my life and you just have to look at things our representatives say and who we elect…it says it all. We haven’t been enlightened one bit.

  • SyphiliticScaliaSays

    If they don’t want to be mocked, then they shouldn’t say stupid things. Stop electing the extras from “The Muppets Take Mahattan” as your representatives. And learn how to spell and proper English grammar. It’s not ‘your’ (possessive). It’s ‘you’re (contraction of you and are).

  • FatSam

    I despise the political priorities of the people running the Southeastern United States. I despise the government expressed by those priorities.

    The great majority of the people living in the South are perfectly decent people. Conservatism doesn’t make you a bad person — neither does liberalism. Or a good one. The South is dreadfully poor by comparison with liberal states — and it suffers from the constellation of ills associated with poverty. This would be purely a local issue, of no concern to me, if not for the fact that they keep trying to export their results to the rest of us. (And for the fact that my tax dollars pay for those Southern welfare states, of course.)

    The idea that it’s *impolite* to point out, over and over again, that the results obtained under the political leadership of conservatives, in the South, are *terrible* … is a foolish idea. I’m not, ever, going to back off that observation, until the circumstances that produced it change.

    … in other words, I’m going to die still saying the same things. I’m OK with that.

  • John Meng

    I am a yankee liberal in my mid 60’s. My liberal leaning began in earnest in 1963 with the march on Washington. In my working experience I have attained lucrative, highly responsible and very comfortable positions in business and in the performing arts. Now I enjoy one of the finer employments of my long and colorful life…I am a gardener. I work with my hands every day in all weather conditions.

    Having always gravitated to and very much appreciated the working class run-of-the-mill people I am now so proud to be firmly, and permanently among them. Among these I have met and comiserate with more thinking, passionate, even keeled, left leaning citizens than any other group in which I have counted myself a member. In their honesty and simplicity these are people whom I can trust in their comments and their original thinking.

  • Chicago IL, and surrounded by right wing bigots. I find it stunning that
    someone like Joe Walsh, radical Tea Party could get elected in DuPage
    County, IL. He only lasted one term, but think how many had to vote to
    elect him in the first place! We have our fair share of loony
    reactionaries here as well.

  • mom23jmc

    I live in Florida. I have seen first hand what Tea Party politics is doing to the State I once loved. While I agree that not all people represent that type of thinking, myself included, we are far outnumbered by those that do. I see this every day on my Facebook feed from people I personally know who are so indoctrinated into their thinking that they feel completely justified in their hate and bigotry. They are destroying this “paradise” and make no apologies for doing so. We live it every day. And we fight against it every election. Until I see an the playing field even out with a reflection of more love and humanity, I will have to politely disagree with your take on being Southern. And blaming it on Liberals is a farce. It’s not just Liberals, it’s people like myself who USED to be Republican that had to abandon the party due to it’s special brand of hate.

  • melloe

    My late wife and I bought a place outside of Augusta Georgia. Beautiful country, great lake close by, Ft Gordon close for the PX. What more could one ask? Sane neighbours, that is what. Gave up and sold the place, moved up North. OK, so I found out the crazies are everywhere…just not as many packed so close <grin

  • David Barnes

    as a native Arkansan may I say “Thank you!”. Lost count of how many times I’ve gotten into it with my free-thinking friends who aren’t from the south and constantly throw out the ‘just secede already!’ crap.

  • Ali Higgins

    Thank you for writing this… I needed someone to shake me and give me a reminder that I can’t pass judgment on entire states just due to the behavior of some individuals. Made me think twice and regret the statements I’ve made about “good riddance” to Texas and North Carolina, my anger at Florida. A state is made up of SO many different people with varying views. In my passion for politics and social issues I have been a total jerk. Definitely sharing and thanks again for making me think differently.

  • Peachstrup

    This is the flat truth. My husband was introduced by an EMPLOYEE to her Northern parents: “I’d like you to meet my redneck boss”!!

  • Robin DeAnne Lowry Seer

    Love…love…..I don’t know how many times I’ve had to read the snide remarks about the state I was born in and love! And because I love my state I will fight to turn it Blue from the inside! I’m a Texan!

  • journo

    I’m a southerner too Manny, but my advice would be to do two things, First, speak out forcefully and frequently against the insane and hateful policies of southern conservatives, even if it causes problems. I have done that and suffered a bit, but I give as good as I get. Also, when asking others not to indulge in stereotypes, remember the mote in your own eye. Most northern liberals are working people and not the elites you more or less refer to. Being overly defensive is just as pointless as being snobbish.

  • Richard Borskie

    I live in Kentucky, which is a strong bastion for Conservative politics at the Federal level. We have Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul representing us. During the 2008 primaries, 25% of those polled admitted they would not vote for Obama because he’s black. That’s how many admitted it, the real numbers are probably closer to 50%. There are also a lot of Liberals in Kentucky, we put our Governor in office. That being said, my community fits the national media stereo type. They hate that n^#^%%# in the oval office, and will do anything to undermine him.

    Most of the country gets their news from the same places, and all those places are owned by large corporations that enjoy all the tax subsidies that Conservatives lavish on companies, and so all the news is slanted a certain way. Even MSNBC, if you look at how the news is covered, and the commercials they air, it’s obvious that they have a conservative bent. Sure, the talk shows are liberal, but even they cover conservative lies like they are actual news, instead of the BS that is being spouted by our ‘leaders’. These large corporations cover all the vile things liberals say about conservatives, but almost nothing about what true liberals, who don’t live with overwhelming hate, have to say.

    As for organic food and green cars, who can afford that? Public transportation, what is that? As much as we would all like to live like that, it’s not reasonable, since so many companies are shipping jobs overseas and leaving us with poverty wages. I’m embarrassed about so many things in my state, statistically, we are one of the worst states in the union, but I’m still fighting against the Oligarchy our country is rapidly becoming.

  • ezwicky

    i have lived in richmond for longer than any other place, but i am currently in PA. prior to that georgia and kentucky. i also travel all over the country for work, and i can assure you that there is nothing regional about the right-wing….. i see evidence of willful ignorance, “christian” intolerance, birtherism, fox-news-hypnosis, confederate flag waving, etc in the great-plains states, the mid-west, california, oregon, new england, you name it.

    stop scape-goating the south.

  • Anton de Bergerac

    I live in a purple state. And here is my problem with red states. You have progressives, you have middle of the road people, you have significant black populations but you do not vote!
    Now if I had a horrible flesh eating bacteria on my hand I might be forced to amputate it. It is not because I hate my hand it is because I need to save the rest of the body.
    I am ready to amputate the South.

  • elleol

    These statements do not sound like those of a progressive. When anyone makes an unqualified statement. You liberals……No one fits any category exactly. Now tea baggers spout the same philosophy. If there are any who do not, they’re probably not tea baggers. All liberals are all not one thing. All liberals do not put down others, even tea baggers often. Some do, yes. I notice the bold italize ‘every’ chance they get. I believe this Manny is not a progressive in the least. I would say this is written by a conservative.

  • bmorejoe

    People say “South” and they mean White Christian South. I try to remind folks that there are a LOT of other people in the south. More all the time.

  • DannyEastVillage

    I hate to say it but NYC has it’s share of the same kind of bigotry–but,, thank God, their political power is limited by the sheer diversity of the city. Staten Island and parts of the Bronx will show frank hostility to you if you’re not of Italian ancestry. Residents in non-Jewish Russian communities in Brooklyn drop their voices to a whisper when they say the word, “Jew” as if it were too distasteful to be spoken aloud. Jamaicans speak of Trinidadians as if they were the lowest of the low; and I’ve blushed when I’ve heard how some Dominicans speak of Haitians. White kids on Long Island have beaten and even killed Mexican and Ecuadorean day-laborers The ugliness is not limited to the classic lines of prejudice we see in the Southern states. And I hardly have to mention the spate of beatings and murders of gay people on the streets of Manhattan in the last year.

  • I was born and bred in the south and have lived here my entire life. And MOST southerners ARE teabagger rednecks. Stereotypes sometimes exist because they contain truth. Find something else to get offended at because this is lame.

    • AQ

      So do you think that blacks are all lazy dole-bludging gangstas that have shitloads of illegitimate kids and sell/use drugs?

      I mean, since you believe stereotypes “sometimes exist because they contain truth”, and all.

      • Nice strawman argument, dumb fuck. Let me try: You know who else made strawman arguments? Hitler! Why do you love HItler so much?

        Learn to think or shut your trap, idiot.

      • AQ

        And thank you for proving to me that you’re just butthurt because you got called on being a douchebag.

      • Who’s butt hurt? I’m mocking you because you are an absolute fuckwit who doesn’t understand how words work and therefore failed terribly at your little “ah ha!” moment.

        Now go play in traffic, kid…the adults are trying to have a conversation.

      • AQ

        That you call names and tell me to be quiet tells me that you didn’t like me pointing out the absolute stupidity of your statement–that you not only double down on the namecalling, but also tell me to “go play in traffic”, tells me that you’re really no better than the teabirthers (who also don’t like it when people point out the absolute stupidity of their statements).

        You’re welcome for the last word. I’m sure it will make you feel all better about yourself to think that you got over on some ignorant Southern redneck.

  • dbdel

    Manny, you need to work on the idiots who are causing the so-called liberals to complain. Look inwards, those turkeys are all gobbling down there, and Thanksgiving is over, dude.

  • AQ

    Thanks for telling it like it is, Manny.

  • SophieCT

    Manny, Manny, Manny. The phrase “people who live in glass houses…” comes to mind. What the heck is this?

    “Here’s the one thing I just don’t get — the seemingly constant need by a lot of self-proclaimed liberals to put down people they don’t see as ideologically or culturally equal to them. It’s as if they have to flout their liberal credentials every single chance they get and it’s not helpful at all. Look, I get it. You live in a bastion of liberalism, eat only locally-sourced organic vegetables and only use public transportation. Hey, that’s cool, but how does that make you superior to those of us who do manual labor for a living and don’t have multiple liberal arts degrees? You know, the people you like to refer to as “trailer park rednecks” even as you type up your newest blog about intolerance in your favorite punching bag, the South?”
    Believe it or not, we have our share of right-wingers in the Northeast and west, about equal and opposite to what you have in the South. So, while it’s not the oppression we imagine you to be living in, it’s hardly a bastion of liberalism. Even in VT! As for the manual labor, organics, and public transportation comments, what the heck was that? You claimed you’d been to northern states. How did you miss MORE THAN HALF of the population doing otherwise?
    That’s how you admonish people for lumping everyone in a geography into a caricature of a group identity?! As if “Northeast elite” hasn’t always been code meaning liberal NY Jew? You are as guilty as you charge.

  • Mandolin Cole

    I live in Oklahoma. Most of my family is here or in Texas. The majority are Southern Baptists, racists, and very right wing. Somehow, my siblings and I all developed into the exact opposite despite our surroundings. Except for my sister who escaped to London, we are still in those surroundings. We’ve tried to do the typical things… we use a lot of logic, math, and fact to no avail against our family’s larger ignorance. There are even those among this same family who have used welfare of many kinds, but still rail against every “lazy mother f#cker wasting my tax dollars” while pointing lots of fingers without knowing any background. It’s infuriating. They feel so entitled yet don’t think any one else is.

    The thing is, my siblings and I have alienated or been alienated by many family members just by our political differences. Blood is not all that thick after all, it would seem. After the first few I reached a conclusion about my own approach and how I see the “others”. They are scared. Deeply. To them it feels like if they give an inch they will lose everything. Helping anyone means you have to give up something. To them, they are just protecting theirs. It’s a misinformed and small view, but making yourself understand it and accept how terrifying that is to the people with this personality type is crucial to making any progress and maintaining a family relationship.

    These days I find that although I am more and more set in my progressive ways, I am far gentler in my delivery. I disperse jokes into serious conversation. I remind the other party frequently that we are more than a political opinion or religious belief, and we can still love one another even when we disagree. I don’t mock them, I try to recognize when my facts and logic are putting them into the cornered and defensive animal position and then I back off. Thing is, if you don’t go slowly and patiently, your chances if making any change at all will disappear. You’ll send your audience running, alienate them, put them into battle mode where nothing gets in anymore. We have to change the way we have the discussion. We can’t bully and belittle people into seeing things our way… and if we did how would we be any different from them?

  • Karen Novotny

    One of the hardest lessons in life I have had to repeatedly remember is most of what is said or done is not personal. While it maybe very important it isn’t about me. If I can remember that reality then when something happens I can respond not react. If you can respond then you are in control; if you react to something then the who/what that you are reacting to controls you. The other thing to remember is EVERYONE wants to be shown respect and to be heard, especially the individuals who are the most outrageous among us. It is in OUR best interest to talk people off the ledge not to be the person who gives them the final shove over the edge.

  • Jeanne LeMaire Romero

    Obviously there are liberals in the South. I don’t know any of the kinds of liberals that you are talking about with the tofu and the wine but I suppose there are people who do only see the bad things about the South. I live in Louisiana (although right now I am in the most liberal part of the state which is NOLA) but I lived most of my life in the redist parts and I am about to move to NC. I don’t think it’s the hippy liberals or tree huggers that keep their fellow centrists from voting with them, though. I think it’s more annoying than anything else.

  • Debbie Bock

    I have never seen a liberal put down another liberal for the way they live……and ideology, lol, sorry but if you still vote republican; you aren’t capable of making good choices and thus shouldn’t be in charge of anything!

  • David Barnes

    As a middle-aged native Arkansan and proud progressive I thank you!

  • Keith

    I
    spent 13 months in SW PA, 8 1/2yrs in TX, and the other 36yrs in TN, I
    freely admit that I stereotype my friends, my family, and my neighbors, I
    have to walk 5 miles, uphill, barefoot, in snow, just to find another
    liberal to talk to, and then they can’t understand me cause the Army took my upper teeff.

  • Nessa

    I actually agree, Manny. I consider myself a liberal but I don’t agree 100% with every liberal ideal. Some I don’t agrew with at all. I’m tired of liberals turning their nose up at me. I’m a proud bleeding heart, but alienating me because I’m a notch to the right of you is not going to help.

  • Eddie Rosenthal

    I guess its ok for you to suggest that people other than you are stereotyped as “You live in a bastion of liberalism, eat only locally-sourced organic vegetables and only use public transportation”, but then you confuse the issue by naming these same people are those that stereotype? Perhaps this post is simple to get ad impressions?