First off, let me say up front that I am a Southerner. I was born here, lived here for years, and still live here in the South. I’ve been known to pop out with a “y’all” now and then. The vast majority of my relatives and friends are also Southerners. I am thus well aware that many of us folks here in the South are nothing at all like those stereotypes about Southerners.
With that all said, I realize that far too many of us do conform to some of those stereotypes, and that some of us have this weird fantasy that the ‘South Will Rise Again’ (YEE-HAW!). But let’s be realistic, here: The South Will NOT Rise Again, and if we really think about it, we probably wouldn’t want it to.
Hey, y’all, there are reasons why that dog won’t hunt:
- Slavery is illegal in the USA: First of all, you may have noticed that we do not own other people any more. A hundred years or so after the Civil War, someone got the idea to pussyfoot around what the Civil War was about (the South being butt-hurt when reminded that slavery is bad, no matter what their precious Bibles said about it — the Bible says slavery is OK — and throwing a big tantrum about “being told what to do”) and swear with straight faces that the Civil War was all about States’ Rights Issues and nothing else. Yeah, it was a States’ Rights Issue if you acknowledge that the “right” the states wanted to throw down over was legal ownership of people who had dark skin. You can squirm around and try to reframe that with a lot of flowery and vaguely patriotic waffling about sovereignty of states, woof-woof about a number of irrelevant distractions, and tie yourself in a logical Gordian knot to try and make slavery sound like a fucking picnic (which it might have been…IF YOU WERE WHITE) that all serve to pretend that slavery was not why we had a civil war, but let’s face it: White people got mad that they were told to stop being assholes and trying to own non-white people. They thus decided to commit treason and secede and, surprise, there was a war over it. You can’t own people, you lost, so get over it.
- The South is no longer an agrarian society: Secondly, you may have noticed that we have progressed past being an agriculture-based society. In fact, we were going in that direction at the time of the Civil War. Nowadays, we don’t need your stinking cotton. (Who actually makes a decent living growing cotton anymore anyway?) We have not only an industrialized society, we have a technologically advanced society. Things change. You lost. Get over it.
- Despite all the re-enactments, the Civil War is over: Lastly, the American Civil War officially ended on June 22, 1865 and the Confederacy surrendered. Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia officially remained a part of the United States, even if the rest of the country weren’t entirely sure they wanted to have anything to do with those stupid racist treasonous bastards anymore at that point. The Confederacy surrendered. The Confederacy LOST. YOU LOST. GET OVER IT.
- The South cannot compete, because it lags behind the developed world in education, health, and other quality-of-life indicators: As The Onion, God bless them, put it: “The Deep South states of Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Louisiana, and Tennessee consistently rank at the bottom of the nation in a wide variety of statistical categories, including literacy, infant mortality, hospital beds, toilet-paper sales, and shoe usage.” You can’t “rise again” when your people are painfully stupid. People in Alabama and Mississippi are so pig ignorant that they insist on believing President Obama is a Muslim, despite, I don’t know, pictures of Obama in church, Obama smoking cigarettes, Obama chowing down on a nice pork hotdog, and Obama drinking beer, Obama eating ALL the bacon. It’s like they forgot all the fuss about Reverend Jeremiah Wright already, who was — remember? — a controversial pastor in a Christian church where Obama was a parishioner, and who baptized the Obama children. But, OK, sure, Obama’s a “Muslim,” you guys. Riiiiiight.You stupid bastards. What is wrong with you?!
(If you, personally, are not a stupid bastard, then, obviously, this does not apply to you.)
What have the Southern states contributed to the country as a whole? Good things and bad things. Below, please find a short and incomplete list:
- Museums depicting dinosaurs and humans living in harmony
- Climate change deniers
- Science deniers in general
- The Moral Majority
- Crappy country music
- Not-so-crappy country music
- Zombie Elvis
- Creative roadkill recipes
- Gigantic cockroaches that will fly right at your face
- Fried chicken (OMG so good)
- Gun racks
- Ballsack-shaped trailer hitch decorations
- Copyright-infringing Calvin-pissing-on-things stickers
- People who think “yeehaw” is a word
- Chaw (chewing tobacco)
- Boiled peanuts
- Mindbendingly miserable summer heat
- Red clay dirt
- Confederate flag paraphenalia
- Mint juleps
- Dog fighting
- Churches that meddle in politics
- An obsession with American football that borders on unnerving
- Billy Beer (NEVER FORGET)
- Darwin Award winners
- Names like Earl, Cletus, Bubba, Festus, and Oral that trip gracefully off the tongue like the finest poetry
- Underwear worn as outerwear
- People with two first names (Joe Bob, Jimmy Ray, Peggy Sue, Betty Lou, Mary Ann, Curtis Lee…)
- Honey Boo Boo
- Pickaninny dolls
- Inability to grok the importance of the Separation of Church and State
- Gun racks
- Dueling banjos
- George Wallace
- A wide variety of commercial products that display ignorance of the US flag code concerning proper respectful behavior towards and display of our country’s flag (see: flag bikinis, for just one example)
- Speaking in tongues
- Pickled gross things that people actually eat
- Koran-burning Troglodytes
- Working class whites voting against their best interests
- Dental nightmares
- Conspiracy theorists
- UFO spotters and “abductees”
- Stephen Foster tunes
- Legislation attempting to ban any discussion or acknowledgment of rising ocean levels
- Gone With The Wind
- Saying “bless your heart” when you really mean “fuck you”
- Domestic terrorists
- Beauty Queens
- Allen West: Bringin’
- Election fraud
- Dangling chads
- Bush v. Gore
- Enough failure emanating from Florida specifically to earn it a special tag at Fark.com
- The Dukes of Hazard
- Governor Voldemort (R-FL)
- Paula Deen’s butter obsession
- Paula Deen’s mysterious health problems; I have no idea what happened there
- Midnight In The Garden of Good and Evil
- Desperate clinging to the pernicious and false “Welfare Queen” myth
Look, I don’t care what anyone says, Coca Cola is tasty. My own mom is a “goes by two first names” Southern lady. Gone With The Wind and Midnight In The Garden of Good and Evil have been loved by millions, and you’re probably familiar with a pretty good writer named Flannery O’Connor. There are also fewer prettier places on Earth than Charleston, New Orleans, and Savannah, to name but three gorgeous Southern cities. Southern people are often polite, gracious and friendly. Have you ever seen azaleas or a magnolia in full bloom? Breath-taking, you guys. Southern people can be hilariously funny — I probably don’t have to give a long list to prove that to anyone, but here’s a taster: Ray Stevens, Jerry Clower, Ron White and even Jeff Foxforthy make people cry with laughter. Have you ever “set a spell” in a porch swing on someone’s shady porch with a cold beverage and enjoyed the sound of cicadas? We know how to make damn good fried chicken; you best recognize. It is not all wormy, moldy peaches in the Deep South.
That said, we have to get real and face some facts. Southern states tend to be “Red States,” meaning deeply conservative / Republican states. You’re not going to “rise again” if you’re the least healthy, have the shortest lifespans, have the highest infant mortality rates, rank lowest in education stats, have the highest number of teen pregnancies, consistently consume more tax-based social programs and handouts than do Blue States, are consistently the poorest, and consistently have the highest rates of unemployment. No, Bubba, that is not a recipe for domination and success, much less “rising again” in some racist wet dream of Southern culture supremacy creating a utopia based on a plantation-era fantasy.
So…let’s get real.
The Red States are the unhealthiest states.
Bottom of the barrel (all bolded states are Confederacy states from here on out):
37 North Carolina
42 West Virginia
46 South Carolina
Red States take more medications.
“Forbes magazine reports that last year we spent $291.5 billion on drugs and that on a per capita medication usage rate (see “America’s Most Medicated States”) the states with the highest usage are in the South. West Virginia leads the pack, at 17.7 prescriptions/person vs 11.6/person as the national average; with other Southern states AL, SC, TN, AR, LA, KY and border state MO; following in the lead.”
Red States have the highest teen pregnancy rates.
So much for abstinence-only sex ed classes.
“The most “religious” states are the ones that consistently have the worst rates of teen pregnancy. Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, West Virginia and so on, nine of the top ten states for teen pregnancy are in the Bible Belt (New Mexico is the outlier but they don’t require sex ed at all, with the same lousy results).”
Red States do least well in education statistics.
Red States have higher crime rates than Blue States.
“The average violent crime rate (murder, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault) in 2008 for the 28 states that voted for Barack Obama in the 2008 Presidential election was 389 incidents per 100,000 residents. The average violent crime rate for the 22 states that voted for John McCain was 412 incidents per 100,000 residents – or a 5.8 percent higher incidence of violent crime. […]
These crime rate findings hold despite the fact that blue states have a higher population of residents in urban areas, which tend to have higher crime rates than rural areas. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2000 Census of Population and Housing, Population and Housing Unit Counts, the average statewide percentage of residents living in urban areas in the Obama states was 78.0 percent, compared to a statewide average of just 64.6 percent in the McCain states.
Eight of the top 11 states with the highest property crime rates voted for McCain in 2008: “Arizona (#1), South Carolina (#2), Alabama (#4), Tennessee (#6), Georgia (#7), Texas (#8), Arkansas (#10), and Louisiana (#11).”
Red States dominate the “poorest US states” lists.
Red States dominate the “most unemployed” lists.
38. ARIZONA – 8.6
38. KENTUCKY – 8.6
38. OREGON – 8.6
41. ILLINOIS – 8.8
42. SOUTH CAROLINA – 8.9
43. FLORIDA – 9.0
43. GEORGIA – 9.0
43. MISSISSIPPI – 9.0
43. NEW JERSEY – 9.0
47. NORTH CAROLINA – 9.7
48. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA – 9.8
49. CALIFORNIA – 11.0
50. RHODE ISLAND – 11.1
Red States dominate infant mortality lists (by comparison, the United States as a whole ranks 6.81 per 1000).
1. District of Columbia 12.6
2. Mississippi 10.6
3. Louisiana 10.0
4. Alabama 9.1
5. South Carolina 9.0
6. Tennessee 8.7
7. Delaware 8.6
8. North Carolina 8.5
9. Georgia 8.2
9. Arkansas 8.2
Red States pay fewer taxes and consume more social services than do Blue States.
Some AWESOME Red State stats for you:
WORST STATES EVER: INFANT MORTALITY
Ranked in order of Highest Incidence of Infant Mortality, 1-50: (Lowest number is worst.)
South Carolina 3rd
West Virginia 10th
WORST STATES EVER: LIFE EXPECTANCY
Life Expectancy ranked by Lowest Average Age at Death, 1-50: (Highest number is worst.)
South Carolina 47th
West Virginia 46th
WORST STATES EVER: POOREST
Poorest States ranked by lowest Median Household Income, 1-50: (Lowest number is worst.)
South Carolina 10th
West Virginia 2nd
WORST STATES EVER: EDUCATION
States’ Education ranked by spending, test scores, drop-out rate, college admissions, etc., 1-50: (Highest number is worst.)
South Carolina 26th
West Virginia 37th
WORST STATES EVER: TAX BACK
Tax Back ranked according to the most Federal spending in the State per tax dollar from the State, 1-50: (Lowest number is biggest parasite on you if you live in a tax-positive Blue State.)
South Carolina 17th
West Virginia 3rd
WELL DONE, my Southern homies!
The South won’t rise again, because the South is the pits in too many ways, and until we address these issues, it can’t happen. As a Georgian, I am tired of being surrounded by Confederate-flag waving, “Dixie” horn-tooting ignoramuses who cite “being born white” as one of their life’s greatest accomplishments.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not all giant flying roaches and truck nuts down here. But you really sound mentally challenged when you give lip service to the idea of “rising again” and glorify slavery days as something we might actually WANT to return to.
GET OVER IT.
Oh, by the way, your “Confederate flag” is historically inaccurate. Idiots.
NOTE: I originally included Kentucky as a Confederate state, but that was not accurate. I regret the error. Thanks to Andie Paysinger for the better info!