Tag Archives | the South

Moral Monday Movement Spreads through the South

Tintoretto's 'Allegory with a portrait of a Venetian senator.'

Tintoretto’s ‘Allegory with a portrait of a Venetian senator.’

Sue Sturgis writes at the Institute for Southern Studies:

After drawing thousands of protesters to the state legislature and inspiring the arrests of more than 900 people for nonviolent civil disobedience, North Carolina’s Moral Monday movement challenging the extreme conservative agenda of the state’s Republican-controlled legislature and administration is gearing up for more actions in 2014.

It’s also spreading to other states in the South where Republicans hold overwhelming power — and where legislators face re-election this year.

When the Georgia General Assembly convenes on Monday, Jan. 13, members will be met by progressive activists holding their state’s first Moral Monday protest. Among the issues the protesters are focusing on are Georgia’s refusal to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, efforts to restrict voting rights, and policies that divert education funds from public to private schools. The Georgia NAACP is leading the coalition organizing the protest.

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Billboard Proposes Texas-Louisiana-Missouri-Mississippi-Oklahoma Form Breakaway Nation

Is this tye-dyed billboard a vision of the future? The St. Louis Riverfront Times reports:

On a stretch of Interstate 44 between Lebanon and Springfield, the billboard asks readers to “consider a contiguous 5-state secession” and lists Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Mississippi as the lucky secessionist states.

Up until a week ago, the billboard had “MI” in place of “MS,” which was a problem because Michigan is not contiguous with the other four states.

An executive who was available for comment from DDI Media, the advertising company that owns the billboard, did not know who rented the space.

billboard

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The Misunderstood Logic Of The Tea Party Right

tea_partyCountering mainstream media depictions of Tea Party hardliners behind the government shutdown as irrational or delusional, Salon‘s Michael Lind lays out what he believes to be the movement’s cohert meaning:

The Tea Party right is not only disproportionately Southern but also disproportionately upscale. Its social base consists of what, in other countries, are called the “local notables”—provincial elites whose power and privileges are threatened from above by a stronger central government they do not control and from below by the local poor and the local working class. They are the lords of the local car dealership, country club and chamber of commerce.

For nearly a century, from the end of Reconstruction, when white Southern terrorism drove federal troops out of the conquered South, until the Civil Rights Revolution, the South’s local notables maintained their control over a region of the U.S. larger than Western Europe, turning the South into a nation-within-a-nation within U.S.

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Artifacts/yclept : Analog Music from a Lost World – Necroscopix (1970-1981): Analog Music from a Lost World

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King Ring Torch with Stymie the Hermit (left); Mike Sizer (right); Single Bullet Theory (bottom)

via Free Music Archive 

The newly released Artifacts/yclept 2-disc compilation Necroscopix (1970-1981) is a simple documentary survey of a very particular time and place; a sliver of a local culture — made in imitation of, or perhaps as a salute to the work of musicologist, Dick Spottswood, one of our heroes. The best stories can’t be told in this amount of space, but here’s an outline.

“…in Richmond, or in any Southern city for that matter, you do see types now and then which depart from the norm. The South is full of eccentric characters; it still fosters individuality. And the most individualistic are of course from the land, from the out of the way places.”

— Henry Miller,
“The Air-Conditioned Nightmare” (1945)

The oddest of us were, to be sure, not from the Big City, but while many here came from places like Boones Mill, Roanoke, Martinsville, Clarksville and Culpeper in Virginia, and Winston-Salem and Greensboro in North Carolina, nearly half came from the D.C.

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Yes, Chief Justice Roberts, the South is More Racist

Voting Rights Act Section 5's Covered Jurisdictions, which are More Racist

When Wednesday John Roberts and the solicitor general questioned whether any southern concentration of racism was a rationale for Voting Rights Act Section 5′s constitutionality, cynics responded as though the chief justice was blind to a vicious national legacy. One American Prospect article — leaning on a 2005 analysis that concluded the U.S. South was especially racist — was redistributed through Twitter at least 300 times over a day.

The American Journal of Political Science analysis, aforementioned, “Old Times There Are Not Forgotten: Race and Partisan Realignment in the Contemporary South [PDF],” concluded “the regional gap in racial conservatism has not closed since [the end of the Civil Rights era.]”

The exchange between the justice and administration lawyer was in the context of a Supreme Court challenge to the decades-old Voting Rights Act, by Alabama’s Shelby County — a challenge on whether mostly southern states, due to Section 5′s “preclearance requirements,” should have to run voting-law changes by authorities in Washington.… Read the rest

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How Can Liberals and Conservatives Communicate?

Picture: "Purple America" by Robert J. Vanderbei, Princeton.edu (CC)

There was a great article a couple weeks ago by Lynn Stuart Parramore, an AlterNet senior editor, titled What if Liberals and Progressives Could Learn to Talk to White Southern Men? in which she reminds us that for Southerners, being polite and reasonable are directly signs of their sense of honor and self-respect. Most of them, despite our political disagreements, don’t want to be seen as rash, close-minded and unreasonable. Lynn Parramore, also Director of AlterNet’s New Economic Dialogue Project, recounts stories of relating to these individuals on certain issues:

What liberals and progressives don’t seem to understand is that you don’t counter a myth with a pile of facts and statistics. You have to counter it with a more powerful story. And that’s what Obama and the Democrats have repeatedly failed to do. White Southern men want a story that makes them feel proud of America and what it can accomplish.

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A 1937 Map Of Segregated Durham

A fascinating example of how racism was officially inscribed earlier in U.S. history — a map created by the city government of Durham in which all geography and locations are racialized. Imagine needing such a map for the purpose of decoding what locations could be accessed by whom. Via Sociological Images:

Trudi Abel, who directs the Digital Durham Project at Duke University, sent [this] in. Created by the Department of Public works in Durham, NC, in 1937, the map illustrates the legal and taken-for-granted racial segregation of the time. The map indicates which parks and residential areas were for Whites and which for African Americans.

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Alabama Looks To Replace Immigrant Workers With Prison Labor

JO3ND00ZA draconian law passed earlier this year has resulted in an exodus of illegal (and legal) immigrants from Alabama, and as a result, crops are rotting in fields on farms across the state. The solution? A return to chain gang days, reports AFP:

Alabama farmers have proposed using prisoners to work their fields to replace migrants who fled the state after it passed the country’s harshest anti-immigration law, officials said Tuesday.

The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industry officials met Tuesday in Mobile with farmers to discuss their proposal. A statement by the department said the meeting with the farmers was convened “to help solve the chronic labor shortages created by Alabama’s new immigration law.”

Known as HB56, the new law requires local police to verify the immigration status of anyone they have a “reasonable suspicion” of being in the country illegally.

The law touched off an exodus of mainly Hispanic workers who moved to other states because of fears of being deported, prompting complaints by farm and construction industry groups of a shortage of workers in one of the poorest US states.

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Was 14-Year-Old Executed By South Carolina Innocent?

George-Junius-Stinney-Jr-commonsThe saddest part is that I’m not 100 percent certain that something like this could never happen again today. Raw Story writes:

Over 67 years after 14-year-old George Junius Stinney Jr. was put to death by the state of South Carolina, he may soon be cleared of the crime that people familiar with the case say he never could have committed.

A lawyer and an activist both told Raw Story recently that new evidence will show that the black boy could not have possibly murdered two white girls, 11-year-old Betty June Binnicker and seven-year-old Mary Emma Thames.

Stinney, the youngest person to receive the death penalty in the last 100 years, was executed on June 16, 1944. At five feet one inch and only 95 pounds, the straps of the electric chair did not fit the boy. His feet could not touch the floor. As he was hit with the first 2,400-volt surge of electricity, the mask covering his face slipped off, “revealing his wide-open, tearful eyes and saliva coming from his mouth.”

Less than three months earlier, Stinney, who had no previous history of violence, had been accused of the crime after he admitted speaking to the girls when they stopped by a field in Alcolu where he was grazing his cow to ask where they could find maypops, a type of flower.

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Jesus Appears On Walmart Receipt In South Carolina

OriginalThis is basically the essence of United States encapsulated in a single news story. CBS 21 reports:

An engaged couple in Anderson County says a shadowy image that turned up on a receipt from Walmart looks like the face of Jesus.

Jacob Simmons and his fiancee, Gentry Lee Sutherland, said they bought some pictures from Walmart on June 12. The following Wednesday, the couple had just come home from a church service when Simmons spotted the receipt on the floor of Sutherland’s apartment. He says the receipt had changed. “I was leaving the kitchen and I just looked on the floor, and it was like it was looking at me,” Simmons said.

A dark gray mark on the receipt seems to show two eyes, a nose and a mouth in a thickly bearded face. “Then the more you look at it, the more it looked like Jesus, and it was just shocking, breathtaking,” Simmons said.

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