In the New York Times, the North is still fighting the war against the South
Yesterday, I wrote about a New York Times story that focused on an 18-year-old boy from an affluent Virginia community who sat for a year on an old three-second private video in which a classmate, when she was 15, used a racial slur because she thought the word made her cool and "grown up." My post focused on the behavior of the Times and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, for validating this cruel and immature behavior. Robert Stacy McCain noticed something else foul about the article: it's part of the New York Times' consistent pattern of demeaning the Southern states.
I take this seriously because I have spent some of the happiest years of my life in the South and the Southwest, and have come away with a deep appreciation for Southerners and Southern culture. It also matters because Democrats use the South as a straw man for their anti-white racism.
Here's what McCain has to say about the Times' approach to all things Southern:
If you are not a Southerner, or if you pay no attention to the New York Times, you may be unfamiliar with that newspaper's long tradition of invoking slavery, the Civil War, and Jim Crow as a means of insinuating the South's permanent status of moral inferiority. As a native of Atlanta — and by "native," I mean, literally born there, as opposed to most of the city's current residents, who moved there from up North somewhere — this sense of hereditary stigma is something I've resented since I was old enough to notice it. Because our national media establishment is mainly headquartered in New York, this insulting anti-Southern prejudice is taken for granted by most journalists, who seem incapable of reporting any story below the Potomac River without bringing up lynching, segregation, or some other way of implying that the Original Sin of racism forever defines the South.
While the New York Times' sneering attitude targeted the South for racism, CNN used the South as a stand-in for stupidity and ignorance. After all, who can forget the paroxysms of laughter that overtook Don Lemon as Rick Wilson and Wajahat Ali attacked Trump-supporters as ignorant "boomer rubes" who not so coincidentally have Southern accents:
I've traveled and lived in the South, and I can tell you categorically that there is nothing stupid or ill informed about the people I have met over the years. Indeed, because fewer of them have gone to college, which indoctrinates rather than educates, I'd say Southerners are better informed and more intelligent. It's that lack of credentialism that really gets to the Northern elites.
To go back to that New York Times article, with its implicit claim that Southerners are racist, that's factually wrong. I remember reading in Time and Newsweek in the 1980s, when they were magazines of some consequence, that there was a reverse migration to the South as blacks, especially college-educated blacks, tired of the open racism in Northern and Midwestern cities. They longed to return to a familiar culture and were able to do so because they knew they would not be subject to the fierce racism of the North.
This article has an excellent summary of that phenomenon. After discussing the way in which the Civil Rights movement, the Civil Rights Act, and Supreme Court antiracism decisions changed the legal landscape in the South, it discusses the intangible changes too:
Additionally, many of the humiliating social customs that had prevailed in the South decades earlier had begun to fade by the 1970s. Earnest Smith, who moved from Mississippi to Chicago in 1944, recalled the time before he left the South as one filled with discrimination, segregation, violence, and the embarrassment of answering to the term boy.
Smith and his wife moved back to Mississippi in 1970 and found a more hospitable environment. In a 1971 interview with Ebony magazine, Smith observed:
Everybody's been wonderful. ... White folks used to always hurry you up or curse at you when I left [in the 1940s]. Now they stop you on the street to say "Hello" and some of 'em call you "Sir." And they say "yes ma'am" and "no ma'am" to my wife and call her "Miss Smith." Things changed so much, one guy come here from Chicago and brought his white wife.
I'll just add my mite, which is that in the years I've spent in the South, I've seen a much more integrated society than I ever saw in my years in the San Francisco Bay Area, whether I'm speaking of social or romantic relationships.
The South is a forward-looking, sophisticated, religiously moral, minimally racist, well managed (especially compared to California), and delightfully unindoctrinated place — and it's time that stuck-up, uninformed, race-obsessed, indoctrinated Northern leftists accept that fact.