Saturday, September 03, 2005


I‘m going to make some huge generalizations here, but they shed some light on what’s going on in the South with Hurricane Katrina and what’s going on in the nation as a whole. The problem is Southern White males.

Hurricane Katrina’s devastation in the South is so bad because it has struck in the poorest part of our nation, the Bible Belt, in three of the states which make up the poorest part of our nation and are represented in a string of states like Missouri, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas, South Carolina, North Carolina and Texas. Florida is not like those others because so many of the white males in charge down there and the citizens who have moved down there are from the North. But as for the rest of the South, for more than 100 years, Southern White males have been psychological products of the Civil War with a loser’s mentality and a hatred of the “big government” that defeated them more than a hundred years ago which they represent as a big spender whose spending has gone mostly to help the undeserving and lazy poor.

Southern White male mentality and its leadership of the South have divided the South between the haves and have nots more clearly than in any other place in the Nation. Southern White males held back integration and the Democratic Party for years until they were purged from it by the Civil Rights movement. Now they control the Republican Party and, if you look at the leadership of the nation’s Federal Legislature, you’ll see that Southern White males currently dominate it and that they now are doing to the entire nation what they have done to South. They’re impoverishing their feared “big government” through tax credits for the rich which impoverishes the infrastructure which should be in place to help the poor of the South right now who are suffering worst of all. All over the nation, Southern creep is dividing the rich from the poor through the same policies that divide it in the South.

All you need do is pay attention to the cuts the Republicans have made in funds for the infrastructure which was protecting New Orleans, and you’ll see how this impoverishment has worked out in the South and will work out in the entire nation. Further, this trend has been going on since 1980 when Reagan came to power. Democrats have participated in it because they have had to rebalance budgets which the Southern White males have imbalanced by tax cuts which feed their poor man mentality and keep them wealthy at the expense of the real poor.

The Southern fundamentalist church leadership contributes to this impoverishing of America’s greatness by wanting Americans to be poor. Haven’t you and I both heard several times lately from Southern church leaders and TVangelists that it’s our wealth that makes bad things happen to us? It’s spoiled us and made us evil, greedy and weak? Do they mean to say, and I think they subconsciously do, that we ought to be poorer, then we’d all flock back to church?

Powerful Southern White males, influenced by this loser’s mentality and buttressed by the church in their secret fear that wealth is bad act and legislate in this impoverished way. In the South you can have money and power and still think like you’re impoverished, and a rich man who has the psychological fears of someone in poverty is not going to be generous with his wealth; he’s going to be stingy with it. That stinginess of White Southern males has impoverished way too many of the South’s citizens and, now, it’s doing the same thing to our mighty nation—dividing America between the poor and wealthy by starving government and by giving huge tax breaks to the rich. That way, they can go to heaven by thinking poor but still maintain wealth by thinking like selfish rich people. Not all wealthy people are selfish, just a lot of them are Southerners, and they do think that way.

I know this is a rough draft which I have just awakened at three in the morning to jot down, but I think Southern White males and the fundamentalist church which supports them are America’s weakest link in our struggle to remain afloat in a global economy. Spend some years looking these ideas over and see if you don’t come to some similar conclusions. When I was poorest and drunkest and most religious (I came from the South-influenced Southern Ohio), I hated the whole class of the wealthy and thought that money was evil, and I unconsciously did everything in my power not to be wealthy and not to succeed, and churchly ideas played their part in my impoverishment for the reasons I stated above. I didn’t want to be evil, did I?


This joke floated into my possession via the mighty internet:

Heathrow Airport in England, a 300-foot red carpet was stretched out to Air Force One and President Bush strode to a warm but dignified handshake from Queen Elizabeth II.

They rode in a silver 1934 Bentley to the edge of central London where they boarded an open 17th century coach hitched to six magnificent white horses. As they rode toward Buckingham Palace, each looking to their side and waving to the thousands of cheering Britons lining the streets, all was going well. This was indeed a glorious display of pageantry and dignity.

Suddenly the scene was shattered when the right rear horse let rip the most horrendous, earth-shattering, eye-smarting blast of flatulence, and the coach immediately filled with noxious fumes. Uncomfortable, but maintaining control, the two dignitaries did their best to ignore the whole incident, but then the Queen decided that was a ridiculous manner with which to handle a most embarrassing situation.

She turned to Mr. Bush and explained, "Mr. President, please accept my regrets. I'm sure you understand that there are some things even a Queen cannot control."

George W., ever the Texas gentleman, replied, "Your Majesty, please don't give the matter another thought. You know, if you hadn't said something I would have assumed it was one of the horses."

"Skiing combines outdoor fun with knocking down trees with your face." —Dave Barry

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