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Marion On April - 11 - 2010

In the wake of the governor of my home state literally making Virginia the whipping boy for the nation’s collective guilt still felt about racism, I’d like to say a few words regarding this.

First of all, I did not vote for Bob McDonnell. Bob McDonnell does not speak for me. I did not authorise him to have my mandate. Neither did 44% of the people in Virginia who voted last November. That said, I did vote. In fact, I got my ass on a transatlantic flight and timed a holiday so that I would have a chance to pop by the polling booth that Tuesday morning and cast my Democratic vote; but a lot of people who lived in the state, simply couldn’t be assed to do so.

The day before the election, a politically astute friend of mine called it correctly. Deed would lose, he said, because the two demographics who ensured that the state went blue in 2008, simply didn’t intend to turn up at the polls – and those were the first-time voters (aged 18-24, specifically) and the African-Americans, many of whom – including Sheila Johnson of BET – were supporting McDonnell. The indendent tranche went red as well.

This entire election was a prelude of the Massachusetts senatorial election two months later; and as much as the media and the usual suspects whose agenda it is to ensure this Presidency fails (the Hamshers in bed with Grover Norquist and Whoreanna Fuckington), would like us to believe that both elections were an indictment of the President and his policies, more than anything the results were down to the Democrats having fielded weak candidates and low voter turnout.

That Virginia got duped is in no doubt. I’m someone who’s long judged books by covers, and I’ve been right on that accord more than I’ve been wrong. I had George Bush pegged as the failed, obnoxious frat boy he turned out to be, and I saw McDonnell quickly for the plastecene poor man’s Ted Haggard with the Stepford wife and requisite number of kids. He had a ready smile and the eyes of a fundamentalist. The minute the Washington Post published a picture of him campaigning under the Confederate flag, alarm bells should have gone off in the minds of every registered Democrat and Independent in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Two months after that, in August 2009, WaPo again scored by publishing extracts from McDonnell’s doctoral thesis, obtained at Pat Robertson’s Regent University – which is a euphemism for advanced Bible school. This was the infamous thesis consigning women to a future of being barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen and deploring the existence of homosexuals in society.

If alarm bells didn’t ring with the Confederate flag, they should have been blaring at that moment, and they should have turned into a cacophany when McDonnell told a bare-faced lie and attributed such writings to the folly of youth. That, upon investigation, it turned out that such ideas had been committed to print when McDonnell was a man of 35, married and with children, begs the question: When exactly does youth end and emotional maturity begin?

When McDonnell signed the nefarious document, proclaiming April “Confederate History Month” without as much as referring to the question of slavery being the ultimate driving force behind the Civil War, he not only made Virginia, the first English colony, the Mother of Presidents, and the home of the writers of the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, the laughing stock of the entire nation, he also condemned all her citizens to be judged by his standards.

Reading comments on various threads in Facebook and Huffington Post, I now realise that, as a Virginian, I’m supposed to be ignorant, dumb, illiterate, gun-loving, retrospective, fundamentalist Christian, a rube, a hillbilly, a ‘goober’, a dolt, a member of the great unwashed. Also, as a Virginian, according to some, I am a racist. My state, along with the entire South, should secede. In fact, the Union should have allowed us to secede in 1861. Indeed, the United States would have been much, much better and the Confederacy would have been (in one commentator’s words), “the stinking shitheap that it is today.”

Gee, thanks.

It’s nice to be loved.

So love, in fact, that Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, both, came in for some pretty strong invective, as did former governors Tim Kaine and Douglass Wilder. Kaine’s condemnation of McDonnell, according to the erstwhile sitting atop the hill of moral superiority, didn’t go far enough. Well, how “far enough” is far enough? Kaine’s tenure as Governor ended three months ago. He condemned the action. He deplored it.

Wilder, on the other hand, fared worse.

It’s entirely mete to know that Douglass Wilder, in 1989, a Democrat, became the first African American elected to a gubernatorial post in the United States. That’s right, peeps. Virginia, that bastion of bigotry and racial prejudice, that ignorant heap of shitkickers, elected the first African American governor in 1989 – almost two decades before David Paterson was appointed and at a time Derval Patrick was just getting into young fatherhood. But when Governor Wilder – today, the Mayor of Richmond – condemned McDonnell’s actions, in the words of a Buffalo woman, transplanted to Virginia and unhappy there, Wilder was a “Republican tool.”

Am I angry about McDonnell? In the words of a well-known sage, you betcha. I’m chewing nails and spitting rust. I was even angrier when I read the account of his actions in The Richmond Times Despatch, a paper long known for its conservative stance, who roundly condemned this governor’s actions; but I was angrier at the degree of support he seemed to receive from the commentators participating in the online version of the paper.

There was a veritable Civil War going on there, and it was getting pretty ugly. Then I read some of the comments again. Many of them began with “My great-grandfather fought in the War of Southern Aggression …”

That’s when I realised something.

These people are old. When you’re great-granddaddy fought for the South, you are old. Maybe some of these men even remembered Great-grandpappy. And there’s no reason why they wouldn’t be computer-literate, themselves. There is such a demographic as silver surfers. Of course, they were arguing the moot point about the War not being about slavery, but about states’ rights etc; but the ultimate truth was that the War was fought because the Southern states demanded their right to extend slavery into the new Western territories, by manifest destiny, whilst the Federal government’s attitude of the day was to contain slavery, as abhorrent as it was, in the agrarian South, and allow all new territories to be slave-free zones.

If you scratch the surface of the United States of the ante-bellum era, you’ll find a lot of unrest amongst certain tranches of Northerners regarding freeing slaves as well. This was a time of western expansion in the United States. It was also the time of unfettered immigration from Europe, chiefly from Germany, Austria and Ireland, to the United States. There was a great anti-immigration feeling amongst people who considered themselves “natural-born” United States citizens, especially in that immigrants provided cheaper labour, and freed slaves would provide even cheaper labour.

I recognise, as well, that simmering beneath the surface of these elderly gentlemen’s righteous indignation, was consternation at the fact that a black man was sitting in the Oval Office.

Well, that’s also the modus operandi of the Tea Party movement, something which is now spreading its tentacles nationwide, North and South, East and West. It’s subtly hidden,  of course, but we saw it in the Northern crowds who turned up to cheer Sarah Palin during the Presidential campaign, carrying stuffed Curious George toys, re-named “Hussein” for the occasion. Their poster boys and chief cheerleaders are the likes of Palin, herself, Michele Bachmann, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh … and none of the above is remotely Southern.

It’s an ageing demographic who can’t get to grips with the changing overall racial portrait of the United States. It’s nice to think that this generation is dying off, but experience has proven that attitudes and mores can be passed from one generation to another. In Britain, people whose parents weren’t even alive during the Second World War are raised to detest the Germans. The English cordially hate the French and vice versa based on a war that ended in the Fifteenth Century, and don’t even start on Catholics and Protestants. So, regrettably, there will always be people who think that the Caucasian race is superior to any other. Some of those people, invariably, will be from the South. And some will be from the North, too, which has seen its share of race riots, conveniently forgotten in this diatribe against a state.

For the record, here are a few things people in the North and the South should know:-

First of all, for all you Sons of Confederate Veterans and United Daughters of the Confederacy, this one’s for you. They guys’ hero is John S Mosby, the Gray Ghost, himself. Quite a few SCV chapters are named after him. The gals all love Belle Boyd, the famous Southern spy. Literally all the UDC chapters bear Belle’s name. Well, I’m well familiar with Mosby and Belle, having grown up amongst their old stomping ground. I wonder how many people know that Mosby, after the war, became a staunch Republican (bad word in the South in those days) and ended up serving the Grant Administration. That’s Grant as in Ulysses S Grant, who took Lee’s surrender at Appomattox.

And Belle escaped to England during the war and married a Yankee en route – not just any Yankee, but a serving Yankee officer. And when he died, she married another; and years later, a third. She made her living post-war, much the same way Sarah Palin’s making hers today – giving public talks, for which she was paid, mostly to veterans of the GAR – that’s the Grand Army of the Republic, to novices, a euphemism for the Yankee army. So Belle was the Sarah Palin of her day, a fully paid-up media whore, who had a heart attack and died in Wisconsin before a scheduled address to another group of Yankee veterans.

In other words, for them the Civil War ended in 1865. They accepted the fact that they were on the losing side and went on to make capital from it.

Secondly, as there seems to be a plethora of people from the North intent on heaping hate on the South, and on Virginia, in particular for this incident, I’d say this: that these people are the selfsame ones who, previously, had been found heaping the hate on the President and all who surround him, calling for a primary challenger in 2012, threatening not to vote, calling him a Republican and all sorts. These people seriously need to deal with their cognitive dissonance, and not substitute it for irrational hate for a specific demographic. These people seriously need to remember that three of the last four Democratic Presidents were from the Deep South, and one was responsible for two of the most Progressive pieces of legislation in the 20th Century. In fact, of the 8 Democratic Presidents to serve in the 20th and 21st Centuries, four were Southerners and one was from a border state. Think about that.

Also, cogitate upon this: Bob McDonnell was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. True, he moved to Virginia when he was one year old, but he was an army brat. He spent the early part of his childhood on army bases in Germany, before returning with his parents to settle in Fairfax County in Northern Virginia, or NoVa. Like another Philadelphian, Chris Matthews, he’s a practicing Roman Catholic.

Virginians are born not made. We tolerate people who live and work in our state as “Virginians” inasmuch as they contribute to the economy, but a real Virginian is one who is born there, or – at the very least – one whose mother was a Virginian. Sorry, if that sounds snooty, snobby or exclusive, but in the words of a fellow real Virginina, Bruce Hornsby, “That’s just the way it is.” We just about extended the status of “real Virginian” to Tim Kaine, because he married a woman, from Virginia, whose parents are not only real Virginians, but whose father was actually a real Republican governor of the state (as opposed to Dixiecrat-turned-Republican), who became a Democrat.

And settling in NoVa gives McDonnell the added epithet of being a “phoney Virginian,” which is what residents of that area are considered by people born in the State. So, lil’Bob, like his crony Ken Cuccinelli, bona fide scion of the Jersey shore, are what the Sons of Confederate Veterans and their ilk would have deemed, in other times, to be Carpetbaggers. In fact, as political pundit (and Virginian) Larry Sabato pointed out, McDonnells ancestors were still in Ireland when the Civil War occurred. If they were in the United States, chances were that they were conscripted to serve the Union.

Is Bob McDonnell racist? I don’t know. Probably so, I would say; but I would venture to say that that perceived racism came as much from his own background – remember Jack Murtha’s remark about racism in Pennsylvania? – as from any time spent in Virginia or any association with Virginians.

So, all you people up there on the moral high ground want to shut up and think about what you’re saying when you’re labelling Southerners – and Virginians, in particular in this instance – mindless morons, bigots, hillbillies, whatever – that you’re sounding just as intolerant, narrow-minded and exclusive as those people you seek to criticize on the Right. A friend of mine, an ardent liberal and real Virginian, whom I’ve known through high school and university, recently that the one group of people whom liberals/Progressives could criticize, taunt and condemn with impugnity were Southerners, and in doing so, they totally negated the fact that there were, indeed, liberal Southerners, from Huey Long to Ann Richards, from Lyndon Johnson to Jimmy Carter, from Bill Clinton to Robert Gibbs, the Alabamian Press Secretary who works for the nation’s first African American President.

So, maybe we should all be thankful for Bob McDonnell, because he’s opened up the can of worms labelled “racism,” and – as someone said in the early days of the Obama Presidency – maybe it’s time that this nation sat down and actually addressed racism in an open and honest debate. Maybe Virginia needed McDonnell, because his retrograde opinions on race, women’s issues and sexuality will force those people who couldn’t move their asses to the polling booth in 2009 to mosey on down there and pull the lever for progress in 2010 and thus move the state forwards into the 21st Century in spite of Bob McDonnell. And maybe the whole country needs him too, if only to show those recalcitrants what the people are left with, when others decide to sulk out the vote.

I am a born Virginina Progressive, and I approve this message.

Categories: News & Politics

47 Responses so far.

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  1. Chernynkaya says:

    Honestly, I don’t understand the chauvinism of Virginians, or Californians, or of residents of any state for that matter. I barely understand the chauvinism of Americans-- it is all too nativist for my taste. But then again, I scored very low on loyalty on those tests I posted about, so that must be just me. Why should I be proud for being born somewhere? Or ashamed?

    As you pointed out, there have been pretty good Democratic Presidents from Southern states. But by and large, most Southern states are home to populations who seem very regressive politically and socially. And that is true of several plains states too, so I know it’s not entirely a Southern thing. And sure, racism is rampant world-wide. I just don’t see the point in defending a state. Virginians voted for McDonnell, so the state is only as racist as the percentage of folks who voted for him, from my point of view. I guess the main thing is to be careful of writing off an entire region of the country--that’s a kind of prejudice too.

  2. boomer1949 says:

    Racism is everywhere, but notoriously associated with the South.

    There are many pockets in Ohio; John Boehner’s District 8 in Southwest Ohio. k’es yesterday mentioned her Ohio district in a comment:

    I live in Marcy Kaptur

  3. WakingLife says:

    Great post.

    I know racism isn’t limited to the South. I went to an all white school in a small New England town. There was plenty of racism there too. But I did pick up the Southern stereotypes, and assumed them unfortunately. It wasn’t until college where I met a lot of brilliant Southerners.

    But yes, I get bitter. I see the red swathes all over the South, and can’t help but think: “Let them secede.”

    That’s the wonderful thing about the internet. I’ve met so many Southern Progressives. And it’s a reminder that the U.S., all of it, is worth fighting for.

  4. Vituperation says:

    So your car has a couple dents and a flat tire. It’s still a good car right?. But some folks would rather scrap it than fix it up right? Well not everyone gets to drive a perfect car. A lot of us drive what we have and make it work for as long as we can. America is a lot like good car with a few things that need to get fixed. Only a fool tries to fix a flat when the car is moving. Don’t ask cause I don’t know. It just works better that way.

  5. choicelady says:

    Marion -- you make a wonderful, humane point indeed! Not everyone is weird just because they’re from (fill in the blank.) I lived in Tullahoma, TN in 1968 when King was brutally murdered. Sure, there were wackadoodles celebrating -- but there were people who came out of the woodwork to support a letter I and my then husband had in the paper mourning his loss. We were scared to do it, but nothing awful ever happened. GOOD people are everywhere. And there are BAD people in CA, land of the free thinkers.

    I think Virginia is gorgeous -- nothing more elegant than flying over the Blue Ridge and low to the ground heading into Dulles; nothing more majestic than the Blue Ridge Parkway. Monticello, the entire countryside -- spectacular.

    Racism is everywhere, humanity is everywhere. The worst of the worst may be here in CA where everyone is convinced of their superiority when, in fact, they are ridiculously uninformed but arrogant and unwilling to learn.

    MT has amazing people. The original “Not in My Town” PBS program about responses to hate crimes, was about Billings, MT’s reaction against the white supremacists/anti-Semitic actions in that city. The whole city rallied to support its small Jewish population -- everyone put pictures of menorahs in their window to protest the vandalism that had been done to a few homes during Hanukkah. One of my greatest allies headed the MT Council of Churches, and she is great beyond measure.

    My biggest problem is the ‘classification’ game -- the tarring with one brush of people in (fill in the blank) place, occupation, religion, race, whatever with no regard for the diversity of opinion OR the real problems that said group may honestly be facing.

    We need to rebuild our humanity. We need to stop classifying people. Do WE want to be dismissed as “fern bar liberals” any more than steel workers what to be considered knuckle dragging women haters? I had reason to work closely with police and FBI on a hate crime case -- and I had women friends tell me how AWFUL that was since, obviously, ALL police were abusive, racist, violent people, and I should never EVER associate myself with them.

    Pure stupidity.

    Virginia IS more conservative than I’d like to associate myself with -- driving through the countryside, I rarely saw one of the denominations I serve out here, but lots of New Light of the Heaven types of Pentacostal churches that make me uncomfortable. But they are people, too.

    Hey, when I lived in Tullahoma years ago, it was next to Estill Springs, home of the rattlesnake handling churches. But you know -- those folks are OK. If they are snakeless. Some good folks can be found everywhere. Not everything about the South is “Deliverance”.

    Thank you for reminding me and all of us that there is diversity wherever you look, and good people wherever you look.

  6. escribacat says:

    Excellent post, Marion. Your point is well-taken. I’ve been guilty of stereotyping the South myself, I confess. I will think twice in the future before I give in to that primitive impulse. I’ve had a taste of it myself ever since the story broke of “Jihad Jane’s” cohort, Jamie Ramirez, from Leadville Colorado (my state). I was both surprised and annoyed at the several ignorant comments I saw about “red-neck gun-toting kooks in Colorado,” and other remarks along those lines, as though the rest of us here in Colorado somehow had something to do with this woman’s story. I made several nasty responses that were probably scrubbed.

  7. KQ says:

    Excellent piece Marion. I actually understand what you are talking about a little more because my wife is from VA. Yes the Old Dominion has it eccentricities but I understand why people are proud Virginians.

    Two points I hope progressives learn the real lessons from the VA and NJ Gubernatorial races and the election of Brown to the Senate. These Republicans cannot take over national government again. I know there is a bunch of whining from the left that both sides are the same but it’s patently not true. If we sit on our hands during the midterms it will be 1994 all over again and then another Bush in office soon after that. The fact that people look at Republicans as viable candidates for even moderately conservative areas of the country is simply a huge mistake. The Republican Party is an ultra radical right wing party a South American dictator would be proud to emulate.

    The second lesson is the left needs to stop stereotyping certain areas of the country. I bet you even on a normalized basis there are as any progressives in states like VA and NC as there are in NJ or PA. The MA Senate election should have shown people that the liberal strongholds are not as liberal anymore.

    • PepeLepew says:

      As a Montanan, I concur!

      Montanans aren’t all whackadoodles, and sometimes it’s lefties that have the hardest damn time understanding that.

      • KQ says:

        Montana is a great example because many people there are not the stereotype from the people I’ve encountered. Most people I met when I visited mills in Montana are more environmentally conscious than people in many states and more open minded than people think. People forget in the primaries President Obama did very well in the mountain west. I know most people who voted in those primaries were Democrats but that still shows their open minded independence.

  8. SueInCa says:

    Marion
    It is kind of strange but I had spent alot of time in Virginia in the early 2000’s and never really thought it was a conservative republican state. Of course I spent my time in NoVA/Fairfax Co and most of the people I knew there were from the area or maybe Loudin county and Maryland. I never really thought of Maryland as a southern state either, but it is. I have alot of friends from both states and some are conservatives and some are liberal, none are racists.

    You are right though, when we generalize the south and say they are all ignorant hicks, we are showing our own ignorance. The south was quite Democratic for a long time, conservative, but Dem. I think if more people actually visited there(south) and got to interact with the people they would have a different perspective. I never felt anything but hospitality when I was in the south. I live in Northern CA and have for all my life(Bay Area) and I can say take a ride into the central valley of CA and you will find some of the worst racist pockets that could compete with any racist area of the US. Racists are everywhere. The John Birch Society was founded in Indianapolis Indiana.

    • Khirad says:

      While I wouldn’t generalize the South -- and joke about Texas (it’s own thing apart from the South), it’s good-natured full-knowing about Austin, etc. The thing with Virginia is while it is of course Southern, I never thought of it as “Deep South”. It ain’t no Mississippi, for example. My ignorance may be showing, but the Southern states I think of as most Southern are that and South Carolina and a few others. Even Georgia (my dad’s birthplace), which like the other big states of the Confederacy was its own thing first (and more than others, Georgia joined the CSA almost as an afterthought -- they would have rather declared independence, methinks), and today there is Atlanta, etc. Indeed, generalizing any place is silly. There’s relatively liberal Tucson and urban Phoenix in Arizona, and then there’s Central Valley and the Jefferson State people in Northern California. Democratic stronghold Washington (the state, argh), is only so west of the Cascades, and even then, not altogether. There’s a pocket between Olympia and Vancouver (north of Portland) that is

      • SueInCa says:

        I think we all joke about it, but I very seldom ever ran into anyone in the south that was not friendly and polite. I did one guy at a dinner party, but I shut him down pretty quick.

        • PepeLepew says:

          I have met some pretty ugly, serious racists from the South and Texas, but I’ve also known nice Southerners who are absolutely mortified by racist Southerners. I’ve also met some pretty ugly racists from California. In fact, the most racist town I ever lived in was in California.

          • SueInCa says:

            Pepe, I agree all you have to do is travel into the central valley(probably a bit south) and you can find plenty of racists. Also in the mountains up here north. I am in the foothills in a very conservative county.

            • PatsyT says:

              So true……
              California has this one
              Devin Nunes in the 21st
              http://nunes.house.gov/

            • SueInCa says:

              Yeah Patsy, I have heard of him. Racism is everywhere, you just have to open your eyes and ears and be aware.

            • PepeLepew says:

              Yeah, Bakersfield can be pretty spooky.

              Actually, the one town where the racism really bothered me might surprise you. Mammoth Lakes, Calif. It was a ski resort town and very, very white and full of wealthy people from L.A. I never heard so much garbage about Mexicans and blacks as anywhere else I’d ever lived. Especially Mexicans.

            • SueInCa says:

              Not at all Pepe. I would not be surprised one bit.

  9. Khirad says:

    You gotta be kiddin’ me, Marion. Me, a true blue West Coaster never thought that about Virginia as a whole, and definitely not northern Virginia. Anyone who paid any attention to the ’08 elections, at least, should have gotten the demographics of the state, and the regions (aka George Allen’s “Real Virginia” vs. D.C. suburbs). Today I saw a car with bumper stickers I’m sure never ventured into them parts (Obama, Kaine, Deeds, you name it).

    My first official visit to Virginia was today, at Arlington, and I visited Lee’s house. Even he, as a Confederate general exemplified Virginia. As someone who sought to reconcile the country after the War ‘Tween the States, I’m not sure even he would approve of this. That being said, it’s difficult. I qualify for SCV, but would never join the neo-confederate group it’s become, if I would have anyway. Nevertheless, I saw something more in the subtext than merely honoring Confederate soldiers. If it were really that, I’d have much less of a problem. No, this had more subtext to it. I’m only a few blocks away from Ford’s Theater now. There’s undertones of “Sic semper tyrannis” in the Boothian interpretation of it.

    It’s amazing how little changes in certain aspects. I’m not even talking about the racism/slavery angle, but the whole states’ rights, and “tyranny” of the federal government lives on (which yes, can dovetail as code language).

    BTW, it’s nowhere the same pedigree, but we felt the same in Washington (state) about Californians moving north. A bit easier in that context and far less ironic though, than a Yankee transplant praising Dixie. I swear…

    • SueInCa says:

      Khirad
      You need to do a posting here of your trip, complete with pics

    • SueInCa says:

      Hey Khirad

      Isn’t DC great? I have spent so many days in that city and I truly respect what it means and how much history is there. I have even done a scavenger hunt on the Capitol Mall. I used to spend at least one week in VA once a month and I got to the point, I could conduct tours down there. I loved taking new people to see how in awe they were of everything to see. I plan to take my grandson probably next year.

      Did you take the night tour of the memorials? That is truly something to see, especially the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials.

      • Khirad says:

        I’ve been to the memorials, but haven’t been out at night yet. Have to get up early tomorrow for Pentagon.

        It is neat to be constantly tripping over history. Too much to even process.

        Today I saw Ted Kennedy’s grave. That was weird to process. He’s real near RFK’s with a simple marker and white cross.

        Yesterday Elizabeth Dole was at the WWII memorial. They seriously need to redo the WWI memorial though.

        • PepeLepew says:

          Have you thought of going to the Newseum in D.C.? It sounds interesting.

          • Khirad says:

            Walked past it. It had a newspapers from every state in the front. I took a picture of one from my home town! Of all the newspapers, they chose that crappy rag! Don’t know if I’m gonna make that. I had considered it, too.

        • escribacat says:

          Hey Khirad, It’s fun reading your posts. Makes me want to follow suit and do that trip as well.

        • SueInCa says:

          You did not go to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier while you were there? I have been in the summer heat and it is amazing to see the military do their drills in the hot sun, they don’t even sweat.

          I met a friend there about 9 in the morning. We walked all the way to the top and back down again. By 11 in the morning my hair was soaking wet from the humidity. Our next stop was plan B (beer) at the old Post Office. We even played in the water squirters that day but we made it all the way to the capitol and back to pick up our cars at Arlington. Good shoes are a must.

          • Khirad says:

            Yeah, saw the changing of the guard, too, of course. Haven’t been in the Old Post Office yet. The architecture is one of my faves, though.

            The weather is nice. First day was really windy and depending on the street -- oy! Today was high 70s. Really pleasant. I’m glad it’s not worse. It’s been a tad chilly -- for my acclimated Arizonan blood, but today was really pleasant.

            Well, got to get to bed for tomorrow.

        • PatsyT says:

          Khirad,
          Wow, I don’t know if I could have kept it together at Teddy’s grave.
          Are you taking pics?

  10. SanityNow says:

    Great post Marion. Speaking as a hereditary Virginian, it concerned me that critics of McDonnell et al would paint with a brush too broad. Virginia is the heart of our country’s history, with Massachusetts running a very close, but no less important second. If there is anything to learn from this, it is that we are in a country whose population is very mobile. Carpetbaggers are everywhere. It is a country founded by and for carpetbaggers. We are all either carpetbaggers or descendants of carpetbaggers. Being a carpetbagger is not the issue, but a distraction from the real issue of racism.

    I don’t believe that the majority of Americans, or Virginians for that matter, are racist. I don’t have any empirical data handy, but my guess is that at least 25% of the adult population is either racist or at least fearful of races different than their own. Out of a country of 308 million, that could be as many as 40 or 50 million racist people. The fact that we have our first AA president is now exposing this racism. But the racism doesn’t just reside in Virginia and Virginians don’t own racism. Racism is everywhere in our country: Washington state, Alaska, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, California, West Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, etc, etc, etc.

    If we want to label anyone with the epithet racist, we need look no further than ourselves. As you noted, McDonnell was elected in large part due to the apathy of those who decided not to vote. What they fail to understand is that a non-vote is still a vote. It still registers as a silent consent. So McDonnell, and other tricky politicians with a not-so-hidden racist personal agenda, was not only voted in by those who voted for him, but he was also enabled to win by the lack of those who would say they would have voted against him but failed to vote at all.

    Keep voting Marion. Lead by example and be vocal about it. It will give others who are weaker of will more strength to do what they know they should do.

    (btw, the picture in my avatar is my 5th great grandfather, born in 1775, who was a slave holding Tidewater lawyer from Tappahannock and a God son of G. Washington (his father was good friends and neighbors with GW). One of his grandsons later became a Confederate colonel-surgeon from Richmond, owned one of the only (if not the only) sewing machines in Richmond, his wife having sewn many of the uniforms for the Richmond Confederate army units. The portrait of my 5th great grandfather now hangs above the mantle in the Pacific Northwest, having been rescued, along with the family bibles, from the Sacking of Richmond and the burning of the family home literally minutes before the Union army came marching in. The American tradition of carpetbagging continues…)

  11. PatsyT says:

    Marion,
    I truly appreciate your perspective on this.
    Constant vigilance is required 24/7.
    My question, How can that more passive voter be kept involved?

    You mentioned Chris Mathews.

    This week CM was all over this issue.
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036697/#36237409
    He even had some of the Sons and Daughters of the Confederacy in costumes on this week.
    (I could not find that interview on the Hardball link)

    Mathews did ask some great questions but…

    one question is missing- or I did not here it.

    Would there have been a Civil War if there had not been Slavery?

    Would the south have gone to war only over States Rights?

    • SanityNow says:

      Patsy,
      I think the answer to your question is a NO. Slavery was indeed the heart of the state’s rights argument and the state’s rights argument is the lasting deflection of the real issue offered up to this day by the those wanting to obfuscate the racist roots of the fight.

      racist NEVER like being called racists.

      • PatsyT says:

        Sanity,

        Thats just it.
        Why do they tippy toe around this?
        Why are there not more ‘real Americans’*
        calling out this States Rights BS for what it is.
        They would LOVE to go back in time and erase their record.
        Sorry, no do overs.
        This needs a brilliant light-
        Maybe the cockroaches will run for cover!

        Yet still when this came out this week, I thought…
        This has to be a joke-is it still April 1st?
        NO! No joke! They mean business !!
        This is their little code speak…
        =I’m just like you, shhh, don’t tell -- nudge nudge wink wink=

        A great question I have seen posted
        on some threads…

        Why did the KKK wear hoods?

        *EDIT When I say ‘real Americans’ I should say Responsible Media
        This goes unchallenged WAY too often
        Can someone please Say . . . .

        Racism in UN-AMERICAN

        • SanityNow says:

          Racism is a completely irrational social disease. Unfortunately, is is also as American as it is European and Asian and Middle Eastern and African and Oceanian. It is everywhere and shrinks, imho, with more education and knowledge. It also seems to act like a cornered animal: it gets fiercer when confronted with its own demise.

          I think racists, wherever they be, are ashamed. This explains hoods and re-branding (“we are segregationists”, “we are separatists”, “we are purists”, ad nauseum.)

          Racists know in their heart they are wrong. It explains the shame and anger. but the fear of the other is stronger than the shame.

        • SueInCa says:

          Patsy
          It has long been my desire to run up to one of them in a parade and rip that hood right off their head, but I know they would probably beat me up, or the local sheriff would put me in jail.


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