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Why Elitists Dump on the South
NEWSMAX ^ | 4/19/02

Posted on 04/19/2002 12:24:19 PM PDT by Tumbleweed_Connection

To preserve its illusion of national innocence, the United States projects its "dark" side onto the South, a Penn State geographer says.

For 10 years after his graduation from college, David R. Jansson worked in university towns – Boston; Ithaca, N.Y.; Madison, Wis.; Berkeley, Calif. – that deemed themselves "progressive" and "enlightened," i.e., left wing.

"These places had their differences," he told United Press International in a phone interview, "but one of the things I could count on was a common conception of the South, largely among people who had never been there but who had very consistent ideas about what the South meant and what it stood for. This was the standard list of negative characteristics and stereotypes."

Jansson enumerated those attributed traits in a presentation to the 98th annual meeting of Association of American Geographers in Los Angeles last month. He said that in American national discourse, "the South tends to be represented as violent, racist, poor, intolerant, xenophobic, and dim-witted, among other things."

This Bigotry Is P.C.

He told UPI that during the decade he worked before beginning graduate studies, he found that people indulged in one of the last forms of bigotry acceptable in polite society. Those who wouldn't dream of mocking other groups were comfortable making jokes about white Southerners.

Representing the South as backward endows America as a whole with the opposite qualities, he said. The vices associated by knee-jerk reaction with the South "become spatialized" and are held to be uncharacteristic of the nation.

By this means, the United States can claim to stand for the exalted principles of the Enlightenment unblemished by skeletons in its own closet. American history, Jansson told the geographers, then can be seen as "unceasing progress and selfless efforts to improve the lot of all humanity."

Southerners are often accused of being stuck in the past, but this comes in part from an external assignment from the rest of America to act as its foil, Jansson said.

Partners in Slavery

The American legend of innocence is built upon a shaky foundation, Jansson said. "Thus slavery is cast in Southern terms when it was more of a national experience than is generally acknowledged."

Citing an essay by Dan Georgakas in the 1998 book "The Meaning of Slavery in the North," Jansson told the geographers: "While most Americans have chosen to think of slavery as a regional aberration than a national phenomenon, in reality the so-called free states of the North were full partners in the viability of the slave society of the South."

Jansson said that University of Kentucky historian Joanne Pope Melish, in her 1998 book "Disowning Slavery," argues that the mythology of a free New England remains potent in academia as it does in American society as a whole. But Melish shows how even otherwise careful historians tend to date the end of slavery in the North earlier than its demise.

In his presentation, Jansson reviewed some of the salient thoughts of C. Vann Woodward (1908-1999), the eminent Yale historian of the South. Woodward's landmark work, "The Mind of the South," was published in 1969, at the height of the Vietnam War.

Jansson said Woodward viewed Southern history not as the stories in dusty old library volumes, but rather as the collective experience in which the Southern people find their distinctiveness.

"This history includes Southern poverty in the face of American abundance," Jansson said. In 1969 the United States had never "lost" a war, but the Confederacy had been defeated and occupied. Dealing with tragedy had set the South apart. The myths of innocence, omniscience and "social felicity" were not operating assumptions in Dixie.

Woodward argued that America needed the sobering influence of Southern history, "a heritage that is far more closely in line with the common lot of mankind than the national legends of opulence and success and innocence."

But Jansson concluded his presentation with the observation that the United States, even with the reverses it has suffered since 1969, remained resistant to Woodward's message. "In fact, the chasm that separates the history of America from the history of the South cannot be crossed without causing a rupture in the American national identity," he said.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: culture; dixielist; south
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1 posted on 04/19/2002 12:24:19 PM PDT by Tumbleweed_Connection
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Ironic isn't it but the stronghold of left wing anti American types is in the Northeast, Yankee land
And the stronghold of patriotism is the South ( who were dragged back into Union by force of arms ) and West
2 posted on 04/19/2002 12:29:55 PM PDT by uncbob
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
the South tends to be represented as violent, racist, poor, intolerant, xenophobic, and dim-witted...

...and dreadfully prone to misspelling 'Bubber' as 'Bubba'....

3 posted on 04/19/2002 12:30:53 PM PDT by Grut
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
bump
4 posted on 04/19/2002 12:34:14 PM PDT by Soul Citizen
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
They can say what they want to about us as long as they stay the heck up North...
5 posted on 04/19/2002 12:34:18 PM PDT by Corin Stormhands
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
"Hail Boston! Hail Charleston! Who stinkith the most?"
6 posted on 04/19/2002 12:36:09 PM PDT by aomagrat
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To: shuckmaster;stainlessbanner
fyi
7 posted on 04/19/2002 12:38:01 PM PDT by Libertarianize the GOP
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
The elitists dump on us too. According to them we are a bunch of "gun nuts that play soldier in the woods, burn crosses(my county has a bad rap because of one Klan member who has been dead for 20 years), kill all the defenseless animals, and pollute everywhere in our assault SUVS...."
8 posted on 04/19/2002 12:41:09 PM PDT by Dan from Michigan
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To: uncbob
Ironic isn't it but the stronghold of left wing anti American types is in the Northeast, Yankee land

Ya --- sure.


9 posted on 04/19/2002 12:43:02 PM PDT by Ditto
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To: Ditto
You beat me to it.
10 posted on 04/19/2002 12:43:53 PM PDT by JohnGalt
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Also ironic that the "dim-witted" South is the only region of the USA with a distinctive contribution to the arts, i.e. music (jazz, blues, bluegrass, country, rock and roll - all born in the South), literature (Welty, Faulkner) etc., folk art, and so on.
11 posted on 04/19/2002 12:44:55 PM PDT by lugsoul
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
It's jealousy. Yankees are jealous that we have a culture that isn't based on massive television exposure and sports.
12 posted on 04/19/2002 12:48:17 PM PDT by warchild9
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
The author makes an enormous error in this article. The Mind of the South was not written by C. Vann Woodward during Vietnam but by W.J. Cash in 1941.

Ah, journalistic research strikes again!
13 posted on 04/19/2002 12:49:34 PM PDT by bourbon
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To: Ditto
What a motley crew! (No insult intended to the group Motley Crue)
14 posted on 04/19/2002 12:51:19 PM PDT by mafree
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To: *Dixie_list
Thanks for the post. It's and interesting read.
15 posted on 04/19/2002 12:51:35 PM PDT by Ligeia
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To: warchild9
Yankees are jealous that we have a culture that isn't based on massive television exposure and sports.

Jealous? We got huntin' fishin', football, and hockey. Without sports, there's nothing.

16 posted on 04/19/2002 12:53:55 PM PDT by Dan from Michigan
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
"Woodward's landmark work, "The Mind of the South," was published in 1969..."

Even the fact-checkers and proofreaders knock off when the subject is the South.

"The Mind Of The South" was written, not by C. Vann Woodward, but by W.J. Cash and was published posthumously in 1941, not 1969.

17 posted on 04/19/2002 12:55:01 PM PDT by Middle Man
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To: all
BTW - At least we didn't give the country Klinton, John Edwards, Gore, LBJ, or Jimmy Carter....
18 posted on 04/19/2002 12:55:43 PM PDT by Dan from Michigan
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Growing up (as well as currently residing) in the northeast I can attest to the validity of the authors remarks. I, as well as most people I grew up with, had a very negative impression of the south. Backwards, racist, intolerant, uneducated, etc.

The amazing thing is that I have found the south to be just the opposite, broadly speaking. I personally consider the south to be the last vestige of sanity left in our country. Hopefully I will be able to facilitate a job transfer through my employer to either Georgia or Florida (nothing south of Orlando) in the near future.

19 posted on 04/19/2002 12:57:09 PM PDT by Zambian
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To: Ditto
You notice how all the people those pictures represent are all JFK wanna-be's.
20 posted on 04/19/2002 12:57:19 PM PDT by sinclair
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To: Dan from Michigan; all
At least we didn't give the country Klinton, John Edwards, Gore, LBJ, or Jimmy Carter....

But you didn't give the country George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon or Dwight Eisenhower either...

21 posted on 04/19/2002 12:58:31 PM PDT by Corin Stormhands
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To: Dan from Michigan
As a Southerner who lived for a good while in Chicago, I grew to feel a kinship with Midwestern rural-types mainly because most of the same prejudices that elitist Chicagoans had about Southerners also held true for Michiganders, Wisconsinites and Downstate Illinoisans. Talk to the average Gold Coast resident in Chicago about folks from Wisconsin and you might think he's describing a stereotypical redneck Southerner (okay, unless they mention ice-fishing or snowmobiling).
22 posted on 04/19/2002 1:00:15 PM PDT by bourbon
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To: Corin Stormhands
We did give Gerry Ford..(wait, nevermind).
23 posted on 04/19/2002 1:01:25 PM PDT by Dan from Michigan
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To: sinclair
You notice how all the people those pictures represent are all JFK wanna-be's.

Johnson a JFK wanna-be? He heated Kennedy's guts, and I wouldn't classify JFK as a goofy lib. The guy was one hell of a cold war hawk and pushed throught the biggest tax cut in history.

24 posted on 04/19/2002 1:01:39 PM PDT by Ditto
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To: Dan from Michigan
my county has a bad rap because of one Klan member who has been dead for 20 years

You bastards. . .

25 posted on 04/19/2002 1:01:47 PM PDT by Lee'sGhost
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
You would be very hard-pressed to find more viciously racist people than in the very bastions of "liberalism" and "progressive thinking". New York, and New England come to mind. Sure these same people will espouse the virtues of equality at the top of their lungs, but watch what happens if a black family moves in next door. These people are the worst kind of hypocrites. I am a southern, protestant, white male. I must be the lowest form of scum to these people.
26 posted on 04/19/2002 1:02:13 PM PDT by Space Wrangler
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To: Corin Stormhands
Don't forget George Washington...:)
27 posted on 04/19/2002 1:03:15 PM PDT by =Intervention=
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To: Corin Stormhands
later post bump
28 posted on 04/19/2002 1:04:32 PM PDT by KSCITYBOY
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To: Ditto
Johnson a JFK wanna-be? He heated Kennedy's guts, and I wouldn't classify JFK as a goofy lib. The guy was one hell of a cold war hawk and pushed throught the biggest tax cut in history.

The Kennedy administration seriously considered a first strike nuclear attack on the Soviet Union.

I believe most of the strategic nuclar TRIAD was put together during JFK's administration. 600 B-52's, 41 SSBN missile subs and 1,000 ICBMs.

Walt

29 posted on 04/19/2002 1:04:46 PM PDT by WhiskeyPapa
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To: Space Wrangler
"hatred of Southern whites had always been a stronger motive [among Northerners] for reform than sympathy for Southern blacks." --Clyde Wilson.

just tossing that comment out there for discussion.
30 posted on 04/19/2002 1:06:57 PM PDT by bourbon
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To: Lee'sGhost
Worse...he came from the East Coast to move into our county.
31 posted on 04/19/2002 1:07:45 PM PDT by Dan from Michigan
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To: =Intervention=
Don't forget George Washington...:)

Well, if we need to point it out, Virginia alone gave America: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor, William Henry Harrison and Woodrow Wilson

32 posted on 04/19/2002 1:08:02 PM PDT by Corin Stormhands
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To: Space Wrangler
"You would be very hard-pressed to find more viciously racist people than in the very bastions of "liberalism" and "progressive thinking".

When we relocated to the South after five years' absence, our realtor told us in passing (althought she said she would officially deny ever saying it if confronted) that her clients who were Yankee transplants were only interested in housing in the lily-whitest suburbs. After years of dealing with them, our agent said she didn't even bother showing Yankees areas of town with the slightest "ethnicity" anymore. Total hypocrites.

33 posted on 04/19/2002 1:19:51 PM PDT by Middle Man
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To: Middle Man
I live in Cary, North Carolina, a town made up of 90% Yankees (at least). It's the whitest place I've ever lived (I grew up in a rural NC county which was 50/50 white/black, at least when I was a kid). When you mention to them that nearby Durham, which is heavily black, has some better housing values than this over-priced place, they have shiver fits.
34 posted on 04/19/2002 1:33:01 PM PDT by warchild9
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To: WhiskeyPapa
Papa...

JFK and Johnson campaigned on the "missile gap". Most of the TRIAD was already in place or in the pipeline.

35 posted on 04/19/2002 1:34:45 PM PDT by cynicom
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To: Space Wrangler
Space...

As an ex-NY er, you are absolutely right. NYC is populated with 9 million bigots, racists and snooty elitists. Their holier than thou attitude is all sham.

36 posted on 04/19/2002 1:37:51 PM PDT by cynicom
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To: cynicom
JFK and Johnson campaigned on the "missile gap". Most of the TRIAD was already in place or in the pipeline.

Yes, there was a missle gap, which we filled with 1,000 Minuteman missiles.

Seems like I read years ago that solid fuel boosters became possible or more capable during the JFK administration. They asked the Air Force how many we needed. The Air Force came back and said -- with a straight face -- TEN THOUSAND. The adminstration just lopped off a zero, and voila! Triad.

Walt

37 posted on 04/19/2002 1:42:32 PM PDT by WhiskeyPapa
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To: cynicom
As an ex-NY er, you are absolutely right. NYC is populated with 9 million bigots, racists and snooty elitists.

There are only 8 million people living in NYC, and I personally know dozens who are none of those things.

Go back and check those numbers you just made up.

38 posted on 04/19/2002 1:42:51 PM PDT by dead
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To: lugsoul
Also ironic that the "dim-witted" South is the only region of the USA with a distinctive contribution to the arts, i.e. music (jazz, blues, bluegrass, country, rock and roll - all born in the South), literature (Welty, Faulkner) etc., folk art, and so on......I only took issue because of your statement "the....South is only region of the USA with a distinctive contribution to the arts" That statement was just too sweeping and, upon reflection, I trust you will agree. I am not one to knock the South, whose contributions to American culture are manifest. But giving short shrift to the rest of country does not prove the South's contributions. Negro jazz did originate in the South; however, there were other contributors outside the South, not all being black. Rock and Roll, too, had early practitioners outside the South; Bill Haley and the Comets come to mind. As for literature, while the South is well represented (you didn't even mention the greatest American author in the opinion of many, Mark Twain, from the border state of Missouri); finally, the multitude of fine authors outside the South is too numerous to mention.
39 posted on 04/19/2002 1:46:57 PM PDT by luvbach1
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To: luvbach1
I agree that other parts of the country have fine authors - but there is such a thing as "Southern literature," distinctive in style and manner. I can't really tell you what the characteristics are of northeastern lit, or west coast lit - even though those regions have produced great literature, it is not unique to the particular region. That was the intent of my comment

As far as music goes, all American music is southern. Certainly, others picked up on it and furthered it - Chicago blues is a notable example: it is almost a genre of its own, now, but without what came out of the Mississippi Delta, it wouldn't exist - but it originated in the South. And its foundations are in uniquely Southern musical forms.

40 posted on 04/19/2002 1:55:52 PM PDT by lugsoul
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To: dead
dead...

Give or take a few New Yorkers, have to make sure to get all of them. One thing for sure, go anywhere in the US, tell them you are from NYC and they immediately put you in the right category.

41 posted on 04/19/2002 2:10:00 PM PDT by cynicom
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To: cynicom
One thing for sure, go anywhere in the US, tell them you are from NYC and they immediately put you in the right category.

And what category would that be? Racist? Elitist? Snooty?

I've been down south plenty of times, and the people I met never put me in any of those categories.

Perhaps your problems in that area are self-inflicted.

42 posted on 04/19/2002 2:22:14 PM PDT by dead
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To: Ditto
I knew I should have used Teddy as my example. It's what I really meant anyway.

Know why Teddy is sooooo LIBERAL? It's cause he's afraid some socialist nut job will shoot him too if he doesn't stand to the left of them. ;^)

43 posted on 04/19/2002 2:46:42 PM PDT by sinclair
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To: dead
dead...

I live in NC presently. Obnoxious is the usual trait tacked on NY ers. Having been away for many years, I would have to agree.

44 posted on 04/19/2002 3:00:18 PM PDT by cynicom
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
I used to do a lot of corporate recruiting for recently or about to be graduating engineers for a large electronics company ( ahem) in Texas. It was alway fun dealing with the 'kids' from the northeast. One guy from Penn State (after landing in Houston) said, "I guess this means that I'm not going to see any tumbleweeds, huh?" I said, "This is the Bayou City, and where did you say you went to school?"
You would not believe some of the things these kids thought. ....and, they were beside themselves when they heard me say that we weren't making them a job offer.
45 posted on 04/19/2002 3:34:22 PM PDT by blam
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To: Ditto
That's a low blow, bro.
46 posted on 04/19/2002 3:37:11 PM PDT by Diddle E. Squat
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To: Ditto
Johnson a JFK wanna-be? He heated Kennedy's guts...

Ummm, I knew they tended to nail anything that moves, but that's the first I'd heard of them being rainbow warriors!

47 posted on 04/19/2002 3:40:17 PM PDT by Diddle E. Squat
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To: Space Wrangler
Raised in various parts of the South, and later spent several years in the Northeast. By far the most openly racists comments I heard was up North. Look at the demographics, there is not a more segregated area of the country than the Northeast.
48 posted on 04/19/2002 3:43:18 PM PDT by Diddle E. Squat
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
The mistake is in referring to the Leftwing poseurs as "elitists." They represent the same smug, parochial ignorance as in the 1840s, when the effective Left first really got started in American life. Edgar Allan Poe ridiculed the pretensions of the New England literary circles and their smug pretentions in his book reviews of the 1840s.

I have personally perused the journals of some of the New England and Oberlin Abolitionist Societies in the stacks of the Oberlin College Library, and it was obvious even to this one time (long ago) undergraduate, that most of those writing of the Old South had never been South of the 40th parallel.

Of course, there is another factor present today. The modern Fabian Socialists--such as the Clintons--have been using the Southern traditionalists in much the same way that the Nazis used the Jews, as a scapegoat for the problems of the mob. Thus we have the marriage of many generations of ignorance with 20th Century demagoguery of the worst sort.

William Flax Return Of The Gods Web Site

49 posted on 04/19/2002 3:48:18 PM PDT by Ohioan
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To: bourbon
"The author makes an enormous error in this article. The Mind of the South was not written by C. Vann Woodward during Vietnam but by W.J. Cash in 1941."

I thought he had it wrong. Yes, you are right. A history professor of mine in college talked about Wilber Cash and The Mind of the South in class a lot.

50 posted on 04/19/2002 3:58:38 PM PDT by Irene Adler
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