Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Racism Isn't Just A Southern Thing

The common stereotype of the South involves racism, the KKK, and segregation. It is a well-deserved piece of our history, and racism still exists across the South, including here in Louisiana. In the rural areas surrounding Lafayette, blacks and whites still go to separate churches, and willingly segregate themselves in various social settings.

In a national restaurant chain I once worked for, managers often sent black customers to the back of the restaurant, and were flabbergasted when I pointed that out. They would sometimes assign black servers to those sections, along with white servers they thought they could punish by making them wait on black guests.

That kind of prejudice is common across the South, but it isn't confined solely to the humid Bible Belt. I know that blue state liberals love to pretend the presumed progressive strongholds they live in are above that sort of thing, even though other forms of discrimination exist right in their backyards.

Portland has gentrification that is driving remaining black residents out, to be replaced by hipsters. San Francisco is pricing poor people, especially minorities, out of the area in favor of tech workers which tend to be white. New York has policing that unfairly targets minorities to meet police quotas, and Boston is known for its racism.

Obviously, I am not trying to apologize for racism in the South. My family's history on my mother's side includes people who fought for the Confederacy, slave owners, and even slave traders. The Montgomery family fled to Texas with their slaves when Union forces closed in, and the men enlisted in the Texas divisions to fight for their "states' rights" to own slaves.

Racism in many fashions continues to manifest itself across our country. We saw it with the hatred towards President Obama, and with the election of Donald Trump by voters in places like Ohio and Wisconsin.

Yes, the South is the easy target for accusations of racism, and it is well deserved. But let's not pretend it is a problem solely confined to the South.

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