Every once in a while we post a story on The Pragmatic Progressive Page about a certain state or region, and inevitably, we get people who start stomping their feet or crying or threatening to leave because they were offended. We might point out that Texas voters are idiots, the Deep South is full of morons or that Arizona is a bunch of racists. And the cry will always go up….’But I AM NOT a racists, therefore, you are WRONG!’
So here’s the deal. You and I both know that every type of person lives in every type of region, and anyone with a brain knows that when someone says ‘Texas voters are idiots’ – we are talking about the majority of those voters, because as elections go, majority always wins. When they do documentaries in the Deep South and show toothless, bible-thumping inbred-types spouting off their hatred for ‘that Muslim’ and waving around their Confederate Flag – yes, we realize that isn’t everyone, but as someone who has travelled to the Deep South many times – that isn’t hard to find. In fact, it’s too easy to find; whether it’s the front desk of a Motel 6, the waitress of a Waffle House or any of the half-a-billion Wal-Mart dotting the landscape. Let’s not pretend otherwise.
You see, I’m from Arizona. And when people say, ‘Arizona is a bunch of racists!’ – I don’t cry and scream and defend my state by pointing out that I, in fact, am not a racist. I think about the fact that we put through bills like SB1070, that we vote into office people like Arpaio, Brewer and McCain, or that we have a ton of uneducated Minute-Men on our border with guns strapped to their sides and some misguided vigilantism keeping them peering into the desert day in and day out. I think about the fact that my state will vote in these morons time and time again, so if my state appears racists to everyone else in America, how is my crying helping the fact that actions speak louder than words?
At the end of the day, we can either say that Arizona is full of racists or we can say that the racists in Arizona are the only ones that care enough to vote…while all those lazy, apathetic non-racists are just sitting around crying they are being called racists. We can say that Texas voters are idiots, or we can say that the idiots are who care enough to vote in Texas, and all those lazy, apathetic non-idiots are being given a bad rap. We can make a blanket statement that the Deep South is full of a bunch of freaks, or we can just admit that we were only basing that on every person we met, every time we stopped at any rest stop, gas station or Cracker Barrel…and all the cool people just don’t leave their houses much.
Remember, though all forms of ‘prejudice’ may not be true, they are usually based on something that isn’t exactly a fairy tale, so let’s start being honest with ourselves.
Or…we can try harder. If you don’t like that your state is being seen as a major problem in America, then get out there and vote, and get those who are like you (who you claim there are many) to vote as well. THAT is how you change things. But to just stomp your feet every time someone points out a fact that everyone seems to agree on…that isn’t how you fix things. It never has been.
I come from a racist state, with weirdos AND idiot voters. I’m not going to pretend otherwise. I’m not going to cry and stomp and threaten to leave your page/club/house when you point that out. Instead, I’m going to either decide that is not the state for me and leave, or I’m going to try to fix the problem – but one thing I do know, tears and/or anger have never carried the same weight as a vote at the ballot box. Ever.
And if you are saying I’m trying to change things!!! – good for you, try harder, those of us who don’t have blonde hair and white skin want more places to travel in this damn country of ours without fearing for our lives every time we get a freakin’ flat tire.