Sunday, February 05, 2012

No, Alabama Is NOT Nazi Germany. There Are No Gas Chambers There-- None


I hate driving when I'm crying; it's so dangerous. But I was on my way to meet Digby and Stoller Saturday at the Ethiopian all-you-can-eat vegan buffet listening to a This American Life program about the impact of the Alabama anti-immigrant law. So sad seeing us turning into a fascist country. Or is it only Alabama? It isn't. Harvard/Oxford/Yale-educated Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Mitt Romney are spreading the new anti-immigrant gospel around the country. But the part that conspired to get the tears to well up in my eyes didn't even have anything to do with the law Kobach had so much fun writing for the dumber-than-shit Alabama Republican legislators. It was about the climate that the law created in Alabama. That's what made me think of Nazi Germany. It was the same slippery slope, the same climate the Nazis created against the Jews in the 1930s. That was before the gas chambers. The tear build-up overflowed the rims of my eyes when a scene in church was described in which the Christians refused to shake hands with their fellow Hispanic parishioners. And when they talked about how WalMart refused to cash a money order from a mother in Costa Rica for a birthday girl in Alabama. And when they described how high school kids demanded their Hispanic classmates go sit in the back bleachers at a pep session.

Why the hell did we fight to keep these fucking assholes in our country? And then not even punish the evil gene out of them once we won the war they started against us? When I was in college I was dating a beautiful model from Alabama and her uncle, Richmond Flowers, was Alabama's Attorney General. I don't know if he's what you would call a "liberal," but he was certainly against racism and opposed Gov. George Wallace's racist policies. He fought the KKK, battled for integrated schools and fought (and won) a case that allowed women the right to serve on juries in his backward state. He was defeated for governor, though, by Wallace's wife Lurleen. I'm sure there are still people like Richmond Flowers and his niece in Alabama. But they sure are outnumbered by the bigots and Know Nothings. Last year Alabama passed HB56, the worst anti-immigrants bill in any state-- worse than the one in Arizona-- that seeks to make life so horrible for immigrants that they, in Mitt Romney's words, decide on self-deportation. It was what Hitler wanted the Jews to do... at first, though that quickly escalated when he realized he could get away with the outrageous inhumane behavior his people embraced so readily, the way Alabamians are today.

I want to throw up-- but I want to throw up in the face of a big fat redneck pig from Alabama. Listen to the radio show. Have a box of tissues nearby. Here's a photo of Senator Gerald Dial and Kris Kobach. Dial's the one from the radio show who, flummoxed, reluctantly admits Jesus wouldn't have voted for HB56. And Kobach... he talks with the easy going banality of a Himmler or an Eichmann.

Jack Hitt: The new law is designed to work like this. Turn almost every encounter between a regular person and a government official into a checkpoint, and the illegals will leave on their own accord. That's self-deportation. Alabama's law, known as HB56, does this by enlisting every local and state police officer into the work of busting undocumented aliens.

It also requires every state and local bureaucrat to first make sure you're legal before having any, quote, "transaction with a citizen." This includes everything from getting a hunting license to a mobile home registration sticker, to getting a death certificate. Undocumented kids can still attend public school. But administrators have to determine the immigration status of all new students.

Jack Hitt: The law also makes it a crime for any citizen to knowingly hire or even help an undocumented worker in any way. The Home Builders Association of Alabama, the US Chamber of Commerce, the Alabama Farmers Federation, and other local business groups came out against the law, because it created heaps of new paperwork and made the state look like a bad place to invest.

Gerald Dial: This bill was so far-reaching and so much unintended consequences out of it that continues to surface.

Jack Hitt: This is Gerald Dial, the Republican whip in the state Senate, who helped pass the new law and now regrets it. He worries that new businesses are going to stay away.

Gerald Dial: I understand economic recruiting. And I say often that economic recruiting is more ruthless than quarterback recruiting for colleges. They'll use anything against you. And other states will begin to say, hey, you don't want to go to Alabama now.

If we're teetering out there, it's us and another, and everything's pretty even, we're probably going to lose those people. We won't know about it. It won't be a big red flag-- hey, we didn't go to Alabama. We're going to go to Arkansas, or we're going to go to South Carolina because of this. But those things are going to impact on people. And that's probably the most detrimental part of the whole bill.

Jack Hitt: The guy who runs Alabama's retirement system, David Bronner, declared in November that the new law was already chilling foreign investment. An $80 million Birmingham office tower, planned by a Spanish mega-bank, BBVA Group, had been scrapped. And the Chinese backers of a new copper plant in Thomasville were having second thoughts, Bronner said.

...Steven Anderson: And I'll tell you what. The Hispanic population was not the population in our community that was committing those crimes. So immigration was not a problem for our police department. It was not in my top 10, maybe not even in my top 20, of concerns that I had for the city of Tuscaloosa.

Jack Hitt: Not in the top 20 for many reasons. But here's one. There just aren't that many immigrants in Alabama. It's not like Arizona, where a third of the state is Latino. In Alabama, the number is less than 4%. And yet, rooting out illegal immigrants is now a priority across the state.

The law is so comprehensive that some officials seem to be overreaching, just to be on the safe side. An attorney told me about one guy being denied a jailhouse phone call, since use of the phone was considered a business transaction, and about a victim of domestic violence who was told by a judge that if she wanted a protective order, she might open herself up for deportation.

But what I found most surprising was that amid the chaos, regular Alabamians, here and there, were taking the law to heart, pursuing ad hoc immigration justice on their own. I met a young Costa Rican woman named Carolina who long ago overstayed her visa. She told me about a recent time at a grocery store checkout. She and her husband tried to pay for their food with a credit card and valid ID. The cashier refused them, saying they'd first have to show that they were here legally.

Carolina: I swear, they don't want to sell us the groceries.

Jack Hitt: Carolina had just had a birthday when we met. And her mother back home had wired her some money to buy a gift, a money gram she could pick up at Walmart, not a government office, but a private business. So no problem. She'd done this many, many times in the nearly seven years she's lived in Alabama. Before the law, all she had to do was show ID and type in the secret PIN number her mother had sent her. But this time...

Carolina: They did not give me the money. They just refused to give me the money, because I cannot prove to the girl that I was legal. And I don't know why I have to prove her that.

Jack Hitt: Again, this is not part of the law.

Carolina: So I tried a lot with her. I was dealing with her for about 15 minutes. But she says no. So I went already to three different Walmarts. And I don't have my money yet.

Jack Hitt: When we asked Walmart about this, a spokesperson said their procedures for getting a money gram are the same at every store nationwide and don't require proof of citizenship. Another provision of the law makes any contract with an undocumented alien unenforceable in court. Some people are using it to mess with illegal immigrants. Mary Bauer is a lawyer with the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Mary Bauer: Certainly, people have been told that they're not going to be able to rent housing anymore. That's something that's been very common. Some workers have been told that they're not going to get paid for the work they've already done, because that would be an illegal contract.

Jack Hitt: Before the law, undocumented people like Carolina expected certain bureaucratic inconveniences. She couldn't get a water bill in her own name. And sure, she had to be careful in certain situations. She worried what would happen if she were pulled over by a traffic cop.

But by and large, life was predictable. It wasn't scary. The intention of the law is to take all that away, to make life uncomfortable. And it's working. Now Carolina told me that before she drives anywhere in a car, she says a prayer.

She has appointed a legal guardian, an American, for her three-year-old son, in case she disappears into an immigration holding cell. At least she'll know that her son won't wind up in foster care. And recently, she made a decision. Her son loves preschool. He's a smart kid. And he's got a lot of friends there. But getting caught on the road now on the drive back and forth to school is too risky.

Carolina: And actually, this is the last month that my son is going to school, because he's not safe with me to take him to school. And he's going to be safe in here, at home.

Jack Hitt: For a lot of Latinos who've decided to stay in Alabama, life has become about hunkering down, waiting and seeing. I went to a mobile home park where a lot of undocumented immigrants live, and spent a day with a mother named Gabriella. Like Carolina, she's afraid to drive now. But she's taken it one step further. She's quit her job and almost never goes out.

Gabriella: And I had to be here, hide in my own home, because I need to stay here for my children when they come back from the school.

Jack Hitt: Folks like Gabriella have another strategy, too-- try not to encounter white people at all. They only shop at Hispanic markets. Carolina told me that when she does go to a regular grocery store now, she wanders up and down the cashier area, hoping to catch a subtle smile before getting into a checkout line.

Another mobile homeowner told me he'd heard of a friendly clerk in a neighboring town who would renew mobile home licenses without asking too many questions. Others said they've created an underground railroad of information about sympathetic folks and make contact with faith groups that defiantly provide workers rides to their jobs. Gabriella said that the new attitude has permeated every aspect of her life, every aspect.

Gabriella: Even in the church.

Jack Hitt: Really?

Gabriella: Yes, because even in the church, you find people that say, well, we are in God's house. And then they don't want to talk at you. And they don't want to give the peace to you. That is so sad.

Jack Hitt: So in your church, you have the passing of the peace, that part of the service? And so in your church, when they do that, what normally happens? You turn and shake hands with people?

Gabriella: Yes. They shake hands and everything. But now I found some people that say, I don't want to do peace with you.

Jack Hitt: Every Latino person, legal or illegal, whom I spoke to noted at some point that there's just something hateful in the air now. Before the law, they felt accepted. They had American friends. They didn't feel out of place.

Now when they go to a store, every single one of them told me they feel that people are looking at them weirdly, like, what are you still doing here? When the law changed to make them less welcome, they actually became less welcome, in a day-to-day, "passing you on the street" sort of way. School kids told me they're fighting off comments like, I'm glad you're all moving, we don't want you here, you take our jobs. At a pep rally, where Latinos were all sitting up front, kids started shouting, Mexicans move to the back. And most of them did.

Jack Hitt: How many people have left your class?

Stephanie: There's missing about at least five in each one of my classes.

Jack Hitt: Are there friends of yours?

Stephanie: Yeah.

Jack Hitt: This is Stephanie. She was hanging out with Gabriella's daughter and some other kids in the back of Gabriella's trailer, playing video games while their parents held a prayer meeting in the other room, hoping for repeal of the new law. We talked about all the kids that had left her school since October.

Stephanie: It was really hard to let them go, mostly because they were girls. One of the names was Jessie. She was my best friend. But she had to leave because of the law. So what we did, we went to the movies before she left. And the day that she left, I went to the store and bought her a teddy bear. We started to cry.

Jack Hitt: When was that?

Stephanie: Two weeks ago.

Jack Hitt: And where did she move to?

Stephanie: She moved to Mexico.

Jack Hitt: And what did she tell you about Mexico?

Stephanie: She said that it's funner than here. She said that she can move around. Her parents let her go out more, because they're not scared that immigration or something, that she can just be free, go out to the mall by herself, because here, we can't do that without getting in trouble or something.

Jack Hitt: Stephanie says that. But the adults, in fact, are terrified of Mexico. They read the papers, too, and hear of dead bodies found in playgrounds, revenge killings, random murders. If the new law brings more pressure on them, the grown-ups say, they might move to another state, but not to Mexico.

Here's Gabriella again. A friend of hers did go back to Mexico just after the law passed.

Gabriella: And I even called her last week. She was crying, because she never thought Mexico was so scary. And she told me, I prefer to be there, waiting for the police to catch me. But here, I'm afraid. And they are going to kill my children or me.

Jack Hitt: Besides the fear, Gabriella's like any mom. Her kids are Americans. They were born here. Their friends are all here. Alabama's their home. She doesn't want to uproot them or herself. We met in November, in her living room. Earlier this week, as I was finishing this story, I found out that Gabriella's husband was arrested and deported. She and her children have moved to Mexico.

Scott Beason: All these bills are designed for people to say, you know what, they're going to try to enforce the law here in this state. And maybe we need to move back to our home country. Or maybe we need to move to a state that has its arms wide open for illegal aliens.

Jack Hitt: Senator Scott Beason is the Republican leader in the state legislature. And he was the primary sponsor of the bill last year. As far as he's concerned, the law is working spectacularly well. In just three months, it's prompted massive self-deportation, roughly 75,000 people. And, Beason says, this has opened up jobs for American citizens, just like lawmakers hoped it would.

Scott Beason: Of course, it only went into effect October 1. We've already seen a tremendous drop in our unemployment numbers. In the month of October alone, while the country averaged a tenth of 1% drop, Alabama had five times that. And that's corrected seasonal numbers. So we're very proud of what the legislation has done already.

Jack Hitt: Given those numbers, Beason has every right to be proud. He's saying Alabama shaved half a percentage point off the unemployment rolls in October, while the national average was a piddly one-tenth of 1%. And that's in a place that ranks among the lowest states in terms of illegal immigration. If Beason's right, then a quick solution to this unending recession and its high unemployment would be an anti-immigration bill like Alabama's in every state. Jobs, Beason told me, were the main reason he drafted this bill.

Scott Beason: I would probably say one of the most moving stories is, back in 2008, we had started the immigration commission. And we were in Huntsville, Alabama. And there was a woman who came up. I don't know her name. I'd never seen her before and never seen her again. My guess is she was in some sort of maid service, custodial service.

She came up to the table and said, Senator-- she was beginning to cry-- she said, I just want to let you know that in the job service I'm in, a lot of my competition has begun to hire people who aren't supposed to be here at all. They're here illegally. Because of that competition, I can't find work. I've lost my clients. And I have just paid my house payment on my credit card.

When I tell that story today, it still breaks my heart. And I decided that was one of the main things. I've been interested in this issue. But this is the kind of thing that cannot be allowed. We were elected to stand up for that lady. And if I ever get a little deterred about what we're trying to do, I think about that lady's face, the story she told me. I've never talked to her again. And I hope that now that we've done something, that we've helped her.

Jack Hitt: Whether he's helped her is unclear, because when it comes to the impressive unemployment numbers Beason cites, there's a catch. Other than Beason and his strongest supporters, I could not find anyone else who attributed the drop in unemployment to the new law.

The director of economic forecasting at the University of Alabama, Ahmad Ijaz, he didn't. In fact, he said that most of the job growth last year was in the automotive sector. You don't find many illegal workers in those Mercedes and Honda plants. He went on to say that the other area of growth this fall was retail, probably due to the seasonal Christmas bump. And Ijaz says there wasn't any job growth in sectors where Latinos typically work-- agriculture, poultry processing, and construction.

...Kris Kobach: My name is Kris Kobach. And I'm Secretary of State of the state of Kansas.

Jack Hitt: And he's the mastermind of attrition through enforcement. You might not have heard of him, but he's an up-and-coming Republican star. He was campaigning with Mitt Romney in South Carolina all last week. He's helped write different immigration bills in cities and states all over the country-- Pennsylvania, Texas, Missouri, Nebraska, Utah. And he wrote Arizona's law.

Jack Hitt: So some folks, on the weekends, they go into their garage and fiddle with their car. You go into your garage and fiddle with immigration law.

Kris Kobach: Yeah. People do with their spare time what they feel fulfilled in. And so some people golf. Some people work on their car in the garage. I go into my home office and start typing away on the computer and trying to help states do what they can to restore the rule of law.

Jack Hitt: And if you're starting a new movement, Kris Kobach is who you want to have as your spokesman-- Harvard undergrad, master's degree from Oxford, Yale law. He's young. He has three adorable children. He is ruggedly handsome in a "TV superhero, rip off his shirt" sort of way. And in the final days, as the Alabama immigration bill came close to a final vote, the lawmakers wanted his help. Even though Kobach already had plans, he's not the kind of man to turn his back on legislators in distress.

Kris Kobach: I had already scheduled a turkey hunt and was going to be in Gardner, Kansas, looking to call in and shoot a tom turkey, and realized that if I wanted to get this work done, I'd have to do it while in the turkey blind or just give up on the hunting. So I got in the blind, took my laptop computer, took my shotgun, and got all set up and had a good, fully charged battery, and just started working on the final amendments to the bill. And fortunately I did that, because the turkey didn't show up that day. So I had something else to do. Maybe it was the clicking on the keyboard that scared them away.

Jack Hitt: For Kobach, the passage of HB56 was the culmination of years of work. He'd been drafting and trying out different laws in other places, seeing if they'd hold up in court, revising, trying them again. Then a few years ago, he met Senator Beason at a conservative conference. They collaborated on an anti-illegal immigration bill that went nowhere.

Then in 2010, with new super majorities in the Alabama legislature, they could try everything on their immigration wish list, even things Republicans didn't get into the Arizona law, that immigration data would be collected on all entering schoolchildren, that every business transaction with the state would require a birth certificate. After much of Alabama's bill held up in court, Kobach felt he'd finally had a template for other states to adopt. Kobach has been working on illegal immigration since 2001. His big insight came right after 9/11, when he was working for the Justice Department.

Kris Kobach: It was an a-ha moment when I realized that five of the 19 hijackers were in the country illegally. Four of those five had traffic violations while they were illegally in the country. And if the police officer had had that information at his fingertips, he could have made an arrest.

Jack Hitt: But cops don't check for immigration status. Immigration agents do. The problem was, there were only a few thousand of them. Kobach realized what we need is what war planners call a force multiplier. What if we enlisted the more than 700,000 state and local law enforcement officers across the country into the fight against illegal immigration?

The simplicity of Kobach's argument is what's so appealing. He isn't creating new policy at all. He's simply empowering states to enforce what is already in the federal statutes.

Kris Kobach: And from the alien's perspective, it's better, too. He can depart the United States on his own, freely, without ever being in custody. And so there's more liberty for him. And there's less cost for the United States.

Jack Hitt: There's less cost, because if someone self-deports, there's no arrest. There's no detention or immigration hearing. Attrition through enforcement sounds so rational, so clean, when Kobach explains it, like it'll happen automatically. You don't have to do much. They'll just go.

But of course, the reality of self-deportation is much messier than that. You're threatening to separate parents and kids, drive them from their homes. It's completely primal, the things that terrify us most. And that is the actual plan, to scare them.

I asked Kobach, point by point, about the unintended consequences of the Alabama bill. He disputed everything. Did it hurt business? Did it create chaos in the schools? All overstated, he said. Finally, I asked him if it unearthed long-sequestered racial attitudes aimed at Latinos.

Kris Kobach: I think it's really an argument of last resort. And that is, well, if you start enforcing immigration laws more aggressively, that's going to become a racially charged issue. And my answer is, no, it's not. I don't buy it. And frankly, that hasn't happened.

Jack Hitt: Well, you must know that there are people in Alabama who are saying unholy things as a result of this law, no?

Kris Kobach: Well, I don't think it's fair to say as a result of the law. You can't legislate what is in people's hearts. And if people have those twisted ideas of the world and have those ill feelings toward people who have a different skin color, I don't think you can say that the law has caused that. And I don't think you can say that the law can ultimately stop that. I would also say that Alabama's reputation has also increased around the country, too. There are many legislators in other states that are saying, they've really done something great.

Jack Hitt: Do you think there have been any unintended consequences from this bill?

Kris Kobach: No, not really. I mean, there have been some minor misinterpretations by one or two local officials of how they read the language. But that's inevitable with any state law.

Jack Hitt: Which brings us back to State Senator Gerald Dial, the Republican whip you heard earlier, who's worried about scaring away business. He's leading a campaign to, as he puts it, "tweak the law," in all sorts of ways. Here's a big one. He wants to get rid of this idea that any attempt to help people who might be illegal is itself illegal. That bothers him enormously. He's a devout Christian, so he wants to insert a Good Samaritan provision to protect good, charitable folks who are just practicing their faith.

Gerald Dial: I had a man who runs a soup kitchen, feeds people just off the street, call me and said, that's just terrible, because I feed people. And I don't stop the door and say, are you here illegally or legal? I feed you because you're hungry. And so that's a compassionate thing. And that's the Christian thing to do. And we're going to put that part into the bill also.

Jack Hitt: OK. So once you've amended the bill, do you think Jesus would vote for the bill?

Gerald Dial: Gosh, you've asked me a tough question. I would hope that he would understand. I would say that, would he vote for the bill? Probably not. Probably not. If you just laid it all the way down, probably not.

Jack Hitt: Don't get Dial wrong. He still favors a strong law to encourage self-deportation. But he thinks the law that passed last session, the rush and reach of it, the stuff that got inserted last minute, and the stuff he was told that would be included but wasn't, is hurting the state.

Gerald Dial: I would not have voted for the bill had I understood the unintended consequences. There are others who would not have also. But you were locked into position, where you either vote for this, or you vote against it. And therefore, you're encouraging illegals.

So you're in a catch-22 as far as that goes. So to show that we were not [? illegals ?], we had to vote for the bill. But today, after hearing our constituents talk and after looking at the problem, we're going to try to fix some of those problems.

Jack Hitt: There is a bill, there is a proposed total repeal of HB56. If it just came down to keeping things the way they are or voting for total repeal, how would you vote?

Gerald Dial: Well, I would probably vote for the repeal. But the repeal bill's not going to get before us.

Jack Hitt: I asked Joe Hubbard, the Montgomery Democrat, what he thought the chances were for repeal.

Joe Hubbard: Zero.

Jack Hitt: Republicans have been pounding this issue for too long to backtrack now. Besides, Hubbard says, they don't need to.

Joe Hubbard: The politics of this bill are very good for the Republicans, I think. A Republican operative told me the other day that this bill's polling very high in popularity in Alabama. Expect to see this same bill, HB56-- it's already been in South Carolina passed-- expect to see it in many other Republican-controlled legislatures.

Jack Hitt: Last week, Alabama's law made a national debut of sorts. Kris Kobach endorsed Mitt Romney. And the two spent time traveling South Carolina together, talking to voters about their new third way to reform immigration. Then this week, Romney introduced the idea during a Republican debate.

Mitt Romney: Well, the answer is self-deportation, which is people decide that they could do better by going home, because they can't find work here, because they don't have legal documentation to allow them to work here.

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At 2:29 PM, Anonymous me said...

Part of me says OMG, Alabama sucks even more than I thought.

Another part says, OMG, what kind of fucking idiot, immigrant or otherwise, would even consider living in that shithole?

The Deep South started a war that killed 600,000 people. And why? To protect their "right" to own slaves! Unbelievable. Any decent human being would die of shame over what they did. Not Southerners. They're proud of it. They should all rot in hell.

At 2:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Roll Tide !

At 2:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't lump all Southerners into the hell in a hand-basket load.
We're not all red and stupid.

At 3:06 PM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

That's why I told the story of my college girlfriend and her Attorney General uncle. I have a suspicion you just kind of skimmed this post a little.

At 4:00 PM, Blogger Tabula rasta said...

Not all idiots are Republican but all Republicans are seriously idiotic to be affiliated w/ a party that is racist, xenophobic, misogynist, homophobic, jingoists

The GOP has simply re-branded their supply side economic hypothesis as a way to repackage their miserable economic failures.
The moniker changed from Reaganomics, to Smoke and Mirrors, aka VooDoo economics* and it even sequestered to trickle-down economics, but their fanciful (R)-wing scheme never did perform as they had proposed.

But they have their cadre of historical revisionists who are standing-by and @ the ready, representing their assorted and sundry conservative think tanks.

Their latest verbal SNAFU is referring to the Civil War as, the War of Northern Aggression.
No wonder that they have a proclivity to believe in Creationism. They simply pull this mendacious crap outta' their butts, salute it sharply and run it up the flag pole.

The confederates of the Old South are still clinging desperately to their Stars and Bars, aka the loser's flag, just as the old Dixiecrats (now RepubliCONs)are trying to regenerate Jim Crow 2.0, in this so-called age of colorblindness. Now why in God's name, would anyone insist upon flying that flag over their State Capitol, if they're aware that it's viewed as a symbol of racial hatred and animosity.

At 7:20 PM, Blogger Jacob Freeze said...

So is it only in the USA that anybody who wants to enforce immigration law is a Nazi? Or does the same tag apply to France, Greece, Italy, England, Spain, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Japan, and Australia, where immigration laws are enforced much more stringently than in the USA?

At 8:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We need to eliminate all national boarders. They are blood clots and interfere with humanities natural freedom.

Why would anyone want to live with a bunch of low IQ folks like you find all over the south. Remember evolution leaves many behind. The south is a resting place for many.

At 4:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

On average, half the people you meet are below-average in intelligence. The same rule holds for integrity, sense of justice, creativity, and every other human virtue.

After years of living in the down-home warmth, charm and personality of the slave-states, I came to realize that there is a corollary to the rule, above: the local average can certainly fluctuate!

Intelligent, just, creative people with personal integrity are born in the slave-states; then most of them move away.

At 8:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sure when the smart ones move away those left behind say "good riddance".

At 7:38 PM, Anonymous me said...

Of course not all Southerners are bad. (I have both friends and relatives in the South.) But the South remains the South, which indicates to me that the majority of them are.

Some of those states are still arguing about putting the confederate flag on their state flags, and "honoring" those who fought in the cause of keeping slavery. That's pretty hard to defend.


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