The View From Mississippi, Ctd

Mar 16 2012 @ 8:37pm

R.L.G. joins the debate:

It is interesting that in response to Alexandra Pelosi's condescending video … ,some have made arguments similar to my own—that you can be gay, lefty and Obama-loving and it doesn't make you any less Mississippian. But I know Southerners, Mississippians, who would disagree, who would take the proud version of the same position that my friend took, that to be a true Southerner, you have to love God and guns and football and sweet tea. This view dovetails with, but isn't co-extensive with, the Palinesque view that there are parts of America, and Americans, that are only technically American. They're not "real America".

A subset of this belief exists in the South—you have to be X, Y and Z to be a real Southerner. To be just born and raised there makes you only technically a Southerner. (They'd never say it to me, but I know my family in Macon thinks I'm less Southern than they are. Not because I live in New York, but because I grew up in fancy Atlanta, speak Portuguese, and wrote a book.) And so in a funny way, Ms Pelosi and the Southern rah-rah crowd are allies: they both want the South to be an essence, not a messy mix of gays and straights, Democrats and Republicans, blacks and whites, atheists and Christians, readers and football fans.