Y’all don’t talk to me, the South is not redeemable, it’s not a place it’s an idea

Y’all don’t talk to me, the South is not redeemable, it’s not a place it’s an idea

The Lost Cause refuses to die.

The white southerners who changed their views on racism, Guardian
Guess what? American racism isn’t about South, CNN
Why Racism Isn’t Just a Southern Problem, MTV

You have heard the narrative and variations of “just because I’m from the South doesn’t mean I’m racist” much more than the narrative of how the South ACTIVELY and CURRENTLY attempts and often succeeds at disenfranchising the MAJORITY of its Black population. 

The South has active laws on the books to terrorize Black people. In Texas you can go to jail for walking on the street, in areas with no sidewalks. During last month’s snow storm a young Black man walking home from work was arrested for that that very ludicrous law. Up until November 2020, Mississippi had an active white supremacist policy to prevent Black people from being elected to state office.

I know some people badly want to say, “But the entire country is….”

Here are the facts:

The states currently with the highest incarceration rate per 100,000 residents are Georgia, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Alabama, Florida, and South Carolina.

Something special is going on in the South.

The South has created effective anti-voting laws, so people think the South is Republican. Only the white people are Republican, the Black people vote overwhelmingly Democratic and generally have some of the highest turnout rates in the Black community. For over 100 years, not a damn person had a problem with this malicious and active disenfranchisement of the majority of the Black community. It took Stacey Abrams, a Black woman born in Wisconsin (though raised in Mississippi) to get the South a Black and Jewish Senator. Not just Georgia the SOUTH.

We have not had a Black Democrat Senator in the part of the country MOST Black people live for over 120 years. Reconstruction is the last time we had a Black Southern Senator.

The South is home to the most African Americans in the US. It is home to where 90% of ethnically African Americans have roots and relatives. The Black community had to wait over a century to be represented.

The South’s entire economy is based on putting Black men in jail for free labor in a system rooted directly in slavery, taking those men’s Black women partners and forcing them into domestic work with the exploitable, also based in slavery, welfare to work programs, bombing people overseas with their military operations (four of the biggest bases in the world in the South), and agriculture where they get a combination of free and greatly exploited labor from Latino migrants.

In 1883, 10 percent of Alabama’s total revenue was derived from renting prisoners (convict leasing) by 1898, nearly 73 percent of Alabama’s total revenue came from renting prisoners. This is still happening.

So dear white Southerners and their sympathizers before you open your mouth in defense of the South think about what YOU have done to fix the over 200 years of terror that the South’s white supremacist policies released on Black people. Before you yet again make us sit through another one of your “poor me” they thought I wasn’t smart, because I had a Southern accent stories and I’m not even racist, think about what you have actively done to amplify the gross Southern injustices. The vast majority of you have done nothing. You ran away. Some of you used your Southern accent and familiarity with Black people to manipulate Black communities outside the South as overseers of some horrific 5013c (we see you) and the rest of you just changed your accent.

California is NOT the same as Mississippi. That kind of lie is how we got here. Racism is everywhere, but are we going to honestly say that everyone experiences the raw brutality of Southern racism? Are we honestly saying that Meghan Markle of Los Angeles, California, or even me, has had the exact same experience in the U.S. as a person who lives in Morgan City, Mississippi? Does an African American living in Morgan City have the same access an opportunity as me a Black woman from Los Angeles, the answer is no and to not see that is sheer narcissism. The South attempting to normalize and apply its sadism to the entire nation “with all of the U.S. is racist (therefore we can continue to be a nightmare)” is part of the their lies and plan, to continuously spread their madness across the country. The South is a special kind of evil, and we all have data to back that up.

In 2017 Georgia permanently made April “Confederate History and Heritage Month” and issued proclamations that honored “the more than 90,000 brave men and women who served the Confederate States of America.”

The Civil War was fought to keep Black people enslaved!

How can anyone get offended by anyone highlighting what the South has proudly admitted to time and time again?

White supremacists have put South or Southern in half their white supremacist initiatives:

  • Southern Strategy
  • League of the South
  • The Southern Party
  • Southern Hospitality
  • Southern Patriots
  • Southern Baptist Convention (the largest protestant denomination in North America came into existence so they could be Christian and still enslave Black people.)

I’m not falling for another one their Lost Cause fabrications. I feel no sympathy for the South. It is not simply a region. The South is a political stance. A racist way of life that has infected the West and the North.

We need to all be dedicated in the task of dismantling white supremacy’s suffocating stranglehold on the majority of the African American population that live below the Mason Dixon and confederate flavored white supremacist actions and sympathies across the nation that often pop up in Western, Eastern enclaves.

Don’t say y’all to me. I don’t view it as a term of endearment. The liberal Southerner cutesy videos are not giving me a warm fuzzing feeling. White Southerners getting fame and kudos explaining white racism doesn’t really seem fair, especially since Black people have already done that. The South is not redeemable. Southern culture is not redeemable.

My family was trapped in the clutches of its real life nightmare for over two centuries. We literally had to flee for our lives. People were set on fire. Body parts were lost, so no, not redeemable.

I know some of you may be offended. Let me explain, I’m fucking offended. Your coddling of the history of racist, rapist, white supremacist murderers offends me. It should offend everyone.


Teka Lo, Public Intellectuals

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