Southwest Virginia is for hatersThis is so delusional, I don't know where to start. So, let me just take the distortions one at a time and throw out a few bullet points:
By Christian Trejbal, The Roanoke Times
Voters' choices do more than just pick Election Day winners. They shape how the rest of the world views a region.
Voters in our region heavily backed Allen and a hateful gay marriage ban that spites their single neighbors and children just to prevent the state from recognizing the unions of loving same-sex couples.
When outsiders look at Southwest Virginia, they see people stuck in the past, resistant to change and new ideas, and willing to overlook racism and discrimination to promote an exclusionary, right-wing agenda. They see Confederate flags, gun racks, Civil War monuments and Christian conservatives. Heck, the local National Public Radio station even airs a Civil War story every week.
In their eyes, we might as well adopt a special motto for the region: "Southwest Virginia is for haters." (link)
- Who are those outsiders who view us in Southwest Virginia as being promoters of hate (because we voted overwhelmingly to support the institution of marriage)? Perhaps the more enlightened crowd in those bastions of liberalism (and of the "more politically aware") Oregon, Ohio, Maryland, and Wisconsin? Can't be. Each of those states has banned gay marriage in recent years as well. In fact, 37 states in all have passed Defense of Marriage Acts that ban homosexual marriage. Here in Virginia, the gay marriage ban passed by great margins in nearly every county in the state - north and south. There is a whole lot of hate to be had, it would seem; not just here in klan country.
- As for "Civil War monuments," I had a weblog post a month ago about the largest (and most fantastic) one I've ever seen, in Indianapolis, Indiana. I've also come across others in such right-wing hellholes as Washington DC, New York City, the Peoples Republic of Madison, Wisconsin, and even in the center of reactionary right-wing America - Boston (go downtown to Fanueill Hall and check out the monument to the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment of black history fame). Here in Virginia, the most beautiful Robert E. Lee monument you'll ever see is to be found just off the rabidly liberal University of Virginia campus in radically liberal Charlottesville. You were saying?
- Confederate flags and gun racks? I think someone's been watching too much Dukes of Hazzard.
- We find ourselves awash in Christian conservatives here in Southwest Virginia. Thank God.
Speaking for those outsiders who moved to the area from more enlightened parts of the country (in my case, I escaped a number of years ago from that shining liberal city on the hill - Detroit - before it turned completely to rubble), and who actually get out and rub elbows with the citizenry, one will find, if one opens one's mind, a vibrant, diversified, caring, politically astute (if somewhat economically depressed and poorly led) populace with the same goals in life as Americans across this great land. They want to marry. And have children. They want to prosper. And see their children prosper. They love their country. And want to protect it from enemies hell-bent on destroying it. And they have unwavering faith in God. As does the overwhelming majority of America. And they don't appreciate being talked down to by condescending half-wits who know nothing about them or the lives they lead.
So, one is prompted to ask the obvious: Just where do you hang out, man? From whom do you get such a twisted view of our neighborhood? Have you ever even talked with an honest-to-God Southwest Virginian? Where does that perverted worldview come from?
Why do you hate us so much?