Clueless White Woman

July 13, 2008

South Carolina is absolutely not gay

South Carolina Tourism Ad

South Carolina Tourism Ad


South Carolina is absolutely not gay. Indeed, it’s downright depressing.

Joel Sawyer, spokesman for Gov. Mark Sanford, said using tax money to support a social or political agenda is inappropriate.

“Our state tourism dollars should be talking about the beaches and attractions of South Carolina,” Sawyer said.

Social or political agenda?!? Since when is gay tourism an agenda? Is the money of the British gay community tainted? Of course, you can’t come right out and say you hope those damn homos don’t come here, you have to make it about taxpayer money?!? Ugh, I can’t come up with any other words except “UGH!”… I’d encourage gay tourists to come to South Carolina and enjoy its lovely beaches, except I have a nasty feeling that they would NOT enjoy their trip due to the locals making total jackasses of themselves.

As Professor Bartow at USC says about it,

Once again South Carolina’s homophobes in power have inflicted damage on the economy of this state. In addition to driving away not only gay tourists, but also straight tourists who don’t want to vacation in a climate of bigotry, high tech investors will be alienated by this. And so will a lot of other desirable people – see generally.

My high-tech engineer self and USC professor spouse probably qualify as “desirable”. Indeed, USC seemed pretty happy that they’d landed him. BUT, while I may live here now, I can not wait to move. Part of this is just discomfort at being in a new place… but I don’t want to vacation in a climate of bigotry, and I want even less to live in one. I may like sweet tea, but I can damn well make my own anywhere else.

I am trying for my own sake to confront, adjust, and if necessary ignore my preconceptions. And I had all these preconceptions about The South being, well, you know, THE SOUTH, fully of bigots — but I said, no, that’s just a preconception I have since I’m a Damn Yankee, I’m sure it’s a lovely place. But fuck, here it goes proving my preconceptions right.

I’m trying, South Carolina, I really am. Why aren’t you?

June 27, 2008

Bit of a shock served on the side

When we moved to South Carolina a few weeks ago, it was an adjustment. It’s tough to be far from friends and family in a new state; plus, I’m a Damn Yankee at heart. But I figured, hey, it’s 2008, they’ll be all Southern Hospitality to me despite the accent. And besides, The South has totally awesome food. I’d live on sweet tea and barbecue if I could.

So one of the first questions my husband asked his co-workers was where he could go to get some good barbecue. We were living with almost zero furniture and two small kids while waiting for the moving van, and were totally exhausted — we didn’t want to eat out, but sure didn’t want to cook. Maurice’s Barbecue was recommended as “totally awesome” and “the best place in Columbia”, so Husband picked up some pulled pork on his way home.

Well, we’re never eating there again. And why might that be?

First, the food was not totally awesome. I’m not a fan of mustard-based barbecue sauce, but I’m willing to give it a taste — and this just was not all that great. Even the sides were “meh” instead of a tasty complement to the mediocre meat.

Second… and more critical… Maurice is a self-publicized neo-Confederate. Browsing for more information led to a few justifications from supporters like, “Oh, no, the Confederate flag is just about state’s rights!” Uh, no. The man got taken to the Supreme Court before he got rid of segregation in his restaurants in 1968. When combined with a cheerfully racist history like that, the Confederate flag isn’t about state’s rights. And even if it is, damn, you really want to be proud of a bunch of traitors who raised arms against their country?

And here’s the Clueless tie-in: I didn’t even know there were such things as neo-Confederates. I mean, who would possibly think it’s a good idea to restart the Civil War? Do they really bear a 140-year-long grudge? They actually want to own slaves? That ugly realization did not help the food go down. I’m a hell of a lot more proud of my ancestors that fought for the Union, though.

Maurice’s won’t see another penny from us. And anybody who knows of a good non-bigot-owned barbecue place in Columbia, please do let me know 😛

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