Clueless White Woman

August 1, 2008

I miss living in a blue state

Filed under: history,homophobia,racism,South Carolina — by clueless @ 12:59 pm

I went to school in Boston and lived there for three years after graduating. After that we moved to Indiana, then most recently South Carolina. While I really hated the traffic and cost of living, I desperately miss the politics — and things like overturning the no-marriage-here-if-you-can’t-marry-there law just make me miss it more.

I’d probably actually be happier in San Francisco (better environmental programs and legislation out there), but I sure ain’t fittin’ in down here

Mournful moaning aside, it is interesting to explore the history of the original law a little bit.

The law specifically barred out-of-state residents from marrying here if the marriage would be considered void in their home state. The origins of the law could be traced to the national backlash over the interracial marriage of heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson. At the time, 30 of 48 states banned interracial marriage, and many other states, including Massachusetts, enacted provisions that would keep interracial couples from crossing borders to marry in their jurisdiction.

It is important to remember that The North, while not as institutionally racist as The South, certainly wasn’t perfect. Supporting the discrimination of another state, even if not directly practicing it yourself, encourages the practice elsewhere.

Also worth noting is that a law originally discriminating against race ended up discriminating against sexual orientation. Translation: just because YOU are not the one being negatively affected today, doesn’t mean YOU won’t be negatively affected in 95 years. Equal rights are in everybody’s interest.

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July 19, 2008

More South Carolina homophobia

Filed under: homophobia,South Carolina — by clueless @ 9:52 pm
Tags: ,

The article

On Sunday an 18-year-old man returned to his home from a gay pride parade and was assaulted by his father with a baseball bat… During the assault, the teen’s 49-year-old father yelled, cursed, swung a bat, prayed and tried to “cast the demon of homosexuality out of him,” according to the teen’s version of events…

Found via Box Turtle Bulletin

Y’know, I’m just mentally exhausted today. All I’ve got is weary indignation over the ignorance. Plus a bit of curiosity whether there’s a demon for everything… demon of homosexuality, demon of bad parenting, demon of sour milk (THREE CARTONS this week!), demon of mental exhaustion… there are patron saints, why not patron demons?

Sorry — that’s more than enough weirdness, and humor isn’t a very appropriate reaction. To digress from the digression:

It will be interesting to see whether this is appropriately investigated — and, more importantly, prosecuted. Or will small-town justice lead to a son’s beating being swept under the rug? I guess it depends on who knows who(m?), as well as whether the people in the justice system consider that the gay kid simply got what was coming to him. Maybe this will turn into a “political agenda” (like, the kid reported his beating because he’s furthering the homosexual agenda, or somethin’). More likely it will just be another statistic in a long line of discrimination.

I think it’s time to stop reading blogs and go take a nap… see if I can be a little less pessimistic tomorrow 🙂

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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