Friday, April 18, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

He’s typical of white Southerners

Having spent a great a deal of time in the South visiting my relatives, I am amazed that anyone is shocked at the comments by Phil Robertson of “Duck Dynasty.” Phil is typical of white Southerners who make up the base of the Republican Party and a significant number of them believe, like Phil, that gays are an immoral threat to civilization, civil rights legislation was an intrusion on states’ rights, and women’s rights are a communist plot (as are such science-based beliefs like climate change and evolution).

Reading the Bible, shooting guns, blowing up things and eating fat-laden foods are their birthright. While I’m not always thrilled at the Bible readings, these other things can provide temporary satisfactions.

While most of my relatives feel California is the land of devil beliefs, I think that a country based on their belief system would not be in the best interests of many Americans who don’t see the Antebellum South as the land of enchantment (i.e., non-whites, LGBT, women, progressives and non-Christians — that includes Catholics, by the way).

I love my relatives and they are incredibly hospitable on a personal level, but their political belief system is a prime reason the South rates so poorly in regard to per capita income, educational achievement and most health indicators. The creativity needed to flourish in the 21st century may be suppressed when your belief system is based on conservative ideas of the 19th century.

I am thankful every day that I moved to California as a young man.
Steve Gray
Davis

Letters to the Editor

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Discussion | 10 comments

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  • Nick CrossleyDecember 24, 2013 - 7:23 am

    "Phil is typical of white Southerners". Nice broad statement. I grew up in the south (multiple states) and I know people in multiple southern states and I don't have a single friend or business associate who thought or thinks like Phil. I would propose that by growing up in the South, I probably knew and forgot more great people than you've ever met there. Do you personally know every white southerner? That's amazing! I would propose that there are tolerant people everywhere and people who think like Phil everywhere. Even in your precious California.

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  • December 24, 2013 - 8:05 am

    Or, you're just like Phil and only see through those glasses.

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  • December 24, 2013 - 8:34 am

    Or you're a biased liberal......

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  • greg johnsonDecember 24, 2013 - 8:33 am

    About half the country (48%) voted for Mitt Romney. The statement about white southerners making up the base of the party is ridiculous, as is your letter generally. Not sure if you've noticed but red states and most of those with republican governors are thriving in relative terms. Your letter reeks of thoughtless stereotyping and liberal elitism. How is it that those who preach tolerance demonstrate so little of it themselves? And, how classy to speak that way of your own family. Merry Christmas!!

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  • ontDecember 24, 2013 - 1:03 pm

    You don't know your party very well. The white South is the GOP base e.g. Romney won approaching 90 percent of the white vote in Mississippi.

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  • greg johnsonDecember 24, 2013 - 2:06 pm

    Another ridiculous statement but coming from you I'm not surprised. Around 97% of African Americans voted for Obama. Does that mean that African Americans are "the base of the democratic party"? Probably 90 percent of people on Welfare and food stamps voted for him. Does that mean they are the "base of the democratic party"? Put down the bong and get a grip.

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  • ontDecember 27, 2013 - 5:43 pm

    Why deny the obvious that the foundation of the republican party is the main states of the old confederacy. That’s where their support is strongest. Because of that a republican presidential nominee has a 100 or so electoral votes locked up to start and then attempts to piece together a pathway to 270 starting from that base. Strange the gop is about 90 percent white now and is so unpopular among non-whites isn’t it? It couldn’t be related to republican politicians appealing to their base by sponsoring resolutions praising Duck Dynasty republicans as "ambassadors of the love and grace of the Heavenly Father through their exemplary lives on and off the camera." This referring to a guy who says african-americans were happy under segregation.

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  • ontDecember 24, 2013 - 12:58 pm

    Republican politicians always say “the American people” want this or that. For those who haven’t been paying attention, what they mean is “white American” or “corporate American”.

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  • ontDecember 24, 2013 - 12:59 pm

    What a shock, the Duck Dynasty guy fundraises for gop politicians.

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  • Paul BradyDecember 29, 2013 - 10:26 pm

    It seems grossly misleading and unfair for Gray [Forum, 12/24] to claim that "Phil Robertson is typical of white Southerners who make up the base of the Republican Party -- ". I lived in the South years ago and over the years since then have visited and consulted there in the oil business, mostly around and north of the Gulf. At all times I found the people hospitable and tolerant, certainly not commonly "shooting guns, blowing-up-things, and eating fat-laden foods". The South is rising fast! Manufacturing [of cars, tires, steel, aluminum, and in aerospace, etc.] has largely left California with its high taxes, and high costs of energy, labor, living and regulation. The South has Right-to-Work states - free of required unionization, with its costly work rules, These red states are rated tops in business and economic competitive- ness and are winning industries and manufacturing to move there. California has the highest poverty rate, and 33% of the country's welfare cases. Its public sector is very expensive and yet dysfunctional - like our Legislature! The Bee's Dan Walters writes: "High taxes yield low results" and "never has so much been spent to achieve so little". For example, with Caltrans we have the highest spending per mile on our highways, the worst congestion and second worst road surfaces, and a questionable Bay-Bridge span! Our K-12 students test near the bottom of the states, while our teacher salaries are the highest. Demographers see our state becoming enclaves of well-to-do surrounded by great swaths of underclass. Recently our per-capita income was just above the US average, and below it if undocumented illegals are included. The South is below the US average, but their cost of housing and living are much lower, so those manufacturing jobs with Acura, Toyota, etc., and Boeing are very desirable and provide a good standard of living!. Gray's idea that "the creativity needed to flourish in the 21st century may be suppressed when your belief system is based on conservative ideas" is nonsense. [My high-tech Acura "Google" car, which can almost drive itself, was made in Alabama.] Many of the more liberal or socialist blue states and countries are failing while the more conservative, free-enterprise ones are thriving. I, too, am thankful to live here! I love the variety of our geography and our moderate climate. My four children came back to live and work here. But our City, like many blue cities and many blue states faces large deficits and even bankruptcy! We are governed by a party whose base consists of those on welfare, public assistance, etc., and public employees and their unions. These do not create prosperity and/or wealth, but rather they [largely] consume it!

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