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Small Town Georgia Travels, Racism & Politics

Small Town Georgia Travels, Racism & Politics
Friends,
I always check-in on social media whenever I travel within Georgia, or out of state for work, to help me log my travel hours accurately. When I do, a few people always message me if it’s a small town in southern Georgia, or most recently, up in the North Georgia mountains. They ask about the reception from southern whites in small towns because I am a black woman & they’ve heard of ugly racism in these places. I make these trips EVERY month for work & I can honestly tell you that I’ve never experienced any racism on a single trip. I’ve found the whites (and blacks, Hispanics, Asians) in these towns to be VERY friendly, helpful & inquisitive sometimes about the “big city” (Atlanta, Lord knows what they’d think of NY or LA lol). Some have never taken a flight in a commercial airplane. Many are farmers, or at least gardeners & you can buy whatever’s in season right from their land/trees. There are some of the best, home cooked, fresh food in restaurants run by some of these same farms. I connected with them because my Mom grew up on a farm in a small southern town in Alabama, where she and her 17 siblings worked extremely hard growing up, sometimes missing school to work on the farm. Meals were mostly what was raised, caught, made or grown on their land. Most of the people I’ve met don’t know who they’ll vote for this time around & have problems with both. I’ll actually be working with a local writer in Macon on a political newsletter for people in these areas. People wanted to know what I was writing. I’ve found that they care more about issues directly affecting them locally – the bigger stuff they tend to feel either apathetic about or powerless against. The former being mostly a result of the latter.
The only discussion of race (which was indirect) was with a few farmers who lamented changes in immigration laws in recent years, because the stricter changes ran off hard-working Hispanics who were here illegally, causing the farmers to lose lots of money in crops. The Hispanics who left were replaced by former convicted felons who needed work. The farmers get a tax incentive to hire them & the former convicts get much needed (and required) work. Most were black but a good number of them were white too. They complained about how the former convicts, no matter their race, worked less, harvested far less pounds of crops, took frequent cell phone & cigarette breaks and were generally lazy. They wanted their illegal immigrant workers back because they got way more work done in less time & were far more reliable. They also needed far less supervision. I got the distinct feeling that they’d vote for whichever political party had the best plans for managing illegal immigrants, allowing them to stay & work. I’ve sort of built relationships with some of these black & white small town southerners. Now, I’m in no way saying racism doesn’t exist in any of these places, I’m just saying that I haven’t experienced one drop of it & I’m not going to lie to make anyone feel good about a stereotype they hold. Sometimes racism is the persistence with which a stereotype is held, even in the face of evidence to the contrary, and on some level we all do (or have done) this.
Until next time or travels,
TM
 
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Posted by on August 5, 2016 in Politics, Society, Uncategorized

 

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I’m Not A “Cookie-Cutter” Conservative

Consevative Libertarian blogger Talitha McEachin

Talitha McEachin

I get messages & comments throughout social media (and email) fairly often, from people questioning the authenticity of my Christian faith, conservatism, my cultural tie to the black community or my level of empathy for issues related to gender. This is usually due to an opinion I have given, which is not in agreement with the consensus or, which is in agreement with someone I’m supposed to automatically oppose no matter what (as if anyone other than me will decide this). I normally only respond to public accusations & ignore the private messages sent most of the time, depending on how they are expressed. I’m not special or alone, most of us bloggers/writers with any level of an audience or followers experience this. I objectively look at things & I make up my own mind and try my best to do so without all of the biases that I may have, and we all have them – it takes effort & forethought to be objective. All I can do is be me, be honest & give my assessments as I see things, or muzzle myself when I feel there aren’t enough facts or there is too much gray area to draw a conclusion. With that said, folks, I’m not a “cookie-cutter” conservative, Christian, woman, Southerner or black woman, so stop expecting me to be.

If I disagree with the majority in any demographic I belong to, I’m going to say so freely & respectfully and I could care less who gets upset about that. That doesn’t make me any less of any of those things I named. Sometimes I agree with liberals, disagree with conservatives, stand up for men, admonish women, agree with the perspectives of other black people & other times I disagree strongly. Plenty of times I’ve agreed with the perspective of white Americans (skin color doesn’t determine veracity for me). I have defended Muslims from vitriol. If you find that you disagree with any majority in your personal demographics it’s OK….the earth will still spin on it’s axis. These people don’t sleep next to you, they don’t feed you or keep a roof over your head. If hard times come to you, they aren’t the ones you will call upon for help. Do not allow the “herd” to force you to go along to get along – speak your mind. Stand up for what’s right (no pun intended) based on your convictions because YOU have to live with your actions or failure to act, no one else…think about it.

Rant over…have a blessed & productive day!

 
 

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