Many times, a person visiting the southern US
strongly notices the differences that a few mile
s make. Traveling an hour
in any direction from Atlanta
or north from Orlando
is like entering a new world. While the visible changes are not astounding, aside from the general small town look, the social
changes can be astounding. This leads to the joke, “It’s like time travel
”. These areas suffer from many problems which the average American
in other regions tends to ignore or not realize exists in such a strong fashion.
Racism and racial segregation, which Americans, typically of the Caucasian heritage, like to kid themselves into believing dead, is alive and well. In many southern towns, one could draw a literal line around the “black” areas of town. School buses taking children to and home from school look exactly like one would expect a pre US integration bus to look like. Black children and Hispanic children do not ride on the white bus and white children do not ride on the black bus.
Many minorities of the area are denied basic voting strength.
Note:: Here I use the term minority loosely, since in the southern US typical minorities, many times, make up majority populations.
How does one accomplish this? If a town has a significant black population, a common “cure” will be to make sure to divide the easily defined “black section” of town into all the other districts, making sure that the white population maintains a complete majority in each district.
One might charge that the people of this region can easily change, for it is in all human’s power to change that area around them and thus if all worked at it, a whole region might change. Unfortunately in situations like this, the constancy of life forces the exact same beliefs and behaviors that the last generation experienced and upholds upon their offspring.
In a place where social achievement among teens is dependent upon generally less than desirable traits, change becomes a force very hard to tap. Some see it every day, whether they are from areas like this themselves, or know loved ones or friends that themselves live these lifestyles, the world around.
In many rural southern towns status is dependent upon;
- the ability to seek achievement in failure
- the ability to engage in sexual activity as many times as possible as early as possible
- the ability in sports and their primitive Og beats up Thog, for the attention of local female, mannerisms
- and the ability to mold yourself into the predefined roles that have always existed.
In a place where the privileged youth base their power upon; cars, sound systems, drinking, drugs, sex, the ability to drive multiple times around the local shopping center and achievement in the fields of sporting activities, those actively seeking to change their lives for the better are many times caught in this predefining and destructive cycle.
The white populations, with their inherent privilege and the comfort of being socially accepted in a place where everyone truly does know just how important their family is, have little need, nor want, to change their comfortable lifestyle. Even those white youth in the less privileged sectors of society quickly join the ranks of the walking brain-dead, their skills, life goals and ambitions drowned in the need and desire for social comfort and the ability to fit in.
The minority youths of these areas suffer even worse. In places were elected officials can run on the campaign slogans of “Jail the (insert racial slur)” one’s chances of success are dismal. When you mount upon that, the very same pressures of conformity into the predefined system, escape becomes nearly an impossible chore.
Note:: The campaign slogan is an actual account from the campaign of one small town sheriff of Tifton, Georgia, who was in fact elected into office.
Those few who do escape either choose to ignore those around them and better themselves. This very often leads to social ridicule, and in many cases severe depression and other long term mental issues. Or they excel in sports to the point where they actually do well enough to escape these towns.
Very often though, even those who manage to escape this life for a time are drawn back into these abysses of the inner reaches of hell. The overall picture, when one ignores the blatant problems as is easy to do in this protected and fragmented society is one of quiet bliss.
When one sees accounts such as:
One from Texas, where an entire small town’s black population was rounded up and charge with drug trafficking. A LARGE majority of who were then sentenced and jailed before the state intervened.
Note:: The state in question was at that time under the “watchful” eye of now president George W. Bush.
One from Georgia, were in the year 2001, a town help it's first integrated prom.
- No this change was not a result of an enlightened school system, but rather one where the students actively petitioned before the suggestion was even recognized as having potential.
Another from (generally southwest, typically cited in the area stretching from Valdosta to Albany) Georgia, where the AIDS rate is skyrocketing among VERY young teens.
Yet another from Georgia, where a town came under the national spotlight because of the predominance of syphilis among, once again, VERY young teens.
It is easy to dismiss them as isolated problems, but after one has experienced these areas first hand for many years, generally when coming from an outside region, it is easy to see them as part of a larger and infinitely dangerous problem.
The facts I use to back up my OPINION in this w/u are based upon personal knowledge or information gathered over time.