Shane, I read your column with interest and an open mind. Why bother reading otherwise, right? I looked to see what else you had contributed and read “Black Rifles Matter” (if I’ve got that right). It’s a bit difficult to reconcile the two. Then I look at your photo and wonder how such a heavily tattooed person fits in “down South”. Bear with me. I’m older than you, so I’m having to work at this. Don’t know the symbolism of having your finger in your mouth might be…is there any? Can’t read the letters tattooed on your fingers, so that message escapes me. I’m assuming the black flag reference is the music group? I was with you (if not necessarily agreeing with you) as I read until you said you were living in Nashville! Maybe my idea of Nashville is that it’s a lot hipper and more cosmopolitan than it is, but it sure isn’t a small economically depressed town in Georgia. So it seems you yourself don’t particularly want to live among the people you came from. As you say, you can code from anywhere.
OK, so then I think you are trying to stand up for your “former” people. Nothing wrong with that, but as you have lived elsewhere for possibly longer than in the rural South, been educated and presumably make a decent living you appear to be more West Coast than anything. I won’t bother to get into the statistics re public assistance as others already have, but it seems you are in a bit of denial re the mindset of those you are staunchly defending. Isn’t pride one of the deadly sins? There comes a point when people have to ask if what they are clinging to is working for them or against them. Anyone who would not vote in their best interests to improve their lot would be better known as a fool. Voting for Trump would be downright idiotic. I’d like to remind you that people country wide were hurt by the actions of the banks and Wall St, not just Southerners. And many of those are also looking to the Great Buffoon (born with a silver spoon, no trailer park dweller and hardly chums around with humble folk) to stick it to…whom? To themselves… that’s who. And I dare say you as a Democrat are well aware of it.
So why not write a piece that reaches out to those rural Southerners? It appears you would have a better shot at it than your average Democrat. Explain to them that time moves on, their values are not the only values, a little introspection can be a good thing and most importantly that man with the orange skin and yellow hair behind the curtain is not the Wizard of Oz. He’s just a filthy rich guy who was given millions, yet still felt the need to screw workers along the way to further accumulate even more money and younger women. Speaking of values, which of these supposed Southern values does Trump actually live by anyway? Unless they want to hurt the entire country in the name of pride, they need to understand the danger that awaits us all.
I look forward to reading your appeal to them.