Hanging out in the country

Where, as Noah Smith tells us, we white people go so that we need not have any contact with nonwhites.

Man, somehow I haven't quite got the hang of this country thing yet:


  1. Anonymous11:27 PM

    Hello Gene, long time reader of your blog and huge fan, but I think you are over generalizing some of Noah's points here. He did preface it with:

    "Warning: Contains oversimplified history, sketchy data, and sweeping generalizations."

    From my experience living in the south (I currently live in Georgia), some conservatives do have a racist flavor to them. The jokes I hear, the racist slurs that are used, and don't even get me started on their drunken rants on "those god damn lazy n*%?ers!" So I do think there is SOME truth to what he wrote, as I hear some conservatives white people make arguments that Noah highlighted. Plus I doubt that Noah really thinks that all, or even many, white people that have left the inner city (i.e. "White Flight") are racist, as you elude to in this and several other posts.

    Anyway, my main point is that this has all been anecdotal. Your experience involving white people and racism has been a lot different than mine, and I don't think experience is the best way to approach this topic.

    1. Curiousleftist, thanks for your thoughtful post. I certainly don't doubt the existence of white racism. I've heard these jokes and slurs myself, Sometimes in the very bar in which I took that picture from last week.

      But isn't a very problem with racism that it seeks to stereotype a whole group of people from some behavior sometimes exhibited by a few of them? My complaint about Smith's post Is precisely that does exactly that: Stereotypes a whole group of people based on some traits that some of them sometimes display. This seems an ineffective and not particularly nice way to combat racism. Aren't "over hasty generalizations" Exactly what racists are guilty of

    2. Sorry, "sweeping generalizations."

    3. Anonymous2:44 AM

      Ok, I re-read Noah's post a little more closely, and I see where you are coming from now. I admit, after re-reading, I'm a bit confused on the issue now, as I don't know if Noah's being his jokey self when he's making his claims or if he actually believes in the "sweeping generalizations" he's making.

      I still think the fact that he clearly knows he's making "sweeping generalizations" and mentions it in the preface says a lot, and I don't think he actually believes that most conservatives are like the way he elaborately paints them in the subsequent paragraphs. I also think that this paragraph is a bit telling

      Each of these points relies on a mix of evidence and personal anecdotal observation. All are to some degree speculative. None is 100% proven. There are counterarguments to each. Maybe good counterarguments. The failure of Conservative White America is not anywhere near as clear as the failure of the Medieval European system was by the time of the Battle of Nicopolis.

      I think he knows he exaggerating about "Conservative White America".

      Then again, I can't read minds. I'm probably reading too far in between the lines, and you could very well be right. In that case, I take back my previous comment.

  2. Man, Noah really bothered you didn't he?

    This might cheer you up.

    1. God What an awful post. The minister who says to a gay couple "I can't marry you; But why not go down to the justice of the peace, because he will?" is a bully? That did not cheer me up in the least.

    2. I'm guessing Bob means you can stop trusting Mr. Smith's sincerity. You should never trust anyone with such a simple model of the universe, whether it's one you're sympathetic to or not.

  3. Did I ever post "Heisenberg Principle in Mississippi" here? If I have not, I really should. Gene?

    1. You did.


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