bigotry still king

Southern hypocrisy meter

I’m planning a road trip to see America with two of my sons. We are mapping out an itinerary circling the country and finding well-known, quirky, and interesting destinations. The hardest thing so far has been planning the trip without passing through states that have jumped on the deny people’s rights to get elected bandwagon.

I know Tennessee recently passed legislation making the Bible the state book, but the governor vetoed it. Georgia is waffling on their version of discrimination in the name of religious liberty and safe restrooms after several major businesses in the Peach State protested. North Carolina was leading the way on this idiocy but there is considerable pushback there. When the Boss cancels a concert, things get serious. A Democrat-sponsored bill to rescind the approved legislation has been introduced. Probably won’t pass but at least they are fighting back. Last week the Feds weighed in.

Mississippi appears to be the only state sticking to their idiotic guns, but it isn’t an issue for me. Louisiana, Texas, and Virginia all feature politicians insincerely wrapping themselves in the flag and Jesus. But each of those places offer worthy destinations. Mississippi only features the birthplaces of Elvis and Brett Favre. And I’ve already seen those. I can dodge the Magnolia State and stick to my principles.

Stupidity, warped religious beliefs, and fear drive most voters’ decisions but bigotry is still the king. Anytime a politician can isolate a group of people and make them scary, the rest is easy. We never overcome our fear of Them. I’m sure most people clamoring for safe restrooms aren’t even sure what LGBT means.

I hang out socially with several L’s. They eat and drink what I do, discuss the same subjects in polite company, and have never, to my knowledge, offered a “list of services” to a stranger. Most of them are near my age so maybe all those shenanigans are reserved for the younger set of L’s.

I know a few G’s but not any closely, at least any I’m aware of. We still live in a world where it’s completely okay to cherry pick Biblical verses to hate these folks so many G’s may still be flying under the radar.

I’m positive I know at least one B and I have a terrible crush on her. Maybe it’s wishful thinking on my part since she’s married to an L. The only T I’m aware of is Caitlyn Jenner but I’m sure there are more. I have no animosity for Caitlyn’s sexual identification; Jeez, she used to be Bruce Jenner. I do struggle somewhat with her other identity. Reality TV Star.

In fact, that might be a group we do need legislation to protect us from: Reality TV Stars. Maybe some of our Republican lawmakers can put their heads together and come up with a law to stop RTVS intrusion into our lives.

That might get a little bipartisan traction.

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Author’s Note:  The trip mentioned in this piece is an extensive journey to see as much of America as is possible. I plan to chronicle the high spots in an upcoming book. I’m also sending frequent dispatches via Twitter, which is a new undertaking for me. If you want to follow along, the trip begins on 5-18 and my Twitter feed is @othermikecox.

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Mike Cox

Mike Cox

Mike Cox currently writes a weekly column in South Carolina for the Columbia Star called "It's Not a Criticism, It's an Observation." He is trying to grow old as gracefully as possible without condemning the current generation in charge to doom. Each day this task gets harder as the overwhelming evidence mounts. He currently has two published books; Finding Daddy Cox, and October Saturdays. His columns have won three South Carolina Press Association awards since 2003. Mike has three sons and two grandchildren and lives in Irmo, Sc, just outside of Columbia.