Migration — Georgia on My Mind, Too

Thursday, October 16, 2008

In the way the world operates, I returned from Georgia on Monday and on Wednesday picked up a copy of the Hartford Advocate. Glanced at the index and after I noticed that someone had taken Joe Lieberman to task for his hypocrisy (Obama’s inexperience matters; Palin’s doesn’t), I saw an article entitled “Georgia on My Mind.”
I hope Alan Bisbort is right about the “profound shift in American character,” but here’s what I saw and heard while I was in Dixie: blacks and other people of color still occupy the menial jobs while the whites manage the hotels and restaurants. The newspapers and magazines sometimes make an effort to include people of color, but the effort is obvious, and they’re always shown separate from whites. The battle flag waves by the side of the highway more often than the Stars and Stripes. The candidates for secondary political offices are almost all white men. The residents I talked to said Georgia’s still red and likely to remain that way. My interracial in-laws (she’s black, he’s white) upset more than a few guests at the hotel. One woman stared at them in frozen horror, then fled the restaurant before she had finished her breakfast.
On a positive note, downpours while we were there have relieved the short-term drought problems, though the reservoirs are by no means full. The kudzu is still growing, and the crape myrtles look scraggly, but the wildflowers in the highway median are in full bloom. The tap water, however, tastes like sulfur. I’ll take Connecticut chlorine over Georgia sulfur any day.
I’m posting a version of this on the comments section to Alan’s article.


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