Sunday, July 12, 2015

Politico's Michael Lind's Abnormal Southern Psychosis

Southerners are used to bigoted screeds by limp-wristed liberals, even those who purport a common heritage.  Michael Lind has made a living at bad mouthing the Southland.  His latest rant is just one in a long train of abuses.  And like most liberals, he’ll fabricate, conflate and outright lie to propagate a narrative.

Mr. Lind’s latest derision is based on Southern exceptionalism which he describes as “higher violence and less social mobility.” 

Newsbuster poked a huge hole in his violence accusation:

Lind conveniently leaves out the fact that eight of America's ten most dangerous cities are northern, or in the case of Oakland, very “progressive.” He also specifically mentions the ongoing racial issues, violence, and unrest in South Carolina, but ignores recent struggles in Baltimore, Chicago, and New York City- more facts that go against the rhetoric needed to condemn a more conservative faction of American geography –

Mr. Lind’s assertion on social mobility has to be questioned also. He wrote the following:

Today there is more inter-generational social mobility in Europe than in the United States, contrary to the American myth that the United States is still the world’s No. 1 land of opportunity. The Economic Mobility Project of Pew Charitable Trusts has shown that children are far less likely to rise above the socio-economic levels of their parents in the U.S. than are those in Britain, Canada and Australia, as well as Germany, France and the Nordic nations. The American South, with the lowest rates of intergenerational social mobility in the U.S., clearly skews the national statistics, creating an embarrassing and depressing version of American exceptionalism.

The Pew Charitable Trusts report didn’t mention regional intergenerational social mobility.  I don’t know where Mr. Lind concluded the South is depressing American exceptionalism; it’s not from this report. However, Pew did publish the following:

These findings are more striking when put in comparative context. There is little available evidence that the United States has more relative mobility than other advanced nations. If anything, the data seem to suggest the opposite. Using the relationship between parents’ and children’s incomes as an indicator of relative mobility, data show that a number of countries, 5 including Denmark, Norway, Finland, Canada, Sweden, Germany, and France have more relative mobility than does the United States (see Figure 3).12

Even progressives have criticized Mr. Lind’s abnormal obsession with the South.  Ed Kilgore, a managing editor at The Democratic Strategist and senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute, took issue with Mr. Lind’s unending angst:

Ah, Michael Lind, that maddeningly erudite but tunnel-visioned scholar of American history and politics, has struck again! In a piece for Salon that epitomizes his strengths and weaknesses, Lind forces Rick Perry’s “Texas Miracle” economic development scam into his eternal mold of virtuous Yankees and satanic southerners, and manages a drive-by slur on those who think the Earned Income Tax Credit is a pretty important boon to the working poor.

And this:

So attached is Michael Lind to his theory of ethno-regional determinism, however, that he extends the southern conspiracy to include those who support the Earned Income Tax Credit for the working poor:

Mr. Lind should see a psychiatrist.  I’ve heard of “daddy issues,” but nothing reaches the magnitude of this psychosis.



martianshoes said...

A Texan with some type of self-loathing, Mike Lind uses Rawlsian logic the way addicts use dope. You have to shake your head, reading any finding from Pew. Oil money gone progressive to back things like the Kyoto Accords? Add to this the myopic observations about violence in the South. Please Mr. Lind, move to the south .....south side of Chicago, that is. Or D.C.. Or Philly. Also, because of it's largelly unchanged WASP content, we in the South are described with less religious acumen and scholarship than even the Sunni\Shia world. Lind conveiently forgets the Catholic, Muslim and Jewish enclaves of the North. The South did indeed suffer from segregation and military presence did take place. Now talk about the bussing riots in Boston, Lind. From the Northern leadership of the KKK, to his amnesia about MLK, to the lame poetry about the Alamo; Lind's need for therapy and psychotropic treatment are jaw dropping. Some Texas girl must have laughed at him.

martianshoes said...

PS – does the enormous hypocrisy of the Politco article about the South, leap out at
anyone else? Liberals tout their tolerance as among their most sterling virtues, and
would boast of an achieved diversity; yet here is the South an example of diversity and as a
Southerner…I suffer the brush strokes of a REAL bigot..