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How the South skews America

Interesting piece, though it'd be more convincing with directly presented numbers about interstate differences, and comparing non-Southern states to the countries he invokes

"In practice, however, much of what sets the United States apart from other countries today is actually Southern exceptionalism."
"thanks to mid-century Southern members of Congress, welfare-state policies from home ownership to Social Security were designed to reinforce segregation or exclude the disproportionately-Southern black and white poor. "
"According to the FBI in 2012, the South as a region, containing only a quarter of the population, accounted for 40.9 percent of U.S. violent crime."
"Between the time the Supreme Court ended the ban on the death penalty and mid-June of this year, the South was responsible for 81 percent of the executions in the United States, with Texas and Oklahoma alone accounting for 45 percent of the whole."
"All of this leaves little doubt that, in the absence of Southern exceptionalism, the U.S. would be much more similar to other English-speaking democracies, which don’t subject their leaders to religious tests, don’t suffer from high levels of gun violence and don’t rival communist China and despotic Saudi Arabia in the number of executions per capita. Without the gravitational force exerted on the South, American conservatism itself would be radically different—more Bob Dole than Ted Cruz."

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( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jul. 8th, 2015 06:34 am (UTC)
Even just the current regional differences make the South and non-South in the US look like very different places. The non-South has a murder rate which is less than 80% that of the entire nation and roughly half that of the South - comparable with Egypt, India, and Uzbekistan, while the murder rate in the South is comparable to that in genuinely scary locations like Pakistan and Palestine.

Louisiana (at 10.1) has a murder rate comparable to Angola, Haiti, and the Sudan.Meanwhile, the murder rates in Oregon & in Massachusetts (both at 2.0) slightly lower than in Norway (which is oddly high for a Western European nation) and only twice that of the UK or France.

The 7 fold differences between the lowest states and Louisiana (and the 3-4 fold difference between the lowest states and the other high ones) is impressively disturbing.
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Damien Sullivan

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