What's wrong with Oklahoma?

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Normally Okie hate and Okie love are Okiedoke's department, but I spotted this bit of appreciation for Oklahoma in the midst of a general trashing of Red State voters (the old "What's Wrong with Kansas?" theme), in a comment thread on Pandagon, the blogospheric flagship of foul-mouthed feminism and as regular as Old Faithful when it comes to spewing forth against advocates of traditional values and the sanctity of human life. (Pro-life author and blogger Dawn Eden is a frequent target of their eruptions.)

Here's the comment, posted by "Truly B." earlier this week, in which she compares life in red-dirt Red State Oklahoma City to life in Blue State Maryland. She reports that she had to travel a long way from her Oklahoma home to encounter ignorant and hurtful rudeness. (I bowdlerized the "n" word, but otherwise left this as is.)

i’m a female, native, black oklahoman from oklahoma city. i am an alumna of the university of oklahoma, and have traveled the world extensively. i currently live in maryland (counting the days until i leave!) and go home on a regular basis. suffice it to say that i’ve seen no evidence in oklahoma city of “forced” allegiance to certain views. i grew up learning that people are different and they are going to do what they want to do–you can’t really change others, only yourself–THIS IS WHAT I LEARNED IN OKLAHOMA CITY.

i find it funny that people who simply drive through my state can decisively diagnose all the people who live there…especially when all they’ve done is no more than possibly fill up their gas tanks…or as little as leave their exhaust fumes behind.

i also find the stereotype of what oklahomans are supposed to be, do, and think, laughable. i’ll just say that i’ve never encountered so much idiocy, racism and small-mindedness until i came to maryland in 1997, where i was stationed on an army post (and unfortunately still remain in this state while trying to recoup losses from my divorce and finish my graduate degree).

i’ve never been called a “n----r” for making a left turn into my correct lane until early 2006 in maryland. i’ve never been ignored at a restaurant (while whites who came in after me were seated) until 2005 in washington dc…that same year i was at a maryland farmers market where a white shop owner stuck a watermelon inches under my nose and joked about how he knew i “just couldn’t wait to dig into” the fruit because he could “see my lips twitching.” these are simply the newest affronts that i haven’t suppresed yet…

i know other blacks in baltimore city who tell me they are afraid to travel to the county i live in–20 minutes from baltimore–and they’ve told me i should expect the treatment that i receive on a daily basis, because it’s “klan country.” here, the klan marches REGULARLY in annapolis, md, home of their state capitol…SHOCKING. reports have been made of maryland schools that have had all class reunions–but none of the blacks that had attended were invited, interestingly enough.

oh yes, life in blue state maryland is so much better for me[/sarcasm]…NOT!

please know that everything is NOT what it seems…nor what the media tells you it should be. i am of the opinion that all this “red/blue state” rhetoric is nothing more than a way to divide americans, invest some with a false sense of superiority and distract everyone from the true issues at hand, such as shrinking political rights and increased lies told by governmental entities.

i love oklahoma city and i’m on my way home. EVERY PART OF THE U.S. has problems with ignorance…not just the “red states.” i am well aware that there are no utopias, so let’s just keep a balance in talking about things, shall we?

Well said.

The gist of the rest of the discussion is that Red Staters have been hypnotized by our churches to vote based on sex-related issues like abortion and gay marriage. Otherwise we would be voting for Democrats who, they say, are on the right side of the issues that should matter to us poor, ignorant crackers -- i.e. Federal entitlements.

What's ignorant is the left's failure to understand that issues like the sanctity of human life really do matter to us in the pews. Far from being brainwashed during the Sunday sermon, lay people have led the movement to get conservative Christians involved in politics. Plain ol' Christians read their Bibles and began to apply what they read to what they saw happening in the political realm. They saw the horror of abortion and the threats to traditional values, and they got involved in campaigns and ran for office. These same lay people then tried to mobilize their friends at church to pay attention and get involved. Clergy were often the most reluctant to engage political issues at any level, partly for fear of alienating parishoners, partly for fear of the IRS.

The left also fails to understand the political maturity that has developed among politically active conservative Christians over the last 30 years. We've read books like Blinded by Might and learned lessons from the failures of the Moral Majority and the Christian Coalition. We understand why Kipling referred to "Triumph and Disaster" as "those two impostors"; we know that no victory in politics is total or permanent -- but neither is any defeat. We know the value of incrementalism in politics. We regard Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson as fringe figures at best, embarrassments at worst. We don't take our marching orders from James Dobson. We understand the need to work alongside people of common immediate aims but disparate values and ultimate goals. We know that politics is not a tidy business, and we are not going to cloister ourselves because we got a bit of dirt under our fingernails.

Most of all, we are not going to stay home on November 7, just because we aren't 100% satisfied with the Republican Party.

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5 Comments

Michelle said:

Well, we may stay home on November 6th since it's a Monday. November 7th is election day. :)

Twatch said:

Looking to the Wisdom of our Founders, an excerpt from The Declaration of Independence gives us (The People) some guidance:

“...That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to ALTER or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to ALTER or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness....”

I key in on the word “ALTER”. At this point in time, I take that to mean ALTER representation. If you stay home and don’t hold your REPRESENTATION accountable then YOU open the door to TYRANNY. JUST STAY HOME because it doesn’t matter, is the BIG LIE of the TYRANNICAL.

Thanks, Michelle. That's what I get for trying to figure the date in my head.

Dan Paden said:

More and more, I'm convinced that we need the Fair Tax partly because there is no exemption for churches.

Imagine churches unmuzzled by the fear of losing that IRS exemption...

Steve said:

Good article! I am sick of stereotypes about Oklahoma too. But we need to MOVE BEYOND the whole red-state-blue-state thing.

Did you see Time Magazine's recent cover story about America at 300 million people?

Time showed a map of "purple America," which showed shades of red/blue/purple for each county in the U.S. If a county voted more than about 60% Republican or Democrat, it was red or blue. The rest were purple. The U.S. was almost all purple...including Oklahoma.

I agree some people do not get the importance of religion. But a lot of Democrats and Independents are people of faith too. (Personally, I am a big fan of C.S. Lewis and I have enjoyed some of Michael's recent stuff about Lewis.)

Most of this country is "purple." If more people realized that, it would be better for all of us.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on October 27, 2006 12:07 AM.

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