There are so many things I love about the being from – and living in – the South. . .
- My state, Alabama, is the home of Harper Lee and F. Scott Fitzgerald, the birthplace of To Kill A Mockingbird and The Great Gatsby
- The northern part of my state features the beginning of the Appalachian mountain range while the southern part has the most beautiful beaches you’ll ever see.
- For the most part, we still do manners – please, thank you, ma’am, sir, holding doors. . . And I like that very much.
- Even in the largest city in the state, the pace is a bit slower here – and it’s nice.
- We are the people of Pat Conroy’s novels – and, if you haven’t read them, you are missing out.
- Church. I grew up there, my spirit knows when I’m missing going, and I can sing a quarter of the Baptist Hymnal from memory. We’re raised washed in the Blood.
- This is the Land of Country Music. From Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson to modern country now, it’s ours – and a great deal of it was made in Muscle Shoals in my home state as well.
- It’s also the birthplace of the Blues, the home of the likes of BB King. I saw him at the Alabama Theatre years ago, before he went to Jesus, and am I ever thankful that I did.
- There is nothing like an SEC football Saturday. A big rivalry game and tailgating and dressing up and cheering loud? Oh my word. Hail State and Roll Tide, y’all.
- I know I’m biased but our food. . . Barbeque and cheese grits and sweet tea and biscuits and soul food and little meat and three joints with the best food you ever put in your mouth. . .
- New Orleans. Just New Orleans. ❤
- Eudora Welty, William Faulker, Alice Walker, Flannery O’Connor, Zora Neale Hurston. . . Need I say more?
- Hometown (the HGTV show) is my jam. It features the local artists of one small Southern town. All of our towns have some wonderfully talented people and we make some beautiful things, y’all.
- I bless hearts at least four or five times a day. It’s a requirement as a Southern woman. . . 😉
- I maintain that Steel Magnolias is one of the finest films ever made. . .
- Finally, for most of us, Southern hospitality is still very much a thing. The majority of us are a warm and welcoming people.
Now. . .
We’ve talked about some of the wonderful things about my home. . .
So we MUST talk about the lingering UGLINESS in some hearts – that reared it’s head yesterday at Talladega – about an hour from my home – at the NASCAR race.
I’m not a big racing fan – but yesterday was Father’s Day and I’ve grown up around it my ENTIRE life with my Daddy and I have some wonderful memories of going with him.
When I was a very little girl, we went to the Birmingham International Raceway (BIR) at the Fairgrounds every Friday night to watch the stock car races.
Then, when those ended, when I was a bit older, we drove two hours one way every Saturday night to Moulton, Alabama, to go to the dirt track races with my great uncle Frank. Much like when I would go sit on a hunting stool while Daddy went on dove shoots or sit in the back of the boat when he went fishing, I would often take a book. . . but I had a great time being his ride-along and talking his ear off while we would go wherever we were off to.
He always had the races on TV on Sundays and he even took me to one of the NASCAR Talladega races to have the experience many years ago.
So, yesterday, on Father’s Day, when I opened Twitter and saw a Tweet from Marty Smith that a noose had been found in the Bubba Wallace – the only full-time African American driver, who pushed for the banning of the Confederate Flag at events – garage?
I W A S H O R R I F I E D .
I immediately began looking around online and within two minutes of my seeing the tweet my husband received a breaking news update with the same information.
As I had not been following anything about the race, I did not see until then that some backwoods idiot had also done this yesterday:
As you can see, these people are just consumed with their racism as there is no such thing as “European culture” linked to their hateful flag. Disgusting.
And as for their “heritage”? Southern culture is the things listed above – not this racist filth they are spewing – so they can just bite me.
My heart breaks for Bubba Wallace, having to experience this.
I C A N N O T I M A G I N E .
How must he have felt?
How frightening and upsetting and infuriating and hurtful and just disgusting.
We CANNOT tolerate this.
Yes, I have heard the argument that we can’t force people to change their hearts. . . and that is true.
But we damn sure can make them change their public behavior.
Yesterday, the race had to be postponed until today due to weather.
I am so thankful to see that there has been a swift response to this hate crime.
NASCAR has called in the FBI.
Richard Petty, racing legend and owner of Bubba’s team, has not been to a race since the beginning of COVID-19 but said he was going to be there today to support Bubba – and he was.
And then there was this. . .
Seeing all of the other drivers stand in support of Bubba was deeply touching as seeing him in tears before he got into his car just hurt so.
Still, I know those responsible will be caught, banned, and, hopefully, charged.
And I also know that the vast majority of us are much better than this.
We will love each other through this.
We will get rid of this hateful, evil spirit among us – wherever it appears.
We will rise above this.
We are calling on our better angels – and we will win. ❤
Be well, everybody. Take care of yourselves and each other.
Grace and Blessings.