OPINION – Elections are not to blame for southern failures; systems are

From Issue 7

Differences between the South and the North are numerous and easy to spot. Before and during the Civil War, tensions between the geographical regions of our country were at an all time high. Some may argue that nowadays our country is unified with no substantive difference between the  North and the South.

I would argue that this idea is false and that tensions are beginning to flare again. By no means does this mean that there will be another Civil War; but it is leading to an ineffective national government. 

This was evident in the ending of Trump’s presidency. We have created a huge divide between red and blue states. Both sides hate each other and are too focused on the destruction of the other side to focus on the problems that are very evident in our society.

As someone who is much farther to the political left than the Democratic Party (or at least liberalism and most Democratic legislators), I think that it is important that we call attention to their failures with regard to the minorities they claim to champion. 

The Democratic Party has pushed a narrative that the reason Republican states are so poor is because of the legislators they have elected. While to some degree, this is accurate, to blame poor Americans for being poor is insensitive and does nothing to fix the issues of poverty, obesity, and lack of education we see so prevalent in the South.

Recently we saw this with the power outages in Texas. Many Northern Liberals took to Twitter to say that issues were the fault of the voters who voted in politicians who deregulated the power grid. I can assure you, that the regulation of the power grid has not been on a single Texans radar since 2003, it’s a non-issue. To portray the south as hillbilly Republicans voting against their interest erases the rich cultural heritage of Black people and other minorities in the South. 

Democrats’ refusal to help the South is directly contributing to the cycle of oppression visible in Southern States. Mississippi is the most poverty-stricken state in the country with a rate of almost 20% of the population living below the poverty line.

Ask any Northerner what they think of our state and they will most likely say poor rednecks. This is simply inaccurate. In 2017 almost 40% of our population was Black, making Mississippi the state with the highest percent population of Black people in the Country. 

When we look at 2008 poverty statistics divided by  race, we can see the Black households earned half of what white households earned. The fact that a wage gap that substantially exists unnoticed is unfathomable to me.  Yet neo-liberals refuse to acknowledge the fact that our states are poor not due to bad voting practices, but the systemic oppression of Black people. 

The Democratic party needs to step up and help the impoverished South. We need to change the way the system works so that it allows poor people to have a safe lifestyle without having to bootstrap it. The class struggle is one that affects all Americans of all races. We need to fix the class struggle in order to fix the race struggle. 

A couple of closing notes: the Republican Party is equally as awful as the Democrats;  they just tend to be more “mask off” about their racism. The poverty of Black Americans in Southern states is due to the effects of Jim Crow Laws, Segregation, Red-lining, and thousands of other systemic issues that keep them oppressed. These are the issues we expect the Democratic Party to fix. I also would like to say that poor white americans face the exact same struggles and often cast the blame towards Black people and Democrats. The real culprit is our economic system. I am an advocate of the abolition of economic policy meant to keep the poor, poor. 

The fact that there has been no legislation to fix the impoverished South is very telling about the Democratic Party.  They never cared about the Black Americans who rely on them to bring about structural change in America. All they care about is the maintenance of the economic systems that allow them to line their pockets by passing off the poverty of the South as the work of Republicans. We need liberation in America.