Quote of the Week: Connie Chastain on Southern Racism

Yes, folks, here’s Connie Chastain on southern racism:

If there is more racism in the South, it’s probably because it’s basically the only black/white biracial region of the country. In many areas of the non-South, outside the major cities, there are hardly any black folks for whites to be racist toward or about.

She then linked to this map.

Discuss.

24 thoughts on “Quote of the Week: Connie Chastain on Southern Racism

  1. khepera420 August 29, 2015 / 10:31 pm

    What an insular, ignorant, shallow bigot she is. Her intellectual dishonesty knows bounds, does it?

    • Brooks D. Simpson August 30, 2015 / 8:32 am

      There are so many things that are so Connie about this comment.

  2. bob carey August 30, 2015 / 4:38 am

    According to her reasoning, and the map, then her precious Southern Heritage should include a great deal of Black Heritage. Is this not so?

    • Brooks D. Simpson August 30, 2015 / 8:33 am

      You would have to ask her. After all, it’s always enjoyable to examine Chastain logic.

  3. C. Meyer August 30, 2015 / 7:39 am

    Sounds like she is saying that it is black peoples fault for whites being racist..???

    • Brooks D. Simpson August 30, 2015 / 8:33 am

      There are many ways to interpret what she is saying. That is the beauty of the comment.

      She appears to argue that the presence of black people causes racism. Where there are fewer black people, there is less racism. This explains segregation: white people sought to exclude black people so that whites would be less racist. It was a white self-improvement plan.

      Want to stop racism? Chastain suggests the best way is to eliminate black people.

  4. The Lamp August 30, 2015 / 7:40 am

    OMG…LOL!!!!! Yup, that’s ol “Twilight” in a nutshell.

      • The Lamp August 30, 2015 / 8:39 am

        It’s like when the Onion becomes real…

  5. Rob Baker August 30, 2015 / 9:42 am

    Looks like the same swill Connie has spewed in other places. This really isn’t anything new. Her claim seems to focus on the geography of racism. The Southeast seems to be the only place in the country with such a high level of racial interaction between white and black people, hence the racism. According to Connie, racism is circumstantial. If black people lived in such high concentrations elsewhere, you’d see the same type and level of racism.

    This just goes back to Connie’s old argument of, “look at them, they’re racist too.”

    • Brooks D. Simpson August 30, 2015 / 10:35 am

      The implicit assumptions are remarkable and revealing. For starters, racism is not limited to relations between blacks and whites (and I acknowledge the problematic issues in reducing racial identity to these terms). Second, racism can be so high in some areas that it leads to exclusion … there are areas of the country where certain people go to get away from people who they find different, threatening, have dislike for, etc. So demography need not be the best indicator of racial attitudes. What she seems to be arguing (I’m being generous here) is that diversity leads to racism and friction, whereas segregation or exclusion leads to harmony and tolerance.

      Where she strikes a pose in contrast to many of her other Confederate heritage apologists is that she does not embrace diversity and harmony among different people as a good thing. This would appear to contest notions of her as a Rainbow Confederate. But I admit that her pronouncements lack intellectual coherence, so perhaps it is a mistake to treat them as if they did possess that quality.

  6. OhioGuy August 30, 2015 / 12:00 pm

    Very interesting map. I must candidly admit that it surprised me a bit. I thought the “great migration” had redistributed the population a little more than is actually the case. I would guess, though this would be hard to prove, that African Americans outside of the inner cities would tend to have a higher standard of living. My own take on southern racism is that –save for the LOS types, the flaggers, and the unreconstructed wing of the SCV — it is not any more prevalent than in the North. So, I disagree with Connie on several levels.

    • Brooks D. Simpson August 30, 2015 / 12:14 pm

      Actually, she contradicts herself (this should come as no surprise). At various times she has looked up where people have lived and determined how “white” their neighborhoods are in order to claim that people who call for diversity nevertheless live in white neighborhoods (her little echo Jessie Sanford loves that argument). That would suggest that one’s racism increases as one lives in a more-white place, which is exactly the opposite of what she argues in this comment.

      Chastain dropped that argument when I documented where she lives and compared it to where I live. But she loved to use it with people like Tim Wise. Anyone knows that issues of class also play into the demography of neighborhoods, but then again we are dealing with a rather simple-minded view of race when we discuss Chastain.

      Moreover, Chastain sees diversity as simply (a) race (b) a matter of blacks and whites. That’s a rather blinkered view.

      She remains silent on new evidence that more than one of the people who have leased land for the Virginia Flaggers to erect flagpoles hold racist views. In turn the Flaggers don’t seem bothered by her own bigotry. Talk about the company one keeps …

  7. Rosieo August 30, 2015 / 5:36 pm

    With stats as quoted, seems there has been lots of opportunity for practice getting along.

  8. Mike August 31, 2015 / 8:10 am

    What year is that map from? Regardless, her theory completely ignores the virulent white racism of the Antebellum North, where as we know, blacks were few in number.

    • Brooks D. Simpson August 31, 2015 / 9:19 am

      I simply report Chastain’s logic. That it is at variance with reality or any sort of real understanding of how the world works is a different matter.

      According to her, “XRoaders ridicule, but don’t refute. Can’t.” I’m sure that comment reflects her own reality as well.

      • Jimmy Dick August 31, 2015 / 10:11 am

        She is living proof that da Nile is not just a river in Egypt.

  9. Joshism August 31, 2015 / 9:33 pm

    She apparently hasn’t visited some of the rural areas outside the South that are nearly 100% white yet every bit as racist as any part of the South.

  10. fundrums September 1, 2015 / 10:21 am

    I cannot believe that she doesn’t realize how she comes off again and again. No one needs to make anything up as she proves her critics right over and over. With her apparent passion for flagging it would be beneficial if she could channel that same energy into real heritage preservation. I bet she’s never heard of the Civil War Preservation Trust or Friends of the Battlefield. I bet she’s never donated to a museum or a historical society or anyone who is dedicated to the proper preservation and presentation of Civil War history. Her motives are so misguided that its almost sad. I know so many people who are descended from Confederate Veterans who are afraid to let it show for fear of being associated with all these kooks. I don’t ever promote my first three books or do speaking engagements or blog anymore (about the Civil War) as I am too sick and tired of people still fighting it. I’ve moved onto other things professionally but on a personal level I can’t help but feel sad towards these fanatics for ruining it for the rest of us. I still have a great deal of respect for the Confederate soldier but I cannot and will not lift up the cause that they fought for – no matter what their station was. I used to think different, but I finally came around. – Michael Aubrecht

  11. hankc9174 September 1, 2015 / 1:36 pm

    my question: is racism learned or observed or something else?

    The south’s legacy of slavery, jim crow, mudsill theory, et al, certainly has a lot to overcome.

    Racism, being a ‘my people are somehow better than you people’ attitude, should have plenty of contrary evidence in areas of great diversity for the observant.

    growing up in Virginia of the 60s and 70s, my (white) family had little to say about race relations. However, even to me, my extended family’s more biased opinions did not correlate with my limited observations and even at the time seemed based on ‘that’s the way its always been’.

  12. C. Meyer September 4, 2015 / 9:54 am

    It is my great hope you will address Connie’s response to the Judge who removed the JEB Stuart painting from the courthouse…I just cannot stomach it anymore.

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