Friday, March 22, 2019

The "Good" Ol' South

There is nothing good about the old South let alone the one in the present.   As I wind down my time in Tennessee, the Volunteer State, I can hardly wait to volunteer my way out of here.

Nashville has really worn out its welcome on the moniker the "it" city and it now calls itself a city on the rise.  Sure until a flood comes and wipes that out then sure you are on the rise.

One of the many measures of a supposed city's success economically is the Crane Watch. This is just another concocted concept designed by the construction industry.  Sure as that building is a measure of an economic boon and Nashville coming out of a flood in 2010 needed to improve and with the grants associated with disaster, cheap real estate and the designation of opportunity zones it made it ripe to pick the fruit of this once little big town.  And of course the promise of several thousand vaguely defined jobs from three companies locating offices here (Alliance Bernstein, Ernst and Young and AMAZON) the histrionics over some of the more ambitious projects are sure to validate the absurdity surrounding Nashville's rise. 

This is from the article as counting cranes is just that counting cranes and what it means is whatever the counter decides it means:   

Because the crane index in many ways also reflects the state of the economy several years earlier, when projects were conceived, it can obscure current realities, brokers and developers say. Washington, for instance, seems to be on a hot streak, with 28 cranes this winter, up from 25 last summer and just a few shy of its 31-crane high in summer 2015.

 Yet office rents declined in the fourth quarter last year, according to the real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield, as a surge of office buildings came online. And political gridlock, exemplified by the partial government shutdown in December and January, could sap job creation and, by extension, demand, said Nathan J. Edwards, a senior director of research for Cushman & Wakefield.

One of the largest job creation numbers comes from construction be that residential or commercial and again Nashville was in need of both.  But then again that flood thing does that to a community just ask those in North Carolina, Texas and now large swaths of the Midwest.  And we can expect more from that fake Global Warming thing that Trump mentions in between slamming dead John McCain and fake news.

Nashville has done little to no planning for said flood and again it is predicted if not expected to do so again so I find it fascinating that the acclaimed 5th and Broad project has the audacity to put a museum of collections regarding the role of African American Music and Culture on the ground floor right in prime flood zone.  Really good idea when they built the State museum adjacent to the largest historically defined Black Community.  A museum that is too big for its current collection and way out of proportion for its needs.   All while another document  and records one is being built across the park.  When it comes to white history there is no  building big enough apparently.  But it is out of the flood zone.

But then I thought ironically water is symbol of cleansing of a ritual washing of the skin and in turn often used in religious ceremonies via Baptism.   Perhaps here in the Bible belt it is God's way of saying that the South needs to be cleaned up as for religious folk they are sure judgemental and shit.

Mississippi  just passed a law that literally makes abortion illegal before a woman knows she has conceived.  Wow just wow given the poverty and illiteracy in that state this is just another way of proving that they have earned their bottom ranking in State tallies across the board.    Tennessee likes to constantly compare itself to the bottom as saying that they are not at least them.  Yes you are.

The legislature here on its quest to be equally oppressive and idiotic are moving towards similar legislation but have added hating the Gay community to its to do list and doing so by writing a bill with very bizarre wording and language that when you apply Southern idioms or in this case idiots translations to Northern speak is in fact discriminatory.

But being Gay here brings up a whole nother mess of shit so don't be gay and don't be black as HIV rates are higher here for that population than in the rest of the United States. It is near to impossible to get treatment (let alone respect) as that disease is not getting the recognition, the education and more importantly the prevention and treatment it does elsewhere in the United States. 

And on the heels of Black History Month, the wealthiest county in apparently the United States (as they tell us here in Nashville apparently believing that Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos live there) has their GOP representatives in a tither that the schools are teaching about inclusion and privilege.  Oh my lord Sally pass the Sweet Tea and Biscuits!!  This of course followed the interesting lessons on Slavery during said month that asked Students to imagine their families had slaves and go home and create a chore list appropriate for said slaves.  Those Teachers have since resigned. Hey come to Nashville as this district is in a mess that it required a religious rally to keep the idiot that is the current Director of Schools of Scandals. There is no scandal too large or small here in this city's schools that Phil Williams of Channel 5 News has failed to investigate. But keep rolling on like that river about to crest and flood.

And lastly the head of the Democratic Party here called the State Racist.  Yes, yes it is but you never say any thoughts such as this out loud or ever.  Denial is the other river that runs along Nashville's border.

The chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party has issued an apology after saying certain Democratic candidates have struggled to gain traction because the state is racist.

Mary Mancini, re-elected by the state party's executive committee in January to her third two-year term as its leader, says she chose the wrong words while discussing the state of politics in Tennessee during a recent tour to visit local county Democratic parties.

"We have a little bit of a problem in this state, and I'm just going to say it out right," Mancini said while speaking earlier this month with the Coffee County Democratic Party. "This is a racist state."

Mancini made the comment while talking about how the state party should continue to put forward candidates who are less conventional in Tennessee, including black and Latino people, millennials and members of the LGBTQ community.

"We have to disregard that old trope that Tennessee Democrats have been living under, which is that we have to find a candidate that looks like the community," she said.

In an audio recording of a second recent county party meeting with Mancini, she can also be heard calling Tennessee "a very racist state."

After an interview about her recent comments, in which Mancini pointed to "leadership in the Republican Party who like to inflame our differences," she later released a statement to the USA TODAY NETWORK - Tennessee apologizing for her remarks during the meetings.

"In the heat and the frustration of seeing and hearing the constant drumbeat of bigotry, misogyny and homophobia coming from the Republicans at the state legislature, I used a poor choice of words and vented my frustration and I apologize," Mancini said.

"My statement is not representative of how I or the Tennessee Democratic Party view the people of our state. Racism is not an issue that we can shy away from addressing head-on. However, I am more aware than ever that words matter when discussing tough issues like race. I commit to continuing this conversation thoughtfully and respectfully with the voters of Tennessee."

In the interview, Mancini alleged that the state GOP was causing division to "become ingrained" in residents around the state, but acknowledged that racism persisted in the Democratic Party, too.

In a statement, Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Scott Golden said it was disappointing that Mancini called the state racist. He said Republicans are working to “lift all Tennesseans up,” citing the state’s economy and efforts to boost educational attainment.

While speaking to Coffee County Democrats, Mancini talked about how even some Democrats in state House District 82 — which was represented for years by Craig Fitzhugh until he did not seek re-election in order to run for governor — suggested that Andrea Bond-Johnson, an African-American candidate for the seat, wouldn't have a shot at winning there due to the small minority population.

"Two out of the three counties in that area are extraordinarily racist," Mancini told the group.

Asked in the interview about the comment, Mancini said she agreed there were still racist members of the Democratic Party, but that she was uninterested in keeping their support or that kind of thinking in the party.

"I wasn’t the only one who was told that we need to run someone who is not African-American in that district, because (some believed) an African-American cannot win in that district because white people will not vote for an African-American."

Mancini's apology follows freshman Rep. London Lamar, D-Memphis, apologizing last fall for saying "Tennessee is racist" and that Republican voters are uneducated.

Mancini at the time called Lamar's remarks "a mistake made in anger after witnessing intense voter suppression aimed at people of color," but defended Lamar's frustration.

Mancini said the state party is on the right path forward and has encouraged people of color and other candidates representing minority groups in Tennessee to continue running for office.

"I think it’s hard to be a party that is not winning," Mancini said. "So I think people look for ways in which we can win. I think this is a long process of changing our thought process, building the Tennessee Democratic Party for the future, and not for looking back in the past.

"I think that’s a very important change that we have to make and we have started to make and that we have to continue to make."

Yes the good ole boys run the South like it still is a plantation and you best behave now, ya hear, or face the broom switch. 

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