Powerful Quote of The Week: the American Future Is In the South

[Sectarian NOTE: The author here does not mention (and why should she?) that the South, especially North Carolina, has been very important in the history of my own small tribe, the Quakers. I didn’t know or expect this when I came here 21 years ago, so far from the self-identified and self-important “centers” of the sect in Philadelphia, Richmond (Indiana) and Newberg (Oregon).  But once here, I learned it was so (as I learned much more that was important yet unexpected). That continuing learning has been the subject of many posts here, and as way opens, likely many more.]

Why I Keep My Eyes — and My Mind — on the South (Excerpts)

Opinion Columnist

Tressie McMillan Cottom
Tressie McMillan Cottom

While the world was watching the former president surrender to authorities in a New York City courthouse last week, I was watching Nashville and Raleigh. I live in North Carolina, and these two seats of government and capital cities in bordering southern states have been roiled with political unrest in the shadow of the Donald Trump Show.

We like to look to the horizon instead of to the soil because we bury the people we do not care about in the South. It is where we have put migrants and poor people and sick people. It is where we put the social problems we are willing to accept in exchange for the promise of individual opportunity in places that sound more sophisticated.

But the South is still a laboratory for the political disenfranchisement that works just as well in Wisconsin as it does in Florida. Americans are never as far from the graves we dig for other people as we hope.

One thought on “Powerful Quote of The Week: the American Future Is In the South”

  1. “Nothing about the future of this country can be resolved unless it is first resolved here: not the climate crisis or the border or life expectancy or anything else of national importance, unless you solve it in the South and with the people of the South.”

    This is the absolute Truth.

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