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What's the deal with the Southern US?

post #1 of 77
Thread Starter 
I was thinking about this because of the thread about the woman who killed the guy in her windshield. I was wondering why it seems like these things always happen in Texas.

Well, I did a little digging, and it's true - there's more violent crime, and especially gun-based crime in the south, especially Texas.

But they execute more people which is supposedly a deterrent, and more people have guns which supposedly protects you from crime.

What's the deal? You Southerners got some 'splainin' to do.
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<a href="http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/homicide/region.htm" target="_blank">Homicide is higher in the South.</a>

<a href="http://www.vpc.org/studies/norckey.htm" target="_blank">Gun ownership is higher in the South.</a>

Executions are higher in the South:
post #2 of 77
About the death penalty, deterrence is not its main objective. First and foremost, it is punishment. It is the ultimate price so justice may be served. If it deters others, so much the better, but even if it doesn't, that does not negate its importance in the criminal justice system.
post #3 of 77
[quote]Originally posted by FotNS:
<strong>About the death penalty, deterrence is not its main objective. First and foremost, it is punishment. It is the ultimate price so justice may be served. If it deters others, so much the better, but even if it doesn't, that does not negate its importance in the criminal justice system.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Actually, deterrence is a main concept put forth by groups trying to lobby for the introduction of the death penalty. Life without parole is just as much punishment.
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post #4 of 77
Last week I heard a story on Public Radio that was talking about how racism was increasing in the deep south, specifically Texas. It seems that ever since the mid 60's, the south has become more republican. This is being attributed to the democracts passing anti discrimination laws in the '60s. Right or wrong, racism will always be around, deal with it.
post #5 of 77
Alright, bear with me here:

The racial climate in the South has always been shaky. First it was white vs. black in master vs. slave, then white vs. Mexican in the wars, and etc. In the North there never was the direct racial conflict that there was in the South.

The Southerners I know who are big-time Republicans are more in favor of the party, not for any racial reasons, but because Republicans tend to lobby towards policies that are genuinely in line with the way of life down there. I'd guess that the biggest reason why most Southern blacks are Dems is because many Southern whites are Republicans. Economic factors come second.

As for Public Radio, it's something not to be trusted in the same way that right-wing journals are a bit untrustworthy. It's run by a bunch of socialist, intellectual-aristocrats who think that they are keepers of culture. To say that racism is increasing in the South is dead wrong. Perhaps there are spikes in some regions, but I'm sure that it has greatly decreased overall in the past 20 years. The folks at NPR were using skewed surveys, without a doubt.
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post #6 of 77
we gotta have our guns. its as simple as that. its security. (i dont own a gun btw...)

in the south, we have to deal w/ all this racist bullsh*t. in the north, u have to deal w/ the canadians. it seems that we got the good end of that deal.
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post #7 of 77
The south has it's fair bit of racial tension, but I don't think that that's the main reason for the higher crime rates. I think it actually has more to do with the higher rates of poverty down here. The south, as a whole, is poorer than the north. Also, there have been several studies that look at the way violence is perceived in the south, and it appears to be more acceptable.

For example, there's something that social psychologists like to call a "culture of honor." Basically what this boils down to is that committing an act of violence that is perceived as being provoked because of a slight to one's honor, is looked upon more favorably in the south than in the north (how's that for an awkwardly worded sentence??). What several studies have shown is that the south has such a culture. They sent out fake resumes to random employers, both in the south and the north, identical in all ways. For the question about being convicted of a felony on the application, they answered yes and provided an explanation something like "I killed a man because he was sleeping with my wife." There was a significant difference in the number of telephone inquiries for followup interviews at the employers who were based in the south. I'm sure I forgot some of the methodology, but that's the gist.

Another study looked at the terms used to describe violent crimes on the local news in the south and the north. They coded stories for the "tone" (warmth, positivity, negativity, etc.) and they found that the newscasts in the south tended to use more positive terms overall for acts of violence.

It's just more accepted down here. There's more of a sense of vigilante justice, if you will. You take care of your property, however you can. Of course, there could be other reasons, but I'm sure that these are just as logical explanations as any. (Personally, I like to laugh when all the gun-toting rednecks around here say that the guns make them safer. Just look at the stats for god's sake!)

[edit: I forgot to mention the heat/aggression connection. People tend to be more aggressive when it's hotter and it's hotter in the south. (This could also be a cause of the poverty, leading to the aggression. That is, poverty mediates the relationship between heat and aggression, at least partially.) Just something else to chew on.]

[ 03-10-2002: Message edited by: torifile ]</p>
post #8 of 77
[quote]Originally posted by ThinkingDifferent:

<strong>Last week I heard a story on Public Radio that was talking about how racism was increasing in the deep south, specifically Texas...</strong><hr></blockquote>

More racist than during Jim Crow? Yeah, right.
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post #9 of 77
I don't know if a study has ever been done on this, but my theory is that racism doesn't have so much to do with southern vs. northern, as it does rural vs. urban (or whether your parents grew up in a rural area vs. an urban one).

[While in college] I found some seriously f*cked up redneck bastards from Iowa (a supposedly calm, friendly place to all who visit), Illinois, Wisconsin - even Minnesota. Many didn't even attempt to hide their racist attitudes in public places. And almost without exception, the people who held these views - they all came from farm communities or places that were otherwise isolated from urban areas.

Now think about this: the deep south is a LOT more tomato field than it is Atlanta or Charlotte, if you take my meaning. Most of Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, Alabama (and the others) - it's all farmland or empty tracts of pine forrest. And much of it is dirt-poor also - which could cerainly be a related factor. Poverty tends to bring out the worst in people... jealousy, bitterness towards outsiders, etc.

I don't know exactly what it is that skews the opinions of people in rural areas - maybe it's just a simple lack of contact with those they hate. It seemed many of the people I noted above basically never had to deal with anyone of color until they got to college (too late for change, obviously). Another thing I don't get is that supposedly people in rural communities are *more* ethical as a group than us urban dwellers, *more* "do unto others", etc.

But if you ask me, the behavior of people who come from rural areas doesn't bear this out too well. Now it could just be that I ran into all the wrong people in this regard and so, the vast majority of farm families and rural dwellers are kind as can be - but the odds seem against it from my perspective. Almost every racist dickhead I had the displeasure of meeting during my college years, came from rural places (even though the largest percentage of students were from the city - by FAR).

Thus I think racism in large part has to do with the type of community you grew up in (in terms of urban or rural), not how far north or south of the Mason-Dixon line you are. That's NOT to say there are no cross-burning dip-shits in the big city, just far fewer of them as a percentage of their community.

An takers?

[ 03-10-2002: Message edited by: Moogs ]

[ 03-10-2002: Message edited by: Moogs ]</p>
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post #10 of 77
in the south, we have to deal w/ all this racist bullsh*t. in the north, u have to deal w/ the canadians. it seems that we got the good end of that deal.

I know you're just kidding, but I can't think of any better neighbors than Canada. You should see how lax the borders are.
post #11 of 77
[quote]Originally posted by Outsider:
<strong>in the south, we have to deal w/ all this racist bullsh*t. in the north, u have to deal w/ the canadians. it seems that we got the good end of that deal.

I know you're just kidding, but I can't think of any better neighbors than Canada. You should see how lax the borders are.</strong><hr></blockquote>

so they DO intermingle w/ americans...
something must be done before they run wild.
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post #12 of 77
[quote]Originally posted by Moogs :
<strong>
Thus I think racism in large part has to do with the type of community you grew up in (in terms of urban or rural), not how far north or south of the Mason-Dixon line you are...

An takers?</strong><hr></blockquote>

I dunno. NYC (as much as I love the place) at times displays a frightening amount of racial polarization. And it's not just the "cross burning dipshits" who are the problem. There are also the Al Sharptons on the other side of the divide.

But wasn't this thread supposed to be about murder rates and captital punishment? Racism isn't the only reason people commit murder. I'll bet it isn't even in the top five.
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post #13 of 77
I lived in Texas for a year, and from unfortunate first hand observation, for every Al Sharpton, there must be at least 10,000 David Dukes.
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post #14 of 77
There was a report out several years ago that was much more intelligent and substantial than the replies here. I think I read about it in Scientific American? The increased violence in the south was linked to .... can't remember .... the culture that solves problems via the dual. That is one's "honor" is involved in situation in the south much more than in other parts of the country. Something like that.
post #15 of 77
[quote]Originally posted by Samantha Joanne Ollendale:

<strong>I lived in Texas for a year, and from unfortunate first hand observation, for every Al Sharpton, there must be at least 10,000 David Dukes.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Wow! Ten thousand! No hyperbole here folks.
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post #16 of 77
Of course the liberal knee jerk reaction is to blame white racism for everything.
post #17 of 77
[quote]Originally posted by Scott H.:
<strong>There was a report out several years ago that was much more intelligent and substantial than the replies here. I think I read about it in Scientific American? The increased violence in the south was linked to .... can't remember .... the culture that solves problems via the dual. That is one's "honor" is involved in situation in the south much more than in other parts of the country. Something like that.</strong><hr></blockquote>

I guess you didn't read my post, did you? It's the culture of honor and I describe a couple of the studies examining it.
post #18 of 77
[quote]Originally posted by Scott H.:
<strong>Of course the liberal knee jerk reaction is to blame white racism for everything.</strong><hr></blockquote>

It's not the cause for everything, but it is the cause of a lot of things. Don't be so closed minded. Whites have caused more than their fair share of suffering in the world. Accept that and move on.

[ 03-10-2002: Message edited by: torifile ]</p>
post #19 of 77
[quote]Originally posted by Scott H.:
<strong>Of course the liberal knee jerk reaction is to blame white racism for everything.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Of course the white racist conservative reaction is to blame everything on liberals.
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post #20 of 77
[quote]Originally posted by Scott H.:
<strong>Of course the liberal knee jerk reaction is to blame white racism for everything.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Which brings up an interesting point. When not at school in Minnesota, I live in Berkeley and Oakland in California (parents are divorced thus two houses...). While there is some white racism, what I've run into the most is black racism. There have been many many times when I've been made to feel uncomfortable, unwelcome, unwanted, and on the very rare occasion fearful for no reason other than that I am white and in a predominately black area (not that Berkeley and Oakland are, but parts of them are). And it is black racism mostly, not non-white racism. While it does exist, I almost never get the same hostility from Hispanics who are vastly more numerous or Asians who are also pretty numerous.

The only times I've really experience white racism is when we lived in New Jersey (where we were in a small town, and previous to that way out in the Pine Barrens).

[ 03-10-2002: Message edited by: nonhuman ]</p>
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post #21 of 77
Thread Starter 
<a href="http://www.sciam.com/2000/1000issue/1000numbers.html" target="_blank">Here's another article about homicides</a> in the southern US vs. the world. Look at Alaska - even though it's more north, it still has higher homicide rates compared to Canada.


<a href="http://reason.com/9702/bk.wright.shtml" target="_blank">Here's a review of the theory torifile and Scott_H are talking about - the culture of honor in the South.</a>

[quote]Southerners and Northerners have different attitudes about violence--not across the board (as might be expected) but in certain specific areas, all of which seem linked to notions of honor and respect. Southerners, for example, are more likely to agree that violence is acceptable in defense of home and family and as a mechanism of social control, and they are especially likely to endorse violence as a response to insults and affronts, most of all when they involve women. This pattern suggests a culture in which honor threatened is honor lost and no response to the possible loss of honor is too extreme. Nisbett and Cohen note the evident similarities between this Southern code and the new culture of violence in the inner cities, where "dissing" often leads to death.<hr></blockquote>
post #22 of 77
[quote]Originally posted by nonhuman:
<strong>

Which brings up an interesting point. When not at school in Minnesota, I live in Berkeley and Oakland in California (parents are divorced thus two houses...). While there is some white racism, what I've run into the most is black racism. There have been many many times when I've been made to feel uncomfortable, unwelcome, unwanted, and on the very rare occasion fearful for no reason other than that I am white and in a predominately black area (not that Berkeley and Oakland are, but parts of them are). And it is black racism mostly, not non-white racism. While it does exist, I almost never get the same hostility from Hispanics who are vastly more numerous or Asians who are also pretty numerous.

The only times I've really experience white racism is when we lived in New Jersey (where we were in a small town, and previous to that way out in the Pine Barrens).

[ 03-10-2002: Message edited by: nonhuman ]</strong><hr></blockquote>

You expect to experience white racism when you're white? How's that again? Don't be so thick. White racism exists. You want me to quote you some stats and studies on it, I will (just give me a couple of days to get relevant references).

[note: I'm not saying that it doesn't go the other way around, as well. But white (at least, european) racism has caused a lot more trouble than any other kind in the history of the modern world.
post #23 of 77
[quote]Originally posted by torifile:
<strong>
You expect to experience white racism when you're white? How's that again? Don't be so thick. White racism exists... </strong><hr></blockquote>

Speaking of thick, nonhuman wasn't arguing that white racism doesn't exist. As for experiencing white racism well, no, but a white person can certainly witness it. In fact, a white person may have more opportunites to witness racism simply because he or she might be more likely to catch another white person in an unguarded moment. Moreover, a lot of what is percieved by blacks to be racism isn't that at all. If I'm critical of a white person it's because of the thing I'm criticizing. But if I did the same thing to a black person it can easily be percieved as "evidence" of racism.

[ 03-10-2002: Message edited by: roger_ramjet ]</p>
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post #24 of 77
Yeah, I meant to say witnessed, not experienced.
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post #25 of 77
[quote]Originally posted by roger_ramjet:
<strong>

Speaking of thick, nonhuman wasn't arguing that white racism doesn't exist.
</strong><hr></blockquote>
Point taken.
[quote]<strong>
In fact, a white person may have more opportunites to witness racism simply because he or she might be more likely to catch another white person in an unguarded moment.
</strong><hr></blockquote>
Really? You have any proof of that? Or are you just making up some psychological theory?

[quote]<strong>
Moreover, a lot of what is percieved by blacks to be racism isn't that at all. If I'm critical of a white person it's because of the thing I'm criticizing. But if I did the same thing to a black person it can easily be percieved as "evidence" of racism.
</strong><hr></blockquote>
And how do you know that part of your criticism isn't unconsciously fueled by racism? And how do you know that's what a black would think? I guess because it's ok for you to read into their motives but not for them to read into yours It goes both ways.

[ 03-10-2002: Message edited by: torifile ]</p>
post #26 of 77
[quote]Originally posted by torifile:

And how do you know that part of your criticism isn't unconsciously fueled by racism?<hr></blockquote>

Now who's reading into another person's motives?

[quote]Moreover, a lot of what is percieved by blacks to be racism isn't that at all. If I'm critical of a white person it's because of the thing I'm criticizing. But if I did the same thing to a black person it can easily be percieved as "evidence" of racism.

And how do you know that's what a black would think? <hr></blockquote>

Are you implying that this never happens?

[ 03-10-2002: Message edited by: roger_ramjet ]</p>
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post #27 of 77
I'm not implying anything. I'm merely pointing out the double standard that many people have in their thinking. Namely, that it's ok for you to read someone else's mind but it's not ok for them to do the same to you. Do you get it or shall I clarify further? Either it's acceptable to do that, or it's not. If it's not, then don't go saying that that's what they are thinking. If it is, then deal with it.

[edit: Next time, don't take my post out of context. The two questions were related and both rhetorical.]

[ 03-10-2002: Message edited by: torifile ]</p>
post #28 of 77
Alaska's population is in the hundreds of thousands and Canada's is in double-digit millions.

You can't really compare the two.
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post #29 of 77
[quote]Alaska's population is in the hundreds of thousands and Canada's is in double-digit millions.
You can't really compare the two.<hr></blockquote>

Why not? Its a homicide *rate* he's quoting, not comparing totals.
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post #30 of 77
[quote]Originally posted by torifile:

<strong>I'm not implying anything. I'm merely pointing out the double standard that many people have in their thinking. Namely, that it's ok for you to read someone else's mind but it's not ok for them to do the same to you. </strong><hr></blockquote>

Read someone's mind? What are you talking about? Are you unaware that there are black people who openly say whether or not they think they are the victim of racism? (If it's true, they should speak up.)

[quote]<strong>Do you get it or shall I clarify further? Either it's acceptable to do that, or it's not. If it's not, then don't go saying that that's what they are thinking. If it is, then deal with it.
</strong><hr></blockquote>

Clarify this. This is a true story. I have two friends. One is black the other is white. One of them wanted to rent a car for a weekend. He went to the car rental place saw a car over by the fence that he wanted to rent. The car rental place didn't want to rent that car for some reason or other. They brought up an identical (his words) car but it was a different color instead. The other friend wanted to buy a treadmill. He shopped around and saw the make and model he wanted. When he went to buy it, he was told that the only one they had was the floor model. They had none in inventory. He asked the sales person to check to see if they had one at one of their other stores. The sales person said he'd check. Came back and said, sorry, no. Later, after my friend got home, he called some of the other stores and found out that one of them had the treadmill he wanted in stock. Which friend told me he was the victim of racism and which one chalked it up to bad customer service?

[ 03-10-2002: Message edited by: roger_ramjet ]</p>
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post #31 of 77
[quote]I lived in Texas for a year, and from unfortunate first hand observation, for every Al Sharpton, there must be at least 10,000 David Dukes.<hr></blockquote>

For every racist, there are 10,000 racists?

I'm not following what you're saying.

This is one of the more humorous threads I've seen today...

BRussell, your nicely colored map there kind of shows that the northern states are quite fond of murder as well. The Midwest is relatively calm, however.

A very profound bigot, you are.
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post #32 of 77
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by groverat:
<strong>BRussell, your nicely colored map there kind of shows that the northern states are quite fond of murder as well. The Midwest is relatively calm, however.

A very profound bigot, you are.</strong><hr></blockquote>Well, at least I'm profound.
post #33 of 77
[quote]Originally posted by BRussell:
<strong>Well, at least I'm profound.
</strong><hr></blockquote>

As always.

I think it's good that you folks are talking about this, but make sure that you're covering everything.

Crime is more of a personal threat in the South because law enforcement is spread out and the chance of getting busted is slim. That's also one reason that we need our own personal protection.

As for the DEATH penalty, we won't ever know whether or not it's a deterrent in this country, because there's no way to link the verdict with the execution. When it takes 15 years to carry out the sentence, it kinda loses its impact. And it serves as a deterrent, but it also serves to keep the crud off of the street. The deterrent effect is clearly the reason to do it. I'd like to see the heads on posts outside the town gate, but those days are passed.

And as for RACISM -- I've always understood that minorities are far more closely scrutinized up north, where there are fewer minorities. Not that I have personal knowledge, but this is from friends of mine who've tried to live up north. You see, where I grew up there was almost no discrimination, since just about everyone was poor as hell, and that tended to unite us. Same for the prior generation or so, as well.

As for stupid and backwards Southerners, that's ridiculous. I've known plenty of stupid and backwards Yankees. Case in point: wrestling venues fill up on BOTH SIDES of the Mason/Dixon line.

[ 03-11-2002: Message edited by: finboy ]</p>
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post #34 of 77
[quote]Originally posted by _ alliance _:
<strong>we gotta have our guns. its as simple as that. its security. (i dont own a gun btw...)

in the south, we have to deal w/ all this racist bullsh*t. in the north, u have to deal w/ the canadians. it seems that we got the good end of that deal. </strong><hr></blockquote>

I grew up in Atlanta, and I've met more racist people in New England than I ever met in Atlanta. I lived in Midtown though, not in the sticks, so maybe you see less of it in an urban setting. Nevertheless, I live two blocks from Fenway Park in Boston, and living around here, I can still say I've met more racists here than Atlanta.
post #35 of 77
A good friend of mine says that he'd never seen anything like the racism around Boston. That's after having grown up in the middle of Virginia cow country. Plus, he's lived all over the country since, including Atlanta.
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post #36 of 77
I can back that up. I had a roommate at Virginia Tech that grew up in cow country Virginia. His roommate before me was a black guy. His father was a truck driver so it wasn't like he was some NoVA upper middle class guy. We all got a long just fine. Who'da thunk it? Not the knee jerk liberals that's for sure.

[ 03-11-2002: Message edited by: Scott H. ]</p>
post #37 of 77
I live in California so I don't see a lot of racism first hand... everywhere I've lived has been real diverse which is nice.

Now that I'm at a University I hear a lot more about the racism that people have experienced throughout the country. One person in my dorm is of Middle Eastern descent, and lives in Georgia. He said every white person down there is racist, and when he got here he just figured it'd be the same way. He said he was really surprised to find that it's not, and that he still has a hard time dealing with it.
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post #38 of 77
Thread Starter 
I don't see how the violent crime could be accounted for by racism. Unless you mean the long-term after effects of slavery and denial of civil rights.

I personally think it's guns. The gun rates are higher in the South, and so are the murder rates.

About half of all household in the South have a gun, compared to about 1/3 in the rest of the country.

And virtually all homicides are with guns. Seems pretty clear to me.
post #39 of 77
Guns are a tool, not a cause.

You are a tool with a cause.

Crimes are committed mainly by people. Seems pretty clear to me. Ban people.
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post #40 of 77
put all the stupid people in one state that noone cares about (like minnesota or alaska) and lock it up. then let the real people have the rest of the country.

or...we can go back to social darwinism...survival of the fittest always works. no more letting the stupid and weak survive. if they arent fit to live, then they die. at the very least, STOP LETTING THEM BREED!!!

only the strong must pass on genetics.

that sound better...?
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