The Daily Beast

Here’s Why Southern Progressives Don’t Just Move Somewhere Else

Sara D. Davis/Getty

Georgia legislators didn’t just summon Jim Crow from its shallow grave with a recent spate of vote-suppressing measures, they seeded dangerous ideas. So predictably, Florida and Alabama began incantations to bring their own black-feathered zombies to life. Oblivious to the April 9 anniversary of the Confederacy’s surrender—or maybe to defy it—Arkansas, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas are poised to take a crack at disenfranchisement, too.

Southern progressives are humiliated, but we aren’t surprised. We bear the chagrin from Southern culture’s roots in white supremacy and feudalism. We shake our heads at shameful Lost Cause rhapsodies, a traitorous Old South too often romanticized for tourism’s allure.

We foretold that Shelby v. Holder—the 2013 Supreme Court decision that gutted the Voting Rights Act—would result in these unfolding changes. The only surprise was it took close to a decade to happen.

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