North Texas Daily

Northern states’ response to Texas storm is part of a bigger issue

Northern states’ response to Texas storm is part of a bigger issue

Northern states’ response to Texas storm is part of a bigger issue
March 05
18:00 2021

18As much as we all like to think that humanity would band together in the face of disaster, and much as many of us take this misconception at face value, reality has proven otherwise time and time again. Take the snowstorm that assailed our state just mere weeks ago as a testament to this hard truth.

The most obvious example of this would be Ted Cruz tucking tail for Cancun, but there was plenty of callousness to go around. And though they are arguably the political party most prone to it, not all of it was perpetrated by Republicans. Plenty of self-proclaimed liberals were reveling in the suffering of a red state, with no apparent regard for the POC, queer people and disabled people who also live here, many of whom had it especially hard during the storm.

This is pretty standard fare for the northern states, who have a long-standing tradition of pawning off all the blame for American bigotry on southerners. Obviously, this has some merit, considering what side of the Civil War the south was on, but the north is far more culpable than it gives itself credit for. The northern states are just as rife with segregation as their southern counterparts, but using the south as a boogeyman provides them with a convenient scapegoat to help deflect from this reality.

There is what could charitably be referred to as an undercurrent of elitism present in northern perceptions of the south, in their crude oversimplification of bigotry as the byproduct of a different time, a relic sustained only by the conspiratorial musings of dumb, uncivilized rubes who don’t know any better.

This is not only a very kindergarten-esque take on the nature of prejudice, but an evasive maneuver that enables the north to abdicate from gaining any semblance of self-awareness and, actually, a tool to uphold the very power structures they are supposedly condemning. Because if there is no racism in the north, why bother addressing racism in the north? And if these southern states, that just so happen to be home to many people of color, are such fertile breeding grounds for moral bankruptcy, then why care what happens to them? Why help?

Take to Twitter to make light of an 11-year-old boy dying of hypothermia in his sleep, of a yet to be confirmed number of people dead or of the unapologetic indifference exhibited by our own representatives, who also don’t seem to care whether or not we live or die.

The faux-liberal elitism that made a hard week that much worse for Texans needs to be condemned on a much larger scale, but it probably won’t be because the same people who crowed over our misfortune over the internet are also the ones running the show. Much as they would like people to believe that they would put an end to the bigotry perpetuated by those pesky, primitive southerners, they only continue to stay on the sidelines and mock.

Featured Illustration by Olivia Varnell

About Author

Rachel Card

Rachel Card

Rachel Card is a junior majoring in public relations and minoring in sociology. She was born in Austin, Texas, and is currently quarantining there with her family and three dogs.

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