In practice, however, much of what sets the United States apart from other countries today is actually Southern exceptionalism. The United States would be much less exceptional in general, and in particular more like other English-speaking democracies such as Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand were it not for the effects on U.S. politics and culture of the American South.
I don’t mean this in a good way. A lot of the traits that make the United States exceptional these days are undesirable, like higher violence and less social mobility. Many of these differences can be attributed largely to the South.
How the South Skews America – Michael Lind – POLITICO Magazine
I saw a woman at Dallas-Fort Worth International yesterday wearing a shirt with the outline of Texas and the word “Secede” on it.
Moreover, if police start stopping and frisking hundreds of thousands of white women and men in the manner they’ve been searching young men of color, they will undoubtedly issue some summonses and make some arrests. There are middle-class white people in possession of illegal guns — not to mention heroin, illegal prescription painkillers, and marijuana. The success rates may not be high. But this shouldn’t deter police officials. After all, low success rates haven’t dissuaded them from searching young men of color for contraband and firearms.
— Christopher E. Smith: What I Learned About Stop-and-Frisk From Watching My Black Son
Sounds fair to me. If you object to being stopped by the police, you probably have something to hide, right? Only criminals need to worry.
To identify 12 Years a Slave as merely a story about slavery is to miss what makes race the furious and often pathological subtext of American politics in the Obama era.
— Jonathan Chait: 12 Years a Slave and the Obama Era