Apr 302014

We’re just through our first tornado outbreak of the season. It was certainly nothing like 2011 in terms of widespread death and destruction, but there are still about three dozen people dead, with considerable property damage. We also have massive flooding on the Gulf, with damage comparable to a hurricane strike in some places.

Some people in other parts of the country saw great humor potential in this, and took to Twitter to delight in what they perceived as a little chlorine in the gene pool. Others decided we deserved it, because we’re just a bunch of red states anyway. It’s just a bit of comeuppance, right? Let’s have a laugh at the hicks’ expense!

MNMusicBitch took a look at the situation and announced

I like to think of tornadoes in the south as “culling the herd”

She got a lot of negative attention for that, as you might imagine. She spat venom as best she could for a while, but finally gave up and hid her tweets. To that I replied

Hiding your tweets is cowardly, don’t you think? Why not do something truly unexpected and apologize for your insensitivity?

TariAkpodiete tweeted

Suddenly we’re supposed to forget the nasty attitudes of hateful right wing states when they catch fire or have an earthquake or tornado?

Noting that she listed her location as Toronto, I replied

It would appear you don’t live in the United States. Have you ever spent any time in the American South?

She blocked me for that. I disappeared. Can’t you see why? I mean, I was really being a jerk, right?

KENTping said

The ignorance of the red states in the south on global warming is now paying off …stupid rightwing hicks!

Do go enjoy his Twitter feed at some length. Spittle-flecked, barely coherent rage is not a good look for an ostensibly grown man.

There are several other gems at that Twitchy post, including lots of crowing about if we really want smaller government down here, we’ll refuse federal assistance, and lots of other heartwarming stuff.

As unpleasant as this kind of reaction is, I’m not really surprised by it. I’ve touched both a gun and a Bible in the past 24 hours, and that makes me and anyone like me fair game for this kind of nonsense. There is no attempt to understand me. There is no attempt to respect the South. There is only denigration.

What does surprise me, just a bit, is that none of these people ever relented. MNMusicBitch, who appears to be a wife and mother, rode it all the way into the ground. There is a mother in Arkansas who will bury her 8-year-old son this week. No worries! Just “culling the herd.”

Something like

All, I was a bit over the line with my earlier comment. It was insensitive and I apologize.

would have been all that was necessary. Jumping out with “wit” in the heat of the moment on social media happens. But it takes sustained nastiness to own and defend comments like these all the way to the end.

My friend Miria, when she pointed out the article to me, said

I might not like any of these people, but I haven’t crossed that line of hoping that they die a painful death, much less cheering on as the death toll rises. There is a basic decency missing in these people, and I want no part of their circle.

She’s exactly right. To all those delighting in the South’s misfortune:  y’all are badly broken. And I’m delighted to be so fundamentally different from you.

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 Posted by at 7:12 pm

  6 Responses to “Tornadoes? Floods? They’re just red states. What’s the big deal?”

  1. The hate and bile goes both ways. There are a select handful of sites that I will actually read comments on because I just don’t need that kind of abuse. There are always people, on both side of the aisle, who are willing to loudly, abrasively demonize the other side. Poor taste and lack of judgement are passed around as “jokes”.

    • While all areas of the political spectrum certainly have their undesirables, I reject any notion of parity in this particular arena. Whether it’s this, or the fertilizer plant explosion in Texas, or the 2011 tornadoes, or the Nashville floods: when it’s red states getting it, then they’re getting theirs, and it’s a little chlorine in the gene pool.

      There is nothing remotely comparable flowing from right to left when blue states get it.

      • A great many people remember all of the “huricane Sandy was caused by sin and gay marriage nonsense that came from Bible thumpers in red states.So yes people can be idiots but a simple google search for God’s wrath and Sandy will show why some people feel how they do.

        • Dan, I guess I distinguish strongly between an unhinged kook here and there–the Pat Robertsons, the Westboro people–and just regular folks using this as casual, get-a-laugh fodder on social media. “This ain’t that.” An idiot preacher is recognized by nearly everyone as just that. This is water cooler talk from supposedly well-adjusted members of society.

  2. Thanks, Bo.

  3. I have to say there’s a lot of bile from people around here when anything bad happens in California.

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