Meet my Ohio neighbors

Some of you may have seen this news report where a resident of a small rural town in southwestern Ohio near Cincinnati had some blatantly racist lawn and porch ornaments plus confederate flags flying. When questioned by the reporter, he and his friend denied that they were in any way being racist and gave other reasons for their actions that defy belief.

The guy who lives in the house looks and sounds confused and like he is stoned and it is his friend who mounts the vigorous defense.

We are used to politicians and other major public figures giving out racist dog-whistles that enable them to deny that they are being racist. But when I see people like this, I am puzzled. These are no racist dog whistles, these are ear-piercing shrieks. There is no subtlety at all. So why bother to deny that it is racist. Could it be that they genuinely believe that they are not racist? Could they be that stupid?

This story reminded of this scene from Blazing Saddles.

Although I have referred to these people as my Ohio neighbors, they actually live at the opposite corner of the state on the border with Kentucky, as far away from me as one could get, which is just as well.


  1. jrkrideau says

    Could it be that they genuinely believe that they are not racist?
    Quite possibly. He, in particular, did not sound really perceptive.

  2. DonDueed says

    Mano, as you may remember, I grew up in Lorain (in northern Ohio). It was a common perception among my acquaintances that Ohio had at least two very different cultures, with the parts of the state bordering the lake being far more “northern” and the rest of the state distinctly “southern” culturally.

    While that may be an oversimplification, there’s probably some truth to it. As you point out, Cincy isn’t that far from Kentucky.

  3. suttkus says

    Look, everyone knows that racists are bad, and that they, themselves, are good people, therefore their opinions do not constitute racism. Racism is for people who hold more extreme opinions than their simple accuracy.

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