Gloves off

My sister and brother in law are finally retiring. My brother in law is a private plane enthusiast and was looking for an airpark to live at: basically a community of houses on a private airpark shared with neighbors like they used to have in Friendswood, Texas. The good news is they found such a place again. The bad news is that it’s in Tennessee.

Tennessee, of course, is much in the news lately, just not in a good way. Their airpark is a community of good ol’ boys. But not to worry says my brother in law Jim. They’re all good people.

Call me skeptical. Their county is 95% white. Tennessee is not known as a progressive state. It’s overwhelmingly Republican. So it’s a safe bet that most of his new neighbors voted for Donald Trump and overwhelmingly approved of the recent removal of two black delegates from its legislature. I could hardly believe this could happen in the 21st century. I watched the modern return of Jim Crow. It used to be you’d be ashamed of such naked racism. The naked and blatant racism was there for all to see. The legislature wasn’t even making a pretense of being fair. They wanted revenge because they were black Democrats. They wanted them expelled because they could get away with it.

Tennessee is hardly alone. Just last week it passed a law restricting adult drag performances. Also, no gender affirming care for LGBTQIA+ people like puberty blockers, hormones and surgery. A first offense violating the anti-drag law involves up to a $2500 fine and up to a year in jail. Why is it so evil? It’s unclear but it looks like its legislature considers it weird and gross, and that suffices. No one is hurting anyone but it can’t be tolerated.

So two black legislators are out of office because they are black and didn’t express sufficient fealty to their true crime: being loudly in favor of gun control after the death of nine at a recent Nashville school shooting. That’s no longer an option in the Volunteer State. Oh, one woman escaped punishment because she was white. It occurred to no one that the whole thing reeked of racism. No one cared and I suspect these included my brother in law’s new good old boys on the airstrip.

Being around people like this apparently hits an ick factor which makes it all excusable.

This sort of stuff is going on in most red states. Abortion rights have been canceled. It’s an all antifreedom agenda. The misogyny is piled deep. Keep women in the closet. Don’t let it bother you that you are stripping them of their civil rights. Our courts don’t seem to care that it’s all so blatantly unconstitutional.

I have to hope that a backlash is brewing. Women, queer folk and anyone different are being treated abominably. It sure seems that way. I suspect Republicans won’t know what hit them after the 2024 elections. Not many even in red states want this extreme puritanism being sold to voters.

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