Southern by DefaultĀ 

     Irony is a funny thing. I believe it’s God’s sense of humor. It remind me of a joke I heard; How do you make God laugh? The answer, tell him your plans. Now I’m not sure that is entirely true but I sure knew that whatever happened in my life I refused to live down south especially in Augusta, Georgia. Yes my name is southern and yes my family is from North Carolina. I suppose that’s why my parents choose to retire back in Augusta. Low cost of living and southern roots. So being that I was newly divorced and the sol provider of 3 kids not yet of school age, my father insisted I move back to Disagusta. After all the kids need their family, he would say. Irony, maybe or just a string of bad choices that lead back to the very place I loathed.

       If you ain’t ever been to The South I suggest the coastal areas and most major cities. These two things normally bring in a variety of people so the cultural shock isn’t such a problem.Where ever you go don’t come to Augusta, Georgia. This town is notorious for being corrupt and also famous for raising up The Godfather of Soul, that’s right Augusta, Georgia was the not only James Brown birth place but his chosen city to reside. Now I scratch my head on that one and think there must be something good here for the locals.  But even James Brown was a victim of the local authorities. As much as he did for his people, you think they give the man a chance? Maybe they did but he choose to remain silent n let the chips lie where they may. Cause eventually the prison doors would open and he’d be back in the game. I heard he loved to smoke blunts dipped in fermaoudhide. That would explain his constant smile. James Brown is the Godfather of Soul because you don’t survive Augusta much less be come successful without having soul. 

    So now that I excepted my lot in life. I recognize I better shut up rather then defend civil liberties in this town. I have learned to fear the police, politicians, judges, and attorneys. Just like everyone else I have become in different to the world around me. I’m one of them now, I’m a soul surviver.  What keeps this town oppressed is the inability to really document the corruption and rally up enough people to create change. Hell if the FBI can’t get shit done here how are we the people suppose too. This city tells big government and rich people whatever they want to hear, to keep them out of our town. Oh yea the Masters Golf Tournmant is a prime example of putting on errs. One week of the year the whole town is on their best behavior and wearing our Sunday best. Staying in our proper positions in life,drawling out those words to a breathily refined southern dialect. We pretend that we don’t speak  hill Billy or black slang that in reality is par for the course of living in the south and Augusta ain’t no different. 

    The southerners here love to think they are divinely chosen to be southern. I see the Rebel flag of  bars n stars and I get offended. To me it represents a shameful part of our nations history, slavery, of course. To the average southerner it represents pride. Pride of what I ask? The civil war was about state rights. The southern state’s right to own slaves. The southern blacks are so amune to it, can’t say that I blame them. Experience here in The South has taught me to look the other way and to keep on walking unless you want be herassed by local law enforcement constantly. To that I can only say I’m sorry for being a coward.

    If you saw me on the streets around Augusta, or spoke to me in passing I’m sure you wouldn’t think that I’m a local. I stand out just by being 6ft tall white woman who happens to love denim and black fokes. Now that I’m local and have done my time I can honestly say that Augusta is home. So while I might have spent the majority of my life trying to figure out how to escape Augusta or avoid it in all ways possible. I’m southern by default and by the grace of God. Along with my new southern pride is some good old fashion soul. That’s right baby, mama’s got soul and you get soul by surviving the rough patches and refusing to let anyone steal your joy.

     So to all you Yankees peace, to all you Midwesterners peace, and to you all you west cost riders, stay put cause the west is the best. If you come to The South to visit be careful we are real good at sounding syrupy sweet all the while rolling our eyes at your funny way of talking, your rude behavior, and your inappropriate manner of dress. Be sure to note how many people ask you when you are leaving. If that ain’t a hint then color me naive. Just remember The South prides themselves on their God given land, which hides evidence of all sorts of evil.