Sorry, Louisiana. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but this state is in fact backwards, close minded, and bigoted. As someone who is not originally from this state, I have first hand experience dealing with life as an unwelcome outsider.
What am I posting about? Perhaps you've heard it on the national news, something Louisiana has been good at over the last few years. A justice of the peace, Keith Bardwell, from Tangipahoa Parish would not issue a marriage license to an interracial couple.
In an interview, he unknowingly revealed his bigotry in a very open manner. His own definition of racism was that racists hate black people and treat black people differently than everyone else. He claimed that in this case, he didn't do that. He also stated that his reason had to do with the offspring.
Okay. Uh. Yeah, you did treat them differently. You may marry black couples in your own house, but a couple is a couple. Race shouldn't be an issue. Offspring shouldn't be an issue.
So yes, Louisiana, I'm sorry, but this state is backwards, close minded, and bigoted.
My own experience has been similar. I moved here a few years ago. I'm a white male. One would think integrating into every day life in Louisiana would be a breeze. Well, it wasn't.
Since moving here, I've never felt so unwelcome or so out of place. If you're not "one of them," you're treated like an outsider. Even though I was actually born in a large city in a state traditionally seen as a southern state, I'm viewed as a northerner here. My political views are not represented by my elected officials. In fact, many of my political views have been what has isolated me even further. I'm not a redneck. I don't do crawfish boils or spicy food, aside from gumbo. I don't listen to country music. I'm not an avid church goer. People like me are treated as though we have the plague.
But Dailymindjob, didn't Louisiana elect an Indian-American governor?
Yes, and that can easily be explained.
Had Bobby Jindal kept his real first name, Piyush, he probably wouldn't have garnered much support from the southern right wing organizations. Had Bobby Jindal not converted to a Christian faith, he would have been an outcast like me. Bobby Jindal actually has huge support from southern right wing faith based organizations like the Louisiana Family Forum, a group with a purely religious-right agenda. What got Bobby Jindal elected was the fact that next to his name on the ballot, there was a capital R, not a D. Down here, an Indian republican is a damn sight better than any democrat. It's also why we have blue dog democrats down here and not liberal democrats.
Bobby Jindal's sentiment that the JP in question should get the boot must sit uneasy with the right wing racists down here.
I've had colleagues ask me about the area because they are interested in practicing here. I turn them away. I describe Louisiana in the same way I just did for you. It's going to take decades for Louisiana's reputation to become, well, reputable.