If you had not indiacted at the beginning of your comment that you've never been to Oxford, it would still be very clear to me. As a recent alum of Ole Miss and a resident of Mississippi for the bulk of my life, I can assure you that Ms. Tippett's impression of Oxford was very true to the reality of the situation there. There is no "shallow but pretty face." I am not trying to insist that racism is completely gone from the area, but I would like to point out that it isn't completely gone from anywhere. I currently reside in Utah, but have also lived in Florida, New York, and Massachusetts. In each place I have lived, I have encountered just as much, and in some cases more, small-minded bigotry as I did growing up and going to school in Mississippi. So, please, don't stereotype the South. The truth of the matter is that racists are everywhere.
Also, I disagree that racists and bigots are more organized than ever. My generation that has grown up in the post-civil rights era doesn't have the same way of thinking about race as our parents do. We have always gone to integrated schools. We've never experienced Race Riots, thank goodness. Barack Obama has a fighting chance in this election, I think, largely due to the fact that more and more voters are from my generation that simply doesn't take race into account like our parents and grandparents did. As time goes on and people with old fashioned ideas about race are no longer running the show, I think that racists and bigots will also become less and less prevalent in our society.
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