Saturday, October 10, 2009

First of all, Patrick Lanzo isn't originally from Paulding County, Ga., and . . .

. . . second, his tasteless sign is not a valid commentary on ObamaCare. But among the several other things wrong with this CBS News story, let's start with the dateline.

Temple is in Carroll County. Patrick Lanzo's Peach restaurant is in Paulding County. So CBS reporter Michelle Marsh can't even get the geography right, which casts doubt on her ability to understand the cultural significance of what it is that Lanzo intends by his unfortunate gesture.

This is not the first time the media has erred in a misguided attempt to find political meaning in this particular phenomenon, which compelled me to explain last November:
Just some demographic background for people who aren't familiar with Georgia. Paulding County is a fast-growing exurb of Atlanta, with a population of more than 120,000 that's increased nearly 50% since 2000. Median household income is more than $58,000.
When I was growing up in Douglas County, Paulding County was overwhelmingly rural. My hometown of Lithia Springs was sophisticated and cosmopolitan compared to Dallas or Hiram. But as neighboring Cobb County became urbanized, the Cobb developers moved westward.
The big thing was when Thorton Road (Ga. 6) was widened and connected to U.S. 278 via Powder Springs and Hiram, so that you now have a virtual freeway all the way from the Atlanta Airport (Camp Creek Parkway) to Rockmart (in Polk County). The area around the intersection of U.S. 278 and Ga. 92 in Hiram is now massively developed. A lot of the residents of Paulding County commute to jobs in Cobb or Douglas counties, especially in the industrial developments around the intersection of I-20 and Thornton Road.
Lanzo's Peach Bar is being spun as part of a "racist backlash" against Obama, which is silly: Paulding County never forward-lashed, so how can they backlash? Of course, the prosperous blue-collar exurbanites of Paulding County voted 69% Republican, but that doesn't make them evil, does it?
3, 2, 1 . . . raaaaacist! I wrote that Nov. 18, 2008 -- nearly 11 months ago -- and in all this time, Charles Johnson has yet to cite it as evidence of my Gelleresque evil. Why? Because he's lazy and stupid. If he were reasonably industrious and clever, he would have at some point found this item and said, "A-ha! Look the notorious white supremacist blogger is defending this!"

Uh . . . no. To explain is not to defend. In my experience, people like Mad King Charles, who make a big hairy deal out of being open-minded and enlightened, are some of the most benighted bigots you'll ever meet.

The use of the "n-word" and other such epithets was not tolerated by my parents, teachers or church leaders. As I've often said, my mother would have washed my mouth out with soap and worn me out with a belt if I'd ever spoken so insultingly. The fact that my mother was a native of Randolph County, Ala., born in 1929 -- and that I was born in 1959 in Atlanta, Ga., and raised in Douglas County, Ga. -- does not constitute proof that she or I or any of our kin were "racist," anymore than anyone born in New York or Massachusetts.

All my life, however, I've had to deal with the stereotypical presumption that all white people from the South are uniquely racist -- the collective embodiment of an evil that has replaced blasphemy of the Holy Spirit as the unforgiveable sin. Guilty until proven innocent.

Frankly there are times when a Southerner is tempted to surrender to the stereotype: "Fine. You call me a racist no matter what I do or say, so I'll go ahead and be as racist as you think I am."

This, I believe, is the temptation to which Patrick Lanzo has succumbed or, if not, it's part of his appeal to whoever the customers of his restaurant are. As the local NAACP told CBS News, the "latest ploy for attention by Mr. Lanzo is not surprising."

Another Black Conservative is correct to cite this as a rebuff to "the Raaaaacism Industrial Complex" that they are "are helping to hide real racists like Lanzo in a sea of falsely accused racists."

But you know something? I'd be willing to bet that if Lt. Col. Allen West were to hold a fund-raiser in Paulding County, Ga., it might be one of the most successful events imaginable, and that he might even get a couple hundred bucks from Patrick Lanzo.

Whatever their faults or failings, the decent folks among whom I grew up have always admired real courage, and Allen West has got that in trumps. Certainly, the colonel has no fear of the Flemish Menace.

(Via Memeorandum.)

Update: (Smitty) My humblest apologies. I had comments selected to approve, and then clicked the "Reject" link on one which said something completely unconstructive. I owe the five or so of you, who had valid things to say, my sincerest regrets for the inconvenience.


  1. Okay McCain. The jig is up Partner.

    Lookie what I found, but just googling the name of resturant.

    Come to my blog and look.

    Nice try at spin, but this time; you're wrong. The dude is Klansmen. Through and Through...


  2. Why? Because he's lazy and stupid.

    That had me rolling on the ground in laughter. I don't know why.

  3. Stacy said: "CBS reporter Michelle Marsh can't even get the geography right...."

    Dateline styles vary by news organization, but it's very common to use filing location for the dateline. I wouldn't expect a non-journalist to know that, but it shouldn't be news to you.

  4. I don't understand how you can convince yourself that you aren't defending this guy.

  5. Paleo Pat is right: Lanzo is clearly a racist. His own web site advertises his bar as "The Original Klan, Klam & Oyster Bar," and features a cartoon of a klansman urinating on a nappy-headed black man who is holding fried chicken and a slice of watermelon. My first Google for the bar pulled up a news story about how Lanzo hosted the music festival of a neo-Nazi group called Hammer Skin Nation.

    Why are you making excuses for Lanzo? You say you resent the false assumption that Southerners are racist. When you defend racists just because they're Southerners, which is what it appears you're doing here, that actually reinforces the stereotype. If your goal is to combat the stereotype, you need to revise your methods.

  6. Patrick is a proud pot smoker:

  7. RSM,

    I understand the irritation that southerns would feel that they are guilty until proven innocent. But what this man did is wrong plain and simple. It doesn't matter if he is pandering to his customers or he has given in to the temptation of falling into suspected expectations. I try my best to judge people on their character, but as I am human and not perfect, I sometimes fail. But if I offend people, even if by accident or through no malicious intent, I try to be at least sympathetic to their concerns. This man wasn't. You say this langauge wasn't tolerated in your mothers house. Amen to that and it shouldn't be tolerated in any decent house with integrity. Just like derogatory language should not be condoned about southern whites. This should never ever be condoned about blacks. Paraphrasing here but the quote "The only thing for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing" is a powerful, powerful quote and so true. But it is also true about words and ideas. How long has the south been slandered (considering the horrible treatment of blacks in the north) because it makes white northern elites feel good about themselves. Well we all must also confront those destructive ideas closer to home. It is hard to influence poeple who don't like you or who dismiss you before you are heard. But we do have a chocie to confront negative stero-types and bigoted thinking by those whose ear we do have. There has been far too much race-baiting going on throughout the right wing lately and it is sickening. Let us use our decency to try to change peoples hearts the best we can.

    (I don't care about left wing sites, it is not my ideology, i don't go there so that is why I fail to mention them).


  8. Stacy, I know exactly how you feel about the sterotyping of southerners. I'm up I85 in SC, Spartanburg, as a matter of fact and it always seems to puzzle "certain" people that we don't all live in cabins with dirt floors, listen to country music and watch tv preachers.
    But then again we have Maurice Bessinger to explain.

  9. Yeah, if they're gonna call me a racist I might as well get a white robe & pointy hat, join the KKK, host White Pride BBQs on my lawn & burn some crosses while I'm at it. Really? This dude's halfway to running for Grand Dragon. Better you just walk away from this one.

  10. Oh my goodness. A racist defending racism -- well I never!

    You're not fooling anyone, you white supremacist schmuck. Everything you say about racial matters just screams bigot and just proves the stereotype.

  11. If you're a member of the KKK and let the Klan hold its barbeques on your lawn, you're a raaaacist.

  12. I'm not too concerned about this scumbag -- he merits nothing but contempt and will earn the same. Sad;y, he provides ammo to those who want to depict all Obama opponents as racists -- but then again, they have done that since day one, and on flimsier evidence.

    My big concern is the point in one article where the local NAACP express concern that local officials have done nothing to silence the man -- as if the First Amendment has somehow been abrogated since Obama became president. Because once elected officials can shut down political speech, even offensive political speech, on grounds that someone is offended, ther eis no longer freedom of speech in this country.

  13. I spent last weekend walking around the SF/Berkeley Bay Area. I was astounded at the amount of anti-white hatred hurled my way.

    As a white man, I was sickened by this. Is it Cultural Marxism that does this to people?

    Tolerance? Give me a break.

  14. bluemountainlakerSat Oct 10, 11:14:00 PM

    Saw that alicublog linked to this and clicked in for the first time. Impressed with Roy Edroso's point of view and way with words. I may have a new favorite blog. Check out what he had to say about Stacy, including his commenters, too. Good stuff.

  15. In this mess called race relations, did not whites invent this word that they can no longer say?

    Why? Black Separatists groups say they're not racist because they have "no power", but whites are afraid to use a word? Every gang banger, thug wannabe in the rap industry has used that word in self-description and group call.

    Ever notice in COPS, or other police reality shows the non-black culture theives that apply this word to themselves? The word does not mean anything anymore except to the race baiting, liberal, self-loathing, 'please hear my cry for attention, pity me, now give me money' crowd.

    Why doesn't kufir cause either the same rage or self-loathing in Islam? Because they don't care and still enslave.

    RACIST has played and worn itself out.

  16. Christ, just shut the hell up...y'all.

  17. "If you're a member of the KKK and let the Klan hold its barbeques on your lawn, you're a raaaacist."

    What if you're a member of the NAACP?

    Lanzo is yanking your chain...hard.

  18. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  19. LLORT3 said... blah blah white supremacist blah blah

    1. Your blogger profile is non-existent.
    2. Your moniker is the same as a guy with a Youtube channel who calls himself a "democratic socialist."
    3. Excuse me for believing that you are not a LYING TROLL.

  20. RSM,

    Now that you've addressed LLORT3, how about responding to Paleo Pat and fresnel?

  21. Pablo defends a racist? Shocker

  22. Patrick Lanzo is harmless, he is a person who is going to say what he wants and stand up for what he believes. My family is from Big Springs in Randolph Co. AL. I was raised in Bremen GA. That is about ten min away from Patricks bar. I have been there a few times in the past. Im now stationed at Camp Lejeune NC.
    I have been all around this world and this country and believe me these signs have no comparison to the racist violence i have seen committed by all shades of color and religions.
    He has been there for years and never caused any major problems. I dont know if he is racist or not but if he is, it still does not change the fact he has the right to say what he wants