Embracing a More Expansive (Liberal) Vision in the South

Below is my response to Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Jim Galloway’s words in his article on his blog, “Insider Edition,” on February 27, 2014.  Readers of “Mary Elizabeth Sings” can find Galloway’s article at the following link: http://politics.blog.ajc.com/2014/02/27/jack-kingston-hits-the-airwaves-but-stays-away-from-the-c-word/

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“For as far back as I can remember, the political word of self-identification, ‘conservative,’ has been much revered in Georgia. And, for as far back as I can remember, for a Georgia politician to have self-identified with the word, ‘liberal,’ was to have committed immediate political suicide. I was born in 1942. 

If perceptions of blacks in the South have been changed since the decade of my birth, in large part through federal laws which enforced a more expansive (liberal) vision of human beings, and if sexual orientation is now being seen as a natural variation from the sexual norm, with no longer a need for human beings to hide their individual sexual orientation, then I am more confident than ever that Georgia, and Georgians, will soon expand their visions to see that a liberal mind is more to be embraced than a conservative one, although we each judiciously contain elements of both in our thinking.  

Let each person of Georgia now feel free to soar, openly, into whatever his or her unique, innate potential was meant to be. And, let each person of Georgia feel free to embrace a liberal worldview which will transcend one’s race, religious preference, sexual orientation, gender identification, and even nationality. When that change of consciousness happens in the spirits and minds of Georgians, then, finally, politicians in Georgia who will choose to proclaim themselves as liberals, as did John F. Kennedy in New York in 1960, will win elections in Georgia. I have seen the handwriting on the wall of Georgia’s progressive movement toward equal rights for blacks and gays within my lifetime. And, I know that, one day soon, my birth state will embrace the liberal, progressive vision without being held back by the shackles of Georgia’s tragic past.”

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