Al.com columnist speaks about controversial Southern Pride article

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) –  We at WHNT News 19 often refer to our newspartners at al.com to share news stories with our viewers.  So of course we felt it necessary to talk to al.com columnist John Archibald when one of his recent columns “I want my South back” generated a lot of social media commentary.  The post has been shared over 4 thousand times and has garnered nearly 10 thousand comments.

The opinion based article has generated so much attention and a lot of it has been negative.  A lot of folks just didn’t understand why Archibald would write something like this and he fired back with this reasoning.  “I think that this comes at a time when the Legislature is in session, and issues like cutting Medicaid are there, and you know we talked about there’s so much anger going around, and there’s so much resentment about holding on to what we have and we’re fighting those who are against us, and pitting us against each other.  And it struck me as a guy who grew up here in the Tennessee Valley, maybe that is what has gone on all my life.  But that is not the South that my mamma taught me about.  So I wanted to put that into some kind of words, and some kind of feelings and so be proud of the South, and not be so angry all the time.”

The article did bring back nostalgia for those who have misty water colored memories about the way things were.  Sure, there may have always been turmoil and strife, but there was always a certain degree of promise too.   Today it seems that the turmoil and strife are still there but all of the promise is not as readily seen.  But John Archibald believes that it is still there “We have a lot of problems but we have the best food, we have the best weather, we have the best writers, we have the best music, and we have this culture of our own that so many people around the country don’t get to experience.  So when people talk about us, we could laugh a little bit because we knew we had a secret too. If you go out, and you have trouble, you will find someone who will help you. You will find someone who will give you the shirt off their back.  It’s only when we get into these groups, sort of mobs where there’s politics, or other beliefs or other particular issues where we become sort of dangerous.  But I always feel like, we have something special here, and who really cares?  The only thing holding us back, and it’s the same thing that’s always held us back, and that’s us.  So my belief is if we’re more open and we’re more giving, and we treat other people, if we treat groups like individuals then we’d be better off.”

View our entire conversation with John Archibald here in three parts: